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Old 08-26-2009, 04:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Why relapse after years of sobriety

Hi, Im not relapsing, although boredom is a huge challenge to me. It seems to me that there is a percentage or type of alcoholic that is more vunerable to relapse due to boredom and frustration. Is this true or just a figment of my imagination?

Whatg bugs me is the number of posters who come on here after years of sobriety only to relapse into old ways. Is this because of the above point??

G
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know why some alcoholics drink again after
years sober. That has not been part of my 20+
yeas of sucessful sobriety.

I can tell you that I do not find life boring....
Daily I connect with God and my AA friends.
By living in the 12 Steps of the AA program...
I'm filled with purpose and joy....

I wish everyone the serenity of recovery
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Boredom is a tough one to overcome. I had two years of Sobriety in and I just relapsed 5 months ago for three weeks mainly due to boredom when I was by myself for a week. It was a disaster. It showed me the following two things:

1) Alcoholism always gets worse. It never gets better.

2) I am going to have to maintain some type of work on my sobriety for the rest of my life.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Why not relapse?

After almost six years of sobriety I recently relapsed.

Why??
Why not??

Boredon...no, not really.
Fustration, stress, depression, maybe, but, not really.

I relapsed because I thought I could drink again.

I thought after that much time, and knowing the promises of sobriety that certainly, I could socially drink, on certain occasions.

Maybe I just tried to convince myself, once again that I am not an alkie. Maybe I had to struggle thru detox and its physical h#ll ravage my body and soul.

Maybe I didn't keep some form of balance in my life while facing stress.

I could write an essay of excuses.

The truth is, I relapsed because I drank.

I always need to remember the reason I can't drink...I am an alcoholic.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Why someone returns to drinking after years of sobriety? There could be a multitude of causes for this. Some causes could be complex and others simple. There are all knowing gurus that will have all the answer to this...I'm not one of them. What matters most for these individuals that do relapse after many years of being recovered/recoverable/recovering...what to do next.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There will always be people who relapse Eddie.
Maybe we see more of them cos we're on a recovery site?

For me, I know I'm an alcoholic - I can live with that, but I can't change it....

if I want to remain sober, I have keep up to the challenge - always....

I have to make sure if I do get complacent or blase, or bored, or vulnerable in any other way that I reach out and manage the situation immediately I'm aware....before it gets out of hand.

If I don't, and it's easy to do...I know where I'll end up.

D
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It's not just on SR, i have met a few in AA...of course i ask my sponsor how does that happen...he answers they were not sober in the first place and were not working the program...haven't heard any stories about someone working the program as they should who have chosen to go out and drink again though:-)
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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l relapsed many times because l was bored with being sober.. stupid.
And because l thought l could handle 'a few"
That worked for a while, but it would allways end in a drama.

And to tell the truth l relapsed because l just wanted a cold beer after a hot day.
And have a short escape from life..
Everyone else was...

"The years teach much that the days never know." -- Emerson
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah...most of the above.

Sometimes mind numbing boredom.

Sometimes just wanted to get 'out of it' for an evening (sick of the rapier like clarity of the sober life).

Sometimes I get a perverse train of thought that glamourises drunkeness. It's edgy. It's life in the fast lane. It's the fate of every struggling artist.

Sometimes it's just because I have had a really great and productive day and I want to come home and reward myself.

The biggest killer for me is this one: ' You never had a problem really mate..you were just a heavy occassional drinker, you're not an alcoholic. You have put yourself through all this for nothing. Denying great times in the mistaken believe you have problem'.

That one will get ya every frikken time!
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Shakespeare View Post
' You never had a problem really mate..you were just a heavy occassional drinker, you're not an alcoholic. You have put yourself through all this for nothing. Denying great times in the mistaken believe you have problem'.

That one will get ya every frikken time!
I reckon that'll be the one to get me...
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi Eddie...it is frustrating to see people relapse but like Dee said being on a recovery site gives us a front row seat. I spent close to a year in aa and saw people relapse almost every meeting I went to...seems to me the reasons all boiled down to the same thing...people convince themselves that they can drink again without negative consequences. Truthfully as someone who never wanted to drink again I found the environment toxic and had to remove myself. I do think that boredom plays a huge roll in relapse, I personally spent a lot of time and energy drinking...that time needed to be filled with other activities. Without things that keep our mind occupied we are free to romance the drink again.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't understand boredom....
I do think boring people are prone to negetive thoughts.

It takes action to be both interesting and interested..
Get out of yourself....find a passion ...enjoy life.

Here is a list...compiled by SR members of things to do.


