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Old 07-07-2013, 09:08 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Is it just fear of change? Fear of the unknown?

A lot of feelings of depression, loneliness, and boredom are coming back at me at full force now that I've been sober for over 10 months now. Basically, all of the things that I masked with alcohol. I'm a single guy in my upper 20's. I have no wife or kids. Right now, all I have going in my life is work and AA. I'm really making an effort lately to try and get out more. I'm trying to find someone to get back into tennis with again for example. I wrote down a list of things I could do for fun. Some of them don't involve interaction with other people which is what I think is severely lacking in my life. I have tons of social anxiety around people and especially in large groups. I end up staying inside in my apartment way too much and have been making an effort lately to just get outside even if I'm just going on a walk by myself or whatever.

I'm just having a lot of thoughts like "maybe I'm too young for all of this and should just go party with all of the other guys around my age" or "I'm eventually going to get married and maybe have kids -- is this really it?" Just fearing about how boring the rest of my life is going to be if I'm not ever going to drink again. I think I'm just afraid of change and the unknown. I simply just have no idea what is going to happen now. I don't know if I will ever have fun again in life. Alcohol has taken over me so much in my mind that I think it makes me happier than having a girlfriend.

I'm on step 4 of the steps and yes I am actually working on my list of resentments, fears, sex inventory, etc. Maybe I am just being impatient about everything? I just want to feel "alive" again and not like a bird just observing everyone else having fun from the trees. Will I ever feel the sort of "alive" feeling that alcohol used to give me? Or will it always be a much weaker but calm, serene type of "alive" feeling that I have felt sometimes in sobriety?
Sobriety Date: 08/24/2012
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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For me, relief was in the steps. In the meantime, getting out of myself was key. When I was having all those feelings, service work saved the day.

Until I took the steps, I had fear, anxiety, "is-this-all-there-is-itis", boredom, and exasperation.

I did a 4th step immediately after taking the 3rd step. And so on. I needed a solution and I needed it NOW. All my feelings were sitting there, eating away, pushing me toward the drink/drug. I believe I would have relapsed if I had to wait 10 months to do a 4th step. I was 90 days sober when I started my 4th.

Today though, my life is beyond description. When I feel those old feelings, I pick up the phone, reach out, help others, and pick up some extra meetings, and do some step-work. Works every time.

6.1.2009: The first day of the rest of my life.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was nodding while I was reading this. I felt a lot of what you are describing. For me, coming through loneliness was when I broke free of many of my fears - fear of rejection (from others), fear of speaking to others, fear of opening my self up (vulnerability), etc. And it was after moving through my inventory was I able to pinpoint these things, and then work through them so that I could find the faith to get through these and open myself up to others and vice-versa...and finally get connection to others...something I fought and yet craved all my life.

What I also found was all that talk about boredom was (like most other things in my life) self-created. I was bored because I made my self bored. I did boring things, or did nothing at all. I feared the unknown and stuck with something that pushed anything interesting or fun or creative or positive out of reach and kept me stuck. I stayed stuck in the mud even though I had traction. I just didn't want or know how to use that traction.

I think that once you pass through this inventory (launched!), you will see a lot of things about yourself that will help you get past this phase. I say that because I was the same. As mfanch said, reach out, help newcomers, get out there more at meetings and coffee meetings before and after the meetings. Put yourself out there, as frightening as it may seem. It's never as bad as we make it
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Kudos on your 10 months! Huge accomplishment!!
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When is too much of a bad thing good?

When too much suffering leads to change.

"Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more Taobell!"

- All Big Book quotes are from first Edition -
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:56 PM   #6 (permalink)

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My guess is that you're overdue to complete the steps.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Throw yourself into the steps. Everyone has a period in their recoveries when the choice is to gut it out and throw an entire program at this disease, i.e., take it seriously, or quit. Are you a quitter?

God will do for me what I cannot do for myself, but He does expect me to develop the missing courage by trusting Him and having Faith in Him. 1 = Honesty; 2 = Hope; 3 = Faith; and 4 = Courage. To face my fear, lean on that power greater than myself I prayed to in the Third Step, and T.R.U.S.T. (Try Really Using Step Three) that there are no coincidences in my recovery--that everything I do is a lesson in Surrender and a lesson in love. His Love.

Don't quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens, Cephas, and don't sell Him short. If you need a bigger Higher Power, use mine--He's shown me the path at my feet when I wanted to give up and He's shown me what Faith means. Courage is fear that's said its prayers, so stick with it.

One more thing. Every single person that's gone a year will tell you there is a point in there, usually between 6 and 9 months or 9 months and a year, that your faith will be challenged. Welcome. Stick to the steps, increase meetings, and ditch the self-pity by helping another alcoholic. You can do this and He will guide you--let Him.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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In early sobriety a very wise sponsor kept telling me to "stop projecting!", great advice since I kept making myself miserable. It helps to make a gratitude list (start by being grateful for your life, your sobriety, your health........." and to approach newcomers with less time than I had. I've heard alcoholism called "the disease of attitudes", with good reason. Also helps to go to more meetings.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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oops--humility at work

Originally Posted by skg View Post
Don't quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens, Cephas,
I'm sorry. Caldus.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I found myself nodding about this too. I've been having these thoughts too and grappling with bouts of loneliness and depression. I also have 10 months and progressing slowly through step 9 while doing the maintenance steps as best I can.
Practicing mindfulness has helped a lot. It's a discipline that takes so much practice and effort. The mind is so deceptive, distracting and noisy. I try to be mindful of negative thoughts and feelings and observe them rather than giving them energy by fighting or being analytical. Try to live in the moment.
That inner peace that comes sometimes, that serenity, bliss, love and light and happiness; that's your inner true reality that lies behind the illusion of self and is clouded by our thoughts and ego.
Try Step 11 for a while. You are free to jump ahead to it. I started Step 11 on day 2 of my recovery. How else can we maintain conscious contact with our HP that we came to believe in step 2?
"We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience"
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter" - Yoda
Sober Date 24 September 2012
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If you could channel some of your impatience into working the steps with a sponsor so you recover from alcoholism and change that would be the most useful thing for you to do now! You mention wanting to have an 'alive' life feeling instead of drudging on from the last drink trying to avoid the next so do the above. Have you heard the promises, most meetings read them out, they come true mid way through step 9 not before...good luck:-)
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I can relate. I too go through these periods. When I think I'm spending too much time alone, and pitying myself because "no one ever invites me," I force myself to invite someone to do something. Like ask someone to go to dinner after the meeting. I did this last Wednesday night, just asked one person I know from the group. There ended up being 5 of us who had dinner that night and everyone was really thankful for the opportunity, we were all going to go home and be lonely! Someone had to start it. I know that's hard for person with social anxiety, sometimes you need to take a baby step out of your comfort zone.

I saw the same girl at an early Saturday morning meeting, and she said "Hey, you wanna get breakfast after the meeting?" And she and I ate breakfast, it was very pleasant. Starting friendships is just like the rest of the program, simple, but not easy. I have very few real, genuine relationships. As an alcoholic, I don't know how. I started drinking at 13, and that's when my emotional developement stopped. Now 8 months sober, I am learning how to do this, something that for a normie requires no effort!!

I know that this reply only covers part of your OP. The part about in your 20s and etc, I don't have much applicable experience. I do know this, as a drunk in my 20s I became entangled in a very unhealthy relationship, that still has reprocussions today (I'm 41)!! You have the opportunity to have a sober life, some people don't take advantage of that opportunity until much later, and the cost is high. Choose to stay sober, and keep working your program. It is worth it!! Your future will thank you!!
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