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How To Have Fun??

Old 06-13-2010, 05:22 AM
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How To Have Fun??

Hi everyone.

On Friday morning I woke up with a cracking hangover and the words (that I could still remember) from my eternally disappointed boyfriend still ringing in my ears from the night before. I knew that this time there would be no more excuses - it just wouldn't wash to promise to stop drinking. We have part-time custody of his three boys and I have a perfect daughter and I finally understood I could lose everything - and I could lose everything for him too. I could say a lot more about me and my drinking but I don't have all day

As soon as my boyfriend had left for work I did what I had been promising myself I would all through the sleepless night. I looked up AA on the internet and went to my first meeting - before I had the chance to change my mind. Everything was against me. I work in a school and even though I went to a different town to my own there seemed to be kids from school everywhere. Then when I got to the meeting I realised the time stated on the internet was wrong - it started at 12.00 not 1.00 and there was only half an hour left. I could hear a man talking about his experiences through the door and though I was terrified to interrupt I also knew that today was the day - if I left now I would be a coward and a failure and I might not have the courage to get that far again.

So once he had finished I pushed the door open and ran to a seat at the back. And being there really, really, really helped. Everyone was holding it together so I tried really hard not to cry but I could relate to so much of what the people were saying that it was really hard. On top of that I was still feeling hungover from the night before and I felt guilty that my breath might smell of alcohol. But the people were so welcoming and they offered me so much to help me through the first part of my recovery.

Anyway, I'm already feeling positive. I haven't drank since Thursday night - though I seem to see it everywhere. Characters on soaps, adverts and of course the World Cup. I never really noticed how much it was all over the place until this weekend. It has brought to my own attention that my whole life revolved (secretly) about where my next drink was coming from.

As usual I spent Friday night and all day Saturday doing our house renovation with my boyfriend. This usually involved me sloping off for cans of lager or some wine. Yesterday we gave ourselves the day off from the house in honour of the world cup and he asked me "where shall we go today then? What should we do?". Of course had he asked me last week I'd have suggested a meal and some drinks in town before finding a bar to watch the match in and would even be planning my drinks menu in my head. Knowing how hard I'm trying to find my way in my new, sober life my boyfriend suggested going to my parents house to watch the match. Even then I remembered how this would usually involve me grabbing a couple of bottles of wine or a crate of beer. Instead I bought the Daily Mirror and a massive bag of crisps with dips so I had other things to do with my hands while the game was on.

Sorry it's taken all that to get to my question - but this is what I'm finding hardest. How do I have fun again? Just watching the match or going for a walk or meeting my friends after work has never been the focus of what 'turns me on'. Instead it would be the drinking while watching the football, a country walk with a decent (or not decent) pub at the end of it or chewing over the working day with colleagues over a glass (bottle) of wine.

I'm trying really hard to make the sober parts fun - but in truth I'm finding it really, really hard. I've spent increasingly every day from my late teens to my mid-thirties looking forward to drink. While it has had the most awful, negative effect on my most of the time it has also made me the best singer (I'm tone deaf!), the best dancer (with my two left feet) it has given me the confidence to talk to people who my friends bring on nights out with them when sober I'm too tounge-tied.

So now I'm split in half. I love the fact that I haven't had a hangover for two days and that I'm not getting downstairs or mid-sentence and forgetting why I'm there or what I'm talking about. But on the other hand I don't know how to have fun or how to BE fun anymore. Does anyone else think this way? If so, does it get any better?
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:32 AM
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I think it gets better. I"m sober six months now and tho it did take some effort and sacrifice, the results are worth it.

As to how to 'have fun' without drinking... I'm not much of a 'social butterfly' so don't miss much as I never drank out with people but home alone instead. I do, however, like feeling good in the morning. I do like eliminating all the risks that drinking brings. I do like being awake and aware instead of drunk and/or sick. I do like not spending money on wine every day. I do like being able to cope with life without getting numb and then sick.

You will have to learn new coping skills and learn how to have fun without drinking. It means making changes, but they're good changes and worth the effort.

Welcome to SR!
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:18 AM
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Thanks Least. I guess that's what I need to do the most - concentrate on what NOT drinking gives me. So instead of thinking that watching the match without a glass of wine is miserable - thinking that I can remember getting home and I didn't wake up on the couch wondering what nasty things I said to people the night before. Now if I can just stop all this sweating - not sure if that's a side effect but honest to God it feels like the menopause!
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:26 AM
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Just stay sober and keep going to those meetings, and get a sponsor. In 6 months you'll be asking yourself why you ever got drunk and how you let yourself miss all the fun a sober life brings you.

