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Old 04-02-2013, 06:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Still sober...now what? Could use some input!


Hey all -

Glad to be able to have SR as I'm feeling kind of stuck right now.

I'm coming up on 9 months sober. Since my sobriety date, I've basically had to stop hanging out with all my old friends, it's just too much. My old job is gone too. I have come to the conclusion that I need to start over. I am not sure if living here, isolated, in my apartment is good for me. Actually I know it's not. This is where my drinking problem flourished, right here in the same apartment I am in right now and where I spend most of my days.

The problem is that I've got nobody to talk to. Aside from family and a couple of close confidants (all of whom are great but they have their own motivations), I've got zero input. I'm 38 years old, no wife, no kids, no mortgage. Right now I work small contract jobs online (media analysis projects) and don't make much money. Worse yet, I work from home, so my life is once again revolving around staying in my apartment alone most days. My social life is dissolving and almost at zero.

I have come across an opportunity to volunteer abroad for 3 months and I am seriously considering it. This would mean a steady job for 6 hours each day, it would include free lodging and small pay. I would work with other volunteers and have housemates. I would be around people. I would be learning new skills and making a difference. I would be living very 'bare bones' much like one would at a Sober House or similar.

But I am having problems pulling the trigger on ANYTHING right now. I'm so cautious right now about everything. I over-think every decision, even small ones. I do not want to make a bad choice. I am so concerned about this that I end up making no choices at all, and just continue to float without direction. My few close supporters want me to get well, but I fear that moving abroad will scare them or concern them.

I know we are not supposed to "make major changes" in the first year of recovery. But the alternative to making changes is to stay the same, and that means working online from my apartment and being alone. I've been trying for 3 months to find normal work here and haven't had any luck. Job market is terrible, I'm overqualified for menial jobs and underqualified for unfamiliar work fields.

So frustrated right now. Can't "jump" into a new opportunity because I'm nervous. Can't stay here doing the same things because it's a black hole.

Does anyone have any suggestions? A
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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EDIT - should have asked for "THOUGHTS" or suggestions above. Just any kind of feedback is welcome.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Almost every major change I've made has been AFTER I realized that my initial decision not to make the change was based on fear. Once I realized that it was fear of the unknown that was holding me back, I went ahead with my decision. This has lead me to changing jobs, to going back to school, buying my house, etc.

If you fear change, I say go for it.

On the other hand, if, after much thinking on it, you decide that this change is not in your best interest, don't act on it. But don't let fear of the unknown, of change, hold you back.

You quit drinking. Anything after this should be cake!

Good luck.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Carl. I do not fear change....I would like the power to embrace it though....what I fear most of all is the "same old"...
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You need a swift kick in the butt! And I mean that in the most supportive manner.

Like my dad always said, "Indecision is not a decision."

Act, or don't act. But quit spinning around in the drain. If you want to wait three months to get a year sober before you make any major decision, fine. At least you've made a decision.

But then you still have to decide what to do for the next few months and sitting around bemoaning your current situation sounds like it could threaten your sobriety worse than change. Your isolation is self imposed. Get out. Volunteer. Take a class. Even a part-time job somewhere would break you out of your rut.

You can do this.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Whats the worst that can happen?

After the months abroad you can come back and sit in an apartment if you feel like it.

Sounds like a great opportunity to me.

I have a wife and child so those are not the type of adventures I can consider at this time in my life.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I have a wife and child so those are not the type of adventures I can consider at this time in my life.
Yes....but do you think you WOULD, if you could?
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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take SR with you and connect with AA's etc when you get there. Stay in touch. There are some times a geographical is just what the doctor ordered. Think of all the benefits that can flow. Make sure you get a week or so to adjust and get familiar with your new environs. What you'll bring back can be just what you need to take it to the next level. Methodically make it happen and stay on target and you won't regret it. Ah, to be able to have another adventure. Sober this time, hey?
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think this is a good example of where we can find "The Courage to Change" helpful. I see my lifestyle here as basically living that of a dry drunk.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a wife and kids and cannot get away for a three month stint. The first thing I thought when I read how you didn't have a wife, kids and mortgage was "WOW to be that free, I could travel and do almost anything I want!"

If you are strong in your recovery you should entertain the idea very serious.

To be an adventurer is AWESOME! As you meet new people and more people, you'll notice that not very many people drink as much or like we did.

