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Old 07-04-2010, 10:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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feeling lazy & lethargic without booze


Please don't get me wrong. I'm grateful for my new found sobriety but I'm grappling with the issue of lack of energy now that I'm not drinking 24/7

I look around my house/property and see all of the huge projects I've got done while I was drinking that required a lot of tough/heavy manual labour. I was drinking for so long that booze would slow me down and act like it should as a depressant during the evenings, but during the day I would kick-start my heart by 7-8 a.m. with a couple of beers to stimulate my system and the thought of being able to hit the liquor store at 10a.m. to get my daily supply would be motivation to work, work, work.

Here I am on Sunday with more big projects to do and I can't get into it. This has been a common thing on weekends since I've been sober. I'm happy that I'm not destroying my liver and my heart isn't constantly beating like a jackrabbit but as a man I also judge myself on how much physical work I can get done. I feel benign & weak as a kitten if that makes sense.

This may seem like a stupid post as many would say that dying from alcoholism is far more important than pouring concrete and insulating a garage. I just never realized how much alcohol was a stimulant for me as much as a depressant. Despite all of the negative stuff that came with booze it did make me superhuman at times getting stuff done.

***footnote***
I had x17 sober days in and slipped last Saturday. Now I've got x7 sober days in. Despite this post which sounds a bit like I'm glorifying my boozing over the years I promise I won't slip because I can't due to liver damage caused by my years of alcoholism.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I understand what you are saying because I felt the same way. It's a lie. Alcohol does not stimulate you even though you may feel like it does. You're just mentally happy because your brain is getting what it wants. I know when I stopped drinking beer every day, I went through a phase where I felt lethargic, too. It will pass. For a while, you may have to force yourself to get to the things you need to do, but once you get started, you'll start to feel better.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi MM,

Good for you for the sober days that you have.

Remember that it's early days for you and it takes time for our bodies, minds and spirits to heal and rebuild themselves.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, Mercurial, during the first few weeks of my sobriety, I had all the energy of a dog lying on a porch during a humid summer afternoon. But it was all part of the process. Without alcohol, which my mind and body had depended on, I was disoriented, fatigued, confused, and often clueless.

But it got better as I adapted to sobriety and my brain started to heal itself. Honestly, those little day-to-day improvements kept me from drinking.

Besides: If I started drinking again, I'd have to repeat the whole process, which is both painful and a waste of time.

It does get better These things are par for the course.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I was recently reading that for alcoholics, the first few drinks actually sharpen the mind and give you energy. Also, I can do very boring things that need to be done when drunk. Like scrubbing the walls of my bird room. To do this sober is just overwhelming.

I think the sugar in alcohol gave me a LOT of energy, also, and when I don't drink, I feel just so dead. Are you sensitive to sugar? I am so this is why it makes me drag when I take all of that sugar out of my system.

I read over and over that it gets better, so hang in there,
Nancy
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nancylee View Post
I was recently reading that for alcoholics, the first few drinks actually sharpen the mind and give you energy. Also, I can do very boring things that need to be done when drunk. Like scrubbing the walls of my bird room. To do this sober is just overwhelming.

I think the sugar in alcohol gave me a LOT of energy, also, and when I don't drink, I feel just so dead. Are you sensitive to sugar? I am so this is why it makes me drag when I take all of that sugar out of my system.

I read over and over that it gets better, so hang in there,
Nancy
No, I'm not sugar sensitive. My doc has no idea how I'm not a diabetic after all my years of heavy drinking. I totally agree with a few drinks sharpening the mind of an alcoholic and giving energy & that booze did help with completing drudge work.

Thanks for the thoughts all & I'll hang in there and hope to feel more energized in the weeks to come. The upshot is that I've decided to go fishing instead of putting the drywall in the garage. If I'm going to feel like a rug on valium I might as well enjoy the day
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi there...

When I read your post, it brought back memories of my early sobriety.

I too felt the same way. I wondered if I would ever have the energy, the stamina, the motivation to accomplish what I had, at times while drinking.

Toward the end of my drinking career instead of energizing me, alcohol sedated me.

That is the way this disease works.

So, for now, go fishing, do whatever you would like, just don't drink.

