What's Your Mindless Escape Of Choice (One That Doesn't Involve Substances)?

Because I'm always on the lookout for creative new ways to make my brain shut the hell up.

Sep 14, 2013 at 1:00pm | Leave a comment

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My cat Joon is a huge fan of checking out via Margaret Cho and "Celebrity Ghost Stories."

It's been more than 3 years since I've had a sip of alcohol. I talk about it here and there, but not THAT that much (er, at least not on the Internet), because it's personal, and because not everyone gets it, and because people sometimes make baseless assumptions or ill-informed judgements, which can be frustrating and lame.

But I have fellow sober friends, and together we've learned a bunch of different ways to help us navigate our lives without drinking or drugs, while striving (and sometimes succeeding!) to have at least a teensy bit of fun along the way.

Thankfully, I no longer spend my days idly fantasizing about champagne. But still, one of the hardest things about being sober, for me, is not being able to turn to a substance to change how I feel or to shut up the constant negative chatter in my brain. It can be rough, sometimes, not being able to easily, quickly obtain a nice heaping serving of insta-relaxation, or insta-comfort, or insta-self-confidence (all of which alcohol used to offer me in spades, in addition to an impressive array of terrible side effects).

Never letting your brain go quiet can be painful. Which is why so many sober people end up turning to other, outside Things to self-soothe and have fun -- sometimes overindulging in those Things to the point that they, too, can slowly become addictive (sex, food, and relationships come to mind).

But to be honest, I don't worry too much about getting addicted to that stuff. Because for me, being addicted to TV, or movies, or sugar (all of which I arguably am) just doesn't have the potential to destroy the fabric of my psyche the way alcohol did. Sugar, or TV, or movies, don't make me puke, or cry, or forget who I went to bed with the night before. 

While mindless escapism might be, yes, ESCAPIST, I'll happily take it if it means I won't be getting drunk. Sometimes it's all about the lesser evils, you know? Harm reduction all the way, baby. (Just because I'm sober doesn't mean I'm some perfect self-realized fount of wisdom and serenity.)

Anyway, I've already told you my mindless escapes of choice; what are some of the things you turn to (that aren't substances!) that help you quiet the constant chatter in your skull? 

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