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Old 09-28-2010, 03:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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When you decided to quit drinking, did you have to rebuild your life/find hobbies etc

I really want to quit drinking before I destroy anything that I have left in my life. So, I need other things to focus on, keep me busy, keep my mind occupied (and off the booze lol).

One of the reasons that I drink so much (apart from depression, anxiety etc) is boredom because I have no life. I've lost practically all of my friends, and even though I found it easy to meet new people when I was drunk, I'd later avoid them due to feeling embarassed at being drunk and also because I'm a completely different person when I'm sober.

I know I need to develop some new interests, but I find it difficult through lack of motivation or lack of energy.

Did you find that when you first stopped, your life was empty? And, what did you do about it?
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey GG, check out the stickypost at the top of this forum (Newcomers to Recovery)titled "Looking for something to do?" It doesn't really explain how folks came to their decision, but there is a heap of suggestions to keep you occupied for ages if you want to try some that appeal to you.

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Old 09-28-2010, 04:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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G-Girl, when your life is dominated by drink, there is a big void to fill when you quit. Your life feels empty...it is--empty of booze and for a while alcohol is the only thing that's going to feel like its right. Work on your recovery. Once you are sober a while, you will realize you have got your life back. then the choice of what to do with your time is easy.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlasgowGirl View Post
I really want to quit drinking before I destroy anything that I have left in my life. So, I need other things to focus on, keep me busy, keep my mind occupied (and off the booze lol).

One of the reasons that I drink so much (apart from depression, anxiety etc) is boredom because I have no life. I've lost practically all of my friends, and even though I found it easy to meet new people when I was drunk, I'd later avoid them due to feeling embarassed at being drunk and also because I'm a completely different person when I'm sober.

I know I need to develop some new interests, but I find it difficult through lack of motivation or lack of energy.

Did you find that when you first stopped, your life was empty? And, what did you do about it?

I can totally relate to what you're saying about boredom and having no life - for me that was a major reason why I started drinking heavily a few years ago. It felt impossible to find the energy or motivation to make new friends or develop new interests...at least at first. If you've just recently stopped drinking (and it sounds like you have from your other posts), you'll probably need to give yourself a little time to recover physically before trying to create a fulfilling new life for yourself...but it can be done. Personally, I found a bunch of new friends in AA and here on SR - two sober communities that not only support my not drinking but also are both a source of friendship and support for life in general.

It sounds as if you'd really like to find some new friends and interests to replace the drinking and drinking friends...and that's great! Sometimes there needs to be a noticeable void in your life before something new and wonderful can find space in your life. So be encouraged by that, and take manageable steps towards finding new friends and interests.

If you like to read, you might enjoy reading some of the many great memoirs by people in recovery. One of my favorites is "Dry" by Augusten Burroughs.

And of course, keep coming back here and posting in the threads and the chat room...I can while away hours here, myself! Best to you.

Stephanie
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Why did I not see that sticky before? (forgive me, I'm blonde lol).

Thanks for your answers You're right, I should concentrate on staying sober first. I think it's just my frame of mind right now - feeling so bad about my last drunken escapade, that I just want to do anything to take my mind off it and get rid of the shameful feelings, and do lots of good things so that I don't feel so bad and so that others don't think so badly of me.

I know that's not really possible though. But, I have taken the first step to try to get some help. I am waiting on someone from AA to call me back, then hopefully force myself along to a meeting

Cheers for the book recommendation, Steph. I'm not a big reader (don't have the attention span, (I wonder why?) but that sounds like something I'd enjoy reading, so I'll definitely check it out.

I will try to keep posting here. For some reason, I'm a lot more socially anxious online and find it more difficult getting involved in forums than I do in real life, but need to overcome that!
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I threw away my interests and hobbies when the drink overtook me. That being said, I'm kinda stuck with the reality that being sober comes first and it's nearly a full time job. I'm hoping that as time passes I can get back to doing those things I loved to do in the first place. I used to be a martial art junkie and took classes all the time, studied foreign language, and most of all played music. Yep, at one point pawned away all my instruments. Maybe someday I'll be able to pick up those fun things once again. But all I have is my sobriety and that is #1 on my list. I firmly believe that everything else will fall into place, but it's not up to me to decide when that will happen.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The only thing i had to change was everything.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, absolutely!

