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Old 01-17-2018, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello from McMinnville Oregon!


Hello, i'm Noah and i'm an ex-homebrewer and Beer collector... i've been drinking roughly since i was about 12? 13? somewhere around there...
Was a homebrewer and VERY deep into the scene for about 6 or 7 years... had a full 240v electric system that could do 15 gallons of beer. Had a kegerator that was always full with 4-5 different types of beer. had multiple hundreds of bottles of beer I collected...
Would constantly head to tasting parties, sharing the fun of beer, chat about beer, read about beer, wear beer shirts... it was my life.
Life, however, got the best of me when the wife and I started going through some issues. Not bad ones mind you... but I was struggling because we moved over an hour away from Portland where i grew up and where my friends were. My good friend beer was there! so I drank, and drank and drank more and more and more...
this led to the ball that was already going downhill to speed up and click the turbo button.
I'd start to be constantly hungover at work... blacking out a bit here and there.
One morning after i had hung out at a friends house to help some friends brew beers, i decided to just sell it all.
Sold all the beer in my fridge to a few good friends that throw some big tastings. Sold all my homebrewing equipment for dirt cheap just to get rid of it.
So far, my largest hardship has been the homebrewing and giving that up... The beer, the alcohol, the wine, everything drinking related has been so easy to say no to, i mean, don't get me wrong, i'd love a beer... But the hardest thing i've given up was the homebrewing, the friends, the processes, the procedures, the clubs... all that hobby leaving me has hit me hard.
Pretty much all of my friends slowly left, my friends who i developed because of beer (my homebrewing friends, the beer share groups, etc) all left. Now i'm feeling stuck in tiny town McMinnville.
I've tried AA to just have people sober to hang out with... which is just an uncomfortable experience for me personally... The people i've never really had an issue with ever, but the religious aspect is off putting to me.
There is a SMART recovery that i'm going to try next Wednesday and see how that goes!

Does anyone know how to find more local type groups that get together for coffee? pot lucks? i've never not drank and went to bars and living in a small town has made this VERY hard to meet anyone and basically make friends. Also, i'm a bit less confident without my friend booze there!
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome Rivenin

I hope the find the SMART meeting will be more to your liking.

As far as making friends goes, I reconnected with old friends my drinking had pushed away, and I made a lot of new ones simply in the course of building a new sober life.

sounds like you need a new hobby - Hobbies are a great way to meet people..,anything else you're interested in, or always wanted to do?

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Old 01-17-2018, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It sounds like you enjoyed the whole process of your hobby from start to finish and the people that you met along the way, too. I would hope that you could find another hobby that would interest you. Oregon is a beautiful state - maybe you'd be interested in some outdoor activities?
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was never a homebrewer but I do live near and used to partake of the fruits of the Asheville beer bubble. Which is awesome if you don't have a drinking problem! But I do, so now I do woodworking and exercise more often. I definitely second the notion of getting outdoors. However, the sober social aspect is something I haven't quite figured out yet either.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can so relate. My bestie Tommy and I homebrewed, it was so much fun. We made a ton of specials for his wedding, including a really interesting ...well, I won't go into details. It was such a great male bonding exercise as well, and because his wife loves beer and as long as we brewed some IPAs she was very happy.

They just had a baby so he doesn't have that much time to brew anymore, which is good. We just need to find a new shared activity. I could probably still brew, I just can't taste...which would be kind of a drag. So for the little brewing he still does he usually does with someone else.

Wine was an even bigger deal for me...I was a trained somm. And you live in the Willamette Valley, that would be tough for me. I was planning a tasting trip up there which obviously ain't happenin' now.

I get the religious aspect of AA is offputting, it is to me as well. Some groups are less "goddy" than others but I live in a big place, so there's variety. When I went back to small-town East coast and tried the meetings there, it was way to Christian-based for me. But is can be a great source of community. There's also Refuge Recovery, which is based around Buddhist meditation.

I went to a SMART meeting and really liked it, just didn't like the people in the group. I'm sure it would have been better in other parts of town. Living in a small town you may have to create your own social groups. Do you have Meetup where you are? It's a site/app where you can form and join groups with like minded people. Looks like you're only about an hour from Portland, but I bet there are groups there that have something that interests you. Not a nightly thing, but you could certainly go for a Saturday or overnight once or twice a month.

Hope you got to see the eclipse.
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Great town. My grandma lived there and I spent summers there, and went to grad school in Salem.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd give AA another try, different groups have different focuses. I believe you'll find some that you like. I was always terrified to go to meetings early on.

Most people don't realize at first that your Higher power can literally be anything & that's ok.

The way to get over the discomfort is to go often, preferably every day, why not I drank & drugged every day. My experience is that if you do that you'll find the meetings you like & become much more comfortable.

I used to cringe whenever religious aspects were spoken of, but with time I realized that was mostly me & my perceptions & not others. I'm still agnostic & been sober many years. Many others are in AA too.

In fact my experience is, those that I saw in AA go off the deep end with religion & put there focus there, & faded from AA usually ended up getting drunk again.
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