It’s been a trying couple of weeks. Stressful stuff has been happening at work and then I had, what I described to Belle as, an unexploded bomb go off in my extended family personal life. The universe has been testing my resolve to stay off the sauce!!
In my drinking life these two situations would have been managed by booze and more of it. This would have triggered an escalation in my drinking in an attempt to blot them out by getting blotto and numbing myself out of the conscious emotions. Before as I wasn’t very good at dealing with any kind of overwhelm I would inevitably react emotionally without thinking it through and potentially make the situations worse.
So in the absence of booze I’ve had to manage it differently. This has involved sitting in the bath and sobbing and a trip to see my counsellor. I appreciate that the counsellor bit isn’t an option for everyone, but I am lucky enough to have been seeing this person since late 2010. She is a god-send and my go to person when I need to offload and talk things through. These coping strategies have enabled me to pause and sit with the emotions for a full week without acting on them and most importantly not pick up a drink. It has been really hard.
In the absence of a counsellor I would have phoned the Samaritans. I know how good these people are because I used to volunteer for them. I’ve volunteered at a town branch, a city branch, at festivals and I ran the London Marathon for them. If you need to talk to someone about a problem, who will listen without judgement and let you get stuff off your chest without offering advice these folks are superb. You don’t need to be a UK resident as you can email as well as call.
As their website says:
Talk to us any time you like, in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you.
You don’t have to be suicidal.
Telephone: 08457 909090
Sometimes you need to talk to someone, not about your drinking, but the stuff that makes you want to drink and the Samaritans provide a safe space for this if you need it.
Alternatively, if you live in the UK and feel you have excess spare time now that you aren’t busy drinking then maybe you would like to reach out and help someone else in need? The Samaritans are always looking for volunteers and personally I really loved and valued the experience.
My emotional overwhelm is now less emotional and less overwhelming and the urge to drink has passed. I learned a new sober skill for the next time things don’t go according to plan and that’s life when you don’t drink. You pick yourself up, dust yourself down and move on – no booze, no drama 😉