10 Things To Do Before You Decide To Pick Up A Drink

Sometimes when a urge to drink comes on, it can be powerful and demand all of your attention.  It can threaten the peace that you hold close to your heart and mind but that’s okay because there are some things you can do to overcome the urge and not give into it, you can through it sober.  Lists can help because as the urge comes on, you don’t have to pace to figure out what to do; just check the list and follow the directions.  Here are 10 things I do BEFORE I pick up a drink and give into the urge.

10.  Walk.  Seriously exercise gets your adrenaline going and with that comes excitement to not feel depressed, which is what alcohol brings into our minds.  You’ll feel great to be doing good for your body.  If you don’t enjoy walking as much as I, then ride a bike,rollerblade, skateboard, run, jog, jumping jacks, ect…just get moving to get your mind set on excitement and adrenaline.

9.  Take a shower.  Not only will you feel rejuvenated by the steam, you also are taking precious minutes off the lifetime of the urge which means you are yet closer to making it to the other end of it sober.

8.  Brush your teeth and I’m not talking a quick brushing but a good 5 minute cleansing.  I know you’re beginning to think I have done gone batshit crazy but seriously hear me out here.  After I brush my teeth, I don’t want to place anything into my mouth and that helps get me through the urge and that’s the whole point of it.  *This also helps with the urge to smoke, just in case there are any trying to quit smokers reading this.*

7.  Pet your pet, brush your pet.  This one’s enormous for me, the unconditional love and attention our pets give us, can bring a tear to my eye.  I have a dog, a very old dog but I have to tell you she’s been there for me more times than I can count on both my hands and feet.  When I pet her and I am in an emotional state, she knows it and somehow she makes me feel wanted, loved, and cared for.  Now if you don’t have a pet, then this one won’t do you any good however why can’t you do the same for your self?  Brush your own hair, clip your fingernails, shave, ect…care for yourself.

6.  Play a computer game.  I don’t normally condone computer games because I feel they are a true waste of time but for this topic, somtimes a waste of time is a huge help.  If you are going to play one, try one that helps keep your mind moving along, scrabble is always a good choice.

5.  Speaking of computers, try this one; research the trip of your lifetime.  Find out where you want to go, how much it costs to get there, don’t forget to research restraunants, coffee shops, hotels, and visual excitement.  This could take hours, even days but trust me when I say it can be fun and lets you know what you need to accomplish financially to get to your dream vacation.  Even if you will never go, it helps you keep your eye on how much money you will waste on alcohol.

4.  What’s your hobby?  Besides drinking.  Do you like to make bracelets?  Have you ever tried screen printing?  Painting?  Drawing?  Pottery?  How about signing up for a free class at a local hobby store?  Now would be a great time to try something new and fullfilling.  Writing possibly???

These last three are ones that I turn to almost everyday whether I have any urges or not.  They help fill me with pleasure and being sober should be about feeling pleasure and at peace with ones self, feel good in your own skin.

3.  Look in the mirror and repeat after me atleast 5 times, even if you don’t believe it, trust me sooner or later you will believe it:

I have a life threatening disease, that once had me. I am what I think; a confident, caring, compassionate, competent human being.

Think the drink all the way through. How are you going to feel physically and emotionally after the alcohol is completely gone? Do you really want to go back to blackouts, ER rooms, withdrawals?

2. Pull out your recovery material. If you have none, get some or contact me and I can point you in the right direction. By recovery material, it can be books, material you’ve printed out on your pc, journals you’ve written, blogs and websites you read, music that you feel is a positive reinforcement to your sobriety. Again if you don’t have anything, then now would be a great time to start putting it together.

1. Reach out and contact someone. I know this one seems absolutely impossible but trust me once again when I say, it works. Call someone, email someone, blog yourself through it, contact AA, Women For Sobriety, or any other organization that can help talk you through why giving into this urge will be one of the worst mistakes of your life. There is tremendous amount of help out there but it will only work if you reach out to it, it won’t come to you.

7 thoughts on “10 Things To Do Before You Decide To Pick Up A Drink

  1. This is a great, thoughtful list. Another one that works for me is simply to go to bed. Often when I get urges to overeat, I’m actually tired. Or I’m overwhelmed without realizing it, and it interrupts the mindless rushing around.

    • Excellent point! Being tired is stressful to say the least, sleeping even just for an hour can make things look differently when we open our eyes.

  2. What a great list for all sorts of things — getting through a bout of depression, or dwelling too much on negative thoughts, or just feeling overwhelmed by life in general.

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