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Old 12-22-2017, 04:50 PM
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I'm scared to death about commitments. People here suggest getting a dog or volunteering, but that means scheduling my time around a dog or a place to volunteer. I know how self-centered this sounds but that's where I am at. I spend most days caring for others but maybe I'm giving to myself more than I know doing that. To spend the rest of my time giving to others, including a pet just seems too much. But spending my time giving to myself just doesn't work. I can spend time going to a movie or working out, but that just doesn't seem to work. I need structure but that structure involves giving to others. Rock and a hard place. Maybe giving to myself means giving to others.
Anywho, I'm drinking way too much and need to make some changes. Any advice would be much appreciated. John
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Old 12-22-2017, 04:55 PM
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Sorry, I meant commitments. My spelling is terrible. John
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:04 PM
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What about volunteering at a pet shelter?
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:07 PM
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Not expecting a lot of comments. A few will do. john
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:15 PM
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The only reason I could find to get sober was me. It's my life, I decided I didn't want it to end, so I committed to living. Selfish, perhaps, but it works
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:20 PM
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Maybe ease into volunteering by seeking out opportunities to help out at a specific event - serving lunch for the homeless one day, helping out at a pet adoption fair, or whatever interests you. Committing for one day doesn't lock you into anything, but it gives you a chance to get your feet wet and also get a feel for different agencies. Many places are good with a small commitment - even just a few hours every two weeks. That's not too burdensome for a volunteer but the agency benefits from even just a small amount of time.
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:20 PM
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I hear you. In the past several years drinking has caused me to ignore all the things that used to make me happy. Could that be what youíre getting at? Commitment certainly feels like a massive undertaking for me too. Because of the booze. Iíve decided quitting is probably the only thing thatíll change that. Day 5 now, and weíll see what happens! Maybe you could try it too! This site is sure helping me. I wish the best for you.
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Old 12-22-2017, 08:27 PM
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Hi John - I wasn't great on commitment either but volunteering worked for me.
It's just like getting up for a job really - not really too much thought or philosophising required

I hope you think about it

D
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:15 AM
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Will be dumping out the rest of the alcohol I have left but also drank some. Tomorrow will be day 1. Gotta do this. If I don't I know whats coming if I don't quit and it ain't pretty. John
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:27 AM
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When I was drinking the drink came before everything else. There was no "room" for anything altruistic, like caring for a pet or volunteering. Perhaps that is why you fear commitments? Just a thought
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 2muchpain View Post
... Maybe giving to myself means giving to others.
John, I know it seems crazily counter-intuitive, but trust me, it's not a new idea. Ever heard of the beatitudes ? Or read the prayer of saint Francis?
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,


I'll be volunteering on Christmas day with a merry (or not so merry perhaps) little band of AAers. We'll be serving dinners and cleaning up afterwards so that around 100 people won't spend the day alone or hungry. It might be hard work. Some of it will be a bit of a drag. In some ways it's a little inconvenient. But I won't be drinking, or lonely, and I'll leave for home with the gift of gratitude, which has a far better taste than the self-pity I could have sat at home with.

Why not just try it? Its not like it's a lifelong commitment or anything. Even if it's just a couple of hours a week, it's not going to steal as much time from you as the booze did. If it doesn't work out you can easily stop doing it.

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Old 12-23-2017, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 2muchpain View Post
Will be dumping out the rest of the alcohol I have left but also drank some. Tomorrow will be day 1. Gotta do this. If I don't I know whats coming if I don't quit and it ain't pretty. John
I hope you can get rid of the alcohol John. You can't fix any of your problems, including the committment issue until you stop drinking. It messes with your judgment and in a sense the act of drinking is backing away from/hiding from committments. As Dee said, there is no philosophy required, you just have to put down the bottle to get started. Make that one commitment today and keep it. You know you can do much better things sober because you've already done them.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:18 AM
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Well to be honest, it will be a pretty boring xmas without drinking. I have two weeks off with nothing to do except go to the gym. I did look into volunteering during Thanksgiving. It's a lot harder than you think to find anything. Maybe it's because of where I live. I live in a pretty small community so that might be the problem. Even volunteering a an animal shelter would be a little tough since the closest one would take around a hour to get there. John
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:20 AM
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Read Dee's info about handling the holidays... good info there.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by 2muchpain View Post
Well to be honest, it will be a pretty boring xmas without drinking. I have two weeks off with nothing to do except go to the gym. I did look into volunteering during Thanksgiving. It's a lot harder than you think to find anything. Maybe it's because of where I live. I live in a pretty small community so that might be the problem. Even volunteering a an animal shelter would be a little tough since the closest one would take around a hour to get there. John
Might involve thinking out of the box a little. But if there's a gym and a cinema nearby you can betcha life that there's be some folks needing a hand with one thing or another. My first sober Xmas period I just volunteered to marshal at a running event (I don't run myself, so it freed up a local runner to actually participate ). Not much perhaps but it punctuated my boredom and isolation at least and helped me to remember that while I was drinking, elsewhere others were getting on with 'life'in one way or another. It isn't always a charity or seemingly helpless people you can make a difference to. It might just be getting involved in community events, or helping a neighbour out somehow.

