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Sober Era? Let's Stay Sober

Fright Zone

Member
Dec 17, 2017
1,213
London
I’m struggling. I tend to go to a lot of social events that revolve around, or at least involve, alcohol.
Work events, friends birthdays, gallery shows, etc. I’m really trying but it’s so hard to avoid the temptation.
I don’t want to have to be a hermit and start avoiding these events altogether, especially as my depression kicks in hard when I spend too much time at home, but I can’t always trust myself to behave. And I just don’t have as much fun when i’m totally sober.

I also really really love the taste of a good beer and I can’t find anything to replace it that satisfies.
Tried loads of different low/no alcohol beers and some tasted OK but with any non-alcoholic drink it feels weird to consume more than one or two of them, and I can’t just sit in a pub with no drink at all.
 

Threadkular

Member
Dec 29, 2017
815
That's awesome! great job! I also drink sparkling water as a replacement for myself, personally went with Aldi's brand since its bare minimum ingredients
Haha yes, seltzer becomes a way of life for a lot of us. I like Wegmans brand - they have a lot of good flavors and they're $3/12.

Thanks for the Aldi recommendation.
 

sgtnosboss

Member
Nov 9, 2017
2,897
IL
Haha yes, seltzer becomes a way of life for a lot of us. I like Wegmans brand - they have a lot of good flavors and they're $3/12.

Thanks for the Aldi recommendation.
well now I wish I had a Wegmans here, Aldi's is like 2 dollars for their cheap less flavor kind, and like 3-4 dollars for their "bold" flavor version. Both are only 8 packs though unfortunately :(
 

sgtnosboss

Member
Nov 9, 2017
2,897
IL
I’m struggling. I tend to go to a lot of social events that revolve around, or at least involve, alcohol.
Work events, friends birthdays, gallery shows, etc. I’m really trying but it’s so hard to avoid the temptation.
I don’t want to have to be a hermit and start avoiding these events altogether, especially as my depression kicks in hard when I spend too much time at home, but I can’t always trust myself to behave. And I just don’t have as much fun when i’m totally sober.

I also really really love the taste of a good beer and I can’t find anything to replace it that satisfies.
Tried loads of different low/no alcohol beers and some tasted OK but with any non-alcoholic drink it feels weird to consume more than one or two of them, and I can’t just sit in a pub with no drink at all.
I was going to suggest drinking some non alcoholic drinks and not say anything to anyone so they are non the wiser, but it sounds like that isn't helping. Personally like I just said a comment ago I drink sparkling water now like... well water. As for events, hopefully others have some good suggestions. I am already mostly a hermit so I haven't had to be around any events like that yet. A few years ago I would have struggled, but I have kicked a lot of toxic friends out of my life so I just haven't had to test being around drinking events yet.
 

AliceAmber

Moderator
May 2, 2018
776
Tampa, Fl
HUZZAH! My partner on their own decided to quit as well. It's going to be challenging since we both use it as a crutch for several things.

Time to stock up on sparking water and other types of yummy drinks.
 

Threadkular

Member
Dec 29, 2017
815
I’m struggling. I tend to go to a lot of social events that revolve around, or at least involve, alcohol.
Work events, friends birthdays, gallery shows, etc. I’m really trying but it’s so hard to avoid the temptation.
I don’t want to have to be a hermit and start avoiding these events altogether, especially as my depression kicks in hard when I spend too much time at home, but I can’t always trust myself to behave. And I just don’t have as much fun when i’m totally sober.

I also really really love the taste of a good beer and I can’t find anything to replace it that satisfies.
Tried loads of different low/no alcohol beers and some tasted OK but with any non-alcoholic drink it feels weird to consume more than one or two of them, and I can’t just sit in a pub with no drink at all.
That's a lot of excuses. I can relate to feeling/thinking all of them. Unfortunately there isn't one thing or things to say that will immediately change your thinking.

The only thing I can suggest is to try some sobriety and I can almost guarantee your thinking will change with time. You will come to realize that "I don't have as much fun when I'm sober" is a statement being said by a version of you that's in a lot of pain.

