Friday Night Pep-Talk: The Sober Lifestyle

I hear many people in early sobriety talk about that sober life feels sort of grey, boring and absolutely blah at times. Alcohol seemed to have had a powerful effect in creating things outwardly exciting for us. Once you quit drinking it may take some time for the enjoyable activities to have the same exciting effect. I often felt that alcohol gave me the stimulating reward feeling for the hard life as an adult. I often had (and sometimes still do) some romantic thoughts about my glamorous drinking days, and how life felt so spontaneous and exciting when I was drinking, of course totally forgetting about how impulsive and dangerous it was too.

Unfortunately my need for a return to thrill-seeking and escape had often lead me right back to drinking. When I finally decided that this was it and I was quitting, I had to come to terms with the end of that lifestyle which can be one of the hardest parts to change in sobriety. I remember clinging to it for many years.

I just could not imagine having any fun sober!

I attempted to hang out at bars and go to parties and not drink. I surely do not recommend this; it was just what I needed to finally notice that I could no longer do that if I wanted to get and stay sober.

woman having fun on the field
Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

BUT recovery is not meant to be the end of all fun, or adventure, or thrill-seeking, however it does require more effort to integrate not drinking into those activities. And it also meant doing new things and getting out of my comfort zone; opening the door to willingness to try something different!

In the beginning I just had to stop and not be involved. That meant parties, bars, concerts, wine festivals, and beer tastings and such were out! Then I had to start integrating activities where drinking was not the main attraction.

In the beginning I started going to museums and art galleries, and visited places that I have never been to. I also watched a lot of educational TV like the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel; it opened up a whole new world of knowledge to me.

I also found  that being part of a 12 step program  allowed me to socialize with other sober people. Most groups organize numerous events like movie nights, picnics and dances. And when you meet people at the events you will be able to get even more ideas! If you are interested in becoming a part of a 12 step program please visit their web page and look for events in your area.

woman having fun in the field
Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

Other options may be taking a fitness class, or a painting class. There are also activities you might try like the Photo a The Day challenges, like this one at FatMumSlim. I know, I know, all these may seem a bit boring or somewhat intimidating, but once you start doing few things you will find that the excitement will return and you will keep finding new interests things to do which do not involve drinking!

The process of joining these outlets into sobriety may take some time and change through the years. But eventually you may feel comfortable enough with going to a party or a bar for a special occasion or a concert! I remember my first sober concert it was amazing, and I had a blast and even more fun than I have imagined.

Believe me, the enjoyable activities will once again have the exciting effect and maybe even more because the excitement will be all natural!

What activities do you enjoy?




 

Friday Night Pep-Talk: Don’t Drink No Matter What!

adventure alone beautiful calm
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Happy sober Friday once again y’all. Hope you had a good week and are already to unwind, alcohol free.

Today, I am going to unwind by letting it all out, and maybe you had a rough week too and need to unwind also, huh? Well, grab your pen or keyboard, and lets get it all out! Writing out my frustrations has often proven to be a great tool against picking up that drink! Once all the crap is out of my head, I no longer have to dwell on it. I can let it all go, and move on!

So, here is the description of my crazy week – it was crazy! Crazy in my head, crazy at home, and crazy at work! Just all crazy, and I am not even PMSing! Ha! And guess what? I am still sober! How is this possible!?

I just don’t drink no matter what! Yep! No matter what! That means when my work gets nuts, and deadlines are fast approaching, and God forbid our #1 guy is on vacation, and people have attitudes, (or maybe I have the attitude ?), and the work is all piling-up and I don’t know what is coming next, and from where, and I can’t imagine how I’m going to get it all done, I don’t drink!

alone beach calm dawn
Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Pexels.com

That means that when I spend three sleepless nights all because I have let my ego take control, and now I have all this swirling crap in my head about what I want to do when I grow up, and who am I really, and where is my life going, and why I haven’t done this and the other like my friends have, and how come I am not as far in life as they are!

That’s right! I don’t drink! I use my tools!

I had to pull out all my tools this week, especially the ones I picked up in the beginning, when I was counting the hours, and minutes till the stores closed so I could feel safe and not like I was just gonna run out at any second, to the nearest place that sold alcohol, and grab the biggest container of wine that I could find and poor myself a gigantic tumbler of wine! (because really, I didn’t use wine glasses!) Ha! That’s right! Oh, but I digress.

Tools! Sober tools are so important, because most of my life I had only one tool and I used it to deal with everything! But my tool broke long time ago and I have never been able to make it work again. So, I had to pick up new tools!

I often find myself singing this song that I found on YouTube, to help my five-year old with his frustration! It’s Elmo and Common in a video about breathing the monster out. (I known what you’re thinking, but give it a chance!) It’s really cool and easy to remember because it is so freaking catchy.

Watch “Sesame Street: Common and Colbie Caillat – “Belly…” on YouTube: http://youtu.be/_mZbzDOpylA

Here are some of my favorite tools:

Take lots of little breaks!

I take a walk, or a drive, or sit in the bathroom for a bit. Any time away from the given situation can ease my anxiety and frustrations.

Drink lots of water rather than lots of coffee!

I keep coffee intake to a minimum, because coffee will not help me stay awake when I am exhausted, instead it will drain me from the nutrients and the water that my body needs to deal with stress.

Repeat the Serenity Prayer, over, and over, and over!

Repeat a positive affirmation, a meditation or a prayer. It focuses me in a different direction and clears my head up from all the negative thinking.

Keep reminding myself that this is temporary!

No matter how I feel at a time, it does not last forever. I may feel like it does, right now, but it’s really does not, and nothing is ever the end of the world, and whatever uncomfortable, crazy period of time I am experiencing it does not have to be the entire day!

adventure alone beautiful calm
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Whew! Well, those are few of my main tools! Here is a few more form the Helping Guide

Healthy ways to relax and recharge:

  • Go for a walk.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Call a good friend.
  • Sweat out tension with a good workout.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Take a long bath.
  • Light scented candles.
  • Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Work in your garden.
  • Get a massage.
  • Curl up with a good book.
  • Listen to music.
  • Watch a comedy.

I hope you’re doing well, I hope you wrote out some of your frustrations, and I hope that you got a few more tools to add to your toolbox!

Have an awesome Friday Night, and remember: don’t drink no matter what!

What other tools have you used? Please share!