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Old 05-26-2019, 06:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi all,

I hope everyone is staying strong and having fun today

This is a question for the early starters among us. I started drinking at 14 and found that my introversion miraculously disappeared. A bottle of Smirnoff in my hand's was like Aladdin's bloody lamp.

Now 30, attempting to establish a sober life - geez, I don't even know who I am any more. I haven't for years, actually.

I'm trying to put a positive spin on it, though, ''I can be whoever I want to be now!" And sometimes I believe that. My debts, anxiety and unemployed status have other ideas.

I will, of course, keep on trucking. I'd just like some practical tips on how to establish oneself as a sober person; I've always been the ****head, but I believe there is so much more out there. I know there is.

I'll start - Do not drink alcohol.


Peace and love to one and all!
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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As someone who is in early sobriety as well and started young I can relate to not knowing who the hell I am. I think it takes sober time and some introspection to figure that out now that alcohol and drugs aren't clouding everything. I also have debts and anxiety looming but know drinking does nothing to help these things so I am just trying to make some small positive changes each day. I am sure with some sober time under our belts we will figure stuff out over time. Have a great day!
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think i started drinking about 11 or 12 when the old man used to let me have a few beers, at the time I remeber thinking " ah this is cool ". Who would of known where it would all end up, and is still causing me problems to this very day. Im only on day 2 now but even in this early stage ive changed the way I walk to the shops so I dont walk pass my local bar, might only be a small change, but I feel positive that atleast Im taking my recovery seriously this time.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I do not have any advice but I understand what you are saying. I used to enjoy socialising. Now it is a boring task. I realise the problem is with me, the other people are still the same. I have no idea where I will fit in. It does not really matter as long as I donít drink again.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I understand what you are saying. I used alcohol as a social lubricant too. Iíve always being extremely insecure, shy, uncomfortable around people, etc. Have a few drinks and *poof* the super outgoing, funny, people loving me came out.

When I quit drinking, I reverted back to my old, shy self. I spent a lot of time alone, or with close friends/family, at the beginning.

Iím a few weeks shy of a year sober now. My personality and comfort levels, both internally and externally, are completely different from where they were just shy of a year ago.

Guess what? I am actually a people person and enjoy getting silly, laughing, hanging out, meeting new people while sober!

Iíve also learned other new things about myself: I have figured out that I do actually have boundaries and I reinforce them now. I no longer feel that I have to people please. I have ideas, beliefs, and feelings that I now guard and protect.

I never, ever thought any of these statements would apply to me. Alcohol robbed me of getting to know my true self and to know who and what I am.

Stay the course. You will be amazed at who you meet (meaning you!) on your sober journey.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I started at 11 and drank straight on for over 30 years. I had the exact same experience. I'd never met myself sober. I had no idea who I was without alcohol. For a while I used it as an excuse - I'd never been without alcohol, so how could I be expected to try?

A lot of us go through the "Oh wow I'm so freaking boring now" phase. Mine lasted for a good eight months. I think I actually AM a pretty boring person though. I was a party kid and segued into being a drink at home alone every single night. Since I was no longer on drugs or out partying, I was doing great, right? Not so much...

So when I finally did it and broke the cycle and put the bottle down, I had no flipping clue what to expect. Add the whole "Welcome to Your Emotions and They'll be Completely Out of Control for a While" bit, and I felt like I was living life on the funny farm and nobody knew.

I white knuckled it for a LONG time. Do what you can to get through the transitional phase. Lots of people go the exercise route and I so did too. I walked and walked and walked and hit the gym every day. I also fully went the ice cream route. At night when my cravings hit and my AV was yelling at me, I had a spoon in my mouth. So much and so long that I put on 20 pounds AFTER I lost 40 from getting sober and got a lovely phone call from my doctor saying my cholesterol was awful. Thanks, doc...

I was VERY wary of pitfalls and triggers and that added to my lost and boring feeling. If I'd done something solely while drinking, I put it to the side until I was feeling more stable. And since I'd been drinking my whole life, that was a lot of crap. Once I had some actual sober time, I started adding things back into my life. And nothing actually made me consider drinking.

That's because after a while, I met myself on the other side. I started getting to know me. I'm smart, anxious, a perfectionist, seriously road ragey for a middle aged accountant, sarcastic, meek, and I don't understand human nature at all. And I'm okay. I have people in my life that know me and seem to like me for whatever reason and that's awesome.

I wish I had gotten sober and met myself at 30, like you. You'll have years of wonderful that I missed out on. But give yourself a break and be kind to all the people in your life and very importantly, to yourself. Come on here and read and post and ramble if need be. Chances are someone has felt or is feeling EXACTLY like you felt or feel at any given moment.