Good luck my friend.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by redneckrecovery View Post
I have a wife and kids and cannot get away for a three month stint. The first thing I thought when I read how you didn't have a wife, kids and mortgage was "WOW to be that free, I could travel and do almost anything I want!"

If you are strong in your recovery you should entertain the idea very serious.

To be an adventurer is AWESOME! As you meet new people and more people, you'll notice that not very many people drink as much or like we did.

Good luck my friend.
Thanks. Right out of recovery I did a 3-month stint in Costa Rica. So I have been back in Chicago for 4 months now and have sunk into my old habits - minus the drinking. I am a seasoned adventurer and traveler and want to make this my life, really.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi Sombrero. Wow I really identified with your first post. I also live a very isolated life, alone in my apartment, working mostly online and not making enough money to feel like I can easily make any big life changes, but feeling like I need a massive career change and so far not finding the right direction. It's so overwhelming. It sounds like you have much to gain from going abroad for 3 months. Being in a new place can be so exhilarating, so refreshing. It sounds like this might be a wonderful opportunity, especially if it allows you to develop skills that could help you to find a new job when you return. Maybe you could even hang onto your current job and apartment somehow, which would seemingly also make it a very low risk option.

Anyway, sounds very exciting and I hope it works out for you.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Why not work in Europe big?

xx
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Yes....but do you think you WOULD, if you could?
Yes I would. I love travel a lot though.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I wouldn't think twice. Go. It is a good opportunity. You have nothing tying you here, I have a kid and a mortgage, opportunities like this aren't an option for me right now. Just make sure you have a sober plan for wherever you are going. ETA, can you read the jealousy in my post? Lol
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks all. I guess my fear is that my depression/whatever will follow me wherever I go. I wonder if I need to address THAT issue instead of thinking a change in routine or location will help. Then again, anything is better than sitting here and doing what I'm doing on a daily basis. If I can't change this here, then it's time to do something else.

I think Carl said something about taking action. Sheesh, so true. When I take action, things happen and opportunities come along. When I don't, it's poison.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My gutt feeling-go for it! I feel inspired too! :-)
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:55 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Why not work in Europe big?

xx
Hee hee, I get the inside joke! Honestly though, as a North American and even more so as a US Citizen, it's tricky to work in Europe. Lots and lots and lots of red tape and regulations that seem to be strictly enforced in the EU, particularly the larger members. I speak English and Spanish but no other languages. Unlike Canadians, we are not part of the Commonwealth so there are restrictions on Americans working in other Commonwealth countries. Canadians have a huge advantage when it comes to traveling and working abroad in that regard.

I also like the North American time zones. GMT -6 rocks!
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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**sniff sniff** is that fear I smell big?!?

I was shaking my head reading your post and kept thinking - why WOULDN'T he go??? You're not making a lifelong commitment so if it doesn't alleviate your depression symptoms you come back to the US and deal with it.

I spend an obnoxious amount of time with only myself. No job right now, plus I'm a natural isolator. A recipe for disaster.

In all seriousness, what does your gut tell you? DO NOT think about it first and formulate an answer. Sit quietly and listen to your natural instincts. And then pull the trigger on whatever your gut tells you to do.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I relate to you more than you know. I feel so isolated and lonely and its very depressing not to have the release of fun with friends who I am close to and know. I recently purchased an online Teaching English as a Foreign Language class that I have been working on here and there - not seriously enough, though. I want to go to SE Asia for a while, take up Buddhism, and be in a nice warm climate. Plus it will give me more of a purpose than I feel that I have here in the US. I am overqualified for the jobs that are available to me as I never finished my professional degree - and the pay is terrible, in a relatively expensive area. I feel like I want to get away from here and everyone/everything around here that I know, and the materialism of this community. The other side of that debate in my mind is if I am simply running away and not taking care of things that I should really be taking care of at this age in my life - I already feel like I'm behind at age 28 because of the opportunities I ruined due to my partying/drinking career.

You have no real anchors holding you here - I say go. The current situation isn't working for you, so change it, and have an experience. You also work online which is global, so you can do both! Also, if you do TEFL you get paid a decent salary. If you want more information about the programs I've looked into feel free to PM me.

The only caveat I can think of is the native-english speakers in those sort of countries aren't necessarily on a spiritual/altruistic path. I have friends who have volunteered and worked in developing countries and the alcohol is still there, and usually a lot cheaper than it is here. So, if I were to do it, I'd have to plug into something such as buddhism or some other activities that don't involve alcohol. Reminds me of that quote, "you can change the scenery, but not the ******* situation"
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