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Old 04-17-19, 11:01 PM
freshy freshy is offline
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Drinking When Bored

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this site and this forum, but I thought I'd bring up a problem I have and see if any of you can relate or provide some tips.

I drink too much, and most the time it comes down to something simple: I'm bored. During the week I'm extremely busy with work and therefor don't have any time to be bored, but when the weekends hit (and holidays) I find myself using alcohol again and again to stave off boredom.

Here's the thing: I have plenty of hobbies. I write, make music, and read but I find that after a burst of hyper focus these activities can't fill up all my time. Then I get that restless itch and I reach for the beer.

I'm a teacher, so I am off for many holidays. Usually they are around a week long. I can't remember the last time I had one of these holidays where I didn't drink nearly everyday. I tell myself (and frankly other people tell me too) that this is normal. It's vacation, isn't it? Everybody does it, right? Maybe I'm just hanging around with the wrong people...

So, to cut to the point, boredom is a huge trigger for my alcohol problem. Even as Spring Break looms in front of me I'm already feeling restless, wondering how I will pass the time without my usual routine. Not the feeling most people have before spring break, eh?

Anyways, I'm posting here to see if anyone has any tips or suggestions. If anything has helped me, it's exercise. When I feel the boredom creeping in along with the craving for alcohol, I go on a run or play soccer. This does seem to clear my head and can assuage the cravings for a bit.

What do you think?
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Old 04-18-19, 11:10 AM
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sarahsweets sarahsweets is offline
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Re: Drinking When Bored

Full disclosure: I am an alcoholic in recovery so my viewpoint stems from that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freshy View Post
I drink too much, and most the time it comes down to something simple: I'm bored. During the week I'm extremely busy with work and therefor don't have any time to be bored, but when the weekends hit (and holidays) I find myself using alcohol again and again to stave off boredom.
Are you certain its boredom? I am sure some of it definitely is, but many times untapped anxieties or worries can prompt people to mood alter with substances.
Quote:
Here's the thing: I have plenty of hobbies. I write, make music, and read but I find that after a burst of hyper focus these activities can't fill up all my time. Then I get that restless itch and I reach for the beer.
I have many half-as*ed hobbies. I say that because with the adhd, its hard to stick with them and put my full attention to them even when I enjoy them. Example:
I am trying to find things to do with my hands due to recovering from shoulder surgery and to eventually quit smoking. I want to learn how to crochet because my grandmother started to teach me when I was a child. I bought the needles and last week I bought some yard, and I have watched like 5 youtube's on it. The needles are still in the drawer unopened, the yarn is in my kitchen (of all places) and its sits there reminding me to get going on it.
Quote:
I'm a teacher, so I am off for many holidays. Usually they are around a week long. I can't remember the last time I had one of these holidays where I didn't drink nearly everyday. I tell myself (and frankly other people tell me too) that this is normal. It's vacation, isn't it? Everybody does it, right? Maybe I'm just hanging around with the wrong people...
I do not think its normal for anyone to drink everyday nor do I think its good for you, alcoholic or not. It simply isn't. And a lot of times people will say they dont need to drink everyday, they simply want to, so I say try not drinking and see what happens?

Quote:
So, to cut to the point, boredom is a huge trigger for my alcohol problem. Even as Spring Break looms in front of me I'm already feeling restless, wondering how I will pass the time without my usual routine. Not the feeling most people have before spring break, eh?
You said here that alcohol is a problem for you. Is it a problem because you like how it feels a little too much? Is it a problem because you do or say the wrong things when drinking? does it cause physical problems? Does your family complain? What about it is a problem for you besides thinking its an inappropriate way to deal with being bored?

