I left work the other night really wanting a drink. I had a bit of a tiff with one of my coworkers. The details are irrelevant as it would degenerate quickly into he said/ he said bullshit and besides that, this isn’t about him. It would be convenient if it were. It would all be nice and neat if I could just blame my want for a beer and a shot of bourbon on the actions of some one else. But that’s just a load of crap.
What it is about is coping mechanisms. For years I used drinking as mine. Well that and cigarettes, but I quit smoking as well, and that is another matter. It was very unsettling for me, as it seems like it really has been a while since I had struggle with it. That overwhelming, nerve jangling urge to go down the road to the liquor store and come out with a four pack and a pint of whiskey. Admittedly, I have the thought from time to time but, for the last few months it has been very easy to shake off. This time it hung around. I would normally have just biked it off but one thing and another led me to drive the truck to work. What I did instead was drive anxiously home, past the package store, the gas stations, and the all night pharmacies and, spent some time with my wife.
She happened to be still up, though I am not sure why. She sat and listened to me complain about work and the situation and then started steering the conversation elsewhere. It was nice, with me working nights and us having so much to do during the day, with moving and our daughters it felt like months since her and I were in the same room and awake enough to enjoy each others company. We have been making some time to go bike riding together but it hasn’t been as often as we like and when we do there is always real life that has to be jumped right back into. It was good to simply be together and talking and laughing for just a little while. Afterwards, when I had been thoroughly distracted from my problems, my wife went to bed and I typed out a few words for the blog, which pushed the problem further from my mind.
The next day there was still an issue to be dealt with at work, that wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, as well as the hum drum day to day stresses that being a father, a husband, and a professional cook bring. That was okay because I had taken some time and gotten things back in to perspective, quite frankly it wasn’t that big of a deal.
It is important to all of us that we have healthy ways of managing our stress. Exercise, socialization, reading, blogging, or spending the evening talking intimately with the love of your life. What ever it is that works for you do more of it. Just don’t let ourselves fall into the traps of our old harmful habits.
As a final point I would like to mention that, if you have a drink or two to help manage your stress, this doesn’t make you an alcoholic, it is a lot more complicated than that.
If, however, you smoke… yeah don’t do that, quit, it’s stupid, it makes you look like an idiot. You’re not an idiot are you? So just stop already. M’kay thanks.