At the end of my drinking days, I had given up all activities that I did, and closed myself off from friends. I was alone and empty.

And, I did have to rebuild my life.

I started walking (long distance) after supper, which was a time that was a trigger for me. This helped me on so many levels. I rediscovered nature, I became stronger physically, I began to feel peace during these walks, and my husband came along, which gave us time to talk without distraction of cell phones, blackberries, etc.

I also got back into reading and music very quickly, and wondered how I could have let those parts of my life fade away.

Try to find something that you enjoy and plan to do that activity.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Did you find that when you first stopped, your life was empty? And, what did you do about it?
Yep. What i did was join NA, go to 90 meetings in 90 days(way more actually), got a home group and started doing service work, got a sponsor and started working on the steps, started praying and meditating every day, read NA literature and other spiritual books every day. Eventually i became my home groups gsr and became active in the area, also becoming a part of the hospitals and institutions sub-committee.

I started exercising regularly and eating healthy, which required overhauling my kitchen and pantry. I cleaned up my house, car, office to bring order to the chaos my life had become.

I rediscovered my love of chess and learned to play disc golf. I took a yoga class.

The possibilities are endless, but the one rule that follow is to keep my recovery the center of life each and every day.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey Glasgow girl

Socially anxious online, yeah that fits mee too But you've come to the right place, nevertheless. This is doable. Sobriety is doable and so much better than what alcohol is doing to you. It's perfectly normal and to be expected in the beginning to be scared, angry and lonely. But it gets better. If there's one thing I've learned to be true in all this, it's to have patience. I'ts not all good after a month or two. And in a way that's what is so fantastic about it! You're about to set out on a journey, a journey of self discovery and excitement and you will know a life richer in every aspect than what alcohol can provide. Alcohol is a deceiver and a killer and you can beat it.

Keep reaching out, keep asking for help 'coz that's where the key is. Go to an AA meeting. I remember my first AA meeting, it gave me such hope and rightly so, cos 13 months later I'm still sober and pretty happy, u know

Wishing you the very best,

Love,

Jazzz
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I feel terrible right now because my recovery is taking up my time and energy, but whatever, it's about staying alive at this point
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hey G-Girl, it will take time... I used to build R/C airplanes from scratch, I have 3/4 of a 2 meter sailplane wing half built upstairs in my "hobby room", have not touched it in over a year. Used to play the banjo, haven't touched it in over 2 years.... Sigh... As I feel my life get more "solid", I will slowly roll back into my old hobbies and interests and hopefully find some new ones. But yeah, I know what you are saying, the times I used to drink, especially when my wife was away for a few days at a time and I had the "opportunity" (what an odd choice of words!) to go on a 2-3 day bender, those times now are just a void in my life and are my biggest challenges. When that happens these days, I call what friends I have left and plan on having them over and cooking a good meal (I am still a good cook :-) and having some good conversation... Have a stack of books I want to read and am working thru those, etc... Just give yourself time and most of all, be gentle with yourself, both your brain and body have been thru a pretty rough patch!
Best regards and wishes,
..Mike
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Hi GG! I didn't look at it as rebuilding my life so much. Rather it was returning to my life. Yes there were things that need some repairs...and they are still getting done...but Tue freedom that comes when you don't drink is so rewarding. Everything I tried to accomplish when I drank was overwhelmingly to me. A year ago I bought paint to do my living room...it sat gathering dust for a year. Now not only is my living room painted, I've nearly finished painting my kitchen and I've pulled up the disgusting carpet in the spare bedroom. This weekend I will finish the kitchen and paint the spare bedroom and stain the floors in that room. Instead of trying to find ways to fill the hole where I used to drink I know wish the days were longer.

