Tips on dealing with "boredom" when you stop drinking?
A poster in another thread mentioned he had started drinking again because of boredom.
That's always been my problem. I can stop drinking, and within a few days start to feel really good physically because of sleeping better, less hangover headaches, etc.
After a couple of months, I start to feel this build up of tension or whatever. I just get incredibly bored with feeling the same way every day, never feeling immensely happy or immensely sad or whatever. I just feel kind of numb.
So, I'll give in an go on a bender just to feel that carefree, joyous feeling you sometimes briefly get when you're drunk, which - since I'm an alcoholic - leads into drinking every night again.
I'm 50, and at a point in my life where I know that if I want to live another 25-30 years, I've got to stop drinking. For those of you who have stopped successfully, how do you get over the hump here?
Walking. Lots of walking and sour balls, OP.
Why would yo wamnt to live another 30 years?
I'm in the same boat OP. In fact, I find I can't get motivated to do basic work around the house without a drink or two. After a few, I'm a powerhouse.
Sometimes, on a rare occasion, I find myself enjoying something like gardening without a drink and I stop and think "I should be drunk right not". I don't know if it's habit or I think I enjoy things more if tipsy.
I'm thinking of buying a bottle of sleeping pills and when I'm not at work, take a few to sleep through the boring moments without drinking.
[quote]I'm thinking of buying a bottle of sleeping pills and when I'm not at work, take a few to sleep through the boring moments without drinking.
This is what I did. Guess what's now replaced my alcohol addiction.
Am also 50 and an alcoholic. Am dealing with severe relapses and long, potentially fatal benders.
There are some lively GLBT AA meetings where I live and I've made some great sober friends with whom I've hung out. When I stop doing that, I go on horrible benders and just wallow in self-pity. When sober, I feel and look great.
For me, the dt's I'm experiencing now are simply not worth doing this ever again.
We can do this. Good luck!
Only boring people are bored.
i AM in the same boat op. I drink red wine and I want to stop! can anyone give me any pointers for getting through the first 30 days?
For those of you who don't enjoy being sober, I suggest pot -- if you don't want to smoke, eat it in cookies or candy. It's not addictive & it's not bad for your health (unless you use so much that you get lung damage from smoke or obesity from cookies).
The last time I bought pot was about 20 years ago and I had a regular supplier.
Like I can just walk up to some stranger I think might sell pot and ask them if I can buy.
Not only that, how does a person find a reliable seller? One that isn't selling crappy stuff.
booze, you just walk into a store and walk out.
I live in California, so there are numerous pot shops, also it's decriminalized here now
[R 12] Obama will arrest u!
Boredom is huge for me too. Every time I've relapsed, it wasn't going to clubs or meeting a guy or whatever. It was me, at night, sick of watching some lame TV show and pretending to care or reading a book and pretending to care or doing whatever and pretending to care.
At some point, I just said, who cares if I'm bored? There are worse in life than being bored. I got used to feeling bored. And, over time, it quit being a negative thing and was just...a thing. I don't find much enjoyment in life, but at least the little I do find is mine. I own that, not a drug or a drink.
Lame I know, but it's worked for me in a way the alternative never did.
Smoke copious amounts of pot, silly!
In the beginning, you need to replace the drinking with another PLEASURABLE activity.
Don't worry about calories, cost, or "quality" of the activity.
If cookies gets you through the night, then eat cookies.
If reading the National Enquirer does it for you, then read the National Enquirer.
Don't judge yourself or do the old "instead of drinking, I'm going to TRAIN FOR A MARATHON!!!"
For me, books, movies, and home design magazines will keep me pleasantly absorbed in activity and I don't miss drinking.
None of these activities is going to set the world on fire, but then that's not the point.
That's good advice, R16.
Any posters who still drink but have successfully cut down? My goal is no alcohol during the work week but drinking what I like on weekends.
Can it be done?
Cutting down didn't work for me...after a couple glasses of wine I would say fuck it, I'm an adult and I can get blotto if I want to...and I always did.
Those days are over...none for me thanks.
Binge drinking has its own problems so make sure you drink only a reasonable amount on the weekends.
Not sure it would work for most people r17, but this helped me stick to a diet and stop drinking. I don't carry cash or credit cards. Luckily I live close to my work, so if there was an emergency, it would be easy enough to go home and get money or credit cards. If I'm going someplace after work, I bring only what I will need - like the cost of a movie ticket.
