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How does life “get better”?

Old 07-31-2018, 09:36 AM
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How does life “get better”?

I read here all the time that life gets “better” once you stop drinking. I am at a point in my life that I feel like I am meandering through life. The daily work routine, come home, dinner, TV, bed. I have a decent job but not the dreams I had hoped for. I can’t say I am not “happy”, but I can’t say I am satisfied and fulfilled with my life at this point. It seems that drinking one or two days on the weekend is the only thing that helps me get “happy” for a few hours.

I’d rather not drink, but it is the only thing that breaks the boring routine.

How does life get so much better when you stop? I’m sure this is a big and maybe vague question.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:20 AM
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Doesn't it seem like the drinking one or two days on the weekends, if that's really all you're drinking, is part of the same stale old routine? It sure did for me, even long before drinking became much more than a weekend thing. You might consider the many things you could be doing instead of drinking, things that are really fulfilling, and give those a try instead? You might be surprised what you can do, and how fulfilling life can be, when you're not trapped in a cycle of work, drink, work, drink.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:26 AM
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Life got better when I no longer woke up hating myself and wishing I were dead.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:32 AM
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Your AV has set you up for that one! "Just a little drink, once in a while, break the routine...."

You need to go out there and find your life. Climb mountains, go running, make jam, get a dog, help at a shelter....anything till you find what becomes your passion. Mine has become bees!
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:36 AM
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How does life get so much better when you stop?
by making it better- putting in the actions to make it better.
sittin on my but wishin life would get better didnt make my life better.
sittin on my but dreamin about my dreams didnt make my dreams happen.

plus not drinking even if my ass started fallin off.

plus, time. nothing got better automatically. there wasnt a magical,mystical experience that suddenly created sunshine,daisies, and sparkle fartin unicorns.
action over time and my life improved tremendously.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:04 AM
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Tomsteve stole my thunder.

Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
by making it better- putting in the actions to make it better.
^This
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:10 AM
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I think for most of us life became better not just by stopping to drink. Sobriety was more of a new base level for me on which I then can start building a life I enjoy. I drank to deal with a lot of issues I had, take the drink away - the issues are still there. But being drunk all the time, I could never tackle them. So now that I am sober, I try to work on the reasons that made me feel like I could only deal with life in a numbed, drunk way.
On top of that, recovery is very much about getting in touch with my true self again. To develop interests and hobbies again. Which I wasn't able to do when I was drunk cause i wasted all my time being wasted.
Trying things you enjoyed doing as a child or in school is always a good start.

Since I got sober I started running and found out, to my surprise that I love it, I bought a bike again which I love to ride through nature, I started being creative again and paint, draw, do embroidery,... And recently I even started doing jigsaw puzzles again which I loved as a child. It's all about getting to know yourself and finding out what makes you happy and excited about life or what makes you relaxed etc..
Try to think about what else you could do during your weekends to make you feel happy now?
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:44 PM
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life didn't get better.
i got better in it.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:02 PM
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Sobriety is more than the absence of drinking.

Learning to live in a way that we no longer need alcohol to feel at peace takes time. Getting to a place where we are no longer so afraid of failure, and become willing to take the risks to live a bigger life - this takes practice and no small measure of faith. It doesn't happen overnight, in fact it happens so slowly it's hard to discern most of the time. But every once in a while, I realize how different my life is than the one that was consumed by my addiction.

I assumed that I would spend the rest of my days fighting the need to drink. This life is so much more than what I expected. You have nothing to lose... the bars and the liquor stores aren't going anywhere, alcohol will happily take all that you have to give if you decide that's the life you want to live.
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:10 PM
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For me, going from being a drunk to being a happy healthy sober person, I'd have to say that I prefer sobriety. How is it better? How is life better than death. How is daytime brighter than nighttime. There's a big freaking sun up there making all the difference!
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
life didn't get better.
i got better in it.
This is how I would describe it as well. It was a vicious cycle for me:

Wake up feeling like death warmed over. Try every hangover remedy I knew of. Go to work in a daze.

Promise I'd never drink again. Barely eat, drinking water/electrolytes like a fish.