There are moments when I still think about alcohol but they are pretty rare...I find the Fuller my life the less I think about it.

Cheers and good luck...from a fellow blonde:-)
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Hey GG-nice to meet you! I relate to a lot of what you said in your post. I second what everyone is saying. Give yourself some time for recuperation first and let yourself do whatever seems simple easy and relaxing. Then later on you might explore some of your old hobbies. I've picked up many of mine again, and I suspect will continue to pick up more. I also relate about the meeting people while drunk thing. Although I often drank alone, alcohol also made me a temporary extrovert while I was out at social functions. Slowly I am learning how to be sociable without "loosening up" with alcohol and I know you will get there too. Just give yourself lots of time to adjust!
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I took the time to rediscover who I wanted to be. Not about the interests I had, and took part in...the interests that I was never ready to start, because of drink, or whatever other reasons I thought I had. Drinking and then recovering is a long road. On that road, I changed a lot. So for me it was about new beginnings.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:41 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Did you find that when you first stopped, your life was empty?
Contrary to what a lot of others have posted, I found that I could not stay sober by filling my life with other activities. Boredom was not my fundamental problem, nor were attempts to alleviate boredom very useful for long term sobriety. It worked the other way around for me.

By focusing almost exclusively on some core-level recovery, the rest of my life got fulfilled almost by itself. I didn't have to go looking for things to do. Instead, with a new freedom of recovery, I took interest in many old things, and also interest in things I would never have considered.

Life itself got interesting and fun. And it didn't matter all that much what I did, I could extract some joy and fulfillment out of it.

My life has never been busier and more fulfilling than it is now. And all I have to do is keep living by the principles of recovery.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi G-Girl, welcome to SR. When I first stopped drinking my life was very empty and then I realized it had been empty for many years but I had been drinking in order to ignore the emptiness. Not much externally has changed in the last 3 yrs, I still have the same job, still live alone in the same house, still rarely socialize -- but what has changed is me internally and spiritually. I hated myself and my life before now I love myself and my life and that change occurred and continues to grow through my recovery.
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have long road to finding my original personality. I liked who i was so much being drunk. 90% of the time i went to work buzzed. Ofcourse at the time i had a restraunt job. Restraunts only care if your capable to do your job. i have long periods of being clean but get into a mood where i want that drunk feeling back. My recent slip got me a DUI. After I deal with this DUI, I find some social activitis to do. Yoga and i,d like to start karate classes as well. I,m not good chatting on the forum either but i,m taking it slow. Best wishes to you (Glasgowgirl)
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:05 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I have long road to finding my original personality. I liked who i was so much being drunk. 90% of the time i went to work buzzed. Ofcourse at the time i had a restraunt job. Restraunts only care if your capable to do your job. i have long periods of being clean but get into a mood where i want that drunk feeling back. My recent slip got me a DUI. After I deal with this DUI, I find some social activitis to do. Yoga and i,d like to start karate classes as well. I,m not good chatting on the forum either but i,m taking it slow. Best wishes to you (Glasgowgirl)
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I think right now it is good to focus on your sobriety, because it takes a lot of work on your part to want to change. Yes, there will be people there telling you to do this and that, but it's up to you to decide what you'd like to do with the suggestions. I'll share something I learned in group today, which was about grief. When we stop drinking it as though we've lost someone. It might not be someone, but it was apart of your life for so long and was like a friend. Now that it's gone it's hard to deal with the many emotions of not having your friend there anymore. There was talk about the 5 stages of grief and how the ultimate goal was acceptance so that you can be ready to experience lasting sobriety. So it's good to remember that because it's all very new there are a lot of things going on, because I know in the beginning, I didn't know where to begin.

I know I had all these emotions in the beginning and I found writing, which I usually did anyway, but never my true emotions, is what has helped me a lot. It's also a great to look back on when say you have a week, 2 weeks, a month, to see if their are any things that are reoccurring and what you can do about it. I also have been running a lot just to let go of daily stress that I usually keep buried within.
Sending you some positive thoughts
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