This should not be a problem in the throes of mania. I don't know about you, but I can flit from activity to activity throughout the day and night.
I make jewelry, paint my nails, go shopping, go out with friends, listen to music, write poetry, the list goes on. Alcohol doesn't have to be the first option.
It is worth writing a list of your favorite activities you do when you're manic (providing they don't speed up the mania or risk your safety, like exercising for hours on end or driving a car too fast).
Refer to this list when you feel you are going to drink and find a better option. If you've done one thing on the list and you still want to drink, do the second and then the third. Believe me, your brain will start to forget the impulse and you'll be able to rationalize your decisions more.
Talk to Others
Don't be afraid to talk through your thoughts and feelings. I have learned that it's best to do this with people you trust and not strangers.
Those who understand you and your illness will most likely listen, not judge you, and give you good advice. They might be able to rationalize the situation for you and give you the logical solutions your mania doesn't allow.
It's not always easy for us to listen while manic, however, a trusted person should have patience and the conversation might be enough to divert your attention from drinking.
Do Something to Help Others
One thing that massively helps me is helping other people. When we are seriously unwell we obviously have to focus on ourselves, but if we are able, doing something for someone else can be of huge value.
If you feel manic and know you are at risk of a drinking rampage, you could make plans to do something nice for another person. Why not keep busy by making a cake for someone you love or going to visit an elderly relative?
Going to see my little niece works for me because she grounds me and makes me want to be responsible. I also love shopping online for little gifts for people, but because I'm manic I have to make sure I have a budget — otherwise I'll go on a spending spree!
In the past I have sat and made photo albums for all of my friends and printing the photos and being creative kept me busy. It was a great way of using my manic energy to make other people smile.
Good Luck in Managing Your Sobriety
I hope the tips in this article make you review your own strategies and put a plan in place to prevent you picking up that drink and staying sober. If you feel your level of drinking is too serious to implement any of these ideas, there are professional services (such as AA) that will support and don't judge if you have mental health issues.
For everyone else, good luck! I can honestly say I feel much better at managing drinking and find there is a gap in the thought process of wanting a drink and actually drinking.
That's when we have the time and space to make better decisions. We know for a fact drinking will only destabilize us, and as I said earlier, no good can come of that.
Acute relapses only end up in hospital, which is a very challenging and nightmarish place at the best of times.