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Old 04-08-2012, 01:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What do sober people do for fun on weekends?

I have been sober now for 9 months (other than a couple of nights) but I still have not been able to make many sober friends. I have met a few in college, but for the most part I sit at home on Friday and Saturday nights watching TV, reading, and surfing the web. My life is so boring now. I have very few friends and have developed no lasting bonds. I don't drink, smoke, or use any illegal drugs. But I also don't date, or even get out of the house much. It gets very boring and lonely. This is a small town, and most of the people that live here are older people with children, or have retired. The younger people who do live here tend to party. During the week it's not such a problem because I have classes and a study group. Also I have met some people by getting involved in local charity work and at the gun club. However these are not anyone I would actually consider friends. More like associates.

Now I am not a very social person to begin with. I tend to be a bit of a loner and like a lot of space. However too much of that is unhealthy. I feel like I am not active and that leads to being tired and bored a lot of times. It also feels like life is passing me by when I sit in my apartment all weekend doing things by myself. I don't even talk to people on the phone much anymore. Nobody I was friends with back home calls to see how things are going.

Don't get me wrong, moving out here 10 months ago was the right thing to do. In fact I had been trying to do it for a few years, and it worked out even though I never would have been able to write a script on how. Since I have been out here I quit drinking, I have not used marijuana a single time, and I not only am back in school, but am doing well and enjoying it.

The bad part is I still don't have a job. I think that leads to a lot of social anxiety since I have no answer to the question "What do you do?" It has lead to me being less socially active. Having a job would also mean meeting new people and facing new challenges. It would get me out of the house more because I would have extra money to spend. So that would be a big help. The economy out here is bad though and there are a lot more people looking for jobs than there are jobs open. I will keep trying though.

In the meantime, what do you suggest I do to meet more sober people and have fun on the weekends?
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If there are AA meetings in your area, they will help plug you into a bunch of new sober friendships (they are free also, which helps us unemployed). In my own experience, by going to meetings I found a whole new group of friends, who I almost always go out to eat with after the meetings...usually till late on the weekends. That or coffee beforehand. No worries if you dont have extra spending money, there is always a couple people who go to dinner after and just drink water (me a lot of time). Also camping trips, ball games, basically anything that sounds fun.

If you go to a meeting...just go in with an open mind, and you might find it suits you...it def does me. Sharing in meetings & work with a sponsor will also help with the social anxiety. Its like free therapy. At least it has been in my experience.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No AA meetings for me. Sorry, but I don't see that happening.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If your anything like me, you sit around and get used to being ridiculously bored as I have done on my first day clean. I've done the group meetings too and not for me
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Since giving up drinking it feels as though my entire internal life is geared towards proposing new ways of enjoying life without alcohol. Mainly the angles I've been exploring are things I enjoyed before that were curtailed by the booze: reading, writing, cooking, DJing, exercising, making wigs out of the hair of my victims.*

Some of these things -- the writing and DJing especially -- have always been enhanced by (a little bit of) alcohol, and I'm pretty sore about the fact that any 'fun' there will be less vivid and present from now on; I'll never again feel that intense rush when I'm drunk and a mix is going really well or when I'm writing and a scene is coming together. Which sucks, if you're me.

So I'm still working on the fun, and I'm contemplating the road ahead that looks like a long, grey motorway, without even a Little Chef to break up the boredom, and I'm still working on wondering whether booze chilled me out or made me angry, and what sort of person I am without it. I think the conclusion I'm coming to is that the whole thing involves a gradual recalibration of what constitutes 'fun' and maybe even what it is to be me, and it'll probably take time before I get there. Ho hum.

Still, they say the grass is greener on the other side, Mr Silver. As the father of tow young children I'd give my left arm for some of the spare time you've got there!

