Continuing to mull over how the nondrinking life works over the long haul ….
Many of the regularly discussed in-the-moment tricks seem not to work for me. Fear of regret — remind myself that I would be back to day 1, would wake up in the middle of the night parched and pissed — nope. Of utterly no importance to Wolfie/Bernandette in the moment. Reach out for support? Nope, why would you? It would ruin this nice little insane craving that’s about to lead to drinking as the only solution.
So how to improve this situation, the odds of sticking with myself under conditions of duress? Here are some things. It’s not a complete list. I still need more to protect against the flashes.
- Avoid getting cold if I’m in or near a socially stressful situation. Or at least know that physical discomfort in those times is dangerous and try to avoid that happening.
- Remember that conferences are exhausting and stressful. Even though you love them. Skip out on dinners and lunches, and bring comfort drinks from home. (Do not, do not leave home without peppermint tea. I know it can be found in every supermarket in America. Still don’t leave home without it in the backpack.)
- Bring a thermos of hot water in the car if you’re going to be seeing your sister. A stiff mint tea will be needed on the ride home.
I know there’s more. Maybe I’ll see another after the next moment of distress.
If you’ve struggled with failed split-second reasoning/tricks/strategies and found new ones that work, I’d be curious to hear about them. The more counter-intuitive the better!