Quote:
Anyways, I'm posting here to see if anyone has any tips or suggestions. If anything has helped me, it's exercise. When I feel the boredom creeping in along with the craving for alcohol, I go on a run or play soccer. This does seem to clear my head and can assuage the cravings for a bit.
Its good that you found something that eases the cravings. However, if you are having cravings-especially physical ones that is not a great sign. Physical addiction is possible even if your life doesnt spin out of control into chaos and even if you are not driving drunk or arrested. There are plenty of people out there who are addicted to alcohol but lead an otherwise "normal" functional life.
The other thing with physical cravings or addiction is tolerance. It is a fact that it will happen. Habitual drinking of a certain amount will lead to you needing more to get the desired affect. And needing more means the cravings for it are stronger and the urge to overdo it is stronger.

I am not trying to label you an alcoholic- that isn't my job but I would go as a far as labeling you a problem drinker-because you yourself say its a problem. Have you ever tried not drinking for say...a month? Can you manage that? When you drink is it a glass of wine or beer or do you need more? Does it make you giddy, happy, sad or anger? What does it physically do to you?
It all depends on what you want to do going forward.
Me? I had to join a 12 step program and go through at home detox to get sober-it was brutal. But a lot of people are turned off my 12 step programs. I have friends who use "smart recovery" (google it). Its a plan that many find is a good alternative to 12 step programs. Still others decide they do not want any further trouble and just stop on their own.
Its important to mention that if you have a drinking problem and stop- you cant go back to having one here or there. It will eventually creep back up to what it was when you stopped. Feel free to PM me if you want to hear my story or if you are uncomfortable discussing things openly.
Welcome and thanks for your honesty/
What do you think?[/quote]
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Old 04-21-19, 11:33 PM
acdc01 acdc01 is offline
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Re: Drinking When Bored

Do you take adhd meds? I wonder if those might help you. We are more likely to become alcoholics, I think in part because of what you describe, we can't stand boredom.

Another idea is virtual reality. I have to say, it probably will sound like I'm preaching a religion almost but I started playing it a year ago and I do wonder if it can mentally calm us more.

VR is extremely high stimulus, like high adrenaline sports. Some games are actually physical sports even that give you exercise too (and some aren't but still provide extremely high stimulus). The difference between it and regular sports is that you can do it right in your own home and you don't need to drive a half hour away to meet up with people or get dressed to go out or anything. You just put the VR headset on and you are in another world. This makes it much easier for us to keep up.

The stimulus is so high, I wonder if it can counteract your restlessness for much longer than just the hours you spend playing within the headset itself.
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Old 04-23-19, 05:57 PM
Alphawave Alphawave is offline
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Re: Drinking When Bored

You don't say how much you drink when you do. But drinking everyday is not really normal is it. And you have cravings.

I'm really surprised you don't drink during the week after work, if you drink everyday in the school holidays, but alcoholism is a progressive illness and it creeps up on you.

We like to think everything is more enjoyable and less boring with alcohol, but is it really? Do you drink at home and on your own? Do you feel guilty about your consumption? Do you try to hide it? Do you regret it in the morning?

It's like when something is happening, a few beers make it less boring. A football match on TV? Have a few beers and enjoy it more. I used to think I drink through boredom or it helps me get to sleep. I used to think I self medicated with beer because of the years I thought I had adhd and wasn't diagnosed for it. But when I was diagnosed and on medication, I still liked a few beers. I exercised for an hour everyday, it does help stem the need for too much beer like you said. But I still drank afterwards.

I've been drinking nearly everyday for many years, I'm 43. I was diagnosed with fatty liver disease in September 2018 and that still hasn't stopped me drinking. I was functioning, I went to work everyday until I was able to work from home in 2009, big mistake. But I'm starting to make serious inroads in my problem to stay on this Earth a bit longer.

Everyone is different and I don't begin to presume you're anywhere near where I am. But it really creeps up and you and there is a sinister, inner voice giving excuses to have a beer. Why don't you just stick to weekends, if you feel you can moderate in that way, even on the school holidays. Also, there's help in every community in the world, including Hong Kong I bet. Good luck.

Last edited by Alphawave; 04-23-19 at 06:07 PM..
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