RELAPSE HAPPENS BEFORE YOU DRINK

Relapse happens before you drink. I love this saying I found a journal, of mine when I was first was trying to work on quitting drinking. When I was taught this saying I went back to my journal to take a look at what was going on, before I drank. And every damn time I recognized that I relapsed before I drank.

In the journal, there was a lot of hurt, a lot of anger, anger towards my husband, towards myself, feeling very left out, hating my life. Then there were the injustices, of the world that I could not change, people starving, my city I live in changing for the worse. I seemed to take it all on. It left me wanting to numb out, of course it did and of course I did. Looking back it makes perfect sense when you have anger and feeling not good enough, hatred it’s a perfect storm for drinking.

I can look back now and see the events leading up to my drinking, I also can see it in other people, a lot of time its anger/resentment/hatred that people are struggling with, because that’s what I struggled with. I watched a friend of mine relapse not long ago, and when I say watched, I mean I saw her going down the rabbit hole, she was angry at her life. I talked to her, she fluffed it off, she couldn’t see it until after. She was really lucky this time, she drank for about 3 days and got back to sobriety. I was never that lucky.

Relapse happens long before the first drink, this past month I found myself on shaky ground, but this time instead of in a journal and looking back I recognized it, anger at the world, at the manufacturing for the plastics we use, once again for my city doing nothing to fix our problems, and I was like no no no. I decided to use this anger this time for good, for speaking out for not hiding, for making my voice known, calling the city, calling out the government, by deciding to honour the anger. We are allowed to stand up for what we believe in. We do not have to be silent, we are allowed to be angry. We just can’t drink over it.

Remember relapse can happen at anytime, you just have to be aware of it, I have found some significant signs in my recovery: Anger is a huge one. So if you are angry honor it, meditate and use that anger to fuel change. Just don’t drink over it.


FOMO While Travelling Sober

FOMO While Travelling Sober

FOMO while travelling can really lead down a rabbit hole of self destruction. This past week I travelled from winter weather (chilly but sunny) to a self development self love conference in SUNNY New Port Beach California. A travel tip I live by is hit up the grocery store for provisions as Hangry doesn’t just happen at home.

Off I walked to Whole Foods, which is located in a very posh, very beautiful place called Fashion Island. BAM it hit me, that itch, all I could see while walking there were these beautiful patios, filled with beautiful people, sitting drinking. I haven’t had that itch in a while (it’s been winter here) and it was a sinking feeling.

I used to like Whole Foods concept, but by the time I was finished buying my provisions and had to cruise by the Booze Section, my thoughts were heading into a negative spiral, Whole Foods doesn’t care about your health or they wouldn’t be carrying Booze. By the time I got out of Whole Foods I had a full on hate going for the store. ( I call it Whole Paycheck seriously who shops at this store regularly, so overpriced, especially now considering Amazon owns it) as you can guess I was even pissier. I’ve been plastered by the lure of cocktails from the moment I touched down in the sun. FOMO kicks in I think I am the only one in California, not sitting on a patio drinking, except it’s about 1pm on Thursday, but my rational brain has not kicked in on this.

Friday Night the first night of the conference begins and I chose not to purchase the VIP option of this conference as it is a Wine Night, I made this choice months ago, the friends I am with are all going and the FOMO is beating on my brain, again I am the only one (which is not true) not drinking while travelling. I’m exhausted from sightseeing and walking, I’m emotionally tired from the alcohol vibes, I want to sleep, but I can’t. I’m having serious FOND (Fear of Not Drinking). Even though my friends have been great ( they aren’t sober people, but also don’t have drinking issues) it’s always the voice inside my head that’s the loudest.

I sat and cried and when I did so I also had a thought, WHY am I here?

Not here physically with a drinking problem, but why am I here in California. Why did I travel to this event? Why did I spend all this money?

My mom always taught me travelling was the best form of education, and a lot of vacations I have drank away and been so hungover I didn’t want to do anything the next day, but sit lay by a pool or in bed and sleep. I did not go on the tours booked, boat rides offered, exploring, or even out of the hotel, due to hangovers, I would miss the days.

“You can drink anywhere, why would you drink while travelling? The reason to travel isn’t to drink, but to explore, be curious, soak in what you are there for”

This one though changed my entire trip, it ended the FOMO, it ended all my feelings about drinking and the romanticizing of the drinking. I am not hear to drink, I’m hear to love myself and be a part of an event of 500 women and to recharge, to connect and to learn.

I had this realization once I asked myself the above, I wasn’t missing out, I was gaining the most from this experience I could by being present.

This past year I have had the privilege to travel extensively sober and honestly have been the best travel of my life.

So instead of FOMO and feeling sorry for myself I looked at what I got from this trip was far more valuable than any cocktail could ever offer me.

xoxox Christina

How To Cope with Winter Weather Triggers

Winter Weather Triggers, are real. The snowy cold days can trigger the romantic notion of snuggling in by a warm fire drinking the evening away, it can trigger the boredom response of being housebound or even the stress trigger of having to cope with kids home from school due to snow for days on end.

Snowy Days

Weather triggers happen and here’s some coping tools for your sobriety toolbox.

  1. Dreaming of the perfect winter afternoon evening drinking! Here’s my #1 strategy. Take a piece of paper draw a horizontal line down the page. First Column title the fantasy, second column reality. Take yourself through the evening, what it looks like in the fantasy and the reality do this all the way through to the next morning. Look at the fantasy vs reality.
  2. Stuck inside winter boredom! Ok it’s time to get your ass into gear remember that list you made during good weather of all the things you wanted to get done around your house but it was too nice out. Get to that list! Start a project or take a class, make a vision board, craft, learn to play an instrument, read, catch up on movies, paint a room, sleep, do an at home workout, listen to podcasts, make some meals that you can freeze for easy dinners, plan out your meals for the week, volunteer, go ice skating, check out a different recovery approach ( Smart meeting, refuge recovery, y12sr), start a second income stream, catch up with some old friends that maybe you haven’t seen in a while do to isolation or your drinking, volunteer (food bank always needs help, as does meals on wheels at this time of year, local animal shelters)
  3. Stressed out frazzled, everyone’s at home for too long. This is a big one, and I can’t stress enough the importance of asking for help. Whether it be from your partner, parents, a neighbour so you can have an hour to breathe (even if it’s just to go grocery shopping ON YOUR OWN) . If this isn’t possible, set up a play date with other kids, this can be a good break having other kids in the house. Don’t sweat the small stuff, so what the house may be messier, winter won’t last forever. Breathe

Remember weather triggers are real and to acknowledge these feelings so they aren’t just pushed aside, yes it can be uncomfortable and your skin maybe crawling, but know that drinking never makes it better.

xoxoxo Christina