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?
|by Anonymous||reply 84||03/30/2016|
Walking. Lots of walking and sour balls, OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||07/22/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||07/22/2012|
Only boring people are bored.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||07/22/2012|
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?
|by Anonymous||reply 9||07/22/2012|
[R 12] Obama will arrest u!
|by Anonymous||reply 13||07/23/2012|
Smoke copious amounts of pot, silly!
|by Anonymous||reply 15||07/23/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||07/23/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||07/23/2012|
Binge drinking has its own problems so make sure you drink only a reasonable amount on the weekends.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||07/23/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||07/23/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||07/23/2012|
I knew the resident 'AA for everyone' would rear it's opinionated ass head.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||07/23/2012|
Well which is it? Teens or women?
Nevermind. I really don't want to know.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||07/23/2012|
Friday afternoon drinkie-poo bump.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||07/27/2012|
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?
|by Anonymous||reply 30||10/10/2012|
You can help me pack my stuff. Find a physical activity. Retile your bathroom or something.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||10/10/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||10/10/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||10/10/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||10/10/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||10/10/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||10/10/2012|
[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.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||10/10/2012|
I was bored once. It was two days in June 1982.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||10/10/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||10/11/2012|
[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.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||10/11/2012|
[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.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||10/11/2012|
Do we drink cause we're bored, or are we bored cause we drink(being alcohol is a depressant, and so is boredom)?
|by Anonymous||reply 46||12/03/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||12/03/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||04/03/2013|
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!
|by Anonymous||reply 49||04/03/2013|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||05/27/2013|
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).
|by Anonymous||reply 53||05/28/2013|
I would try a rather involved fantasy game on the internet.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||05/28/2013|
Check out Deepak Chopra's "Freedom from addiction". Not preachy and not AA centered.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||05/28/2013|
Some of us drink because we're not poets.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||05/28/2013|
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
|by Anonymous||reply 58||05/31/2013|
Video Games. Xbox. SkyRim, Borderlands, Fallout3, FarCry3...
|by Anonymous||reply 59||05/31/2013|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||06/04/2013|
So: sober people don't know about punctuation yet?
|by Anonymous||reply 61||06/04/2013|
Also, FYI R60, mentioning your god kills people's boners. So, you know, if you want to see a boner again? Shut up.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||06/04/2013|
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!
|by Anonymous||reply 63||06/04/2013|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||10/22/2013|
Knit a Cuzie for your toaster or invite friends over to reenact A Star is Born.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||10/22/2013|
I've known some alcoholics who could not stop. It killed them.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||10/22/2013|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||10/22/2013|
Or Prancercize with some of my good looking friends! (I went out with the tall guy for 3 years until he ran off with a tuba player. I'm not making this up.)
|by Anonymous||reply 68||10/22/2013|
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
|by Anonymous||reply 69||10/22/2013|
Cookies! Sweets are a better substitute.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||10/22/2013|
Five Things Nobody Tells You About Quitting Drinking
|by Anonymous||reply 71||10/22/2013|
Datalounge, silly. It has saved my life.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||10/22/2013|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 73||10/22/2013|
The exercising is a very good idea. Do you have room in your house/apartment for a $125 weight and bench set from Walmart?
|by Anonymous||reply 74||10/22/2013|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||10/22/2013|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 76||10/22/2013|
Scrubbing the grout is always a lot more fun after a few Vodka Stingers.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||10/22/2013|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 79||10/21/2014|
Do you smoke, OP? If not, have you thought about taking up cigarettes as a substitute?
|by Anonymous||reply 80||10/21/2014|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||10/21/2014|
Why would someone who dislikes being stoned smoke pot?
|by Anonymous||reply 82||10/21/2014|
I had the very same problem when I first gave up drinking. In fact, I would say, it was about a full year of being bored all the time. But after a year it got better.
You eventually re-learn to enjoy life without alcohol. It just happens. But like I said, it takes up to a year for this to happen!
Be patient. That is really the only advice I can give. It will get better. If it can for me it can for you too. But I also take an anti depressant everyday which I am sure helps a lot.
|by Anonymous||reply 83||01/04/2015|
I'm currently on my second day of being sober. Yes I know that is lame but I have to start somewhere. I'm 23, had a horrible event take place in my life in December and since then have been going rapidly down hill. My decision to quit was something I did after I finally accepted that drink is highly detrimental to my mental state. I have multiple trips to A&E, and been sectioned by the police twice in about 3 weeks because I become aggressive and ridiculous with a drink in me. I am not going to lie, the immediate effects of alcohol, I enjoy immensely, it's the after effects that seem to have left me in this hole. Currently feeling very depressed and I struggle with boredom too because I'm a very restless person. It is not possible for me to cut down, if I have one drink I cannot stop and will drink to the point of unconsciousness for multiple days in row until I am trembling and hallucinating. I also absolutely loathe hangovers (doesn't everyone) and I think the bitter regret that comes with those is another reason to want to give up drinking and see how it goes.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||03/30/2016|