* Okay, not that one.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm in the same space as you Silver....I have spent most of the last year alone since breaking-up with my girlfriend and getting sober. I have had trouble finding gainful employment because I can't pass a background check, which also means I have no money to spend on social endeavors. I do have many friends in my city, but I have avoided them because they don't know the extent of my alcoholism...and I am a little ashamed of admitting that I'm an unemployed alcoholic. The last time I saw my friends over a year ago, I was working and seemingly had it together. I guess I'm waiting to get back on my feet before reestablishing contact because I don't want to have a 'stigma' attached to me.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The boredom of weekend evenings is also getting to me - during the day I am fine as I have activities. The main problem also arises with having no sober friends, so I end up going to the pub (withnon using/ alcoholic friends) having a soft drink and leaving about 10pm as drunk people annoy me.

When I was unemployed I also struggled to find things to do but as I live in London there are some free activities like museums, parks, history walks etc and they helped to keep me busy - I'm not sure if you have anything similar where you live?

My work contract finishes in 4 weeks, so I am going to try working for a charity 1 day a week and then look for some other activities.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I find that working out, reading, cooking, catching up on some rest tend to do the trick. I am a tricky one: I can be extroverted but also introverted. After a while I get bored bored bored too. It does not make me want to drink. It did as a kid, but not now. But I understand what you are saying and where you are coming from. There are naps and then there are boredom depression naps. I suggest MOVEMENT. That is what I do...when I feel that happening to me (it did this Easter weekend as I have had a bad cold) I get up and do SOMETHING, anything. Especially things that I might have put off during the week. Yesterday I did laundry and cleaned my new apartment from top to bottom. Admittedly not the most exciting stuff, but at least when I was done all of my clothes were done for the week and I was then bored in a super clean place, LOL. Just be sure you are not misinterpreting depression for boredom. There is a difference and they feel different....But I so totally understand. Since you are in a gun club, maybe get outdoors more on the weekends? Sometimes I just have to get out of my apartment, even to the grocery store, and my perspective shifts. So I would say ACTIVITY and MOVEMENT work best for me.....
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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MrSilver

I do get bored sometimes. But I would rather be bored than drunk.

I plan my weekends so that I have something to keep me entertained. I have only few sober friends left. All others are gone. I don't fit into drinking parties anymore. So Im building my life again in a different way.

I go to gym, cook healthy meals, try new diets (meat free month), clean and buy new items to decorate my place. Small things but keep me sober.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think a lot of us become used to finding our enjoyment and fun in a bottle - I know myself, without even realising it, I fell into a very self indulgent and sedentary frame of mind...

even after quitting I still half expected fun to find me...I found I was still doing the same kinds of things I'd do when I was drinking, just doing them sober - it's no wonder I got bored...

I think the only real limits we have in what we can do is our imagination

Think of something you'd like to do and do it...and if your friends all drink, try and drag them along into non drinking pursuits...or find new friends...not everyone drinks, despite what we may think or what the media tell us

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Old 04-08-2012, 05:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If you're not working you have some free time to volunteer(iknow iknow, again? you're thinking) at one of the dog rescue groups. less commitment than adopting, but there are people in and out and you can walk the dogs or take them to a park, where people (mostly sober) hang out.

another thought about this is employment. in my area, we have to pay over $20.00 an hour for someone to walk the dog and play with him while I'm at work....i currently have a 17 year old who is going to college next year...his mom offered to take the job.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Snowshoeing, bike riding, SCUBA or snorkeling, fishing, archery, target practice with my 22 or pistol crossbow, wood turning, woodworking, growing orchids, growing a garden, along with all the regular chores involved in having a life - dishes, laundry, cleaning, cutting grass, blowing snow, etc. etc., etc.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I think many of us find that there's a bit of a "void" in our lives where the alcohol used to be. I know I did!

I filled the void with three things that I'd always loved: exercise, reading and cooking.

Maybe one of those would be fun for you, too (and exercise is GREAT for your mood). If not, then maybe join a club at your school, or volunteer for the upcoming election (whichever side you're on, they are sure to need help).

