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Becoming a recluse? Is it normal? Can't be

Old 01-06-2016, 06:06 PM
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Becoming a recluse? Is it normal? Can't be

Hey SR family.

I have been reading but not posting lately. Since I became serious about quitting and actually not drinking, I have been becoming recluse. Granted it's winter and not much to do but it's deeper than that. I have no drive to do anything but work, provide for my family and that's about it.

My "friends" have all but scattered because I don't drink and they do. It's been a long time since I just hung out with some guy friends and did guy stuff. Don't get me wrong, my family and I have grown much closer but guys need to hang with guys from time to time. Kid time with Hot wheels and barbies only go so far for an adult...haha.

Also not much drive to do anything else. I mean anything. Also I have always had a pretty good outlook for the most part but now have a sense of dread. Where did that come from?

For example, I usually call my dad once a week. Haven't called him in over a month nor returned his calls. He's been relaying messages through my wife. Why is that?

I have no interest in anything. I guess my question is, am I just in a funk or is there a "condition" for this phase of early sobriety I am dealing with? I know changes are going to cause realignment but for how long.

And I am fully aware that rainbows don't just expell from orrifices because someone quits drinking but I am open to any advice. If not I appreciate you reading as I wanted to sound off to people who understand. Thanks
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:10 PM
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You are relearning how to live. You get to do that any way you want to...without booze. Go! Do!
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:16 PM
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Hey Charlie, I don't have any advice, but I'm in the same situation. I've become much less social. I did some damage to my career while drinking so right now I'm working really hard trying to get that taken care of. I moved in with family to help get back on my feet, so I hang out with them. Every week or two I see a friend. And that's it. I used to do something social almost every night and something interesting every weekend.

My guess right now is that I'm kind of overwhelmed... never having the retreat of alcohol frays my edges a bit, especially when I'm going 90 miles an hour trying to get my life together. So at the end of the day I kind of want to be in a quiet space, alone. But I know it should change and hopefully will.

Good luck. Maybe it just takes pushing ourselves through and trying to be more social? I don't know, for now I'm just letting it ride. Are you doing anything to try and meet sober friends, or rather friends who don't structure their free time around drinking?
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:23 PM
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The only place I go is to meeting and to get food. So I get you! I talk to no one
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:29 PM
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I'm in a similar place too at 5 1/2 months. I am naturally a pretty self contained person, however, and I only ever came out of my shell and became very social after I discovered alcohol. That process took over 10 years to come full circle to reclusive alcoholic drinking.
Now I'm at square one, and feel I'm just now learning social skills the hard way, and it's going to take time.

Going to AA meetings relieves some pressure, but mainly I just wait in faith that things will gradually improve on this front, and the moments when I have to give myself a nudge are pretty evident.

In the meantime, even the most uncomfortable loneliness and restlessness is better than going back to the hell of my drinking.

Hang in there, it has to get better.
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:55 PM
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Dear Charlie, Your post really resonated with me. I feel a similar isolation. Most of my close friends were heavy users and I cant be around them, because drinking or using is a part of their lives. They say to be in recovery you have to change people, places, and things. I don't know if this helps but think of if you have ever moved to a new place. You had to meet new friends, find new places to hang out and such. I think of my sobriety like that. I have moved to a new place. Sobriety. And have to go through of the scary pain in the butt of making new friends and finding new places to spend time. If you really embrace the idea of a new life it can be kind of exciting. You have the opportunity to have a new life while still having your family. And about your father, I have seen many times where people who know people new in recovery are kind of scared to interact with them. They often don't know what to say and are nervous about saying the "wrong thing". My take is always be straightforward. You can call your dad and simply ask why you guys are not talking. Instead of wondering why, find out. Maybe there is something you can do to fix the communication in the relationship or maybe not but at least you will know. The not knowing and worry/ stress it causes will only make your recovery harder. And being in a "funk" or being a little depressed is natural when making a big decision like no longer using. Learning to live without the emotional crutch of substances is hard. Sending you courage and hope. John
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:59 PM
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I think it's normal for feelings to be all over the place in early recovery. Give yourself more sober time and see how you feel in another couple months.
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:11 PM
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Being sober is different for sure, but tons.better for you... Drinking took up a lot of time and social stuff.0
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:19 PM
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Sounds like you might be dealing with a degree of depression. You may have two distinct but related problems. Many of us self medicated an underlying depression and found it coming on full force when we quit. Might be worth considering a consultation with a mental health professional. The good news is that there is much that can be done to treat this condition.
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:26 PM
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Leaving one life behind is one thing and starting a new one is another...you can get stuck between the two sometimes.

Do you have any sober friends or friends who wouldn't mind hanging out without alcohol being involved? could be a good place to start.

Think about hobbies and interest and what you want to do with your life Charlie.

If you really can;t muster up any enthusiasm, then maybe some of the others are right here and you're depressed?

D
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:51 PM
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I find eating properly now is a huge boon to my energy. Recently while reading Under The Influence and coming to understand how alcoholics are malnourished changed my food habits.

We can do a lot of damage to cell structure when drinking. If we don't address this with foods low in sugar, high in fiber with plenty of vitamins and minerals we cheat ourselves I have come to understand. I wish I had this information from day one of recovery.

Maybe this is part of having no drive Charlie - not sure, but it was what I went through. Of course early sobriety is just that as our other friends here have posted.

Good for all on staying sober, WE can work on the rest! Yoga class, gym membership - Ball room dancing classes anyone!!?
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:37 PM
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Same here. Sometimes dad calls and I don't pick up. I write down a time to call him and sort of force myself. Once I'm on the phone with him or others it's much easier and I enjoy it. I write down something to say then ask how they are doing. I let them do most of the talking-which most people enjoy.