I usually go to the gym after work and shower as soon as I get home. That helps a lot too - working out curbs my appetite for both food and booze, and I'm not tempted to go anywhere once I am home, showered and in my pajamas.
Of course cutting down can work. If you're not an alcoholic. And even if you, most alkies can go long stretches of time "normal" drinking, or somewhat normal drinking, but eventually, the disease wins out and the drinking will get out of control. Just be honest with yourself. If you're a true alkie, you'll know it. Then stop. If not, cutting back should be totally doable.
Girl, your problem is not boredom, your problem is you're a fucking drunk. Join AA. Anyone who says it doesn't work is just a drunk who can't stop drinking. No judgment, just a fact. I'm a Dr. so I see it frequently. What you call boredom sober people call serenity. Sorry to be so blunt, but there's no other way to get it across to you.
After coming to the conclusion I drank too much, I stopped drinking heavily 25 years ago. I didn't drink at all for the first 20 years. I now enjoy an occasional glass of wine or two at the most.
Here are some alternatives to medicating with alcohol that might work:
1. Take up a sport that requires time to master , one that you can enjoy as a passion.
2. See a good therapist and figure out why you are medicating with alcohol.
3. Build some new relationships with people who are healthy. This requires dumping heavy drinkers from your list of friends.
The cheesy religious pretenses of AA drive some people to drink. AA has no statistic s to support the claims made by some if its members.
I knew the resident 'AA for everyone' would rear it's opinionated ass head.
Start 13 stepping.
40 year hard drinker here.
went through every dam thing imaginable.
the only one thing that filled that bordom or lack of euphoria strong enough that i dont care to drink ( and its been 6 years) was SEX with younger girls ~ i took a trip to india , hooked up with a perfect skinny teen and just started a thrilling trip thats never ended ... im not into childern so dont get the wrong idea of my post .. but a young woman with that magical energy and intoxicating body is so vastly superior to drinking its undescribable.
Well which is it? Teens or women?
Nevermind. I really don't want to know.
Friday afternoon drinkie-poo bump.
I would love to know the bordom cure . I messed my body up sooo bad. Im only at a month clean. Im on disabilty without my car" they took my license away" in mental health grounds. Stupid suicide attempts.
Any advice on how to fill time. Its very hard to get off the couch still i figured i would have felt better by now?
You can help me pack my stuff. Find a physical activity. Retile your bathroom or something.
Boredom after stopping drinking- when you have a problem? Most alcoholics, if not all, that I know, had lives that were beyond boredom. Their careers where going down the drain, as was their health, and many were losing and alienating friends and family. Among those I know who are staying sober and recovering, boredom is not a problem.
Boredom is a state of mind. If you are bored, there is something wrong with you- making yourself drunk (dummber etc) may give you the short term illusion of not being bored- but trust me, you are boring- or rather, you are in a state of being that is not fun anyone around you, if not yourself.
If you think you have a problem with drinking, then you do. So stop or continue and see how much more misery you can stand. Get help, a shrink, a trusted mentor, AA is great. It is not remotely a place of "religious pretenses. You do not have to believe in God at all. You DO have to believe that you cannot control your drinking- and be 'willing' to take advice and support from others who have successfully stopped. A cliche in the rooms of AA: GOD = good orderly direction.
Lots of people have lots to say about AA. The only people who really know anyting about it, are drunks who attend their meetings regularly. Others who think they know either do not need AA (good for them) or have not been to meetings, or cannot or will not stop drinking. Perhaps they need to get more desparate, and perhaps they will eventually destroy their lives, as do almost all alcoholics if they cannot get sober.
I've been totally sober for five years, but now I'm working night shift and the nights are becoming a problem. On my days off I'm up after midnight, bored and lonely and tempted to drink again.
When I worked days, I'd fill my off days with outdoor activities and socializing, but what to do, who to call at 3AM? Maybe I should get addicted to interactive online gaming.
Sober 5 years without AA
R33, if you are up at 3 AM, bored and wondering what to do with yourself- and good for you if you are sober- you are perhaps what is called a dry drunk. You need to find out why you are up and bored at 3 AM, not drink.
R33, ignore the bitter bitches here on this thread. I can totally hear what you are saying. Working night shift and dealing with that schedule is tough enough, let alone combatting those times when there is little alternative to get out and abate boredom.
