Drinking alcohol is never the solution. While we are all well aware of this, for some, it can be difficult not to reach for the bottle when things get hard. If they already have a proclivity towards drinking, a stressful period can easily lead them to regular consumption. And when it comes to stressful periods, a divorce certainly qualifies. For any of you who found this a tad too familiar, we will elaborate on dealing with drinking problems after divorce.
Best ways of dealing with drinking problems after divorce
Having an alcohol dependency is one of the worst situations to find yourself in. This is because it is a downward spiral of shame, regret, and usually depression. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this problem and even solve it completely. But, regardless of the way you opt for it, it is important to first recognize that you, in fact, have a problem with drinking. The sooner you do so, the sooner you can start dealing with it. Here is how.
Go to a therapist
Divorce is rarely simple and straightforward. In most cases, it comes after years of resentment, unfulfillment, and anger. Once it is done, people tend to have piled-up emotions that they either cannot or will not express. Thins, combined with drinking, can easily lead to that downward-facing spiral we’ve mentioned. So, the first thing we would advise you to do when dealing with drinking problems after divorce is to see a therapist. In fact, experts in addiction treatment at Harmony Ridge Recovery Center advise that you see a therapist after a divorce, regardless of whether or not you think you have a drinking problem. After all, it is better to prevent something than to deal with it.
Unfortunately, people are sometimes reluctant to see one. They either feel that they understand what their problems are or that there isn’t much a therapist can do. Or they believe that therapists just sit there and listen, which doesn’t seem like much help. Well, understand that the help you get from a therapist is both unique and much needed. In our everyday lives, we can hardly hope that a person is going to sit and listen to us, and solely to us, for 45minutes. Fortunately, this is precisely what a therapist does. All the dark secrets and piled-up emotions that came during and after the divorce will have a stage. And a non-judgemental, educated observer. So, the sooner you start working with a therapist, the sooner you can see what emotions you’ve pushed down and how you can go through them.
Connect with your loved ones
The last thing you should be after a divorce is alone. Especially if you also have a drinking problem. So, instead of isolating yourself, thinking that doing so provides some sort of freedom, seek out loved ones, especially while you are sober. As people, we tend to have difficulty coming to terms with our problems. And you can develop quite a severe drinking problem before you recognize it as such. Fortunately, if we have people that we trust around us, we can get the necessary hits that we have a drinking problem.
So, seek them out. If you have friends and family that you can trust, don’t shy away from reaching out. The more you can connect with them, the better you will go through your divorce. And if you need to manage a drinking problem, you will have a much easier time with loving people at your side.
Find support groups
Unfortunately, not all people have the privilege of having friends and family nearby. Once people relocate for marriage, they commonly feel stranded in a foreign city with no true friends to turn to. If you find yourself in this situation, we strongly recommend you look for support groups. Know that a lot of people are dealing with drinking problems after divorce. And that you don’t have to be alone with your thoughts, emotions, and problems. A local support group for alcoholism can do you a world of good when it comes to kicking your drinking habit. They will help you know what you’re dealing with and give you tools to do it effectively. Who knows, you might help someone else along the way.
Look for healthy hobbies
In certain instances, talking about your divorce might not feel like the best course of action. If you’ve come to terms with what happened, finding ways to keep your mind off your divorce might be beneficial. For some people, drinking is an effective way to do so. But we would advise you to instead find more healthy hobbies. It can be quite therapeutic to consider what you like doing and then pursue it with more interest and commitment. While doing so, you will likely meet new people, develop new skills, and put the whole divorce mess behind you.
See if you can forgo alcohol
For most people, it is not the divorce that solely causes the drinking problem. Most of them were already prone to drinking long before the divorce happened. Therefore, it is important to understand that just because the divorce is over doesn’t mean they won’t develop a drinking problem in the future. All this is to say that if you’ve already recognized that you have a drinking problem, you should try to forgo it altogether. A glass or vine here and there won’t hurt you. But know that drinking is a slippery slope. And that one stressful episode can easily cause you to relapse.
Dealing with drinking problems after divorce is by no means easy. If you develop an addiction to alcohol, there is a strong chance that you will never kick it. So, try to do yourself a favor and see drinking for the destructive problem it is. If you at any time feel that you have a problem, seek professional help. Don’t think that you can handle a drinking problem by yourself, especially after a stressful divorce.