I’ve not written anything for over 2 weeks on here and I’ve really missed blogosphere.
I started this blog to help raise awareness for addiction and help people see you can live a fabulous, stylish life without alcohol.
What I didn’t plan for is what to write when things were far from fabulous, which is what they have been recently. I was reluctant to blog when things are, quite frankly a little bit shitty, after all no ones going to feel inspired to get sober if they see a blogger whining on about how tough things are, will they?
But life can be tough sometimes, for everyone, sober not sober, ill not ill, life has ups and downs. It’s how you deal with the downs that make you who you are. You can choose to grow from them or you can choose to run from them. I did enough running in my drinking days (metaphorical running, physical running would have taken twice as long drunkenly swerving all over the place).
So I wanted to share what I’ve been doing the last few weeks while things have been a bit crap. What I’ve been doing to help myself, to love myself and what I’ve not been doing (equally important I reckon).
- It’s OK to have a cry, but give yourself a certain amount of boohoo time. This may sound ridiculous but as important as it is to let your emotions out, it’s just as important to not wallow in self pity. I used to love a bit of self pity when I was drinking but it made things worse and turned into a viscous cycle of self destruction. If you feel yourself crossing the line from letting it all out in a healthy way to an unhealthy self indulgence – do something to get out of your head. Call a friend, not to talk about you but to ask how they are, do some DIY or something practical that will take you out ‘self’. I know it’s the last thing you will feel like doing but I promise it will help.
- Fresh air. Get some.
- Do not ‘throw yourself’ into work, or exercise, or looking after the kids. Don’t distract yourself from your feelings. You need to feel them and move on from them. I spent years pouring wine down my neck in order not to ‘feel’ – it doesn’t help. Feeling sad/angry/afraid is part of life, but all emotion is temporary, hence the well used saying ‘this too shall pass’ (a useful mantra if you feel your whole world is crashing down).
- Eat well. When I feel rubbish I want to reach for the sweets and chocolate, I stuff my face and then am surprised when I feel pants after binging. What you put into your body and your gut health has a huge effect on how you feel and your well-being. The act of preparing healthy food can also be quite therapeutic, plus you’ll get a great smug insta pic from it after!
- Surround yourself with pretty things. Fresh flowers, bright colours, natural daylight, go to your fave shop (without your purse – buying stuff when you’re feeling blue always ends up in guilt of too much spending – well for me anyway). Beautiful things will help you remember that life can be beautiful even though it may not feel it right now.
- Spend time with the people you love and who love you – but don’t be afraid to say no. I find this one a bit of a balancing act sometimes. When I’m going through a tough time I often want to shut myself away and not see anyone, but then I feel guilty for shutting people out. It’s helped me spending time with friends and family the last few weeks, but I have said no to a few dinners and coffee, because I know if I am out too much I will end up not looking after myself, not eating right, spending too much and generally running away from the pain. You also don’t want to rely on other people to change how you feel – because that’s another form of running away.
- Do something creative. Write (even if you just write for you), paint something, get one of those adult colouring books (I have a cat one – obvs), go to a dance class, get some fuzzy felt (remember that stuff?), play dough, bake, anything – but get those creative juices flowing. They don’t teach us to flex those creative muscles in primary school for nothing.
- Meditate. Download an app (headspace and buddify are good), read a mantra, or practice just sitting. It helps calm the mind when your brain is racing or emotions are running high. It takes a while to get the hang of it and I still struggle but my morning meditation really sets me up for the day.
- Stretch. Because it feels wonderful.
- Gratitude. See my previous post The Gratitude Attitude
- Don’t forget you have survived 100% of your bad days so far. You can survive this.
I’m no doctor, therapist or spiritual healer (I doubt anyone in those professions would use the word crappy to describe an emotion), I am just someone dealing with stuff in the best way they know how and so far it’s going OK. So I wanted to share what’s been working for me. In case it can work for you.
Love Katie xxx