Boredom

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highfivehand
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Boredom

Post by highfivehand » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:46 am

It has been 60 days.

Now, I am bored. I don't know what I like to do anymore. Maybe it is the winter, maybe it is that I am not drinking, but I am bored.

I have a great job, a supportive husband, great friends - yet I am still bored and feeling lost. I am not angry or upset, just confused.

There isn't anything I do that brings me real joy - just distraction. I am productive person, so I put myself in situations that help appease that, but still I am left with not much emotion.

Is this a normal step? Will it fade? I can't seem to find a way out of it without further distracting myself with hobbies that aren't really bringing me happiness anymore.

Indianapolis
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Re: Boredom

Post by Indianapolis » Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:10 pm

100% normal. Time to seek out new hobbies. All of us had new time to fill. Personally, I've done tons more reading (both recovery-related and non-recovery-related), played more music, smoked more cigars, taken more walks and am starting to explore meditation. Six months in, and the bored moments are still the ones where I hear the voice say "a drink sounds nice."

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PaigeB
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Re: Boredom

Post by PaigeB » Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:49 pm

highfivehand wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:46 am
It has been 60 days.
This is a difficult period. A long time for a drunk to go without a drink. Sadness can slip in IF you let it.
WALK - exercise & fresh air are good in SO many ways. Get a pet or a Bonsai Tree.
READ - The big Book... get prepared for that Big Book Trivia Contest that you will host in 5 years!
GO to meetings... One of the most important things I did when I was new was to go to A LOT of meetings at all different times of the day and all over the District. Later I would need to know, either to tell folks or to know who went to that meeting or to get myself to a meeting during a personal emergency - ALL have happened to me.
GET BUSY - doing service work. Trust on this - Every District Service Committee Needs Help! Find your District or Area Meeting - get to it - get to know what is going on - decide what you like or what needs you, because you don't have to LIKE service work - you just have to DO it!

Ok - that ought to keep you busy, but here's the MOST IMPORTANT thing. WORK THE STEPS. I suggest face to face sponsorship and weekly meetings with a sponsor to read the Big Book together... to work the Steps the way the Book lays them out. There are other ways to work the Steps, but I have never done it that way. :wink:
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Jojo2
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Re: Boredom

Post by Jojo2 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:35 pm

highfivehand wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:46 am
It has been 60 days.
Now, I am bored.
I have a great job, a supportive husband, great friends - yet I am still bored and feeling lost. I am not angry or upset, just confused.
Welcome !

I think the previous post nails this quite comprehensively. From experience, I remember immersing myself in so many meetings initially that I didn't have time to feel bored. I do remember occasionally feeling restless with my mind racing in so many directions at once. My sponsor taught me to focus on something like tidying the contents of a drawer. I thought she was patronising me, but this activity still proves invaluable when I am overwhelmed by the demands of work/ life etc. Her other little gem was to beware of H.A.L.T..... hungry, angry, lonely and tired. Tiredness rings serious alarm bells for me.
I wonder if you have discovered the little book 'Living Sober' ? We provide newcomers with a copy at my face to face meetings, but it is available for a nominal charge from the AA.org site:

https://onlineliterature.aa.org/search? ... ng%20Sober

UK >> £3 ! >>> https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk ... t.do?48960

We all had to learn to 'live' sober and this is a really useful little book for the many questions we have in the early days. It is full of common sense and practical suggestions.

Thousands of us wondered what we would do, once we stopped drinking, with all that time on our hands. Sure enough, when we did stop, all those hours we had once spent planning, getting our drinks, drinking, and recovering from its immediate effects, suddenly turned into big, empty holes of time that had to be filled somehow.
Most of us had jobs to do. But even so, there were some pretty long, vacant stretches of minutes and hours staring at us. We needed new habits of activity to fill those open spaces and utilise the nervous energy previously absorbed by our preoccupation, or our obsession, with drinking.

Anyone who has ever tried to break a habit knows that substituting a new and different activity is easier than just stopping the old activity and putting nothing in its place.

This book devotes a chapter to becoming active both in and out of AA, almost anything that will use our mind and channel our energy toward health.

The following extract is from 'Living Sober' :

Activity not related to A.A.