Congratulations on your sober time!
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I went into detox for a week in 2017, and I've just hit 2 years sober and even now I'm not adjusted to life without it yet-you just have to "wing it" and accept that your job and personal situation can an WILL only get better.......i was known as the clever drunk where I live-the word alcoholic tends to drown out the clever bit.......get a hobby and that's not a joke.

I've spent 2 years learning the ins and outs of apple stuff because MS just bores me now-and after that-i bought a 3d printer kit in a box off amazon-you have NO idea how many hours i've spent on this-I know it sounds far-fetched but try to break the routine or mould........and it's rewarding as well because you're doing something you didn't think possible-dopamine release makes you happier anyway but it's still a "look what i've done" thing-gives you a bit of pride.

Hope it helps someone, if not you.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am almost 2-1/2 years sober in my early fifties now. I had several relapses when I first started trying to get sober several years ago. I can relate to the feeling of not knowing who you are and being lost without the crux of alcohol. It took me a lot of deep soul searching and weekly therapy for a year to start finding myself, establishing my core values and purpose. I am occasionally still uneasy in social situations, but now I believe it has more to do with being an introvert than missing alcohol. I prefer to spend time alone or with a few close friends than being at parties or in large group settings. That is just who I am. I have a lot more self acceptance and confidence in sobriety now than I ever have, even when I am required to meet new people or engage at work functions.

Early sobriety is tough. Keep going and it will keep getting better
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think for me it was just time and putting myself out there in normal situations.

It took at least 3 months for my worldview and my view of myself to change - I didn't realise how deep addiction had its hooks in.


I didn't think I had any base personality either but the longer I was sober the more I remembered the old me, the real me.

I hope you'll find that too Resurgence.

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Old 05-26-2019, 06:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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By not drinking, getting out of my own way and staying out of my head, things just fell into place. It takes time. Its hard to wait. But it is worth a it.
More will be revealed.
Doing great!!
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thank you for all of your practical and helpful advice.

I've booked an exercise class this evening to start sweating out my old life!

I've also purchased a recovery audiobook and reacquainted myself with meditation. I threw in an adult mindfulness colouring book as well for added Zen points

Having joined this site in 2014 under a different guise (which I can't remember), the realisation is slowly but surely sinking in: "It" (our recovery plan) only works if we work it!

Peace & Love x
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:56 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I was the same and started drinking as an early teen to overcome social anxiety and shyness. This lasted for 20 years or so.

I had a sobriety stint of a few years and learned that it's ok not to be the life and soul of the party. I think as we get older too we get more comfortable in our own skin and don't need to pretend to be something we're not.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Resurgence,

I have 21 years of continuous sobriety and still find myself in new situations not knowing who I am or how I'm supposed to react. My sponsor used to say getting sober was like peeling the layers of an onion.

I too was shy, introverted. I had my first drink at 14 years old. I ran down the street screaming, laughing, crying, people chasing me. They didn't catch me, but my daddy did. Shouldn't have done that!

A good example is while drinking, I was a terrible test taker. Since being sober, I've aced every test I've taken. I have no idea how that happens, it just does.

My husband and I moved into a new home four years ago. When I met a new neighbor and would be in the middle of a conversation, exchanging pleasantries, I would be thinking, if you only knew about me, you wouldn't be talking to me. That old talk can still creep in. I try and remember what my sponsor used to tell me in early sobriety when I would say, "but". She would tell me that I wasn't that person anymore. I still use that today. And, also, today, sometimes I still feel like I'm faking it until I can make it. I've been told I'm only responsible for my reactions, so I keep a close eye on that.

But more days than not, I have become the person I've always wanted to be; a good wife, mother, grandmother, a worker among workers, and a good neighbor. I trust myself and others also seem to trust me. I've worked really hard to earn the trust of my family and friends.

I've also learned in sobriety that my self esteem is directly related to the little things I do each day. I have been able to build upon the small consistencies I've incorporated into my everyday living. I love the structure of my life now; no more drama, no more chaos, no more lying, no more excuses. Doing the next right thing seems to have become a normal part of living.

Good luck on your journey. Thank you for your post.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Really helpful thread. Thanks for asking the question and all the responses....cannot wait to get there
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey, Resurgence, great topic!

Quote:
I'd just like some practical tips on how to establish oneself as a sober person
I'm early too but have experienced a couple periods of sobriety in my life so have been reflecting on what I did at those times to keep myself from picking up.