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Old 12-23-2017, 06:46 AM
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Getting involved in something doesn't mean you have to volunteer for a soup kitchen or homeless/dog shelter - or being of service to others.

I also think that people tend to go for the cliche things such as: exercise, eat healthy, walk, etc. - things that maybe they really never enjoyed doing in the first place and think they "have to" because it seems like it's an obligatory list. And then these things don't fulfill them and drinking seems like a good plan.

So how about trying something you might enjoy but also makes you accountable?

For me, that something was joining the local community theatre. I got involved and had to be available for rehearsals and know my part because then result was the production of the play. Rehearsals were 3 times a week. I met people. I had to be responsible and I made friends outside of the drinking world. It was a huge thing for me, but so much fun. I continue to this day and I also added other community organizations to join.

So, take a look at your community bulletin board and see what organizations are around. You can volunteer for things that are fun too :-)

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Old 12-23-2017, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 2muchpain View Post
Well to be honest, it will be a pretty boring xmas without drinking.
I think you know that's complete BS John. Go back and read some of your old binge posts over the holidays if you need to remember how much "Fun" you had.

When you aren't drinking you are a very thoughtful and insightful person, and you have helped many here on SR during your sober time. In a sense you already were doing service work via SR, so the step to helping others locally really isn't that big...but it can't happen until you stop drinking.

As long as you keep making excuses as to why you can't stop, you won't. You know that because you've been there before and you've seen ( and helped ) others do exactly the same thing. So why not just cut through the AV/BS and make today the day you get back on track?
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 2muchpain View Post
Well to be honest, it will be a pretty boring xmas without drinking. I have two weeks off with nothing to do except go to the gym. I did look into volunteering during Thanksgiving. It's a lot harder than you think to find anything. Maybe it's because of where I live. I live in a pretty small community so that might be the problem. Even volunteering a an animal shelter would be a little tough since the closest one would take around a hour to get there. John
Hi John

I hope you don't have too rough a time of it. But you know that at some point you have to bite the bullet and delaying that only increases the likely hood that things will get pretty tough.

I think spending a lot of time thinking about getting into service at this point is kinda of putting the cart before the horse. One. step. at. a. time. Get sober. After that you can ponder the opportunities for service.

There is a site called volunteer match. I've used it and its very helpful. I live in a small town too so finding stuff can be challenging. I also live in a very religious area so darn it if I don't have to compete for some of the volunteer work! That's kinda cool actually. But there are always service opps in AA. But I wouldn't think about that too much right now. Maybe a meeting tho. Don't know if you go in for that.

BTW you are being of service here, right now, but sharing your story. You may not know how much it helps me, but I'm tellin ya, it does.
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Old 12-23-2017, 08:56 AM
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Check out the library, the bulletin board in my library has flyers for volunteer opportunities. Last time I checked there were volunteer opportunities at the senior center and volunteer opportunities teaching English as a second language. In my opinion I think you should just try volunteering for something. If you don't like it or it takes too much time, you can always quit and try something else.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 2muchpain View Post
I'm scared to death about commitments. People here suggest getting a dog or volunteering, but that means scheduling my time around a dog or a place to volunteer. I know how self-centered this sounds but that's where I am at. I spend most days caring for others but maybe I'm giving to myself more than I know doing that. To spend the rest of my time giving to others, including a pet just seems too much. But spending my time giving to myself just doesn't work. I can spend time going to a movie or working out, but that just doesn't seem to work. I need structure but that structure involves giving to others. Rock and a hard place. Maybe giving to myself means giving to others.
Anywho, I'm drinking way too much and need to make some changes. Any advice would be much appreciated. John

Well, ...Id say that first of all...you need to stop drinking. Are you to the point that not drinking brings on severe withdrawal symptoms?

If so..you may want to consider stopping....and then going to the hospital and let them help you with the symptoms of withdrawal. They can ease the symptoms with Ativan....maybe keep you 3 to 4 days... and then once released... consider an in-patient treatment center. And this is just my opinion....but I couldnt get sober until I started thinking about other people and what my drinking is doing to them. And thinking about other people out in public. Doing things like simply holding the door open for someone. Simply saying "Merry Christmas to a stranger. It seems to me that you are looking at helping others as a time consuming chore instead of how it could help your confidence and self-esteem. Getting out of ourselves is really the only way to find sobriety....
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