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Learning to enjoy simple things without alcohol

Old 01-16-2016, 05:03 PM
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Learning to enjoy simple things without alcohol

Today was my 17th day sober, the longest I've gone without alcohol in around 2 years and the longest I've gone since I started to accept that I have a drinking problem.

This was also the first day I have gone on any kind of social outing sober, aside from with my immediate family, and enjoyed it. I just went for a long walk on a cold sunny day with an old friend and then had a simple lunch and a cup of coffee. The whole thing lasted around 3 hours but it meant a lot to me.

It meant a lot because I was able to enjoy the experience without the constant need to "improve" it with alcohol. In the past I would have suggested a boozy lunch or just going straight to a bar or, if I felt obliged to go ahead with the walk, I would have been only half present, my mind constantly drifting to how I could steer the day towards my goal of getting my hands on a drink. That nagging feeling of discontent was just not there. I laughed a lot, I enjoyed the exercise, all the nature around me and the great conversation with a good friend.

It occurred to me that I was, after around a decade or more, rediscovering that it is possible to enjoy life without alcohol or drugs. I honestly don't think I have felt that kind of pure, unclouded enjoyment of such a simple activity since I was a child.

I wonder whether anyone else can relate to this sense that all the years of alcohol have almost been deleted and what's left is the same person you always were in a world just as lovely as it used to be. What a relief!
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:16 PM
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I am only 36 days but 36 days I cherish and they have been very good to me so far and the future looks bright.

I enjoy the simple things in life as well, by GF was here for most of the day and we took our dogs for a very nice walk in the snow storm, it was so much fun and the dogs had a blast, then we went for brunch at a truck stop, unfortunately due to the storm she had to head back to the city but I reflected after just how nice it is being sober and doing things Andrew loves to do.

You are doing great by the sounds of it and thanks for your post.

Andrew
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:18 PM
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Nice post! I appreciate a lot of events more since I'm not thinking about when I can get a drink or regretting a hangover.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:25 PM
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Awesome Solow.....definitely can relate to the little things in sobriety that are really HUGE enjoy the rest of the weekend!!
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:44 PM
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I felt a little flicker of that today, when I suddenly found myself with a few hours to kill. :-)
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Old 01-16-2016, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by solow View Post
It occurred to me that I was, after around a decade or more, rediscovering that it is possible to enjoy life without alcohol or drugs. I honestly don't think I have felt that kind of pure, unclouded enjoyment of such a simple activity since I was a child.

I wonder whether anyone else can relate to this sense that all the years of alcohol have almost been deleted and what's left is the same person you always were in a world just as lovely as it used to be. What a relief!
Yes! I'm smiling reading your post. Beautifully put, solow.
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Old 01-16-2016, 09:25 PM
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Looking at the last 30 plus years where I drank as a waste is not my desire.

I was a party animal. It was my culture. Alcohol was my way of life. My family's way.

It was also integrated into my entire military career.

I quit because I wanted to get in shape and I was too much of a drunk to do it.

I nearly collapsed one day after a work out. It was traumatic for me. So I tried to quit. I knew I could easily go back to drinking, but I would have had to cut down getting in shape. I wanted to be in shape more.

When i got to about 30 days clean, I realized I was in deep water. The anxiety was maddening. So, I became educated.

Now I fight the AV I created. It is tough, but I am winning. I am tough. To drink as hard as I did, for as long as I did, I had to be tough.

So...I said all that to say this....I enjoyed my drunken days. I know I was lucky I didn't get in trouble.

I am learning to enjoy being sober. It is like learning to live again.

It is a challenge because I routinely have to convince myself why drinking is a dumb idea, My mind is like a broken record....Fighting the AV.

It has gotten easier. Thank God.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:19 PM
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Everything you describe resonated with me. Great description of what the walk was like vs what it would have been like as a drinker.

I was thinking about this the other day, about the personality traits that come back and have surprised me. As you say they're not new, and the world isn't new either, but both are catching me off guard from time to time. The combination of getting my curiosity back and being able to experience the world without the haze is a pretty incredible thing! Glad you're having the same experience. Congrats on 17 days.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:33 PM
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D122y, I hear what you're saying. I enjoyed a lot of my drunk time too. I've thought about this more than I should but overall I really only regret the year before my first quit and the year and a half after my relapse and before this quit. 2.5 years out of 12-ish. The other part, ups and downs, don't love all of it, but I don't regret it. I built my entire world as a drinker; I've had a good life so far both in spite of and sometimes because of parties. I like the phrase in the AA promises, "We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it."
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:52 PM
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I found the daily things the we all do were greatly improved simply by not having a hangover every day.
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by MelindaFlowers View Post
I found the daily things the we all do were greatly improved simply by not having a hangover every day.
So true!
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:13 AM
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I can very much relate to it except that I'm like an amalgam of who I used to be,but with the memory and experience of those years - which is good - I want to have the mind and attitudes of someone pushing 50 not 20

D.
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:23 AM
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Congrats on day 17 truly amazing
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:28 AM
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Day 17 is fantastic Solow!!
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:11 AM
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Congratulations on 18 days! It's nice to not feel "enslaved" with alcohol when it comes to the simple pleasures." Alcohol can take the enjoyment right out of them with being the top priority.
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