It's curious, but true, that some of us, when we first stop drinking, seem to experience a sort of temporary failure of the imagination.

It's curious, because during our drinking days, so many of us displayed almost unbelievably fertile powers of imagination. In less than a week, we could dream up instantly more reasons (excuses?) for drinking than most people use for all other purposes in a lifetime. (Incidentally, it's a pretty good rule of thumb that normal drinkers— that is, nonalcoholics—never need or use any particular justification for either drinking or not drinking!)

When the need to give ourselves reasons for our drinking is no longer there, it often seems that our minds go on a sit-down strike. Some of us find we can't think up non-drinking things to do! Perhaps this is because we're just out of the habit. Or perhaps the mind needs a period of restful convalescence after active alcoholism ceases. In either case, the dullness does go away. After our first month's sobriety, many of us notice a distinct difference. After three months, our minds seem still clearer. And during our second year of recovery, the change is striking. More mental energy seems available to us than ever before.

But it's during the seemingly endless first dry stretch that you will hear some of us say, "What's to do?"

The following list is just a starter for use at that time. It isn't very thrilling or adventurous, but it covers the kinds of activity many of us have used to fill our first vacant hours when we were not at our jobs or with other non-drinking people. We know they work. We did such things as:

1. Taking walks—especially to new places, and in parks or the country. Leisurely, easy strolls, not tiring marches.

2. Reading—although some of us got pretty fidgety if we tried to read anything that demanded much concentration.

3. Going to museums and art galleries.

4. Exercising—swimming, golfing, jogging, yoga, or other forms of exercise your doctor advises.

5. Starting on long-neglected chores—cleaning out a bureau drawer, sorting papers, answering a few letters, hanging pictures, or something of the sort that we've been postponing.

We have found it is important, though, not to overdo any of these. Planning to clean out all the closets (or the whole attic or garage or basement or apartment) sounds simple. However, after a day's hard physical labor at it, we can wind up exhausted, dirty, not finished, and discouraged. So our advice to each other is: Cut down the plan to a manageable size. Start out, not to straighten up the kitchen or clean out those files, but simply to clean out one drawer or one folder. Do another one another day.

6. Trying a new hobby—nothing expensive or very demanding, just some pleasant, idle diversion in which we do not need to excel or win, but only to enjoy some refreshingly different moments. Many of us have picked up hobbies we'd never dreamed of before, such as bridge, macramé, the opera, tropical fish, cabinetmaking, needlework, baseball, writing, singing, crossword puzzles, cooking, bird-watching, amateur acting, leathercraft, gardening, sailing, the guitar, movies, dancing, marbles, bonsai, collecting something or other. Many of us have found we now really enjoy things that we wouldn't even consider before.

7. Revisiting an old pastime, except you-know-what. Maybe, stored away somewhere, there is a watercolor set you haven't touched in years, a crewel kit, an accordion, table tennis or backgammon equipment, a tape collection, or notes for a novel. For some of us, it has been rewarding to dig these out, dust them off, and try having a go at them again. If you decide they're not for you any more, get rid of them.

8. Taking a course. Have you always wished you could speak Swahili or Russian? Enjoy history or math? Understand archaeology or anthropology? Correspondence courses, instruction on public television, or adult classes (for pleasure, not necessarily for credit) that meet about once a week are usually available somewhere. Why not give one a try? Many of us have found that such a course can not only add a fresh dimension to life, but also lead to a whole new career.

If studying gets to be a drag, though, don't hesitate to drop it. You have the right to change your mind and quit anything that is more of a hassle than it's worth. Being "a quitter" can take courage and make very good sense if we're quitting something that is not good for us, or adds no positive, pleasurable, or healthy new facet to our life.

9. Volunteering to do some useful service. Many, many hospitals, children's agencies, churches, and other institutions and organizations desperately need volunteers for all kinds of activity. The choice is wide, from reading to the blind to sealing envelopes for a church mailing or gathering signatures on a political petition. Check with any nearby hospital, church, governmental agency, or civic club to find out what volunteer services are needed in your community. We've found we feel much better about ourselves when we contribute even a small service for the benefit of our fellow human beings. Even the act of investigating the possibilities of such service is in itself informative and interesting.

