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How do you get through movies and "relaxing" time?

Old 05-10-2013, 09:16 PM
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How do you get through movies and "relaxing" time?

Hi everyone, I'm on day 1 again, had 6 days sober this week. Tried to go to a AA meeting today, but I wouldn't step foot in there. Outside were a bunch of creepy old dudes smoking, and the building looked really old, almost abandoned. I know they have some at churches, and I think I am going to those. My husband was going to drop me off and as he drove by, he said "no way your getting down there" Anyway, I hate to be bak on day 1, especially after doing 6 days so well, I had wine last night while watching a movie on our new tv we got yesterday. I was excited to relax with some wine, it's what I look forward to at the end of the day. Then my husband was off today, so it was much easier to indulge last night. I wish I can just sit and enjoy a movie or relax without wine, but its like I don't enjoy anything as much as when I have wine. I laugh more, feel more into the movies etc. and I'm just in a better mood period. I'm on antidepressant's and have been for a year now, I have never been depressed but I takes them for severe anxiety, and it has worked wonders, I just don't why my mood is still so much happier with wine, it's like my savior and I'm in love with it. At this point it seems like I'm stopping more for my husband than myself, cause I just can't seem to get it through my head that alcohol is bad for me and I can't have just one or two drinks...
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:39 PM
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I totally understand what you're saying Java. For me, I don't really want to quit drinking, I have to quit drinking. That's the honest truth. It just came to be that the bad that comes along with drinking outweighs the good.

It seems that a lot of people that get sober for a while actually don't even want to drink anymore. I think that is the goal, at least for me.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:05 PM
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Hi Javamama, totally relate to your post on many levels. Particularly the love affair with wine. I never, ever thought I would be able to give it up because it made me feel so damn good. Lighter, happier, funnier, sexier (and whatever -er/-ier you want to add there). I was also on antidepressants for anxiety but nothing worked quite as well as my vino. As far as AA, I had the same experience with my first few meetings and got all creeped out by the congregation of worn-down looking dudes standing outside smoking.

Here's what happened to me and I hope it doesn't happen to you: wine eventually started betraying me. For every ten times it made me happy, there was one or two times it ended up making me miserable---usually because of some interaction with someone else. It also eventually dawned on me that maybe I was beginning to not know how to feel without the stuff. I felt flat when I didn't have it and couldn't enjoy most normal things (like movies) completely sober. That's when the obsession started because I knew I wouldn't be able to enjoy something without wine so I had to plan most of my activities (including yoga for God's sake) around wine. Everything was so much BETTER with wine so why stop with just one or two activities, right? Then it started to dawn on me that maybe the wine had something to do with the anxiety that I was taking the antidepressants for because when I managed to get a week or two of sobriety behind me, the anxiety stopped. The obsession with wine was still there but the anxiety, except around procuring wine, was gone.

I am three months (almost) sober now and I still miss wine. It was always like the most wonderful guest in my life who I would invite into my home, let charm me, make me charming, make life so much more interesting and fun. Until I looked around one day and realized it had stolen all of my furniture and was working on steadily pulling up the floorboards. Without wine I was becoming a shell because I didn't know how to "be" without wine. It was taking parts of me out of the picture to such a degree I didn't know who was me and who was the wine. (If that makes sense).

I am learning that now and, actually, those creepy AA dudes were worth talking to because they oddly seemed to know exactly what I was talking about even if they appeared to be nothing like me at all. Sure, I have found other meetings and other places that are a little more my speed but if you do decide to quit (for you and not your hubby), you'll probably realize a lot more commonality among drinkers and addicts than disparities---no matter what their appearance.

And, really, that is the gift. Addiction makes your world so much smaller. Recovery makes it bigger.

In either case, sorry for the long reply but I read your post and thought, "Oh yes, my love, the wine." It stopped loving me back eventually, though.

I wish you the very best and six days is awesome! If you really want to quit for yourself, you will find a way even if, like me, you might always be wistful for wine and skeptical that you fit in with the creepy dudes
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:55 PM
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don't be put off by the smokers. there's a lot of smoking outside and coffee drinking inside an AA meeting. we are, after all, addicts. a lot of AA clubs have a rather well worn look to them. AA intentionally keeps itself a cash poor organization. i don't think i've ever walked into an AA club that was anything close to posh. hand me down furniture and rugs, cheap coffee and home made snacks. that's an AA club for you! again, don't be put off by who you see outside. we come from all walks of life. we are a group of people who would not normally mix.

so you're quitting for your husband? not at all for yourself? perhaps it would do you good to come up with a list of things that alcohol has done to harm you. you ever black out? fall down and get bruises? miss out on activities because you're drunk or hungover? do you feel discontent when you don't have alcohol? do you regret how you act in social settings when you drink too much? are you tired of hiding your drinking?

you see, normal people don't have to hide their drinking. they aren't discontent without alcohol. they can not drink for a month and not have that crazy feeling like your going to jump out of your skin if you don't get a drink. 6 days is good but that's really not a lot of time for the effects of alcohol to have dissipated. Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome can last for 6 months, even a year. it doesn't mean that you're going to be miserable for all that time but your brain is still recovering from the effects long term alcohol abuse has had on it.