By quitting time I was anxious for a drink.

Come home. Sneak more liquor in the house. Hide in bedroom and drink until blackout.

Repeat.
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:33 AM
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Life gets better, but not by magic. We have to be proactive. Once I got sober, I had to find something to fill all those hours I spent drinking. Do you have any hobbies? Surely you must've had some sort of interests before addiction took hold? If not, then start finding some! Life can be amazing, but it starts from within.
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:53 AM
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When I used to give up drinking, I never changed anything else, and I'd find again and again my life was intolerable...I drank to make it tolerable.

Change your life.

Think about how you'd like it to be and how you might get there. find things you enjoy doing, maybe meet new friends doing those new things. Before you know it, you'll be rockin' a sober life you love

D
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:26 AM
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I had to start adding in hobbies to break up the monotony. For me that has its own twist however because i can easly bite off more then i can chew and then over whelm myself.

I'm going through some tuff stuff myself right now and no matter how crappy it is i'm constantly reminded how its no where near as bad as my drinking days or say my early sobriety days. The fantasy of picking up a drink seems great but the reality of it I know is just something awful and way more awful then the nonsense i got going on now.

Point is i can see how it might be tempting to just drink on the weekends again but really is that gonna be a good solution.
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Old 08-01-2018, 07:07 AM
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Life got better when I made drastic changes in my life, starting, of course, with not drinking (getting sober), but certainly not ending with the cessation of alcohol.

Things like diet, exercise, hobbies, etc. are great, but I had to make a moral housecleaning and try to go from taking things from life and people to doing good things repetitively throughout the course of the day (in my case, trying to learn and do God's will all day long).

And then I became happy.

I've had good jobs and bad jobs throughout my recovery.

That seems to be life.

But the more I try to reach out and help others, the happier I become.

Glad you're here with us, amigo.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:28 AM
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Thank you everyone for the replies. The common thing I see here is try to find activities and hobbies.

Secondly, I realize now that the drinking has become part of my routine. The part of the routine that I need to change. This part of the routine is damaging, not productive, and disguised itself as freedom from the routine.

Currently my only hobby is Cooking, which unfortunately triggers me to drink while I am cooking. I hardly remember eating, but I’m told the food comes out great!

The problem with cooking is that once the food is ready and we eat, I need something to take up the rest of my night.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:53 AM
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For me, getting sober/quitting drinking was only one piece of making my life better. I had mental and physical health issues I needed to address as well.

When you really think about it, many of us tried to use alcohol to "solve" our problems, but not only did it not solve them, it made them worse. So quitting drinking isn't going to solve those problems either - each one needs to be addressed appropriately.
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by starcco View Post
Thank you everyone for the replies. The common thing I see here is try to find activities and hobbies.
I think you need to read through the replies again. The common element isn't about filling your non-drinking times with activities, but rather, making the changes in your life to support recovery from alcoholism, to learn how to live and love the sober life, and getting in touch with one's true self. Recovery vs Abstinence.
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by doggonecarl View Post
I think you need to read through the replies again. The common element isn't about filling your non-drinking times with activities, but rather, making the changes in your life to support recovery from alcoholism, to learn how to live and love the sober life, and getting in touch with one's true self. Recovery vs Abstinence.
Maybe you’re right. I thought “making the changes in my life to support recovery...”

I thought those changes are occupying myself with things other than drinking.

Can someone explain then what other changes everyone is talking about?
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:49 PM
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Well, AA has some promises for those who thoroughly work the 12-step program of recovery. I found that gradually they've all come true....

The AA Promises
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed
before we are half way through.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience
can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for
ourselves
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
Alcoholics Anonymous p83-84
Reprinted from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous with permission of A.A. World Services


Maybe you have experiences some of these yourself and begun to take them for granted, in which case perhaps working on daily gratitude and working with some newcomers trying to get sober (get what you now have).
Maybe you haven't noticed these changes and would like to.

Either way, it's probably worth reminding yourself why you started this journey, because it wasn't because of just a couple of drinks at the weekends. If you could just have a couple of drinks I don't suppose you'd have signed up on this forum to start off with.

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