On line gaming can be toxic, but not nearly as bad as drinking. It could provide you with some cessation of boredom. There's 24 hour gyms in many cities, an alternative if that is your thing. If you are artistic, the night hours could provide you with some good creative energy.
R34, if I'm up at 3AM it's because I went to bed at 8 in the morning and actually slept, and if I'm bored it's because I'm the only person in this little town who's both awake and sober at that hour. Being bored under those circumstances is normal, not evidence of being a "dry drunk".
What to do, what to do? Yoga isn't cutting it, nor are craft projects or movies. Even the Datalounge is stone dead at that hour.
r32 hits it out of the park.
[quote]After a couple of months, I start to feel this build up of tension or whatever. I just get incredibly bored with feeling the same way every day, never feeling immensely happy or immensely sad or whatever. I just feel kind of numb.
OP, I have solid, long-term sobriety but this was the hardest thing for me to get past. I relapsed for nearly 10 years, giving in eventually to the bored restlessness because I couldn't live with it. I came to realize it was an insidious form of craving and that it always came at fairly predictable times in my recovery, about every three months.
Once I identified the pattern, it was not that difficult to break. I planned activities for those times so I would be around recovering or non-drinking friends doing things I enjoyed. It only took two times before the relapse pattern was broken.
To get sober and stay that way, we have to learn to take care of ourselves in new ways.
Best of luck. If I can do it after believing I was hopeless, so can you.
You could try pot as a substitute, it isn't as hard on your body, and no hangovers. I don't drink a lot, but I'd drink even less if I had a pot connection. I wish I could watch tv and movies stoned, so sometimes I try to use booze as a substitute. But I get sick of the hangovers fast, and won't drink again for months, usually about 6 to 8.
I was bored once. It was two days in June 1982.
The most comprehensive studies done on the effectiveness of AA reveal that it has only a 5% success rate. Fact.
5% is also the rate of annual spontaneous remission, or those who quit entirely on their own with no specific treatment whatsoever. In other words, AA has the exact same success rate as... doing nothing. It basically takes those who are committed to quitting anyway, then takes credit for their success when those individuals should be patting themselves on the back, not crediting every improvement to The Program.
The Sinclair Method, another treatment for alcohol addiction (one based on medicine rather than faith) has been shown to have a 78% success rate in getting problem drinkers to reduce their drinking to safe levels, with 25% of those treated quitting altogether. (This is only one alternative to AA, obviously, but it's the easiest to find numbers on so I used it as my example.)
Notice that the militant AA believers such as R22 never back up their assertions with any numbers or other compelling evidence. They just make blowhard statements such as "This is a fact, period." Unlike R22, I don't need to pretend I have all the "facts" because I have evidence to back up what I'm saying. Oh well - what can you expect from people who obtain all their information about alcoholism and its cure from a group that was modeled on an extremist Christian fundamentalist cult called the Oxford Group (another simple FACT that anyone can easily look up).
If someone finds AA useful, then good for them. Hell, if nothing else, it IS a place to go and hang out where no one will be drinking, which can be very helpful in and of itself during early sobriety, or even when trying to reduce drinking substantially. But the AA nazis who pretend they know everything and are entitled to make assumptions/generalizations about substance abusers everywhere are just pulling shit out of their asses. Ignore them, or better yet, ask them to back up their statements with some REAL, unbiased evidence - statements such as "It's just a fact!" or mere anecdotal evidence don't count.
[quote] AA is great. It is not remotely a place of "religious pretenses. You do not have to believe in God at all.
maybe at one time but now it is regularly infiltrated by Christian fundamentalists. Sometimes they are rooted out but all too often they change the nature of AA in given regions.
[quote]maybe at one time but now it is regularly infiltrated by Christian fundamentalists.
Oh, please. Even in my red state I've never encountered a fundie at AA, though admittedly I go to GLBT-specific meetings where they would be decidedly unwelcome.
Great post, r41.
Do we drink cause we're bored, or are we bored cause we drink(being alcohol is a depressant, and so is boredom)?
I just decided one day enough was enough and stopped drinking and smoking at the same time. Three weeks later, I was in the cardiac ward, where they discovered if I hadn't stopped when I did, I'd have been dead in a year, at the age of 50. The alcohol had enlarged my heart and I had an ejection fraction of 10. Since then, not a cigarette or a vodka.