1. Read a book
2. Take a walk
3. Play a musical instrument
4. Knit
5. Clean your closets
6. Research your genealogy
7. Cook a gourmet dinner
8. Write an article for your local newspaper
9. Go take some pictures
10. Clean the mildew in your bathroom
11. Start writing that book you've been planning
12. Plan a garden
13. Plant a garden
14. Play with a pet
15. Read to a child
16. Visit someone in an old folks' home
17. Watch a news special on TV
18. Set up a family budget
19. Make a web site
20. Take up archery
21. Exercise
22. Go to an online recovery meeting
23. Surf the internet
24. Call your mom
25. Learn a foreign language
26. Write a poem
27. Play golf
28. Take a bubble bath
29. Draw
30. Teach a parakeet to whistle
31. Take a nap
32. Listen to music
33. Paint
34. Clean your desk
35. Start a stamp collection
36. Go window shopping
37. Browse in a book store
38. Go to an art gallery
39. Go for a drive
40. Paint a room
41. Watch the clouds go by
42. Play darts
43. Do target shooting
44. Do home repairs
45. Clean your garage
46. Sort your photographs
47. Make a scrapbook
48. Climb a tree
49. Plant a tree
50. Make marmalade
51. Make a list of things to do
52. Write a letter to the editor
53. Volunteer somewhere
54. Take a hike
55. Take a college class
56. Try yoga
57. Meditate
58. Get a massage
59. Make fruit smoothies
60. Bake cookies
61. Do a crossword puzzle
62. Go to the gym
63. Plant a color bowl
64. Sharpen your pruning tools
65. Change your engine oil
66. Sew
67. Groom your dog
68. Go see a play
69. Write a sonnet
70. Sort your recipes
71. Play solitaire
72. Go bird watching
73. Write a letter to a friend
74. Read a poetry book
75. Repot your houseplants
76. Go to a movie
77. Mow your lawn
78. Put up (or take down) your Christmas lights
79. Make pickles
80. Go jogging
81. Watch sitcoms
82. Plan menus for a diet
83. Do a jigsaw puzzle
84. Play chess
85. Write a country-western song
86. Watch a video
87. Go for a bike ride
88. Plant an herb garden
89. Start an online journal
90. Dye your hair
91. Go to a restaurant
92. Lift weights
93. Bake some bread
94. Learn a martial art
95. Polish the furniture
96. Make a flower arrangement
97. Read the newspaper
98. Start some seeds
**. Sort your magazines
100. Do some laundry.
111. Take a nature walk
112. Play with your kids
113. Volunteer at a homeless shelter
114. Volunteer at a school
115. Pick up garbage in a park
116. Tickle your kids
117. Play basketball
118. Volunteer at an animal shelter
119. Read to a child or pet
120. Sign up for obedience training with your dog
121. Take a walk and pick up litter you see on the way
122. Spend time at the library
123. Sort all your digital photos and make an album to print for holiday gifts to family.
124. Help your kid organize his closet.
125. Figure out the melody and chords to your current favorite tune on the piano.
126. Practice your holiday cookie recipes
127. Make crackers from scratch (that one didn't go so well).
128. Make tortillas from scratch (better).
129. Reread a book you haven't read for years.
130. Tango
131. Learn about someone else’s religion.
132. Reread one of your college textbooks.
133. Key out a wildflower.
134. Do your nails.
135. Do word puzzles.
136. Play a board game.
137. Burn CD’s of some of your favorite music for a friend.
138. Plant a bonsai.
139. Play Mad Libs.
140. Speak only in heroic couplets for an hour.
141. Read poetry online.
142. Ride a stationary bicycle.
143. Set up a domino topple.
144. Play backgammon.
145. Build a house of cards
146. Make an entry in Wikipedia.
147. Read a world almanac.
148. Publish a family newsletter.
149. Throw cards at a hat.
150. Go to bed.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I think like others have said its just that being on this site, you see it more. I also think that just being an alcoholic there is the risk of relapse. I think we are all suseptible to it, even if we all don't always relapse. It would be an ideal world if we all could just quit and be done with it, but by being here, we all know that is not the case. Just good to know that there is a website like this and others out there that we can come to for support.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Oh and Carols list above makes me realize just how much stuff I have to do around my house!
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Great 'to do' list. The thing is,however, if we are doing all of the things on that list is doesn't necessarily mean we are not boring it just means we are busy.

I actively seek a thousand and one things to do in my life presently because I am on only day 18 of my sobriety this time around. I did a thousand one things also when I drank.

If one simply does 'things' as a means of alcohol avoidance or not being able to face oneself in silence, I believe you are setting yourself up for one hell of a bite on the arse one of these days.

If, on the other hand, sober time has set one free and given one time to explore things that one has always had an interest in and with all the money you have saved as a result of not drinking - I say go for it! Explore your passions!
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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August......
Welcome to SR and our Alcoholism Forum

Please keep in focus...and keep posting here.
Glad you are back on track!
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:03 AM   #17 (permalink)
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It seems to me that there is a percentage or type of alcoholic that is more vunerable to relapse due to boredom and frustration. Is this true or just a figment of my imagination?
For those in fit spiritual condition there is absolutely nothing that can trigger a relapse. I have had some of the worst and desolate days in my life after sobering up.

None of them ever "triggered" the obsession that was lifted from me by my higher-power.
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:14 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I went to an AA meeting on Monday for the first time in nearly 2 yrs (I only went the first couple of months I was sober) and there were a handful of newcomers at the meeting as it was a NC meeting. Every one of those newcomers when it was there turn to talk started out with "this time" each of them had been in and out of AA a couple of times; and I think most of the "oldtimers" that talked related stories of relapse as well. So apprently relapse is about the # 1 cause of drinking.... and from all the stories I've ever heard it does seem that people start to thinking "well I've been sober this long I could probably just have 1". I have little patience, and no sympathy, for those relapse even though I know I could one day be in their shoes.
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:32 AM   #19 (permalink)
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It seems to me that there is a percentage or type of alcoholic that is more vunerable to relapse due to boredom and frustration.
Yep. That type of alcoholic is known commonly as the common alcoholic.

To my ears, boredom and frustration sounds a lot like restless, irritable, and discontent.

Alcohol was my solution, not my problem. My problem has always been me. I try to wrest satisfaction out of life by making the world conform to my desires. And when it doesn't, it doesn't feel fun. It seems boring. And I get frustrated. And irritable.

I don't know if it's the cause or effect of alcoholism, but I don't relate to life very well. In fact, the way I relate to life is sure to lead me to drinking again.

So I had to have a profound alteration in my reaction to life. This is exactly what AA's 12 steps promised me. And it's exactly what I got when I took those steps. Further, my reaction stays this way as long as I'm practicing the principles of those steps.

I'm guessing that people who relapse after a long time either never had a profound alteration in their reaction to life, or they let that alteration slip away by not practicing these principles.
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:29 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I just figured it out...ignorance is bliss.
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