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Old 04-10-2015, 09:16 PM
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Need to share

I'm a little down and need to share here because I think other people will understand. I'm just a few days past 5 months sober, and I've tried to play it really safe. I've stayed away from bars, clubs, fine dining, parties, dance music and any other things that were associated with years of drinking and drug use. I've built a routine that centres mostly around work and home life. I've have picked up activities such as reading, studying a language, cooking, getting involved with a church community. They have been satisfying and I do enjoy them.

Tonight we had a work team dinner at a really nice steakhouse in a trendy part of the city. It was so nice to be back in that kind of dining environment with the soft lighting, lounge beats and fine food. As a social responsibility practice our company has a two drink maximum. I noticed throughout the evening that some people had one drink while others had two. It was obvious the alcohol acted as a social lubricant as it got noisier and louder, but no one appeared drunk or messy. The waiter explained the various wine options that would pair with the steak. I worked my way through several glasses of Diet Pepsi throughout the evening. As we left I noticed all the diners having conversation over glasses of wine. The streets were starting to get busy with people dressed for an evening out. I can't lie - it was hard. I didn't have cravings, but it was hard. I walked home in a light rain and felt pretty dejected as I left the neon lights of the entertainment district and walked down a quiet, dark side street to my home.

Now I sit here with another Diet Coke sharing on SR. The thing is, I don't want to go out and drink. I don't have cravings. But I still feel sad. I'm making this choice willingly. No one - not SR, not my partner, not my friends, not my AA sponsor - none of them is forcing me to do this. I can go out and drink; I can do whatever I want to do - but I'm making this choice to be right here right now. I don't need to sit here and try to make myself to be some kind of hero or martyr; and I have no right to feel it's unfair. This is real life. Just like a dessert lover who gets diabetes and has to give up sweets, I have a disease that requires me to make certain sacrifices. Those sacrifices aren't always fun, and maybe they never will be. I choose to do this anyway, and tomorrow when I wake up sober to a new day I'm going to choose sobriety again, and again, and again.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:26 PM
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I hear you, Lance, and I miss the nightlife as well. But if you are posting on SR I suspect that if you started to drink there is a good chance you would not be having a wine or two in conversation but getting drunk and spending hours drinking that you probably would not even enjoy and then would have regrettable consequences. We always remember the glamour and forget the debauch in the movie in our head. Watch it all the way through to the end. And most of those people who had one or two drinks are already home just like you.

Hope you feel better. I bet you will feel better tomorrow than you would of had you drank.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:29 PM
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Try not to miss it Lance. You torture yourself thinking about other people enjoying a glass of wine while you "cannot".
Living sober is a learned behavior. I know that I can have just as much if not more fun that those who need a glass of wine to loosen them up socially. I am hoping the day will soon come when you are able to realize this and start enjoying life as it was meant to be. We were meant to be sober.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:39 PM
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There's another post today that might give you some reassurance you're doing the right thing Lance

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ast-night.html

That feeling you have of missing out is AV generated. The fact is you were there, you participated, you stayed true to yourself.

Feeling awkward is normal when you re-enter society as a sober person. It's normal to feel like a third wheel for a while too.

(You're not btw - another AV tug at the heartstrings)

Sober social interaction is a skill, learned like anything else

remind yourself of where drinking took you - put yourself on solid ground again.

I missed out on a lot during my drinking years. I miss out on nothing now

I am a proud and resolute non drinker

D
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:42 PM
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I have felt the same way. ..it's like mourning the loss of the old lifestyle. But you will be grateful in the morning. And I believe in focusing on what we've gained in sobriety. We can have it all, and better than when we drank.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:44 PM
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Amazing post. Thank you brother. Been down that lonely walk home in sobriety too many times to count. I totally understand exactly how that feels. Re-read that last paragraph you wrote. It's pretty powerful stuff.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:47 PM
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I admire your attitude Lance and I don't doubt you will be successful. The feeling of missing out does fade in time, as the benefits of long-term sobriety kick in.

Try balancing the enjoyment of the wine against how you would feel in the morning if you'd given in.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:05 AM
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Thanks so much for your post lance.. It's a very sensitive reflection.

Id say that any alcohol would rob you of this sensitivity- sad or not.. Also it made me think that we could look to other stimuli to change our moods and tempers- song, exercise, anything creative, writing. Focusing on the alcohol takes our attention from the rest of the world. I'm very guilty of that

Take care
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:11 AM
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Lance I understand what you are saying but I think you'll find in time that this is a transitory feeling because it is AV telling you that all the drinkers had a better time. By the sound of things plenty of those people didn't drink much of what was in front of them anyway.