In other words, you change everything. as they say in AA (where I never set foot), "different playgrounds, different playmates". It works.
Find a new hobby, new friends, new interests, start to pay attention to others and their needs. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
The amount of extra free time is shocking. It was just a lot of evening time lol, I can't believe I used to throw it all away. It's like hanging out in a log cabin by a fire lolz it's fun.
Go to AA, and meet some fun guys. Sobriety can be a lot of fun, plus it gets you out of the house and out of your own head. They do an incredibly fun drag pageant every year too!
I hear all you say, but I a still don't know how to stop drinking. I can do it for a night or two but that's it, what do I do after that?
I know some are being funny but really pot works. I was not an alcoholic but never cared for it. Pot rocks. I don't get lethargic I get motivated. Couple of hits in the evening and I am up cleaning or organizing.
Recent bought paint and have done 4 rooms in the house so far.
R14 my experience is pretty similar. I am bored out of my mind and have been for the past 5 years but at least I don't have the panic attacks I used to have. Also I try less to please others or simply rely on others for entertainment. It helps that I do enjoy to read and write (on DL).
I would try a rather involved fantasy game on the internet.
AA is for batteries.
Check out Deepak Chopra's "Freedom from addiction".
Not preachy and not AA centered.
Some of us drink because we're not poets.
I know exactly what you mean.You have to be careful and be aware of this feeling creeping up on you. Keep reminding yourself where drinking leads you to and why you wanted to leave your drinking every night lifestyle behind.
This book helped me. Check it out on Amazon.
I Need to Stop Drinking! by Liz Hemingway
Video Games. Xbox. SkyRim, Borderlands, Fallout3, FarCry3...
I was the relapse, binging king back in my drinking days - it was a huge accomplishment just getting 1 week clean. Then, after several unsuccessful and failed treatment programs, I entered and successfully completed a 1-year program - now I have over 15 months sober. Got the routine out of my system and after struggling forward, The Lord Jesus finally set me free. I know a lot of people at my church and AA who have gotten sober without such drastic measures but what it comes down to is that only God got me through it and only God keeps me sober. He alone is our strength ("I can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives me strength" Philippians 4:13). Staying busy doing the next right thing is key as well. Lastly, be patient in the process my friends, don't get discouraged, and never give up hope. God bless you guys.
So: sober people don't know about punctuation yet?
Also, FYI R60, mentioning your god kills people's boners. So, you know, if you want to see a boner again? Shut up.
If you still believe AA can change your way of thinking, then by all means go to them. If not, then you might live a while longer. But that's if you don't have accidents, get robbed, or worse, get dui's, etc!
Becoming bored is a mental state that is caused by the abuse of alcohol. You use alcohol to stop the boredom, and your mental health is worsened. No way out, except to stop abusing alcohol. And that requires surrendering to a higher power. (One has to surrender in order to achieve victory.)
And as a previous poster points out: Bored people are boring!
abusing alcohol is like pouring gas on a fire
I gave up drinking and got really bored. The only thing that saved me and got me going was my new found love of crystal meth.
Knit a Cuzie for your toaster or invite friends over to reenact A Star is Born.
I've known some alcoholics who could not stop. It killed them.
OP, start exercising, but take it nice and slow at first to better understand your limits.
Beautiful warm Autumn day, some great tunes on the Ipod, get your groove on in the public park, just like this.
I missed the excitement of not knowing how the night will end, who you'll meet and dancing my ass of at concerts or clubs. Evebtually it gets esier to do some of this sober
Your brain chemistry is still messed up. low dopamine levels leave you with no motivation or feelings of pleasure
Start researching alcoholism and nutrition.
A big thing is to cut out sugar and white flour. it will keep the cravings going.
Here are some ideas at link but there is a lot of info out there. Look up neurotransmitters amino acid therapy too.
L Glutamine under the tongue can help stop a craving
I started reading more, watching movies, exercising like mad. I also cooked a ton and began writing again (before getting caught up in the party life I was an aspiring writer).
Cultivate hobbies. Take a class. Volunteer. Fuck what the other poster said - train for a marathon and get a hot body in the process. Then get laid.
If you are so empty that you can't even think of one diversion that might interest you then no amount of advice on this thread is going to help.
The exercising is a very good idea. Do you have room in your house/apartment for a $125 weight and bench set from Walmart?