And keep posting here.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:36 AM
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I don't know

I just decided to be sober after losing a friend to drugs and alcohol in high school, then again a few months a go, then almost two nights ago, and again yesterday morning. after all that I decided that I'm done drinking. I'm sure I'll be bored but at least I'll be alive long enough to be bored. It's going to be hard because in my line of work that's what you do when your not working I live in an industrial port city, and especially with the oil spill I'm not working so I've been drinking.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:04 AM
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How do I have fun again? Just watching the match or going for a walk or meeting my friends after work has never been the focus of what 'turns me on'. Instead it would be the drinking while watching the football, a country walk with a decent (or not decent) pub at the end of it or chewing over the working day with colleagues over a glass (bottle) of wine.
Thats exactly how I felt. But Ive started to notice that I am actually alot more fun to be around with out those drinks under my belt. When you arent drinking you are forced to find other things to do that are fun. You will find what tickles your fancy.. just give it time and DONT GIVE UP!! Your doing great!!!
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:36 AM
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I've wondered about this myself, because it does feel strange doing certain things sober again. I agree with shelly that it's going to take some time, definitely. I have to really remember that with the alcohol I may have had those feelings of fun for a brief moment, but the rest of the time was miserable.

While I don't have those highs anymore, I do have a certain kind of peace of mind that is with me much of the day which I didn't have while drinking. And there are still the moments of humor/joy, etc, but they're not "induced" anymore (which has to be worth something).

One really, really big thing I've noticed (and for which I'm grateful), is that I don't feel cut off from life/people anymore. Now, instead of wanting to get to the buzz at a social event, I find myself relating to the people. I find myself caring about others, rather than just worrying who saw me take that extra glass of wine or heard me slur a word. I'm really there, in the present moment, and that is liberating in its own way. I have more confidence and I'm sure I give off a totally different kind of energy.

Yikes, I think I'm starting to write an essay. Thanks for the post - It's a great topic because I think we're so used to having instant gratification.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:40 AM
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One really, really big thing I've noticed (and for which I'm grateful), is that I don't feel cut off from life/people anymore. Now, instead of wanting to get to the buzz at a social event, I find myself relating to the people. I find myself caring about others, rather than just worrying who saw me take that extra glass of wine or heard me slur a word. I'm really there, in the present moment, and that is liberating in its own way. I have more confidence and I'm sure I give off a totally different kind of energy.
Well said... thats so true. Social events are MORE enjoyable now because I am focused on the people there and whats happening rather than what to drink next etc.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:47 AM
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My experience and I know a lot of other people's is that when you are sober you end the day wondering how you are ever going to get everything done that you need to do, even though you have been far more productive that you ever have been in your life.

Did anyone talk to you about getting a sponsor ?
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by artsoul View Post

One really, really big thing I've noticed (and for which I'm grateful), is that I don't feel cut off from life/people anymore. Now, instead of wanting to get to the buzz at a social event, I find myself relating to the people. I find myself caring about others, rather than just worrying who saw me take that extra glass of wine or heard me slur a word. I'm really there, in the present moment, and that is liberating in its own way. I have more confidence and I'm sure I give off a totally different kind of energy.
Like Shelly this really struck a chord with me too. I realise now how little I take in about what my friends have told me because I'm so fuzzy-headed. I'm ashamed at how little I've taken in about their lives - mainly because if I talk to them on the phone at night I simply don't remember the details in the morning.

I'm so grateful for the internet and this forum already. I have read a lot on here about sponsors and Big Books and 12 steps but I only really began to face my problem and admit how bad it was on Friday. I went to a meeting that same day but it was a bit daunting because I didn't know that everyone said "hello X" at the beginning of people's stories or thanked them at the end and I didn't know whether there was a set amount of money to put in the jar or whether it was ok for me to just turn up without notice. I'm really starting from scratch so I don't know anything!

What I do know is that today has been ok and I've got so much done. Mainly paperwork and organising things that I usually start with a glass of wine but then decide to just chill on the couch and watch telly instead so it's a pretty big job! What I've found hardest today is that every single thing on the telly seems to be sponsored by some wine company or another!

While AA looks like it will be a big help to me, I can honestly say that this forum is going to be an even bigger help. I've spent a lot of time in between filing and stuff today reading through some of the threads and I feel much less scared than I did before.

Thanks everyone xxx
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:14 AM
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Having fun

Hey, really well done on getting to that AA meeting. I'm just back from second AA meeting of the weekend and of course the theme has been the World Cup and all the social pressure to drink while watching the game. But I could relate even more to the stories of the other AA members about how they drank, in all kinds of environments, and the consequences. Today, I heard about the disastrous affect it had on several parents' relationships with their children, the way in which people lost jobs, homes and family and the devastating impact on the health of heavy drinkers. Did I hear a lot of stories of fun? No. Did I hear people who had recovered from problems more profound than my own? Yes. That is the advantage of the AA programme and it's keeping me sober today, despite a lot of external pressures and a dangerous internal demon that wants me to drink and suffer the same kind of consequences I have heard the other AA members account.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:39 AM
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Try some new hobbies all together. Turns out I like to do a lot of crafty things sober. I've taken up sewing and cooking. Sober time is the best time to see if there's any new hobbys you might want to try! Like cards like ...canasta or bridge? (poker normally involves drinking) ever made some miniatures? build model planes and then gone and fly them? or building those little rocket ships you go and blast off is some fun as well. Keeping the hands busy is a good way to keep that mind busy

okok off my hobby-box

Cheers and good luck,
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by PizzaChef View Post
I went to a meeting that same day but it was a bit daunting because I didn't know that everyone said "hello X" at the beginning of people's stories or thanked them at the end and I didn't know whether there was a set amount of money to put in the jar or whether it was ok for me to just turn up without notice. I'm really starting from scratch so I don't know anything!
Hi Pizzachef,

Everyone is the same when they first go to a meeting. You did well to go. When a person starts sharing they usually say "My name is ....... I'm an alcoholic" but there are no rules and you don't have to say that you are an alcoholic if you don't want to.

