Don’t Settle for a Happy Hour!

by The Discovering Alcoholic on September 4, 2010

It was a few years into early recovery when my life seemed to have hit a plateau. I had a steady job, a place of my own, and a satisfying relationship… a far cry from trembling, alky wreck of yore, but still somehow I felt disappointed. This is what I had gotten sober for? Even though I had no major problems I kept getting a shorter and shorter fuse- everything irritated me.

In retrospect it’s easy to see though at the time I was at a loss, I had only the ability to identify the negative things in my life and didn’t know what made me happy. To be truthful it went deeper than that, I’m not even sure if I knew what happiness felt like. I had spent so many years equating a buzz with happiness and drunk as fulfillment that I just didn’t have the life experience necessary to properly define what made me happy, while sober. That’s sad. In a way, I think even many non-problem drinkers have this problem. They will belly up to the bar at happy hour after a hard day’s work not because it makes them happy, but it helps them forget that they’re not.

Don’t settle for a happy hour- skip the bar, try something new, and work on making a happy life!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paul September 4, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Hi TDA, you have a canny ability to write about things that are currently on my mind. I have actually been planning to write about something similar – it has been on my mind recently. I have come to a few realisations recently that have really defined the purpose of my life. This thinking came about because of somebody else was discussing success and what made them a success. I realised that what made them feel successful didn’t work for me at all.

I feel that one of the main reasons that I fell into addiction was that I just wasn’t happy with what I thought ‘normal’ life had to offer. Having nice possessions and getting a good job just didn’t seem like things that were going to make me happy; they just seemed a bit shallow and pointless. Addiction seemed to offer something else. While the path that I choose was wrong I do feel that my assumptions at the time were right – success as many other people define it does not make me happy.

I am happy today but spend a lot of time thinking about the purpose of it all. It is only in the last few weeks that I’ve realised what I think a successful person is. For me to be a success I need to feel satisfied with life and completely unafraid of death; I believe that the closer I am to these two things the more successful I will be. I have also realised that it does not matter which philosophy or ideas help me achieve this – ultimately they don’t have to be true they only have to work. These might sound like simple ideas but it has taking me most of my life to discover where I want my path to take me. I spent a lot of my life looking for truth, but that path leads nowhere in my view – now I want to look for something a bit more practical because that leads to happiness.

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2 The Discovering Alcoholic September 5, 2010 at 9:25 am

This discovery was a revelation for me in early recovery, but even with sound goals I still often find myself concentrating on the irritating things in life instead of spending my time on those things that would make me happy. The negative is just always so much easier to define while happiness is a moving target.

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