Even if you weren’t trying to stop drinking alcohol, 2020 has been rough one. Lockdowns were able to flatten the curve of the pandemic, but isolation has it’s own toll on mental health. Loneliness compounds the effects of alcoholism and can be a catalyst for relapse. To help stay alcohol free, we should consider the benefits of being alone before we’re forced back in to a state of isolation.
Learn a new skill
We’re already working on getting sober, but what about a new language or a project? I dreamt about what I’d do if I wasn’t so distracted. In my first few months of sobriety I did little more than watch Netflix, eat pizza and exercise. Instead of going to the gym, I researched body-weight exercises so I could get fit without spending money.
The first lockdown of 2020 I was able to take an online course I could do at my own pace. I ended up coding a very simple app. I didn’t change the world or make any money, but it was a good distraction. You don’t need a lot of equipment to take an online course, so if you’re reading this you’re ready to get learning.
Learn about yourself
It took some time to realize, but the reason I had a problem with drinking was my own brain. I blamed other contributing factors, but ultimately we take the blame for our actions. Before I got sober, I spent my alone time getting drunk. I hated being alone, and found companionship in alcohol. After quitting, I slowly became more comfortable being alone.
Need help breaking the ice? Feel free to talk to yourself. It is only a sign of mental illness if you believe you’re talking to someone else. Speaking words aloud is different than thinking them. Try reading sentences out loud for yourself to hear. Ask yourself hard questions and discuss the answer, it sounds crazy but it can help.
Learn about how to stop drinking alcohol
When I first tried to stop drinking alcohol I would often “white knuckle”. My strategy was simply avoiding alcohol and any situation where I might get the temptation to drink. Avoiding triggers like the pub was the main reason for my isolation. I learned quickly that this was a mistake and I was putting my sobriety in jeopardy.
I suggest you take some time to work a program or do some reading. You may not be able to attending a meeting, but books, podcasts and online meetings are still there. Spend this time fortifying the foundation of your sobriety. Do the work now, so when you’re able to leave the house again, you’re ready to take on the world!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, sign-up for our Stop Drinking Newsletter for more content.