10. Doing something about your personal appearance. Most of us let ourselves go pretty much. A new haircut, some new clothes, new glasses, or even new teeth have a marvellously cheering effect. Often, we had been intending to get around to something like that, and the months when we first started staying sober seemed a good time to look into it.

11. Taking a fling at something frivolous! Not everything we do has to be an earnest effort at self-improvement, although any such effort is worthwhile and gives a lift to our self-esteem. Many of us find it important to balance serious periods with things we do for pure fun. Do you like balloons? Zoos? Bubble gum? Marx Brothers movies? Soul music? Reading sci-fi or detective stories? Sunbathing? Snowmobiling? If not, find something else non-alcoholic that rewards you with nothing but sheer enjoyment, and have some "dry" fun. You deserve it.

12. _____________________________________

Fill this one in for yourself. Let's hope the list above sparked an idea for you which is different from all of those listed.... It did? Good! Go to it.

One word of caution, though. Some of us find we have a tendency to go overboard, and try too many things at once. We have a good brake for that, which you'll read about on page 44. It's called "Easy Does It."

Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.

Other chapters cover Getting enough Rest, Changing Old Routines, Gratitude, The Twelve Steps, Sponsorship, Meetings, Telephone Therapy, Keeping a Journal, Anger and Resentments, Eliminating Self Pity and plenty more to give you much food for thought ...

tomsteve
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Re: Boredom

Post by tomsteve » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:51 am

i drank for 23 years and was 36 when i got sober. sobriety was all new to me. i realized right around 60 days there were only 2 things i truly knew how to do: work and drink. everything else i thought i did for fun? not really.
i used to think i fished a lot but i didnt. i went drinkin and happened to have a fishin pole with me. sporting events? i went drinkin and there happened to be a sporting event goin on. car shows? i went drinkin where there were nice cars. when i started doing those things sober it felt real strange but i still did them because the people in AA and the BB said I would get better IF i worked for it.that meant just doing those things.i accepted thats how i was at that time.
eventually, as i worked the steps,kept going to meetings,kept praying-basically kept doing what was necessary to get further away from what ii used to be- i started enjoying quite a bit i did and still do. found out some of the things i did when i was drinking i really dont care for and found new stuff i really enjoy. the best part- i learned that strange feeling i had doing those things early on was serenity- something i never truly experienced until i got sober.

one of my favorite lines from the BB:
Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.

trudgin sucks but i found it best to go through rather than around.

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avaneesh912
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Re: Boredom

Post by avaneesh912 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:29 am

First of all, not sure where you are in your recovery, step wise. A competent sponsor would have guided you to create an inventory of good and bad stuff in the candidate. That would stir lot of anger guilt shame in us but that is the great part, we never did this before. We agreed to do whatever it takes to get to the other side of the pond. Next as others pointed out, service work. Around where I live 60 days they allow you to chair meetings. Find some inspiring people to be the discussion leader (if your group is loaded with discussion meetings) and chair the meetings. That will bring in great hop but also frustration but it will help you overcome the boredom. See if you can take meetings in treatment centers/jails. Thats a whole different ball game. I have seen god work through people while I was the corrections rep for our district.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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positrac
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Re: Boredom

Post by positrac » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:30 am

Great news on the 60 days! All I might add is you aren't cured and time management is a learning curve.

if you have kids then that should eat up a lot of time and if not then I would highly recommend engaging yourself into damage control mode. Things get better and looking for that perfect thing might be a farce!!!

Have a great day and put a smile on no matter what because it gives you a happy presentation and other will reply in kindness and it can take our minds off of the now and this is good.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

Matt D
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Re: Boredom

Post by Matt D » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:56 pm

I completely understand where you are coming from. sobriety is a huge change to our lives and I struggle to stay busy. It is a constant battle for me now. We can do this. Please everyone share hobbies etc since a good number of us are home bound.

retired baker
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Re: Boredom

Post by retired baker » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:02 am

Matt D wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:56 pm
I completely understand where you are coming from. sobriety is a huge change to our lives and I struggle to stay busy. It is a constant battle for me now. We can do this. Please everyone share hobbies etc since a good number of us are home bound.
I haven't been bored for 20 years.
My hobby is the 12 steps. :)

Actually the big book says something about this, the first 3 words on page 112.
https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt8.pdf

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