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Finding a new 'edge'

Old 03-30-2010, 12:41 PM
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Finding a new 'edge'

Hi all. I've been around this forum for a while but have finally found some footing. I have 10 days sober and have a bunch of tools in my toolbox now, and more importantly, the motivation to keep at this. I feel great -- no regrets. New possibilities are presenting themselves in my life, where before I was caught up in a drinking cycle that took all of my free time and energy. No regrets at all!!!

However, here's what I wonder. I am squeaky clean right now. I don't smoke, I don't take any drugs, I don't even like smoking pot (the last time I tried it I had a miserable time!), I eat healthy foods, I exercise 5 times a week, I have a responsible job, I have 3 wonderful children that I care for and do volunteer work for at their schools, you get the idea. The biggest vice I have is caffeine (I love coffee.)

When I used to drink, it opened up a wilder, edgier side of my personality. I miss that, though I don't miss all the negatives that came with it.

I am searching to stay sober and still find an "edge" for myself that will make me feel just a little wild, a little less Polly Anna-ish, if you know what I mean. I express myself in my clothing, my music, and I've even signed up for some adult hip-hop dance classes to express some of this pent up "wildness."

I was just wondering if anyone has dealt with this feeling and has any helpful ideas or thoughts on this topic.... THANKS!

Laura
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:47 PM
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Congratulations!
I need more tools.
Anyway, I know what you mean about needing your edge. I have no idea how to cook my ass off without a glass of wine in my hand. Or how to enjoy food without wine. Or sushi without saki. You get the point.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:09 PM
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I've learned that I'm just a true addict. Since I have that addict mind, I always want to feel good. It took me a while to realize this because I never really thought about it and I was in denial. I remember a friend who told me this last year that I overdo everything. Whether it be exercise, gambling or drinking. I currently do exercise a lot and I drink caffeinated drinks. For now, i'm tackling my biggest issue which is alcohol. I havent gambled for over a year now and I do that when i'm drunk so if I dont do either one, i'm okay.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:22 PM
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I relate to that feeling at times too TraderJane.

I know what you mean... It is difficult sometimes but you just have to get over it.

I still can feel like that at times, as just because I don't drink/smoke/take drugs/gamble it ain't really for no other reason that I'm an alcoholic. Like I did love the 'edge' of living fast. No two-ways about it. But I hated all of the other crap that comes with it.

BUT I accept that I'm an alcoholic so I have to get over any feelings of feeling like a sergeant-safety! I truly ain't and anyone who knows me knows that I ain't and I know the truth... it's just that I'm an alcoholic/addict. If I weren't then I would drink and take drugs and hang with the people and places that also do too.

I guess you have to accept that the feelings involved when drinking and hanging with drinkers and in places where drinkers drink are gone. Plain and simple. But they are gone for a reason.

I never forget why I got sober in the first place each day. Also I am indifferent about alcohol now, but it's more just adapting to an insulated life at 24, which is the only challenge, when the people you would naturally want to hang with are off-limits.

Just keep it one day at time and you'l be OK. I have a new life/identity now and most of the time I am pleased about that. I was ashamed to be a drunk.
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:00 PM
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I very much agree with Recovery83

Since I have that addict mind, I always want to feel good.
I still battle that, and in a myriad of ways - I can feel 'good' from overworking myself, from overeating, overexercising, overreacting even LOL.

Even when my pursuits are positive and noble ones, I've realised I have to watch that I'm not doing harm to myself.

I figure I've had enough edge for 5 lifetimes, so I'm happy being Grandad Dee now....LOL

but I think the same dangers - the same motivations that have always driven me - could be there in looking for an 'edge', so... be mindful about that Laura

D
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:20 PM
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How about this idea...

Jane,

I may be making some unwarranted assumptions but, if you have three kids is it an accurate assumption to say that you are married?

If so, then how about amping up the sex life with hubby? I am totally serious. I have heard when people quit drinking they have much more energy and this would be a great way to burn off some energy and be edgy at the same. Speaking from a man's perspective the husband probably would be quite pleased by such a positive change.

If you are not married, then sorry for my erroneous assumption and it is probably wise not to go down the path of having intimate relations with people you don't know well. That would be bad for the family, dangerous to your health and emotional well being and could develop into another unwanted addiction.

sincerely,


jack
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:46 PM
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I always wanted to feel good, too.

I would be frustrated when things were calm.

But, after a few years of being an active alcoholic and living amidst the chaos of my life, I cherished the peace that I found in early recovery - grabbed it, held on to it and loved it. And, years later, I still love the peace.
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:01 PM
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I suggest expanding the circle of soberiety people. I have fun. Alot. I just don't pick up anything anymore. Live in the day. Its much easier to live a joyful life without looking too far down the road. There are sober cruises, vacation planners, retreats. Lots of fun to be had. Keep at it. The joy will find you. Trust me.
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:03 PM
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Yes count me in on the addict mind..Always wantin an edge, mr hyperactive here..Cant sit still for a minitue, doing everything to extremes...never able to properly relax..unfortunately thats were the drink came in an served a purpose..but is no more..
workin my butt off..at somethin fullfillin..turnin in tired but happy..works for me..jus now.
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:16 PM
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For me, alcohol is but a symptom of a far deeper problem. Putting down the drink was the first obsticle. After that, I had to learn to live like 'normal' people, or at least do my best. I figured out that anytime I am living in extremes (or 'on the edge' if you prefer), I am feeding my addictive head instead of living a normal, balanced life. I much prefer my boring, drama-free life today. It was hard for a while for me to see that the extreme behavior tends to be self destruction wearing a clever mask. At least this is true for me.

