The Boredom of Sobriety?
Yesterday a young man shared in the meeting I attended that he is six months sober, and completely bored with his new life. As he put it, “I just do the same things, day after day, and I am tired of it. I miss the chaos of my old life.”
That same night I attended a party with many old non-alcoholic friends and family, and most were drinking. As I watched them, I remembered what the young man had shared, and I could relate, a bit, with what he said. For me, it is not boredom with my non-drinking routine… on the contrary, I am still profoundly grateful that I have my routine, and I am still amazed every time I accomplish a goal while clean and sober. But I can relate to watching “normal” people who get to enjoy alcohol and seem to have no consequences from enjoying it… and I get jealous. Why can’t I do that? Why did I make the decisions I did to end up at this point in my life? Why can’t I be normal?
And when I have those thoughts… which are, blessedly, few and far between these days… I have to use the tools I have been given to me by my 12 step program, and play that tape all the way through. First, I am not living the lives of any of those people, so I have no clue if and what consequences they, or their loved ones, are paying for their drinking.
Secondly, under no circumstances would I have ever been happy being a “normal” drinker. I never, in my entire life, wanted just one drink. On those rare occasions when I was able to drink moderately, I was most likely doing it to please someone in my life, I was certainly not pleasing myself. To please myself, I would have drunk until all the alcohol was gone… that is the cold, harsh truth.
Finally, and most importantly, what are the drinking people doing that I’m not doing, besides getting drunk? I am talking to the same people they are, enjoying the same jokes and stories, eating the same foods, and enjoying the same event that they are enjoying. In fact, I may even have one up on them, because I will remember every detail, and I won’t have a headache in the morning.
So I am praying for that young man in the meeting, I hope he is able to reach the same level of peace that I have in my sobriety…