Life After Drinking is Better… Honestly

by The Discovering Alcoholic on November 17, 2009

Life After Drinking is Better... Honestly, at The Discovering Alcoholic

One of the many justifications to imbibe I made as a practicing alcoholic was that drinking was a prerequisite for fun. Ballgames, golf, and dining out were all activities I couldn’t even imagine doing without a beer in my hand or access to the bar. It wasn’t much different for me in early recovery during my first year or two I considered sobriety and boring synonymous. As I matured in my however, new alcohol-free activities began to take the place of the old. I began to enjoy things I never imagined possible even they lacked access to a barmaid, cooler, or at least a flask.

I had begun to enjoy things because they were engaging or fun instead of just a pathway to intoxication. In retrospect this was not surprising, but the fact that I eventually began to enjoy the ballgames, golf, and dining out without alcohol- was. The more I thought about it there is no honest recollection of any of these activities as a practicing alcoholic ever producing any satisfaction, just a means to an end (for an alcoholic, there is just one end). Blackouts, fights, and an empty wallet were standard fare. DUI and incarceration, the loss of friends and the trust of family were also on the menu. I had been lying to myself all those years.

Last night I accompanied a good friend to his favorite traditional yakitori restaurant in LA and had a memorable night. The fun loving cooks celebrate a samurai tradition by constantly thanking their customers in the most loud and proud manner possible. I could only imagine the surprise of walking into this restaurant unprepared because the moment one walks through the door you become the center of the staff’s boisterous attention. The food was great, so was the companionship and I remember every detail. Just good memories, no regrets, and now in recovery I can honestly say that I had a great night. Life after drinking is better… honestly.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Charles Somer December 20, 2010 at 9:00 am

Yes, I had this same view that life without drink and drugs was going to be intolerably dull. And it was initially because that was what I told myself. However, over time my attitude changed and with it my life.

Now I truly believe that life with alcohol would be truly dull (that’s not to say I don’t have the odd craving), any and all activities being exactly the same – a blur and a few snapshots of conversation and….oblivion.

Yes, life without substances is not dull, it is life.

Thanks.

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Patti December 18, 2010 at 9:57 am

I drank for at least 14 years. I am a married female, 57 years old. My husband and I will have been married 40 years this coming August. We have 3 wonderful, awesome grown children with families of their own. Our five precious ‘little ones’ live close to us and we see them all the time and are very involved in their lives.
Since I quit drinking in Feb, 2002, I went through a wonderful program called “Journey” at Midelfort/Mayo Clinic. Since then, I have not found the peace, the euphoria, the happiness. I have had numerous problems and it seems an impossible task to become the happy-go-lucky person I used to be. I also do not know how to have sex without drinking!
Therfore, after almost ten years of working on this to no avail, my husband and I agreed on a separation because we could no longer look at each other without sobbing.
Now, just 4 days later, I have been seeing my family docotor to straighten my moods out, and a counselor, as well as is my husband.
He is the greatest man that ever lived. He is sympathetic, kind, thoughtful, always. But he doesn’t think that I can change, so in my mind I have lost him and I cannot live with that. We got married when we were 17. I know no other life than with him. I cannot and will not accept life without him. What to do????? I think I am losing my mind. Can anyone help????? Patti

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Screedler December 19, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Hi Patti,

Sorry your going through a rough patch. It sounds like both you and your husband are taking the right steps – both seeing the doctor and counseling. By no means am I qualified to give advice, as you have more sobriety than me. I can tell you that I certainly still go through downs times and just have to “keep the faith” and soldier on knowing that my mood or state of mind will change…eventually. I have found two things of late that I try to keep in mind (both of which I learned in AA). I can’t control people, things, or situations and secondly stopping myself from being a “director” in situations. I quess it boils down to matter of faith for me and that will sound absurd to a someone without – but I just have to put it in “his” hands and I don’t even know who “he” is. I do believe whoever or whatever put us here did so for a purpose and only wants the best for us and ultimately that means just being happy for me. Sorry for such a long winded response – but that brings me to a third thing, helping others , or at least trying to help others ultimately helps me. I think I am going to repost all this to the front page and discuss a little more tomorrow. And maybe some of our regular readers can chime in with some advice.

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The Discovering Alcoholic December 19, 2010 at 11:36 pm

On the eve of my sobriety date in 1994, there was no doubt in my mind that life was meaningless if not just impossible without alcohol… now I have just as hard of time thinking about actually taking a drink. It is difficult to imagine things that are new to us and even scary, but your successful recovery from drinking is proof you do have the faith and strength to push forward and to build a new life.

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Mike B righ ton UK September 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Respect to you for your choices.
Although, I must admit, I had a night in with a few friends yesterday, we had lots of home cooked food and ploughed our way through case of St Joseph French red between 6 of us, we were proper plastered.
Maybe Im an infant in the drinking world. But dammit if we did’nt have a rollicking good time.
One of the best nights of my life and I can remember it all.
Each to their own.
May you be blessed on your journey.
Mike

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Sum Zero November 19, 2009 at 9:34 pm

I was just thinking the same thing the other night. Only with me it was bibimbap in NY instead of yakitori in LA.

It’s rough getting over the idea that sobriety=boring, or its converse, drunk=fun. I’m pretty much new to not drinking; it’s only been since July, and there have been bumps. But there’s been a lot of progress, and the realization you write about is a big part of it all.

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steve February 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm

i am on the verge of giving up drinking and feel empathy with what you’ve written. i know i have to give up and i’m scared. not scared of not drinking, but scared of losing friends, and the cultural aspect of the existence i live in. i.e. the british drinking culture. it is fun and i’ve had so many good times created by alcohol, let’s not condemn it completely. but i hear the landlord calling ‘time’ on my drinking career and it feels lonely. is there a club for ex-drinkers? maybe we should start one.

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