"Remember that we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling, powerful!
Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all
power that One is God. May you find Him now!"

i'm not a religious person but i truly believe that i cannot beat alcohol alone. i need the help of my loving God, my Higher Power. i also need the support of those grizzled old smokebags that hang out outside. i need my sobriety sisters and my sponsor. i need the Fellowship of AA. i need the steps to remove the barriers i've put in place between myself, god and my fellow man and woman.

do a little soul searching and ask yourself if you want to be free of the discontent that alcohol brings into your life. if you're only happy when you're drinking but drinking also makes you sad, you're just like every other alcoholic. there is a way to a new found freedom and happiness. but you have to be willing to be rigorously honest with yourself and others. honesty will set you free. you don't have to feel like you're running from life anymore. is it simple? yes. is it easy? oh hell no! but it's possible and it's easier when you learn to look for help from a power greater than yourself.

i hope you eventually want to quit for yourself. you're worthy of sobriety and you are capable of it.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:21 PM
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Not being mean here but just pointing out a fact. You said:

At this point it seems like I'm stopping more for my husband than myself, cause I just can't seem to get it through my head that alcohol is bad for me and I can't have just one or two drinks...
Until you want to quit for yourself instead of for your husband your chances of getting sober are low. Your motives are sweet but you have to want it for you more than anyone else. If you do that and get sober then he gets the benefits too. Hang in there javamama. I am 24 days sober and it's hard work. Luckily no one was pressing me to get sober except myself. I was going downhill fast without anyone understanding just how fast it was happening. For me this is all about staying alive and out of a mental institution at this point. Sounds a bit dramatic but it's pretty much where I'm at right now.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by javamama View Post
Outside were a bunch of creepy old dudes smoking, and the building looked really old, almost abandoned.
If this were a liquor store, would you be as hesitant to go in?
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:50 AM
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Hopefully one day you might be an oldie at a meeting chewing the fat, sober. jokes aside. While a drug might make one less aware of something it doesn't remove the addiction. I don't think mixing the two is a good idea. It's counterproductive and you have to suffer the lows as well as the highs on a cycle that unless interrupted will be a downward spiral. It might be a matter of faith but many can testify that unless drinking stops it gets worse to a point that many of the creepy oldies do not wish on anyone, through direct experience.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by javamama View Post
I don't enjoy anything as much as when I have wine. I laugh more, feel more into the movies etc. and I'm just in a better mood period. I'm on antidepressant's and have been for a year now, I have never been depressed but I takes them for severe anxiety, and it has worked wonders, I just don't why my mood is still so much happier with wine, it's like my savior and I'm in love with it.
Firstly, thank you for sharing and being so open.

Secondly - Gee, I wish my ex-girlfriends talked about me the way you talk about wine. Going six days is great, but after reading this it sounds like you're not really too serious about quitting. You aren't ready to let go of the buzz. You know quitting is the only sane thing to do, yet alcohol remains the one thing you will not give up. It's quite the dilemma.

Try and grasp the fact that in order to recover and lead a normal life, you will never drink wine again. Ever. Done. Gone. Like it never existed. I liken my loss of vodka to a loss of an arm, or a dead family member. It's a painful loss, one filled with sadness and despair. But once you can accept the fact that it's not coming back, you can begin to learn how to enjoy life without it. You sound as if you wish sober life was more interesting. But you have to go more than 6 days to find happiness. You will have struggles on Day 30, Day 183, Day 365, Day 929, and so on. In order to survive the tough days, you must learn coping skills and acquire tools. That means peer support, groups, meetings, whatever. You can't just wave a magic wand with this stuff. Recovery is not roses and rainbows and naked ladies, it's hard work, sweat, tears, and misery. If quitting booze was fun, I'd get into the recovery business and sell tickets. But it ain't. Nobody wants to get on this ride, and for good reason.

There is hope. Your life will get better if you stop. Do you really want to? Good luck! I am encouraged by your honesty, and I hope you can find the will to start your quest in earnest. BTW - I was also on anti-depressants for years due to anxiety...I had quite the cocktail of pills that I took in addition to my drinking. After I was sober I didn't need the pills anymore, either. It's nice to be free. With a little elbow grease, you can join us on the sober side of the fence. I'll save a spot for you.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:25 PM
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Javamama -- your original question was: how do you get through movies and "relaxing" time?

I don't have any good solution for movies since I am the same as you. When I watch a movie or get on the internet, that can trigger the urge to drink. My best suggestion there would be to replace those activities with something else for a while. Can you decide to relax by going for walks or by cooking, for example?

As for other times, I just posted about using an iPod. If I am up and active and doing things, I can also get the urge to drink, especially since I usually rewarded myself for completing weekly housework by getting into the vodka. Using the iPod totally distracts my brain from drinking urges. It's also more pleasant than some other methods.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:37 PM
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Javamama, I find that in the past 33 days I've been sober, I've watched movies I know I've watched while drunk and, I swear, this is the first time I've really seen them.

