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Old 06-19-2011, 12:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
Jil
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I hate birthdays


So I'm 21 years old; naturally, all of the birthdays of my friends are going to be at the bar. Friends who don't drink often, but that is the thing to to around my age group.

I'm so sick of trying to have fun, making an effort to go out. Generally I don't stay for that long.. but now I'm realizing how- no matter how pretty I make myself look or how many great people I love are going to be there- it's just no fun. I'm comparing it to when I used to go and get hammered, because there are a few people within our friend group who don't for religious reasons and they have fun.

Well, I don't have fun, it sucks. Times like this make me realize how much I have given up.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well Happy birthday Jil.

I guess that kept me in the loop too - my only conception of fun as a 20 something was drinking til I fell down...trouble was 20 years later it was still my only concept of fun....only it wasn't fun anymore.

I know now there are many other ways to have fun...I wish I'd had the imagination and the insight to think about those ways back in the 80s.

Do you have many sober friends Jil?

D
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Jil,

When you say times like this make you realize how much you've given up, do they also make you realize what you've gained by choosing sobriety over drinking/using?

For me, if I view sobriety from a one-sided perspective- say that of giving up all the fun stuff I used to do, then I believe I'm closing my eyes to all the windows through which I can gaze out over the beautiful things that I'm working towards but may have not as of yet materialized.

Finding happiness in sobriety takes some time, and the initial feelings of 'giving up those great times' can be daunting, but my experience has been that life is immeasurably more beautiful sober than it ever was while I was drinking and using.

Oh, and happy birthday. I can only wonder what my life would be like if I had chosen to get sober at such a young age.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have the same problem. Same age, same type of friends. They want to go to crappy nightclubs, the type you would only put up with if you're hammered. And it is no fun and I do just want to leave early.

I can commiserate but I can't be much help as i'm yet to find a soloution.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It sounds like it's time to make some changes in lifestyle and maybe friends too. There are lots of things to do besides hanging out in bars.

Congratulations on your recovery.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with elmello and I'm around the same age as well 22 but I'd go and hang sober at a restaurant type bar with a pool table that doesnt' have music blasting and no lights on and not a drunken college bar atmosphere absolutely no way to have fun there drinking I've tried.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Think about what you have REALLY given up by not being a drunk.

btw....Happy Birthday. We're glad you're here.
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It's YOUR birthday pick something YOU want to do. Be it going to a movie, taking a hike, shopping, go to a carnival, spend the day at the beach, you get the idea. There are so many wonderful activities that don't involve drinking and best of all since it's your birthday YOU get to pick. Happy Birthday, go out and enjoy it!
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you are talking about other people's birthdays, I have an idea. Decline the invitation using whatever excuse you have to, then invite them to dinner one on one.

Make it at your place if you can or find a couple of really cool non-bar restaurants and take each friend out one at a time.

Nobody remembers those bashes anyway. If you have a friend to a special one on one dinner--after (AFTER) the big party, that will be more special. You aren't upstaging the party, just making sure you acknowledge the event.

Good luck.
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Happy Birthday Jil. You're right, it is extremely difficult to stay sober in college. It often seems like the only fun thing to do. Furthermore, I think that most people don't realize how much they are drinking, because it seems that all the people around them are drinking just as much as they are (and this might be true in some cases).

About a week after my 21st birthday, I walked out of my job as a cashier at Toys 'R Us in the middle of my shift. I just could not handle being in there. I called my university's health center and set up an appointment in the mental health department. I saw a psychiatrist 4 or 5 times.

I remember taking some test to measure the volume/frequency of my alcohol use. I was of course off the charts, but I refused to believe I was an alcoholic, because all of my friends drank as much as me. I also remember my psychiatrist recommending that I try quitting drinking, to which I agreed, and I wound up getting wasted just a few hours later. Funny thing is, I didn't feel guilty at all. It seemed perfectly fine to me, despite all the bridges I had burned with my behavior.

So, pay close attention to the way you REALLY feel about yourself and your behavior. Think about the big picture, not just what your friends are doing. It is very difficult to do, but it sounds like you already have a pretty good idea what is best for you. Congrats.
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm married to a man who grew up in the LDS (Mormon) church (he is no longer a member) and he has some of the best ideas for sober activities.

The reason I told you that, was to say, get some ideas from people who don't or have never had alcohol in their lives. I found that was the best way to keep new ideas flowing.

Happy Birthday!

Last night we pulled out our burn barrel, put some wood in it and made S'mores. We set up our speakers attached to my husbands Ipod and just had a wonderful time. It was drizzly and the burn barrel kept us warm and we purchased these huge marshmallows that made a disgusting mess.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm sure everything seems twice as hard right now (Happy Birthday by the way!!)..... it's like staying sober that first Friday night or New Year's Eve- it seems like everyone in the world is out drinking, even though it's really just in our minds. (Can you imagine if the whole world drank like we did?)

There really are lots of people your age who don't drink like that and are able to set goals, have stable relationships, etc...... It might just be a matter of meeting some different people.

I finally decided I was going to have to choose between having a productive life or being controlled by alcohol. I really admire you for choosing the right thing sooner rather than later. I know it's hard, but birthdays come and go. The hour or two of fun doesn't last. Hang in there! :ghug3
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jil View Post
So I'm 21 years old; naturally, all of the birthdays of my friends are going to be at the bar. Friends who don't drink often, but that is the thing to to around my age group.

I'm so sick of trying to have fun, making an effort to go out. Generally I don't stay for that long.. but now I'm realizing how- no matter how pretty I make myself look or how many great people I love are going to be there- it's just no fun. I'm comparing it to when I used to go and get hammered, because there are a few people within our friend group who don't for religious reasons and they have fun.

Well, I don't have fun, it sucks. Times like this make me realize how much I have given up.
I think it highly unlikely that I would have even considered quitting at 21, but I do believe that had I done so I would be much better off today.

I don't know your history, but if you quit because alcohol was causing you problems, you gave up nothing more than poison, which for some of us, destroys everything.

Being around friends who drink will get easier, like learning to ride a bicycle. You get some bruised knees and elbows at first, but eventually you're flying on two wheels. :-)
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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How about organizing something different? Barbecue at a community park with horsehoe pits, plan a day outing for river tubing, a day at the beach, an outdoor concert, an indoor concert, camping at a campsite, charter fishing, go see the Blue Man Group, do a spa day, go whale watching, parasailing - there are tons of things to do at 21.

Hell, you can do them when you're 71!

I don't know how much money "clubbing" is today, but I can bet the above options are no more expensive than a night out sucking down shots and drinks and who knows what else.

Happy Birthday! Celebrate well.
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