I was watching Dawson’s Creek on Netflix (guilty obsession* at the moment) and came across a bit of recovery wisdom from the character Andie McPhee. For those unfamiliar with the show, Andie is the perky blonde over-achiever whose role in the show is to create situations for After School Special type moments. The goodie two-shoes who is always letting her good intentions get her in to awful positions, while the principle cast canoodles through melodrama and slings a vocabulary far beyond the reach of most REAL over-achievers.
At some point in the show she has a mental breakdown and spends the summer in a mental hospital and comes back to endless drama. Most of this is side-plot, but something jumped out at me while Andie was explaining to her brother Jack about her obsession with her role as assistant director of her schools play.
Andie: I had this, uh, this mantra in the hospital. You wanna hear it?
Andie: Structure and purpose. I mean, I know it was just a stupid little school play, but thats what it was to me: structure and purpose. I think when you have something like that in your life, you know, to hold on to, thats not another person, but its more like a part of yourself, like a goal or a dream, the whole world falls apart around you, youll be okay.
So I wouldnt exactly take this as a cure-all for your mental problems, but consider how adding some structure and purpose to your life can help you steer clear of alcohol.
When you have no purpose, then theres no reason to get your life on track. We all have purpose, but a lot of us have lost sight of it and drink to fill in the void.
Structure can be a bit harder to nail down, but having some type of routine in your life is rarely a bad thing. Some people drink to escape the same-old same-old, so its easy to equate structure with monotony. Thats why the purpose is such an important part of that mantra.
Youd be surprised how helpful waking up in the morning, and really having a reason to wake up can help getting over alcohol.
*Not to be confused with a guilty pleasure. I don’t really take any pleasure in Dawson’s Creek but, like a car crash I cant look away.