There I have said it. Now what can we do to prevent it? Can we just avoid alcohol? Well I have got news for you, alcohol isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. A truly sober person can say no to the drink. Anyone can “not” walk into a bar, but not everyone can walk into a bar and “not” drink. A counselor I used to see called this “self efficacy” and told me that it was merely having the confidence in knowing that you “will not” drink regardless of how much is front of you. I am in the late stages of sobriety at this time and now the focus is no longer getting sober, it is staying sober. My therapist in Rehab spends quite a bit of our session time talking about ways to prevent relapse. I have personally found that the urge to drink comes when I am upset or stressed. I drank the heaviest when things didn’t go my way. How then can we alleviate the stress? You can’t just “be happy” at the drop of a hat. Well the truth is there are several ways that work for me and I will share them with you. I am a writer by profession. I write descriptive articles for companies that are transferring from foreign countries to America. I also write personally with poetry, creative writing, sort stories, outdoor articles and other ways to more or less “bleed” on paper. I keep a journal of my day-to-day feelings and in this journal I always write some good things that happened that day. This serves as reminder that my day was not a complete failure. I write things that come to my mind whenever or wherever they come to me, then I can re-read them to myself and make sense of them later. This helps me to maintain a clear log of my feelings which is useful when I need a reason to not drink.
There are several other ways to help with the stress as well. I particularly love the outdoors and find that something as simple as a walk can help me to alleviate stress to some degree. For me it has all been a matter of distraction and replacement. I say replacement because I used to drink….quite a bit. I dedicated most of my time to drinking and that is like a bad habit that needs to be broken. There was time there that needed to be replaced with something, otherwise I found myself sitting, bored and craving for a drink. I have so many hobbies now that I often cannot stop for even a second to think about drinking unless I either dream it in my sleep, or write about it. The one regret that I have about that is that my mind is so rushed all of the time to get things done that it has created a whole new blanket of stress for me to cope with.
There are resources online for aiding people seeking to alleviate stress from their lives and these are some of the ways that I handle my own stress. The ways that I tend to my stress are not without flaws however but they seem to work for me.