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Old 12-04-2011, 08:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Haven't known life without alcohol for ten years


All social events, dinners, games, weekends, parties, clubbing and even weekend lunches were not so without alcohol for me. I have had my share of embarrassments, obnoxious behavior, and of course, have woken up to bruised legs and arms way too often with mental lagoons, and scolding from the people who love me.I never considered this fun or healthy and i always knew it was self-destructive, but i couldn't quit with everybody around me doing it, and honestly, it just became my social crutch. Every single intimate relationship i've had with an ex boyfriend in the past had started because i was too drunk and would end up kissing and not even remember my first kiss with them. I have put myself in very dangerous situations and so just recently i decided to quit after noticing how miserable, sloppy and sad i was with my longtime habit. The problem is, i dont know who i am without alcohol anymore. Im more peaceful and stable, and its great, but i feel a great void. All my friends and even my boyfriend drink, and they do a lot, all weekends we have events, its normal. I just feel aline to it all now, and find myself boring to the point where ill just bail out of the club and leave everybody there to just go home and sleep it off. I loose my patience so quickly around people who start getting tipsy around me being all repetitive, obnoxious, dumb, finding things funny for no reason, being fools, its no fun, and to think i was that person.

I quit drinking a month ago and i just find life so boring, and dont know when ill be able to enjoy a night out partying with my friends again. My boyfriend's been very patient, we have argued about it because he'll see me just sit there and smile when we go out when i used to be the life of the party. I'm a very extremist person, i do it all or nothing, and i miss my rollercoaster ride, even if it was unhealthy. I most certainly dont want to go back to drinking and am actually very proud of myself for being sober (I had NEVER been sober for a month before), but i hope i can learn to find joy in things soon.

Every time im around people cheering and clinking their glasses i feel so left out, and i crave the thing. I think about it all the time, like just having the damn drink, but i know i cant only have one, that's why i stopped. I become aggressive and insulting and obnoxious when drunk even though the first couple of hours drinking are the best and i feel super social and outgoing, but it all goes downhill after those couple of hours.

I want to love myself and be more focused, i wanted to elevate my energy levels and quit also because, even though i didn't drink daily, i thought the times i did drink might have been setting me back in the attainment of my biggest dreams.

I just feel so bored and choose to just stay home most of the time while people network, socialize and have fun... i dont feel like myself anymore, and wonder how long this will last, and if ill ever stop feeling tempted by drinks when i see them... i dont know how to have anymore even though i know this is good for me
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I was pretty out of it for a few months after I quit, didn't want to do anything. Try getting some regular exercise. It might lift your mood, energy levels, and help snap you out of it.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome

I drank for 20 years.
It was the cornerstone of my life - I did everything with a drink.

When I stopped, there was a huge hole in my life.

It took time to learn how to live sober and how to rebuild a happy life. It took me time to learn how to feel content and how to feel joy again.

It took a little longer than a month to learn all that and put it into practice.
Not drinking is just the first step I think.

Don't give up too soon

What are you doing for support?

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Old 12-04-2011, 09:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If all you did was drink, then I could understand how empty your life would seem now. But I would expect you've done some other things in your life besides getting drunk that you enjoyed a lot too.

Why not do more of them, now that your time is more free than it used to be?

Drinking does cause fun and pleasurable activities to fall away. When drinking I filled out an employment application and when it asked 'what are your hobbies?' I had to fill in things I used to do and enjoy a lot before drinking became my main thing. Even then I could see how sad that was.

In sobriety I've had an absolute ball restoring cars, building a home, travelling much of the world, gardening, starting a business, lots of fun hanging out with friends, raising kids, observing wildlife, lots of weeklong hiking trips, sailing, rebuilding boats, getting a pilot license and plane and flying interstate trips, way too many adventures and challenges to list, and they've never stopped coming.

As a drunk there wasn't a lot going on with me. I did things sometimes while I drank. I'd drink and carcamp, drink and mow my lawn, drink and clean my garage, drink and fish...the activity was second in importance.

You've made the best gift to yourself possible but so far you seem to have filed it away unused, and are pining for the the times not long ago when you made yourself sick enough to have reason to stop. You can always go back to Zombieland, or instead live a great life.

Most alcoholics 'choose' to make themselves sicker...isn't that a very odd thing? If you find yourself doing that during this holiday season full of the usual parties then your problem may be more severe than you've yet comprehended or addressed by simply stopping for the month.

If you join the drinking crowd again you could aways do the New Year's resolution thing. That's how I wound up getting sober in April.

Good wishes.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR!! I abused one thing, then another until I got hooked on crack. When I finally chose recovery, I didn't know who I was. I'd lost the career I had, a lot of friends, and the trust of my family.

At over 4-1/2 years in recovery, life is not a piece of cake for me (did a LOT of damage), but it's so much better. I've gone back to school, reconnected with some old friends, found new ones and gained back the trust of my family. I will say, it took a lot longer than a month to figure out who I was without a substance controlling my life, but it was worth it.

