The News Could Lead Me to Drink!

After the election, my drinking picked up pretty steadily.  I would watch 3 different news shows and 3 different late night shows every day and I was watching the country spin out of control as if I was watching a train wreck.  I simply couldn't turn away from it.  And so I drank... a lot of wine.  The wine made the news tolerable, almost comical.  Then I got sober.

I don't watch 3 different news shows and 3 different late night shows every night any longer.  One of each is enough for me.  But without the booze, which numbs me to the brokenness of the world, my empathy is making me feel overwhelmed with all the really horrible bad stuff that's happening in our country and around the globe.  I feel that it's my responsibility to keep up with what's happening so I can address the concerns of my people, but it's seriously gonna drive me to drink!

How does one stay sober in this political/moral climate?  How does one keep from being overwhelmed by the hate and violence?  It just feels too much and if I were ever to drink again, I don't think it would be from personal tragedy, I think it would be from watching the news and reading the papers and seeing crazy posts on Facebook.  Thoughts on how to stay sober during these crazy times are more than welcome.


  1. So many people are feeling this, and if you are in recovery, and a highly empathetic person, it can be very difficult. I don't have your answer, but as a person also in long-term recovery, my answer has been to stay surrendered, work on emotional sobriety, not just physical sobriety, and boundaries. For me, it's about knowing what I can handle, on a given day. Some days I can watch the news, other days, I have to abstain. My tightrope is a combination of not giving things power over me, and staying surrendered to what I can't control, instead focusing on what I can.

    It also helps to know that news sells by being alarmist, so I had to cut all publications except NPR (print), Rachel Maddow (TV) and Norman Goldman (podcast). These are the more even-tempered voices delivering news (for me), so that's what's currently working.

    Good luck! It's a crazy world right now, and we're all feeling it.

  2. Since I read your post a few weeks ago, I have been contemplating an answer. I first had to ask myself IF I would answer, and why. Apparently I am going to because here I am, writing.

    Drinking does not change the situation. It can alter ones perception, reaction and feelings toward a situation but it cannot change a situation... unless one acts out under the influence and creates a scene which never, ever solves a problem; usually making it worse for themselves and others.

    Like people who are bad influences, if the news is a temptation to drinking and taking you away from your true self, walk away from it. Easier said than done, I realize but you are more important than the bottle.

    You are LOVED.

  3. Thanks for your responses. I decided to stop listening to the news in my car and instead listen to books on tape. Then I'll allow myself one 30 minute news show a day. Just to keep my finger on the pulse but not to overwhelm myself with all the drama. Thanks everyone.