Whatever you do, pick SOMETHING and go do it. Nothing succeeds like success.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I agree that volunteering is a great way to meet people and to "give back", which makes YOU feel good too. I volunteer at the local therapeutic horseback riding center, working with horses and disabled children and adults. It's wonderful - so much so, that I am now studying to become a certified therapeutic riding instructor ... something I never would have done when I was drinking! I'm also going to be volunteering at the local animal shelter soon.

Exercise helps ... so do creative things that you can do with your hands (and they help you get out of your head too). I'm learning how to quilt after wanting to learn for many years. So far I suck at it, but I'm enjoying it.

You can also look into clubs that do things you like - sports, music, books, etc. Or if you want to learn a new skill, look into classes in your area ... I'm going to be taking a gourmet cooking class this summer. Stuff like this is a great way to meet people who share common interests.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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That volunteering sounds good.
What about attempting to find work, even on campus?
A work Internship in your field of learning?
Got a hobby? Lots of clubs are out there. Join a local softball or bowling league?
Start your own small business--cutting grass, helping with gardening or home projects. If there's a lot of older people, I'm sure they could use some help, you'd meet some people there.
Ask some classmates to go out with you in a group to do something that doesn't involve drinking, there are things out there to do and not everyone drinks.

I'm not sure why you are opposed to AA meetings, even if it's just to meet others who are recovering. You don't have to do the program (sponsor and steps), it's always an option (same folks who you drank with at a bar, but they are sober).

I'm sure you'll think of something.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:25 AM   #16 (permalink)
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A reading club....
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I didn't read one fun thing that's realistic.. Scuba? Snorkeling? That's fun but it's expensive as s-hit and you need to be certified. Reading and volunteering Both are boring and reading is not a social activitie. Parties, bars, and clubs = fun. Why? Because it's social, fun, music, girls and you get to meet tons of new people and you get laid easily. So who has sober activities to replace those?
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I didn't read one fun thing that's realistic.. Scuba? Snorkeling? That's fun but it's expensive as s-hit and you need to be certified. Reading and volunteering Both are boring and reading is not a social activitie. Parties, bars, and clubs = fun. Why? Because it's social, fun, music, girls and you get to meet tons of new people and you get laid easily. So who has sober activities to replace those?
If those are the activities that you are interested in doing, why not do them sober?

Activities that I do for fun:
- play guitar
- motorcycling
- cycling
- karate
- video games
- reading

Some of those activities involve a social aspect, some are mainly solo activities. I can only offer up my own personal hobbies, and can't tell you what you can afford or enjoy. Take these posts as helpful suggestions, and maybe consider trying something new. I'm sure you'll eventually come to enjoy activities that don't revolve around going out and partying. But you might need to keep an open mind in order to find a fresh opinion on "fun".
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:45 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I went and 'recovered' stuff i had done in the past- skiing, whitewater, rock climbing etc. later i became a rabid bass/pike fisherman... threw a little camper on the truck, bought an old boat and spent 5 weeks in Northern Ontario. Learned to meditate. Played music again. Read challenging tomes. Worked the steps.[yeah- 16 years clean n sober- loads of NA, AA thats , as they say, just the way i roll - LOL!] added 3500 sq ft of shop and and a "glass room" to my home, wrote a novel...
Now i raise a few chickens and am building my 3rd boat- a 31' catamaran. Learning to gas weld. Still call my sponsor. installed total solar power and heat at my place, Took a sponsee camping and fishing the last 2 days, Got one hell of a lot more time n money n ambition than i ever had before recovery...
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I didn't read one fun thing that's realistic.. Scuba? Snorkeling? That's fun but it's expensive as s-hit and you need to be certified. Reading and volunteering Both are boring and reading is not a social activitie. Parties, bars, and clubs = fun. Why? Because it's social, fun, music, girls and you get to meet tons of new people and you get laid easily. So who has sober activities to replace those?
oh wow, drunken sex with someone you want to run away from in the morning screaming OOOOHHHHNOOOOOO!
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