Our alcoholic coping skills were never anything to write home about. After all, they are what drove us to drink and use in the first place. So what does an addict or alcoholic do when they can’t drink or use anymore?
Alcoholic Coping Skills Option #1: Go to a Meeting
When we go to meetings, we can get the chance to see that, regardless of whatever it is that we are dealing with in the here and now, there are others who have it way worse. On more than one occassion, I have gone to a meeting feeling sorry for myself over something trivial, and I hear someone else share how they’ve lost their spouse and kids, got fired, lost their house, and all manner of far way worse issues in their lives. We might be so lucky as to realize how vastly our own quality of problems has risen since we first got clean and sober.
It’s a strange phenomenon to be sure, but it seems as though any time we are in a meeting and having some sort of conflict, the topic many times will be on whatever is surrounding our trouble we are presently going through. Stick around for awhile, and you’ll see what I mean.
Even if the topic doesn’t happen to exactly fit your circumstance, just talking about the issue aloud can help relieve a lot of that anger and stress.
Alcoholic Coping Skills Option #2: Write About It
There’s a reason that we are told to write out our step-work, and that’s because there is something about the act of writing that both soothes and offers a clear perspective on whatever is going on with us.
While many times whatever we are dealing with what seems very real and serious, for the alcoholic, we can lose perspective on what is legitimately a big deal (a death in the family, loss of a job, illness in the family) and what isn’t (getting a take-out order wrong, buying something at full price that goes on sale the next day, a broken shoelace, whatever). Successful drug and alcohol treatment for addicts and alcoholics incorporates using the right coping skills.
Seeing it in black and white takes away a lot of that emotional anger that we feel. It is not exclusive to alcoholics and addicts; many people mentally blow things out of proportion when they don’t have a reference point. When we look at our issue without that emotionalism behind it, we can see the truth of the matter much more easily.
Alcoholic Coping Skills: Pray It Away
For many newcomers, this is usually the last thing they want to hear. When we come in, there are a lot of us who outright deny God, let alone have any sort of inkling to pray to that God to help them.
However, there is something that I call the atheists’ prayer, and it is one that I’ve used with newcomers who refuse to use the “G-word,” and it goes:
“I don’t know what the whole vastness of the universe holds, but if there is anything out there that can help me feel less angry, please help ease my anger.”
What do you do to cope without drugs or alcohol?