That overwhelming feeling of dealing with a drinker can be too much for some. Families put up with it for far longer than is imaginable. We love the person they were, but the drink turns them into someone else.
What is overwhelm?
have a strong emotional effect on.
When we look at overwhelm, is it that we aren’t resilient and able to cope with what is happening? Or that we’re trying hard to cope but not managing it?
How does overwhelm feel?
Just recently I’ve been looking into something called the 3 Principles. It’s been really fasinating, takes a bit of digesting but ultimately it’s about looking at your feelings and when thoughts come up, to not pay attention to the thoughts. To notice where you feel the feeling in your physical body. So “overwhelm” in this example.
Does it feel like a vibration, do you feel it in your head, upper chest, stomach? Then just pay attention to it. Notice it and that’s it. There is more to the technique but this is part of it, well at least that’s what I’m learning.
What will happen is that the thoughts will come up but just focus on the feeling, if you don’t give energy to the thoughts, it won’t make you feel worse.
I’ve started to do this and I have to say it’s making a difference. I pay attention to my feelings, as they say “it’s an inside job”. Children of alcoholics struggle with feelings and a lot of us are over-thinkers, we spend more time in our head than being aware of our body.
Are you trying to cope with too much?
It seems to me in this world people are trying to manage too many things, and be all things to all people. The peer pressure some people feel can be overwhelming, trying to manage homes, work, social life, friends and family.
When you’re living with or affected by a drinking, that in itself is overwhelming, let alone adding everything else.
How we respond to that overwhelming feeling of dealing with a drinker, is what matters. Resilience is something that will help us to cope, to manage emotions when things get tough.
If you’ve lived with a drinker at some stage of your life, then you know that overwhelm all too well. Your head can spin so many things go on, that often you feel powerless to stop or change.
When you develop resilience, it makes living a little easier and you become more resourceful and able to cope when things get tough. Whether you’re affected directly now or not, that overwhelm isn’t just isolated to living with a drinker. You can experience it in any area of your life.
Take a moment to look at your life, reflect. What areas do you find the most overwhelming. Is it specific circumstances or environments/people.
How do you cope with Overwhelm?
Dealing with any overwhelm can be hard to do in the moment, if you don’t have the internal resources ready and you’re aware of how you can help yourself. So you need to think about how you can deal with overwhelming situations like coping with a drinker, before it happens.
The overwhelming feeling of dealing with a drinker is like nothing else, it’s frustrating, you feel powerless and angry and just want things to stop.
You tell them what you think they need to hear… then nothing changes. They keep repeating the same mistakes and not learning, you’re having to deal with the fall out. They cause chaos whether thats leaving empty bottles and cans, turning up where they shoudn’t or not turning up at all. Spending money you and they don’t have, creating debt and un-necessary stress.
Here are some things for you to think about and practice, before you’ll need the skills.
Identify when you personally feel overwhelmed, what specifically. Is it pressure you put on yourself, having lots of outstanding things to do, coping with the drinker’s actions?
Start to notice how overwhelm feels in your physical body. You might want to close your eyes and focus inwards, if you aren’t used to doing this it may take time to get used to it.
Either work on your own or sit with someone to find out what help you need to keep calm. That could be deep breathing, removing yourself from the situation, but it must be something you can and will do. There’s no point picking something that someone else thinks you should do. Test different things out, one at a time to see how you feel. Give it time to work.
Simplify what you can, Focus on one thing at a time. Sometimes writing things down can unload your busy mind.
Give yourself plenty of time to do things, to have to yourself or whatever you need. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to fit in too many things at once.
Remember that we create the live we experience, how we respond to feelings and thoughts is within you. You have all the power and control inside you. It’s us that give it away or think we haven’t got control.
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