Boiling Over

I think my off switch is missing. I have had a few upsetting events occur in the past few days, and I have found that I am really bad at getting over them. I keep getting more and more upset. I don’t yell or get mad. I sometimes cry. I definitely obsess about whatever it is that made me upset.  I find that my shoulders are up to my ears and my upper back hurts, and I know that I am STRESSED. Relieving this stress is not natural for me without drinking. Doesn’t that seem crazy? I used drinking as a way to deal with negative emotions for so long that now they just build and build and build with no stopping point … well, it is time to work on improving my life skills.

I can think of 10 things, off the top of my head, that would be SO MUCH better than drinking to deal.

  1. Talk to the person who upset me directly if possible
  2. Go for a walk or run
  3. Talk to a friend/family member/therapist about it**
  4. Watch something funny and laugh
  5. Write about it
  6. Yell into a pillow
  7. Punch a punching bag (I need one. I used to take boxing and I loved punching the bag! It made me laugh. I am weird.)
  8. Take a hot bath
  9. Read a helpful book (Something by Pema Chödrön or Don Miguel Ruiz, perhaps)
  10. Sit and meditate and visualize letting go
  11. Do yoga

So, I listed 11 things I can do (10 + bonus!), aside from drinking to stop being stressed, mad, hurt or whatever negative emotion I am experiencing. That is a good start. I haven’t been close to drinking lately, even though I have felt discouraged about it (mainly from talking to a family member).

**Be careful who you choose for support! Make sure that they are capable of giving you what you need, otherwise they can make you feel worse. (I learned this the hard way this week). Actually, I learned a lot about boundaries and what makes me comfortable this week. I am going to be more careful about who I talk to about delicate things in my life. I have a tendency to overshare, and I need to stop because it causes me anxiety. Baby steps.

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7 thoughts on “Boiling Over

  1. Your list is good. I especially like 10. My son’s therapist told him to envision a train smashing into his issue and pushing away. I also totally get the over-sharing issue. I think I have a tendency to over-trust, so then I always say things I regret. I really feel like this whole process is a giant learning curve. I almost feel like I am growing-up all over again. Kudos for your list.

    I heard something in a meeting that I really liked. Play the tape forward. If you were to drink, what would be the results or consequences. When you think of it like that it doesn’t make sense to put yourself through it. Anyways, just thought I would share. I hope the rest of your week is anxiety free and joyous! – Heather

    • I like the train thing. I also like to visualize putting my thoughts in a balloon and letting it float away. 🙂 I am with you about the learning curve thing…I feel really bumbling sometimes. Oh well, that’s life I guess! I think the tape thing is similar to thinking through the drink…very helpful! Thanks for the wise words, Heather! You are great! xx

  2. Oh yes, making a list is a great idea. Getting a massage is also really, really nice. Also, roller coasters. Good work figuring out something other than drinking to deal.

  3. Have you read “The Power of Now”? I especially loved the part where he says (basically) “OK, so think about what the problem is RIGHT NOW. Not what the problem used to be, or what it might be later, but RIGHT NOW. And then solve that problem, or recognize that there really isn’t a problem.” That isn’t a direct quote. 🙂 But, what it taught me was that I need to deal with now, and not eventualities. Crossing bridges when you get to them, not having the whole crossing planned before I even arrive.

    You can also use my best trick: I just say “I’m OK. I’m OK. I’m OK.” over and over.

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