Good luck to you!
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:46 PM
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I agree that we need to watch our addictive personalities just manifesting themselves in other places when we stop drinking (like the whack a mole game at the arcade), but what I did was to take on new things that I wanted to learn. I now had all this extra time at night (since I was now sober) and there are lots of things that I could learn on-line, through books, or even on the weekends.

I started doing open water swimming, as an example. I'm really slow and it is awful cold sometimes, but it is a bit edgy because not many people do it.

But, I have also had to learn that during certain phases of my life (especially when you have kids), you just can't be that edgy all the time.

In 20 years, you will look back more fondly on coaching one of your kid's sports teams than on that "edgy" thing you did -- and besides, who says that being a coach can't be a bit edgy.

This is normal. Don't stress about it. Keep using your tools.
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:29 PM
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Definitely a lot of food for thought... thanks for the thoughtful responses, guys! I don't think this issue is going to go away anytime soon for me, but I think it's better to express thoughts and feelings we're having rather than repress them.

@Jackfrost.... great idea!!! Though I am divorced, but who knows what will happen over time...

@NewMe... I like the idea of having some slightly edgy hobbies. Also, I agree with you that when you have children, there's only so much you can reasonably do.

Will hang in there for now
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:11 PM
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Music.

Playing Music, Listening to new music, exploring my musical interests from the past (I am reading some biographies of the Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia), and my own musical heritage....

Blues, rock, bluegrass, folk... all of it can get "edgy", provocative, hip. Sometimes even wild.

I have a double whammy because my kids are getting older, some are away at school, so I don't get that constant injection of popular and contemporary culture/music/films... This more or less has happened as I have became clean and sober... so I have those days of feeling old, marginalized and "tragically unhip"...

hmm...

I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie also... some downhill skiing, whitewater canoeing, bicycling... hiking exposed mountains. Those activities provide a good rush.

A sense of humor helps too, and that, more than anything, is what we need more of.

Alcohol and drugs are not inherently "cool". We have just come to associate using them with being cool. It's a lie.

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Old 03-30-2010, 06:50 PM
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Hey Mark, that helps a lot. I'm listening to some 'edgy' music right now.

The funny thing is that when I drank, I could not tolerate loud music in the morning. Just wanted peace and quiet when I was hungover and wanted to curl up in a ball and get through the misery. Now that I'm sober, I wake up and crank the music really loud. It's fun and it's something I couldn't do before!!!

I suppose that's why I want to take the hip hop dance classes -- my kids are 11, 8 and 6 and don't want to feel tragically unhip. I guess I take some pleasure in the fact that presently the music I listen to is more 'edgy' than the music that my kids listen to. I know that won't always be the case (Nine Inch Nails vs. Taylor Swift kind of thing).

I think I'm going through a mid-life crisis in addition to the alcohol thing...
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:58 PM
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Oh yeah, and I also agree on the adrenaline rush thing. I think sports of any sort can provide that 'rush' that we are after. I play tennis and am always looking to improve my game and get that little mental boost from playing well (and kicking the butt of my opponent!) I also do yoga and have found that, too, can be athletic and edgy. You can push the boundaries a bit there in the right studio/location both in terms of the challenges, the cool music, etc. Martial Arts, cycling and skiing have always interested me as well. There is hope!
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:41 PM
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Hey, Jane....guess I'm the odd duck out, but I don't miss the edge....don't even want it. Maybe I'm just getting old and settling in.

The most important thing (to me) is to enjoy the journey. Looks like you're pursuing just that!
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:04 PM
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Coffeenut --- REALLY good advice. Enjoy the journey. Great advice for me right now. I'm enjoying the journey a lot more these days
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:52 PM
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Trader, I think it's a great idea that you signed up for the dance classes. Maybe that will keep the adventure going. Do you think that it would get you interested in drinking again though? If you can keep the two kinds of wild separate, then good. You might like the edge (through dancing, for example) more without the alcohol in the picture.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:02 PM
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Hey Toronto, yeah, I actually thought about that. The classes involve a "field trip" to a night club to try out the new moves learned in class. Of course, I could skip that part of it if I choose to.

I'm thinking of it more like an athletic thing -- something to be done sober that takes concentration and practice -- not something to get drunk and wild in order to do. Does that make sense?

I think it's possible to keep the two things separate (dancing and drinking) and it's probably a good idea for me to start doing that. Because I do love to dance -- no reason why I can't do it sober!!
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:37 PM
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Well, that sounds good to me!
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