Do you drink Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi because you enjoy them of because they are the first NA drinks you thought of? It really helped me to find my now signature drink -- chinotto -- which is a citrus cola adult drink in a small bottle. Have a look around, there are a lot of options.

And btw, good on you for doing so well with the work night.
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Old 04-11-2015, 01:35 AM
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What a great post. Thanks so much for sharing that.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:12 AM
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Thanks for the share, Lance. I wish I could offer advice, but I'm in the same situation. Maybe it helps to know you're not alone. I trust, over time, we'll feel more comfortable in our sobriety -- being sober before, during, and after social settings.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:36 AM
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Hi Lance:

I just want to suggest to you to play the tape. Yes, it looks like you described at the beginning of the night, but as the night progresses it starts getting loud, sloppy, etc. by the end of the night enemies might be hooking up, those beautifully dressed people are puking on themselves, people will start fights with strangers, some might end up in jail. And tomorrow, we wake up fresh and they wake up feeling like turds.

Don't let your AV convince you to start romantizising alcohol. It will try and it is good at it. See it for what it is. You can still enjoy fine dinning sober, we can still participate in life sober. Needing alcohol, or alcohol making that better is a lie out AVs tell.

Feel good Lance, you did well.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:38 AM
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Way to go lance! You are an inspiration for everyone.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:42 AM
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I'm sorry you feel sad, Lance, but really, well done! It does get better. I had those same feelings for at least a year, longer even. You're not missing out on anything! You are you, a non drinker, and you are present for every moment. As Dee says, it takes a while to build your sober muscles. Please stay the course, it's worth it!
Best wishes to you.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:48 AM
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Hey Lance, what a nice post you made. It puts into words what so many here feel. At just over six months myself, I'm somewhere between sharing your feelings and those that Dee posted (much closer to you). I feel vulnerable when I walk into social situations without that warm feeling already started from priming up.

Dee pointed out that social skills are learned.....as a middle aged guy I'm learning how to interact completely sober. I've depended on alcohol to some degree for 30 years. I'm getting better at it and you will too. In fact, I'm beginning to find it exhilarating and empowering to get out of my comfort zone.

Having said that, I feel that there are a few social things that are just not in the picture for me anymore and that's ok. But Lance, I bet that you'll get to the point that fine dining ambiance will be as enjoyable as ever again, maybe even more so.

Thanks again for your post....I'll be out of town next weekend for business and will think about this thread.
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:42 AM
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Lance, you need to stop thinking of what you're missing out on, but what you're gaining.
What if you had started drinking? You could have embarrassed yourself at this dinner. You would have likely picked up more on the way home. You would have been hungover today and having regrets for having picked up.
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:50 AM
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Hey Lance, I know how you feel as well.
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Lance40 View Post
I'm a little down and need to share here because Just like a dessert lover who gets diabetes and has to give up sweets, I have a disease that requires me to make certain sacrifices. Those sacrifices aren't always fun, and maybe they never will be. I choose to do this anyway, and tomorrow when I wake up sober to a new day I'm going to choose sobriety again, and again, and again.

Thanks for listening.
Lance,
This is a beautiful post. I think so many of us have times when we miss the fun and sparkle of the alcohol laced evening. The clinking of beautiful crystal champagne glasses, the choosing of the right wine, etc.
And we forget about the aftereffects and negatives that always come along for the ride.

I try not to think of my quit as a sacrifice.
That is opening up a crack for the AV to slither in......
Instead try to use words that are more positive. It is not a sacrifice, but rather a maturing and a blessing. An enlightenment, a huge step down a path to happiness.

And be proud of yourself that you left the establishment sober. Don't walk dejectedly, but instead hold your head high, and congratulate yourself! You did great!
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:25 AM
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The little bugger won't even let you enjoy the feeling of overcoming its malicious intents. It made you miss some sadly comical views of the situation, eg nice restaurant , fine dining, responsible well dressed, professional people, but not responsible really enough to be trusted to remain that way hence a drink limit. next time have an inner little snicker at the thought that it wouldn't bother you in the least if the max at such a gathering was one quarter of a serving , or fifteen.
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:27 AM
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It's a new day, and I've broken through to the other side of this. I slept fitfully, and every time I woke up I fumbled in the dark on my night stand for my phone and read and re-read the messages here before drifting off again. This morning I feel very peaceful, serene and quiet inside; and I'm deeply moved by the outpouring of support here. Some of my biggest growth in sobriety has come through moments of difficulty, and so I think that for me and where I'm at that last night went just as it should have gone, dejection and all. I'm happy for the privilege to be sober again today.
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