Time will help your healing. Eventually the energy and the motivation will return. Maybe not at the superman strength it was before, but at a normal, sober human level.

Enjoy your time fishing.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It really takes time to get back your health.

Give yourself a break.....and.....
hire someone ....younger and sober... to do the
heavy work with the money you save by
being sober...

You can supervise and learn to relax.
Valium? Ah....that is a slow down med!

All my best
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I was told to carry hard candy with me when I wanted a beer as that would "trick" the brain with the sugar intake.

I know I'm very tired and have been told it does get better and will take a couple of weeks.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I was the same way!! I slept sooo much, and craved sugar like no tomorrow....things eventually balance out....I still like eating my chocolate and candies but not like before...and I listen to my body if it wants to sleep..I sleep...my body has been threw alot..it deserves my respect!!
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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the 8th will be 10 months for me and my body and strength and such has changed immensely in those 10 months.

alcohol never acted that way for me....if i started on a project in the morning i would get it finished but it could definitely looked f'd up the next day with sober eyes with me not remembering do all of it....but i was a vodka drinker.

i went through some lethargy for several months but it seems like at the 4-5 month mark i started getting 'real' energy back. for reference i'm 50 but have been in pretty damn good shape all my life.

i have coached ball all summer and gotten major projects done on my house. but i work at my speed. it's been scorching hot in the commonwealth in june and if i need to stop and wipe down every 3 planks on the fence i do.

i don't put timetables on myself with my projects. they'll get done when they get done and if i die....oh well. i'm very proud of the work i've completed. i had let so much go during the last 8 years of solid drunkeness.

i've done a lot of reading on how alcohol rewires the hell out of our body. if you abused it for years (like me)....don't expect it to be back to go right away. you'll love the fact that you're not drinking whether it was the liver that stopped you or whatnot. good luck amigo.
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Like others have said merc - it can take some time to get our energy back - looks at the years you've drunk...balance that against the 17 days, and now the 7...it takes a little while for our bodies and minds to readjust to sobriety.

Hang in there - you can do what I did - eat well, maybe take a multivitamin if you think you need it, get plenty of rest, some light exercise - and have patience - you'll find it all comes back in time

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Old 07-04-2010, 10:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Pl
I look around my house/property and see all of the huge projects I've got done while I was drinking that required a lot of tough/heavy manual labour.
Wow, I thought I was the ONLY one. I used to work all day really hard while pounding beers. I could work my butt off with manual labor if i just kept the beers flowing. I would work and work and work and get stuff done. I think the beers did give me energy and keep me going. Now 7 days sober, I can't even find the energy to clean inside.

So I hear you and understand your question 110%. I just don't have an answer for either of us.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My first couple weeks without a drink, I had a lot of energy, because I was excited and happy and anxious and serious about my recovery. But the next couple of weeks, until the end of that first month, were a little rough. I just didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to drink, but I really just wanted to lay on the couch, not go to work, not do anything. Then I started forcing myself to go work out every day in the exercise room at my apartment complex. Even when I really, really didn't want to. The workouts have slowed down (a lot), but I kinda feel like that period jump started my body into being active again. Now I have plenty of energy to do whatever I need to do. (Except when I get these ridiculous headaches I suffer from, but that's not alcohol- or recovery-related.)

So I guess I just kinda pushed through that wall after the "down" period, forced myself to do some stuff, and maybe that did the trick in getting me back in Go mode again.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Mercurial, I think you should be glad you're good at getting projects done and then push yourself after getting a break - but not without a sense of caution (so you don't get into accidents or do anything a doctor would say is risky).

For me I have noticed that I have had ups and downs with the lethargy, months afterward, but I think it really is just an adaptation we have to go through. I'm not in my 20s anymore (40s now), so I don't have the same kind of Go mode, but there is still some NATURAL energy there! I have gotten away with being "basically fit-looking" through the years, but the alcohol-posing-as-energy did not do me any genuine favors. The return to sweets (which had been gone for years) is tapering down now and I am trying not to eat fatty junk while maintaining some minimum activity. Smaller/more meals, and even vitamins now. I wasn't an Adonis at 27, but I am going to try to approximate that picture with a ripened, wiser version.
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