Hugs and prayers,

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Old 12-04-2011, 09:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I know how you feel positivechange. I used to feel that way sometimes. Alcohol has left a big hole in my life too. I am getting a lot better though. I am starting to get a lot more social too. Alcohol sent me really deep into depression. Modern society makes it really easy for us to disengage and disappear. We have to engage the kinds of people that are doing what we want to do and have the same kinds of lifestyles we want to have.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi PositiveChange, welcome to SR!

I can relate to everything you're saying. I quit on October 9th, and though I've had a few drinks since then/a few minor relapses, I do think that things can and do get better.

One thing I noticed recently is that my concept of what is fun started to change with sobriety. For a while I mourned not fitting in; then I started to wonder why I wanted to fit in when people were "being all repetitive, obnoxious, dumb, finding things funny for no reason, being fools..." It sounds like you're at that point of transition, too.

Which isn't to say we have to stay home and be joyless. Far from it! Last night, for example, I went to dinner with a group of friends and then went out dancing. Had a good time but there was a point where I turned around and they were all loaded and falling in on each other and the bar was soon closing and the after party plans were being discussed. Ever lit a bottle rocket? That's how fast I got out of there. A few weeks ago I would have thought that joyless; now it just made sense. I didn't need to be out til 3 am listening to the same conversation I heard at 11 pm. Yeah, I missed the afterparty -- but all my friends missed brunch this morning, and a lovely hike this afternoon.

You'll find joy again. But you gotta be open to it being a different model, I think.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi positivechange. Welcome.

Our drinking can become another relationship in our lives. At least that's how it felt to me. I just read Caroine Knapp's book "Alcohol - A Love Story" and I highly recommend it. Not drinking does create a void, but one that makes life so much better living without. And it does get easier.

In AA they talk about changing playgrounds and playmates. Fitting in is hard with people who continue to abuse alcohol. If your friends aren't supportive of your abstinence, I think that is something to look at. Just last week a coworker said something to me about going out last Friday for happy hour at a local bar. I said, "Sure, I'll go. I'm not drinking any more but I'll go have some club soda." Her response was something like - "Oh, that's no fun." Drinking is so engrained in our society that some people really react to people that chose (or simply can not) not to drink. I really like this coworker but not going out was no skin off my back. I had a nice quiet evening at home with my cat and a book and, as usual, woke up feeling great cuz I hadn't been drinking the night before.

If separating yourself from your current friends right now feels too hard then here are some thoughts - share in the "clinking" with a glass of club soda or some other good non-alcoholic drink (I've been dyiing to have a virgin colada next time I go out). When I go out and know I will be around people that will drink, I think through it first and decide what I am going to drink (non-alcoholic) ahead of time. That way I am not caught off guard. I look forward to drinking juice and club soda and feeling good and not being worried about driving home and risking being over the "legal limit."

What people are saying here is so true about giving yourself more time to discover who you really are and to rediscover interests again. You have been drinking for awhile, I presume, so it will take awhile for you to figure out how to live without alcohol playing a role in your life. Be patient with yourself and ask for support (AA, church, friends that are supportive, family if they are supportive, etc). I feel like if people really do love you, then they will support your desire to get healthy (and stay sober). May sound harsh but it's true. I just don't have a place in my life anymore for people that don't want me to be the best person that I can be.

Hang in there and keep up the good work!
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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At around two or three months sober I was sober but still miserable. I started to practice gratitude every day, even the smallest thing, and it became a habit. I find now that I don't miss drinking one bit and am too grateful for my life and all my blessings to want to mess it up by drinking. Try being grateful. It helped me.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I seriously thank you all for your replies, it is so helpful, i even shed a tear or two... i feel so isolated sometimes and would wonder what was better: the recovering from hangovers or making the effort to find joy in healthier habits. I guess I was not used to a neutral state of being, I was either living HIGH highs or LOW lows, not in between. Getting drunk and sobering up the next morning gave me something to do. Not that I dont have things to do. I'm an actress and a writer.

I am looking forward to finding some activity that allows me to feel that rush, that high again. Exercising sounds perfect, and I do exercise and always have, but I would also do it to make up for my drinking binges, you know? That way I didn't feel so guilty given I was being "productive" on weekdays and then trashed thursdays to sundays. So sad.

I am very happy especially in seeing how relieved and content my mother and brother are to see me abstain from my destructive habit, and I love the calmness I feel every morning when I wake up. This weekend I almost relapse after a fight I had with my boyfriend. We went out, he is so happy and supportive that I quit drinking, yet he still does, so I make an effort to tag along and try to have just as much a good time sober with him. That night, though, he had one too many, and I lost him. He began acting drunk and foolish, like a college kid, buying shots for all our friends and what not, I just felt so alien to it all, ignored, and left. HE apologized the next morning, but I just felt so frustrated. I never noticed this behavior of his because I was always the one twice as drunk most of the time.

