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Living abroad. Absolutely zero distractions available from alcohol / breakup


Living abroad. Absolutely zero distractions available from alcohol / breakup

Old 02-12-2017, 11:21 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 12
Living abroad. Absolutely zero distractions available from alcohol / breakup

Hey everyone,

I'm coming up on one week of sobriety but every day is still a battle. Let me give a little background behind where I am now and why I decided to stop drinking.

I'm a recent college graduate and, for a few months now, I've been living in a small city in a foreign country, where I've been doing a post-graduate internship. At first, it was great; I enjoyed the immersion, speaking the language, getting into my work, getting to know my roommates etc.

A few months into it, things became rocky with my GF (back at college where we met) because of the distance. Fast-forward three months later to now: we recently went through a breakup that involved her being intimate with someone else while we were still together, saying the distance was too hard etc. It was / has been, without a doubt, the most emotionally difficult experience I've ever been through.

My world turned upside down and everything around me seemed less bright and promising. Winter settled in and everything seemed bleak. My roommates started retreating and I realized that I had no other real friends, let alone people to speak English with, in this new location. My days started to consist entirely of forcing myself to work, dragging myself back home and going to bed.

I immediately started coping with alcohol. I saw no other option for numbing the pain. It started with a bottle of wine or two a night. Then it became two or three bottles. By the end of the three weeks, I had been ignoring my responsibilities at work, failed to show up for several days and was scared about the direction I was heading.

I quit drinking and went through some very painful withdrawal (which is pretty much over at this point, thank goodness!) but the rest of my situation has not changed. I've started seeing a therapist which has helped a fair amount. I've been constantly on the phone with my close friends and loved ones back home, but this doesn't seem to be a substitute for face-to-face human connection. The isolation and lack of distraction have made moving on from my ex incredibly difficult.

So, when I sit at home with nothing to do but ruminate about the pain, the liquor store down the street starts to look really friendly. I'm supposed to be here for about five more months, and I'm desperate for some outlet other than alcohol.

Any advice, wisdom, experience etc. would be sincerely appreciated.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 16,945
I'm not sure where you live but I bet these are AA meetings, maybe other recovery groups too. There are even online AA meetings. There is always someone available here on SR and there are live chat meetings too.

There are most likely several churches, civic organizations and perhaps even work related groups/help you could seek help or companionship from too.

Your addiction would love you to think that there is "nothing to do"...but of course that's not true. We ( alcoholics ) are the minority by very large margin, but we also get tricked into thinking that "everyone drinks.

Coming here was a smart move instead of the alternative....keep reaching out to as many avenues of help as you can.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:44 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Wareham, Mass
Posts: 7,067
Sounds like you are at the hard part of living by yourself abroad. The newness has faded, and you are feeling very alone.
Well, this will pass. Everything does. Hang in there. Maybe look back at the reasons why you selected this country and make some new goals to give you a new purpose ?
Personally, getting outdoors is a great help to my mental state. Is there hikng, bicycling, something like that? Gets you out. Maybe join a hiking club or something like it.
There must be some kind of ex-pat community around. People tend to seek familiarity when they are living abroad. Where can you find some Americans?
Last, there are AA meetings in every country throughout the world. The fellowship can be a great source of community. Go find one.
That's all I have. Good luck.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:25 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 205,664
I sit at home with nothing to do but ruminate about the pain,
why not get out and meet some people - do you have hobbies or interests at all? Anythign you'd like to try?

A lot of us fall for the idea we have two choices - sit at home and do nothing, or drink.

There's actually a world of choices available to us between those two poles.

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Old 02-12-2017, 11:39 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 6,901
You write as if your problematic drinking only started a few months ago. Is this correct? Or would it be more correct to say that the problem has been more ongoing than this, and the loneliness and break up are just your best and most recent justifications for drinking?

This might not seem such an important distinction to you at the moment, but it really is quite a fundamental thing to understand if you are going to really get well.

Wishing you all the best for your recovery. BB
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:56 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Sonoran Desert
Posts: 5,714
Sorry to hear of your situation, but these things happen. As you have realized, drinking won't help. I have two suggestions:

1) AA is almost universally available - I am able to attend meetings even here in Southeast Asia. The support and friendships, especially among expats, is amazing.

2) Not sure where you are, but maybe find a local girl who doesn't drink. Seriously, why not? My girlfriend here drinks less than one glass of wine a month. It makes life so much easier.
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:19 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Wabasca
Posts: 5
I can relate to what you are going through.

I moved to Korea many years ago and at first I went through a similar situation and turned to drinking soju on a daily basis. Not the way to go!

After a few months of reckless behaviour I snapped out of it..... just thought that I am in a new place across the world and not everbody has this opportunity so make the most of it.

After that I started meeting other expats and started dating a local girl...... 4 years later I am married to that girl and most of those expats came to my wedding!

Make the most of your situation! You speak the language which is great I am still trying to figure out Korean. Fall in love with the culture and the people and find some expats who enjoy the same stuff as you and things will turn around

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