As to the 7th tradition - AA is self supporting .The money collected with go to pay for the rent of the room, literature, tea, coffee, biscuits and each group usually makes a contribution for AA as a whole, again to fund what is necessary, like helplines.

I think most people tend to put 1 in the pot. Some people put less, some people put more. Occcassionally our secretary (this is what we call the person who takes the meeting in our group) says that we are struggling to cover the rent this week, so please help if you can. But no-one has to put any set amount into the collection.

And yes you can turn up without notice, or leave when you want. Our group leaves the 7th tradition pot by the door, for people who want to leave early, to drop their money in. I have been to other meetings where this is not available and people will leave the money on the table or give it to the person sitting next to them if they need to leave early.
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:16 AM
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Chavo, you made me giggle with the "hobby-box" comment!

I said similar things early in recovery. In fact, I think I had my own thread about how to have fun/excitement. I had to learn along the way that "I make my own fun". Now, I find that I look for alternatives that don't involve drinking. This week in Toronto there is an arts & cultural event called Luminato. There are a lot of free concerts in public areas (where it is against the law to drink) so I am going to check out some of those. There are also some good films, like a documentary on the making of the movie West Side Story.

I'm having more fun with the diversity of options that are available to me now. When I was drinking, there was only one option - sit around and drink. My choice was limited to "sit in a bar and drink, sit at my friend's house and drink, sit at home and drink". Now, its "do I go for a walk in a park, do I take in a free concert, do I go to a movie, do I go to an outdoor cafe and people watch", etc. The options that are now available to me are mind boggling!
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:36 AM
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Hi PizzaChef( love your name!!)
I'm almost 5 months sober and can honestly say I love being sober!! Like alot of the others, I'm doing things that I never would have before...my life was sadly focused on the next bottle of wine...I built a bubble around myself....when I thought alcohol made me more social..it was turning me into a recluse......The first couple of months of sobriety I really started taking care of me....getting my hair done....getting a mani/pedi...having nice long bubble baths....doing my eyebrows...just pampering myself...because I had neglected me and abused me for so long....now I'm ready for the next step and that is going to an AA meeting....to hopefully share and help others.....it's a great world out there.....for you to enjoy!! without the bondage of alcohol!!
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:05 AM
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this helped me...

hi ya,
another SR member did an interview with Des Bishop that I found really encouraging. I know that it doesn't matter what you do for a living or any of that crap but as someone who has always compared himself to others (too much) when I think of how much harder it would be if I lived in the spotlight, or never-ending social situations and see someone dealing and enjoying it sober... it gives me hope.. maybe you too..
Interview with Comedian Des Bishop and his story about Alcohol | Sober Paddy
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:37 PM
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How to have fun....I used to think I would never have fun again! I know exacty what you are talking about!

When living sober, the fun tends to take care of itself, though.

You'll find the most mundane things can take on a new dimension and bring you joy.

Wait and see!
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:39 PM
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I wonder the same thing sometimes. I love to hang out with some of my friends or family, but when they drank... so did I. I wonder how those occasions will be sober. I may start out trying to avoid them, or just staying for a little while and heading out. Whatever I do, I don't think I will drink, but I don't want to suffer from boredom the entire time and be a... negative Nancy haha.
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:49 PM
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I also wondered if/how I would ever have fun sober. It quickly made me realize how much of my "entertainment" was previously focused on alcohol. Seemed like all the "fun" activities I would do involved drinking. Odd thing is that for several months, I didn't really have a desire to do many of them after getting sober. Examples included playing cards, billiards, going to concerts, etc. Even grilling or golfing didn't seem as exciting. After about 4 months though I started to find the fun associated with some of these things like grilling and golf. Still don't care for some of the other prior activities but I think it is because they were just an excuse to drink and gamble.
Good news is that I also found other new interests, more productive times, and healthier activities. In may case it just took some adjustment time but things are so much better now and well worth the effort of working through the process. Wishing you all the best.
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Old 06-13-2010, 03:28 PM
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This thread just made me realise something i go out for meals, coffees, go round friends houses, other activities etc and these are all friends i have made in AA...i saw a few of my old friends this week, the ones that aren't drunks and are from drinkiing days too...but yeah most of my old friends went and thinking back we never did **** together that didnt involve alcohol, holidays, trips, meals, dinner parties all involved getting wasted and were as boring as hell...

What i thought of is imagine me being here without my new friends, in the country i am i mean...well i wouldnt be here cos it would be boring as hell! The time i just spent working abroad, because i didnt make much of an effort which was fine for that time i spent time at the gykmm, going out for meals and playing comp games, reading, sunbathing, walking, shopping, coffees...so there is stuff to do by yourself too but it is really cool to have good friends...i like it a lot:-)
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