Anyway, so after our big fight, he left the apartment and I just kept staring at the bar in our living room. I dont really have much friends. My friends are my boyfriend's buddies, and the thought of just drinking to go join them all afterwards with a buzz on and feel part of the usual saturday debauchery routine seemed comforting.

Finding this site has been very helpful. I had been reading the posts and threads from past days and felt identified with so many stories until I finally decided to become a member yesterday. Thank you all for your replies, they really help and I dont feel so alone anymore. I write a lot too but I guess this is a new opportunity to know myself better and learn of new talents or creative ways of expressing and channeling out my energy.

I love the feeling grateful part, because there certainly are a lot of things to feel grateful for, like all of your comments, advice and support! Thank you all once again...
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I can really relate to what you are saying. For me, I just won't let myself go to the bar anymore. It's just not fun going somewhere built for drinking, where everyone is drinking, and drinking is the primary point (if not the ONLY point).

And, of course, it's a threat to my sobriety. When I'm constantly around other people drinking, I begin to think that it's "normal" to be drinking, and that there is something wrong with me for NOT drinking.

Maybe you should think about taking a long break from going to bars? I can say that simply making that decision lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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positivechange - I'm struggling with the same thing. I'm pretty new to sobriety so I haven't gone to any bar crawls or parties with friends since I quit drinking. I feel so left out and friendless. Yes, I've been 10x more productive lately, and I feel physically and mentally great. But it's like there is no one to share it with.

I'm seriously considering attending an AA meeting just to see if I can make sober friends to do things with, other than drinking. I kind of know how you're feeling...I assume you're still pretty young. I'm in my 20s and I know this is a very good thing I'm doing to choose to be sober. But at what cost?....I just know I will not give up on sobriety unless I at least try to give myself a chance to make new friends. It's pretty confusing.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I am not a big talker, but keep on keepin on

you have support here,
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I was soo bored 11 and a half months ago when I stopped drinking. My mind was distorted into thinking drinking is the most important thing and only way to have fun. I was like you drank to get drunk and be social. It took me a long time to realize life doesn't revolve around being drunk and you don't have to be drunk to have fun.

Think about this.

Next time you watch children play doesn't matter what age. Are they having fun? Do they need to be drunk to have fun? Why do we need to be drunk to have fun? At what age did we grow up and learn that drinking is the only way to have fun?

Kinda ironic you are getting mad at your boyfreind for being drunk. Isn't it strange when you are sober that we think others that are drunk are hard to deal with. I think the same thing when my wife is drunk even though it is very rare.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It isn't easy to have fun when you're miserable because you're not drinking. I remember it well...even though I had quit all I could think about was drinking.

Slowly though, things have turned for me. Alcohol is poison...literally...we wouldn't be miserable if we couldn't take strychnine - and so it makes no sense to want to drink alcohol. If you can get your head around this and really see alcohol for what it is...you will cease to envy the drinkers around you and begin to feel sorry for them. Your cravings will disappear and you will be able to go out and be the life of the party. I did it last night...it was amazing! I was funny, I was smart, I was drinking Perrier and I'm not sure if anyone even noticed!
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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It isn't easy to have fun when you're miserable because you're not drinking. I remember it well...even though I had quit all I could think about was drinking.

Slowly though, things have turned for me. Alcohol is poison...literally...we wouldn't be miserable if we couldn't take strychnine - and so it makes no sense to want to drink alcohol. If you can get your head around this and really see alcohol for what it is...you will cease to envy the drinkers around you and begin to feel sorry for them. Your cravings will disappear and you will be able to go out and be the life of the party. I did it last night...it was amazing! I was funny, I was smart, I was drinking Perrier and I'm not sure if anyone even noticed!
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This is such a great thread with so much good advice. I am only 9 days in but I am planning things to do that don't involve drinking like participating in running races, joining a hiking club, finding a job I really like, etc. I am not going to be doing anything where the main event revolves around alcohol. I will have to have a lot more days in before that ever happens.
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hey Positivechange,

I am new to this site too and I am so glad that I joined because everyone is so helpful and suppportive. I can relate to your situation because most of my friends are my boyfriend’s buddies and my boyfriend still drinks, and I do not want to anymore. I think eventually I need to do what you do, which is go out and hang out with all of our friends and not drink......that’s the hard part for me. So for now I'm staying home until I feel strong enough to say no thanks to a round of shots. Thanks for your post!
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm new to this site also, have 9 days in, thank you all for your up beat, I had 10 years of sobrity and threw it back, starying all over and im actualy looking forward to to calmness, as you can tell im a horable speller and typer, but thanks again and keep writing, I look forward to read them every day. Just to keep it real and not alone. Ive done the aa thing and it does work if you work it, all the words are coming back to me every day one day at atime. thanks every one!!!!!
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR beerman

Feel free to start your own thread

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