We have shit coping mechanisms as drinkers.
Mainly because we have only one coping mechanism for anything life throws at us:
Drink. Then drink some more.
Fair play to us, it probably was fun at first. But it got old a long time ago. We outgrew it.
There are tons of ways of dealing with the rubbish situations in life. And deal we must. Because they will still turn up on our doorstep.
They won’t affect us as deeply. Not by any means. But they will still happen.
It’s quite astonishing. This whole new world of ways in which we can tackle life’s challenges without drinking.
Turns out there are loads of things I can now do to make me feel better than drinking ever did.
My favourite one. My absolute fail safe.
Well, weirdly it’s work.
Rewind back with me to 2010. I had been a non-drinker for about 5 years. I casually assumed this meant my world would never be chaotic again.
Wrong. So very wrong.
My life fell apart in a quite spectacular fashion.
I went from living a comfortable existence, planning a wedding and the stuff that comes after.
To breaking it all off. Living in a grim flatshare with a friend of a friend. And having absolutely no idea where the rest of my life was now going. A life that clearly wasn’t going to be centred around a husband and children.
I felt nauseous all the time. Just shellshocked really. My life felt utterly fucked. I was a failure. And I didn’t know how to feel better.
I had one good thing in my life. I loved my job. I had only been doing it 6 weeks when everything crashed down around my ears.
But now it was my sole purpose for being.
I’d never loved work as a drinker. I never have myself the chance too. Mainly because I was always too hungover to do a decent day’s work at all.
But, to my relief, being a non-drinker gace me the opportunity to submerge myself in this new job.
I slowly taught myself to relish every moment. Squeeze every bit of joy I could out of the process. Because it was the only time I didn’t feel totally horrendous inside.
I found that I could stretch the work feeling far beyond the hours I was filming a show.
It felt like work did when I shopped for outfits to wear for shows (that’s how I finally discovered a love for clothes, actually).
It felt like work did when I got my hair or nails did. So on days off, when I didn’t have work to keep me going, I’d try and get something like that done.
I’d volunteer for every extra shift going. Get there early. Stay late. Because when I did, I felt better.
Work saved me. It was a coping mechanism that actually worked. I was so surprised that this was he case, but it was true.
Life got better. I ended up leaving the channel I worked at, which I still regret to this day, to be honest. But we can talk about learning that lesson another time.
Life still gets hard, even 12 years in as a non-drinker. It’s quite hard right now, truth known.
But I’ve never forgotten how worked saved me in 2010. And it’s always my failsafe when things get tough now.
Because, unlike alcohol, it always gives back to me. It’s an investment that is never wasted. It fulfils me without taking anything away.
Put simply: Work works.
So why not give it a go? It’s a better cooomg mechanism than drinking could ever be. I promise you that x