Sometimes I put something on my list and then force myself to do it.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:44 PM
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Not sure where you are but HomeDepo has quick free classes on home repair and simple building projects. I'v never been but it's guy stuff and will kill an hour. I should put that on my list and force myself to do it once. Thanks for your post-you got me thinking.
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:11 AM
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You are becoming a different you... And it's a process...Early recovery can be a real challenge and you'll have days where you just feel blah...but shoot! I had plenty of blah days without alcohol even in the equation...healthy.diet and staying well hydrated are huge- some great advice and ideas here! I really don't think it's unusualto need solitude more so while your brain and body are undergoing a major overhaul so hang in there....
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by fantail View Post
Maybe it just takes pushing ourselves through and trying to be more social?
^this

For most of us, quitting drinking is but the start of the journey. We have to learn to rebuild our lives...sober. If you want to be alone, be alone. But if you want interaction...interact. And don't wait until you "feel" like it. If you had injured your knee, you be doing physical therapy and long before you "felt" like doing it. Social therapy is the same thing.

I like volunteering. Everybody there is there for a reason and gives everyone an excuse to interact. It can lead to friendships, or not. But it beats sitting at home and wishing you were doing something.

Special interest groups provide the same interaction. But it all starts by getting of you behind and doing something.

Good luck.
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:01 AM
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Hi Charlie,

I'm not sure how far along you are in sobriety, but as others have said, it's a big transition and it's perfectly normal for your emotions, energy levels etc to be all over the place for a while.

One thing to perhaps keep in mind is that it may well be that your inner alcoholic, your AV, is still doing what it can to undermine your sobriety and get you drinking again. Along the lines of "if you don't give me booze, I'm not going to let you enjoy your life", "see how dull sober life is? Don't you miss drinking?". That kind of thing.

If you think you may have drifted into depression it's definitely worth seeing someone about that. But if not, it may be that you need to force yourself to start taking active steps to create a new, better sober life for yourself. Maybe list all the hobbies, sports, activities you've ever enjoyed and see which ones you could perhaps do again now that you have more time available. Playing music, singing in a choir, playing squash or pick up hockey, doing amateur dramatics, the options are pretty much endless.

The one thing I do know, is that nothing will change unless you take proactive steps to make them change.

But do also keep in mind that there is nothing wrong in regrouping and laying low for a while till you feel on top of your sobriety. Try not to put any extra unnecessary pressure on yourself. Your kids are probably really enjoying all that extra Hot Wheels and Barbie time with you even if you aren't so much. As they get older those are going to be some great memories for them to look back on, so it sure isn't wasted time.

I'm sure you'll find a way out of your current funk. And I feel very, very confident that your new life will be much better than the drinking one you've left behind.
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:26 AM
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Thanks for sharing.

For me, without alcohol I am actually going back to being the introvert I always was. I always used drugs and/or alcohol as my social lubricant to not be like that. I always thought there was something wrong with me because I was an introvert, but it turns out now that I am at peace with who I am, I don't need to use to be someone I'm not. Not sure if that adds anything to this thread really, but just my input
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Charlie117926 View Post
Hey SR family.

I have been reading but not posting lately. Since I became serious about quitting and actually not drinking, I have been becoming recluse. Granted it's winter and not much to do but it's deeper than that. I have no drive to do anything but work, provide for my family and that's about it.

My "friends" have all but scattered because I don't drink and they do. It's been a long time since I just hung out with some guy friends and did guy stuff. Don't get me wrong, my family and I have grown much closer but guys need to hang with guys from time to time. Kid time with Hot wheels and barbies only go so far for an adult...haha.

Also not much drive to do anything else. I mean anything. Also I have always had a pretty good outlook for the most part but now have a sense of dread. Where did that come from?

For example, I usually call my dad once a week. Haven't called him in over a month nor returned his calls. He's been relaying messages through my wife. Why is that?

I have no interest in anything. I guess my question is, am I just in a funk or is there a "condition" for this phase of early sobriety I am dealing with? I know changes are going to cause realignment but for how long.

And I am fully aware that rainbows don't just expell from orrifices because someone quits drinking but I am open to any advice. If not I appreciate you reading as I wanted to sound off to people who understand. Thanks
Charlie, as I read this, I kept looking up to make sure it wasn't something I wrote and didn't remember. This is exactly where I am right now. I am struggling to return texts, answer phone calls, deactivated my Facebook account, etc...I don't care about what others are doing or ant to be involved with them. I just want to work, provide for the family, and work on myself. I am more excited to read a book, watch a movie or a game alone, meditate, or come on SR than I am to be around people. I force myself still so I don't become a weird hermit or something. I believe this is just an adjustment period that we all go through. We are also seeing who our true friends are. The ones who stick around and understand that you are going through one of the toughest periods of life anyone could experience are the ones you want to keep. I also think we become recluse because we feel others will either judge us or not understand what we are going through. At least, that's my experience. I believe it will pass, but will take some time. Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:48 AM
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Wish I had some words of advice, I feel for what you are going through but in my case I am the opposite, when I am sober I am on the go but in balance making sure a little time is spent on a host of activities. Once sober I start walking my dog whom I think the world of, getting things done inside and outside, cooking, last night for example I drove an hour to take my better half out for supper and a movie, I personally can't do any of the things I am doing today if I am drinking, and yes I am a closet drinker, I do not want to do anything or see anyone, just drink, what a terrible way to live as I love what life has to offer, not all but the majority.

It could very well be you are depressed and may not even realize it, I always say take the issue to your doc as mind has always been able to help me through whatever it was I was having issues with.
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:51 AM
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Charlie, I highly recommend you find a therapist and have this discussion.
A trained professional may be able to see other things and offer a few solutions. Getting things out on the forum is great. And the responses are great. Perhaps go the next step and see someone?
good luck
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