We often ruin our goals in the heat of the moment. When our emotions get the better of us and we say ‘F**k it’.
Club Soda member Sally kindly did this week’s webinar (Laura lost her voice!) and shares one of the key things she has learnt in 10 years of sobriety – how not to react in the heat of the moment and pick up a drink!
Why do we choose to press THAT button?
– It can feel good to do something in reaction to the stress. You feel like you are doing something
– It may be easier to take the route you have done before – the habit of drinking, the path of least resistance
– It feels like a release of pressure.
Two key ways to stop it from happening:
– Prevention in advance
– Alternatives to pressing the button in the heat of the moment.
Prevention in advance
First identify your triggers – the things that stress you (you know what they are!), and look at strategies to reduce that stress in the long term. Work on them alongside your drinking goal. Here are some ideas:
- Healthy diet
- Regular sleep
- Stress diary
- Taking control of the things worrying you – like your financial issues.
Take the time to look after yourself; it is important and you deserve it! In Club Soda lots of people are caring for others, but also being very hard on their self. Treat yourself like you would a best friend you were supporting to do something difficult. Make time for yourself!
Replace the ‘action of hitting the button’ with something else:
- Go for a walk
- Play games – card games, computer games, Facebook games!
- Hot baths
- Calling friends.
“Don’t worry being seen to be a little rude – if emotions are high, don’t be afraid to walk away, make an excuse, or do something different. A little bit of rudeness is better than doing something that will harm you.”
Be patient and kind with yourself – remember you are doing something hard. It is about keeping practicing. It does get easier.
What can you do if it happens?
- Be kind to yourself – don’t kick yourself and stress yourself more. Remember self-care
- Reflect on the trigger and work out how to avoid it next time
- Recognise your limitations – you are human
- Pick up again tomorrow – restart the engine!
- You have not thrown anything away, keep going, it’s a practice
- Acknowledge what you are feeling, that things are hard and recognise that it may be appropriate but it does not mean you need to drink.
This changes over time
What really changes is your reactions to things – you feel them and deal with them rather than pick up a drink. The evolution/progression is hard but it is worth it. Let the hurt hurt, and remember to take time to enjoy the good things too! It does get easier the more you practice.
“Take time to find yourself, and be comfortable with being with yourself without alcohol.”
Two important things to remember
- Self care!
- There is no shame asking for help.
Sally also had a book recommendation to share: Mind over Mood – “simple yet powerful steps you can take to overcome emotional distress”.