A big part of it is just finding things to do to fill all the extra time. It's been a bit over a week since I drank, and it feels like a year. Both times I quit for extended periods (5 and 1.5 years respectively) I took up new hobbies. This time I think I'm going to learn how to play accordion. My poor neighbors!

Good luck to you.
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Old 05-27-2019, 06:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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In the same boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Resurgence View Post
Hi all,

I hope everyone is staying strong and having fun today

This is a question for the early starters among us. I started drinking at 14 and found that my introversion miraculously disappeared. A bottle of Smirnoff in my hand's was like Aladdin's bloody lamp.

Now 30, attempting to establish a sober life - geez, I don't even know who I am any more. I haven't for years, actually.

I'm trying to put a positive spin on it, though, ''I can be whoever I want to be now!" And sometimes I believe that. My debts, anxiety and unemployed status have other ideas.

I will, of course, keep on trucking. I'd just like some practical tips on how to establish oneself as a sober person; I've always been the ****head, but I believe there is so much more out there. I know there is.

I'll start - Do not drink alcohol.


Peace and love to one and all!
How are you getting thru this? I'm not sober yet. I'm working up to it. I am hopefully going to get some professional help tomorrow.
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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@dj look - Thank you for your comprehensive response!

I've also learned in sobriety that my self-esteem is directly related to the little things I do each day. I have been able to build upon the small consistencies I've incorporated into my everyday living.

I 100% agree with you on this having read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg a few years ago (which I recommend to anyone interested in revamping their lives from the ground up by applying small, but incredibly powerful changes to one's mindset and actions).

On another note, I noticed you're based in Nashville and I was wondering if you enjoy the music scene there? Also, if so, how do you cope when watching live music?

@ChloeBitsy - If you're struggling (which I still am, every day), please read my previous threads. I've made strides in the past couple of weeks, but it's still early days. You will get to where I am, though. And when you're there (or here), I'll be a couple of weeks ahead of you, and I'll let you know how a month of sobriety looks and feels!

@INTG - What were the hobbies you took up during your previous sober periods? - I highly doubt they'll be as awesome sounding as learning to play the accordion!

@Lucy89 - In the past 13 days of sobriety (from alcohol), I've:

started exercising (lightly)
grabbed a bunch of books from the library
downloaded a recovery eBook (Russell Brand - both poignant and hilarious IMHO)
bought a mindfulness colouring book
researched SMART recovery
read copious posts here
stayed the hell away from the pub

As I incorporate more strategies, I'll include them in my accountability thread!


Peace & Love x

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Old 05-28-2019, 05:43 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I started drinking at 14.

I had self-esteem issues, anxieties, unresolved trauma issues, immaturity, fears.....

Alcohol was instant super-hero potion for all of that. For decades I relied upon it and became more and more one with it as an identity without even realizing it.

At 41 - after many years of consequences and declining 'results' I embraced sobriety.

I struggled for a couple of year as I worked my way through long-neglected grief, anxiety, depression, emptiness, lack of understanding of self, healing.....

But I kept at it, I used therapy and AA and this place and I re-connected with my inner Self and I embraced a new me...

Now, nearly six years on, I have a pretty incredible life.... I still struggle sometimes with sadness and anxiety and depression but I meet it with mature tools and understanding and I no longer rely on alcohol and drugs.

I have a wonderful relationship and family and have connected with my community and become respected as a leader and have a strong career and much to be thankful for.

None of the Goodness today would be possible were it not for the decision to embrace sobriety and do the work of growing up and coming to Be.....

So, stick with it. It won't always be easy but it will be incredible.

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Old 05-28-2019, 09:32 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Resurgence.

I didn't listen to certain kinds of music for a long time after I got sober. I tried, but it took me back emotionally, and I found that I had begun to romance a drink, so I stopped.

I attended a concert last June and had the time of my life because I was sober. I actually enjoyed the band and all the excitement. I danced, yelled, whistled, and screamed. Of course, everyone around us was drinking lots and lots of beer and whatever else it was in those pretty little cups that lit up. Those people wouldn't want me drinking with them because I'd be stumbling, passed out, throwing up, and making a total a** of myself, which I always did when I was a practicing alcoholic. Sobriety has afforded me the opportunity to do normal, fun things. I don't kid myself anymore that, "I'll just have one." I've experimented with that many times over and it didn't work for me. I love being sober.

The music scene is great down here. The industry is booming. We're very fortunate to be close by.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I struggle with this issue after heavily drinking for 10 years between the age of 35-45. Fact is any length of time drinking like this robs you of your identity in every way.

I can only imagine how you feel when beginning from the very start. Thanks for bringing up this topic. I'll be taking an interest in it.
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