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When life gets difficult how do you cope without drinking?

worried young woman covering face with hand

I’ve had a tough few months.

😟 My partner underwent major surgery.

😟 Work was stressful.

😟 The normal juggle of life became particularly overwhelming.

If this had happened a few years ago I would have used it as an excuse to drink more to take the edge off and ‘cope’.

But, that wasn’t an option this time.

Almost three years ago I made the choice to take a break from alcohol and I’m now at the stage where having a drink to deal with life’s stresses is no longer something I think about.

That sounds easy but it did take a lot of work to get here!

Aren’t you tempted to drink?

I only realised how far I had come when a friend said to me:

“Aren’t you tempted to have a few drinks with everything that’s going on for you right now?”

It was only when she made that comment that I realised reaching for a drink hadn’t even crossed my mind.

That would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

So how did I cope?

Firstly, it was because of the work I had done in the past to change my beliefs around alcohol that helped me to realise that reaching for a drink wouldn’t have made things better.

In fact, drinking would only have added to my stress.

I then used different coping tools to get through it, like:

  • Taking notice of how I was feeling (there was a lot to be aware of!) and accepting it was important to process what I was going through.
  • Talking things through with those I trusted, when I felt up to it.
  • Stopping doing the things that weren’t essential – it’s surprising (or maybe not so surprising) that we fill our lives up but, when we really have to, it becomes easy to see what is non essential. And those around you understand when you pull back.
  • Finding ways to ‘escape’ and de-stress by watching sitcoms on TV and reading books. Sometimes you need to quieten the brain and stop overthinking. Reading and watching mindless TV were two easy ways to do that.

When life gets stressful or difficult, it’s easy to use alcohol to numb out.

I know, I’ve certainly done that in the past.

The problem is that it’s a temporary solution that makes you feel even worse afterwards and does nothing to actually help the situation.

If you are worried that you’re using alcohol in an unhealthy way but don’t know how you can cope without it, you can book in for a free discussion call where we can talk about ways in which I can support you.

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