There are entire sections of movie's I simply don't remember! I find that I am getting past movie's and booze (beer and vodka chasers were my choice) by watching them with an ice filled glass of Crystal lite lemonade, and actually being able to remember what it was I watched!

That helps me more than anything. Remembering what I watched. It's a great reinforcement.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:28 PM
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BikerAcct, I'm totally with you! At day 11 for me, I enjoy watching a movie through to the end, and not passing out on the couch mid way through. I watched Smashed again last night, good movie I think. Last time I was too smashed to see it through, remember it.

To javamamma, I understand where you're coming from, that love affair with wine. I also have an association of watching TV, always with a wine glass in my hand. Last night, I tried something new. I had picked up some pretty tea cups and saucers at a thrift store. I made a pot of tea, put milk in a pretty jug, and brought everything into my living room to watch a movie. I sipped tea and kept pouring from the pot because the tea cup is small and dainty. This tea "ceremony" makes me feel so much better about myself, than glugging back the wine, and missing what I set out to watch.

Hopefully, with more time, you may find that you're actually more into the movie, because your senses will be sharper, and you'll be "you" if that makes any sense.
Good luck as you move ahead!!
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by javamama View Post
I wish I can just sit and enjoy a movie or relax without wine, but its like I don't enjoy anything as much as when I have wine.
I understand where you're coming from cos I felt the same at one point. I think I would have been embarrassed to admit to it though. I was always ashamed of how much I loved drinking. And it really didn't end up like that. I am slightly curious that if you enjoy drinking that much why you are trying to quit? You're giving us all the pros but where are the cons? There must be some reason you're here right? At one point I was merely concerned at the amount I drank but it eventually made me virtually suicidal. The obsession can easily get out of hand before you realise it.

As for anything you wish to do, don't wish it, do it! I always saw the whole enjoying stuff with a drink as a conditioned response. Because I did everything with a drink in my hand I came to expect it when I did stuff and eventually didn't know how I'd do anything without it. I changed a lot of my habits when I first quit to avoid associations and then just kept on ticking of those sober 'firsts' til I had done everything sober. It takes a while though. Even a year down the line I am retraining myself to listen to jazz without Gin. It might feel odd for a while but you'll be comfortable enjoying your relaxing time without alcohol before you know it x
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:40 PM
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I think it will take some time and patience before you can watch a movie, etc without missing drinking. You need to work on developing some new routines for movie-watching.

By the way, I could not have stopped drinking for my husband. I wanted to, but I couldn't. I needed to want to stop drinking for myself before it worked.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by javamama View Post
Hi everyone, I'm on day 1 again, had 6 days sober this week. Tried to go to a AA meeting today, but I wouldn't step foot in there. Outside were a bunch of creepy old dudes smoking, and the building looked really old, almost abandoned. I know they have some at churches, and I think I am going to those. My husband was going to drop me off and as he drove by, he said "no way your getting down there" .
Did not set well with me. I have gone to an AA meeting at the homeless coalition. And it was a mens meeting. I am a woman. Best meeting I ever went to in my life. I try not to judge a book by the cover. Sounds like you missed an awesome meeting to me.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:52 PM
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Let me say , everything is better without the drugs. ( wine) Obsession and addiction with brainwashing make you think everything is better with wine, early days after stopping of course your going to feel like this , I was exactly the same with nicotine as I was alcohol. I thought nothing would be the same without them, the longer I stay sober the longer I pity anyone that drinks and I mean drink any amount of alcohol. Alcohol steals everything from you and just gives you back an illusion.
Only as I get near to 18 months sober I am starting to see that this " is the way to live" sober and real. Grind out the early days weeks , cravings are just thoughts all part of the drug addiction package. You are losing absolutely nothing and gaining everything from staying sober, give yourself enough sober time so you might actually see this.

Good luck, sober is cool.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:08 PM
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Until you want to quit for yourself instead of for your husband your chances of getting sober are low.

Powerful statement.. No pain, no gain!

I love the run down meeting places.. Like a secret club house to me.. Always feel like I'm home..
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave42001 View Post
I love the run down meeting places.. Like a secret club house to me.. Always feel like I'm home..
Yah ya mean they don't hold them at the Ritz, Carlton. I love um too. That's where you are gonna hear stories of humility, stength and perseverance.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:44 PM
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creepy old dudes.... dont think ive heard us called that before.

i didnt enjoy anything for quite some time when i got into recvoery. i tok my 1st drink at 13ish and all i ever knew was fun had to have alcohol. to see that all that fun i had when drinking was fake. so anything i did in recovery that i did when i was drinkin didnt feel right at 1st. it took T.I.M.E. but eventually i saw how much fun i could have without alcohol. what an awesome journey!! greatful today i made the decision for me.( tried it for a lot of other things...never worked.)
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