I've been sober for 9 years and counting and I initially did it through AA. I was a binge drinker but a huge addict. Heroin and crack cocaine. One or the other every day. Had been getting high since I was a kid. My mother put paregoric in my milk as a child so I would sleep and it was on from there.
AA was helpful to me but I was ready to quit no matter what. The consequences were too much and I wasn't ready to die. Caught hepatitis C from a dirty needle so that was a motivator to quit the alcohol and not try to substitute it for the drugs. I agree with the poster who said AA's success rate is no better than spontaneous remission. That's statistically true and anecdotally true from my perspective.
AA was useful for filling time (if you're going to meetings you hopefully won't be drinking at them), meeting sober people (at the time I didn't know any sober people), and affirming positive action. The god stuff was quite a hurdle however. I began the program as an agnostic and still am to this day really. It probably doesn't help that I'm from the deep south where even progressive types are often Bible-thumpers.
I haven't gone to a meeting in years. I have lots of issues that predate my adult using and I found AA to not be supportive of dealing with outside issues. Though the literature talks about the need for that.
Therapy has been very helpful. Good physical exercise every day (need to do more of that lately). I needed to develop some hobbies after I had the free time for them. My first few years of sobriety all my time was taken up just working to keep a roof over my head.
Try to really remember what you loved to do as a child and do the grown-up equivalent of whatever that is. I know for me so many years of using made me kind of forget who I was. I also did tons of service work. Helping others took me out of self and raised my self-esteem. I did volunteer work with various charities and went into hospitals, rehabs and juvenile detention centers to share my story. Oh, and only hang out with positive people. You're better off on your own than keeping negative company.
I was never a big drinker but I did use to drink nearly every night, and even everyday. I basically needed alcohol, albeit in small quantities, to have a good time. Basically I'd have one beer an hour, max 3 beers. Or cocktails. Anyway.
I stopped drinking in 2009. Thought I'd neevr have fun in my life.
Last night I went to a concert with an old friend, went to see a band that I used to love back in my drinking days. I had never seen them live. I did not have one drink the whole night. Jumping up and down to that music, seeing them perform and interact with them (I was pretty close to the stage), brought back all those sensations from that era. I did not need one drop of alcohol. And had a grand time.
Felt a little sore in the morning, but had the buzz all through the night and a little in the early morning. None of that ugliness that comes from drinking.
I'd do that night again in a heartbeat - drinks not needed.
Scrubbing the grout is always a lot more fun after a few Vodka Stingers.
Joan, as always
A friend of mine quit smoking,drinking by sucking more dicks. He practiced safer sex and was able to wean himself off ciggies and alcohol. However he continued smoking grass while increasing his sexual activity. I've heard that pot cuts down on the sex drive but he craved more sex when he quit drinking and smoking. It seemed to be some sort of substution complex at hand.
Not sure if you'll read this because the original post was from so long ago. But what has helped me a LOT is having projects that I do. For example, I like art and craft so I make jewellery and paint. This can be any creative thing though; furniture design, painting, cooking, sewing, blogging etc. I find when I start a new project I get so excited about it that I actually enjoy doing it and I don't get bored. It's great to feel passionate about something. Obviously you'll still want nights out to relax with a movie, but if you're able to get some hobbies then this should help a lot. It's always fun to try something new and keep your mind occupied.
Do you smoke, OP? If not, have you thought about taking up cigarettes as a substitute?
I'm a drink till I pass out alcoholic, therefore I do not drink. it's a very addictive drug.
However, I do like a puff of 420 now and then. I've never had any addiction issue with grass. I'm very irregular about grass, and I dislike being stoned, however, occasionally a little pot buzz just puts things into perspective. It opens one's mind to other angles of thought.
I was however, a cigarette smoker, and quit when I was up to two packs a day. It hurt my lungs when I was running, and I enjoy running more than smoking. So I quit the nicotine.
Okay, the boredom. Never had it. I'm creative, so I really enjoy drawing, painting, or even imagining in my mind. The problem people may be experiencing is filling in that drinking time, with a non drinking activity. Get a hobby, gardening, art, helping others, crossword puzzles...working out is a wonderful buzz.
Changing your routine, habits and ultimately, your way of thinking is the toughest part of getting sober from alcohol. Part of it for me, in filling that drinking time, was exercise and cooking...works well together.
Why would someone who dislikes being stoned smoke pot?