I highly recommend not doing it alone. This forum can be support, but I'd highly recommend reaching out IRL. People where you can voice what you said above and get the instant feedback/support/empathy/perspective that you get from a conversation.
 

sgtnosboss

Member
Nov 9, 2017
2,897
IL
HUZZAH! My partner on their own decided to quit as well. It's going to be challenging since we both use it as a crutch for several things.

Time to stock up on sparking water and other types of yummy drinks.
That will definitely help! My wife stopped with me too, and I think that helped because there were no options in my house for me to drink that were alcoholic.
 

Fright Zone

Member
Dec 17, 2017
1,213
London
That's a lot of excuses. I can relate to feeling/thinking all of them. Unfortunately there isn't one thing or things to say that will immediately change your thinking.

The only thing I can suggest is to try some sobriety and I can almost guarantee your thinking will change with time. You will come to realize that "I don't have as much fun when I'm sober" is a statement being said by a version of you that's in a lot of pain.

I highly recommend not doing it alone. This forum can be support, but I'd highly recommend reaching out IRL. People where you can voice what you said above and get the instant feedback/support/empathy/perspective that you get from a conversation.

I have tried sobriety. The longest period was for ten weeks. To be completely honest my thinking didn’t change during that time, and I was quite bored and lonely, though there were positive aspects such as the money saved.
I didn’t feel as healthy or as clear minded as I had expected to.

The fun thing... that’s difficult. I can have fun when I’m sober, in the right circumstances, but it’s a different type of fun.
If I stopped drinking for good I would miss a lot of aspects of my nights out drinking.
I would miss the ‘anything could happen tonight’ feeling, the spontaneity of my actions, being able to talk to strangers, the confidence, the excitement.
But as I get older and the blackouts become longer and more frequent, and the hangovers become crippling, I constantly ask myself if it’s worth it. I know that it’s not.

I have spoken to many of my friends about this. A lot of them feel the same to varying degrees.
They would be mostly supportive if I stopped drinking, though my sobriety would make some of them feel uncomfortable about their own drinking, and it would change a lot of my relationships with my friends as drinking has always been a key component of a lot of my friendships.
Some of my friends have managed to reduce their drinking a lot in the past few years but in every instance because they found a partner.
 

sgtnosboss

Member
Nov 9, 2017
2,897
IL
I would miss the ‘anything could happen tonight’ feeling, the spontaneity of my actions, being able to talk to strangers, the confidence, the excitement.
I feel like all of this could be achieved without drinking though no? I think a lot of this would be stuff you would need to work on for yourself instead of the crutch of alcohol. I am not saying this to be mean in anyway and hope it doesn't come off that way.These are also just similar things I noticed in myself that I did. I used alcohol to avoid facing things sober that were harder, like talking to strangers, confidence, etc.
 

Threadkular

Member
Dec 29, 2017
815
I have tried sobriety. The longest period was for ten weeks. To be completely honest my thinking didn’t change during that time, and I was quite bored and lonely, though there were positive aspects such as the money saved.
I didn’t feel as healthy or as clear minded as I had expected to.

The fun thing... that’s difficult. I can have fun when I’m sober, in the right circumstances, but it’s a different type of fun.
If I stopped drinking for good I would miss a lot of aspects of my nights out drinking.
I would miss the ‘anything could happen tonight’ feeling, the spontaneity of my actions, being able to talk to strangers, the confidence, the excitement.
But as I get older and the blackouts become longer and more frequent, and the hangovers become crippling, I constantly ask myself if it’s worth it. I know that it’s not.

I have spoken to many of my friends about this. A lot of them feel the same to varying degrees.
They would be mostly supportive if I stopped drinking, though my sobriety would make some of them feel uncomfortable about their own drinking, and it would change a lot of my relationships with my friends as drinking has always been a key component of a lot of my friendships.
Some of my friends have managed to reduce their drinking a lot in the past few years but in every instance because they found a partner.
It sounds like you're discovering what this disease is all about through your interactions with your friends. If someone is made uncomfortable, that's not your problem, that is their problem. Hopefully your friends recognize it - they should be able to drink guilt free if they have a healthy relationship with alcohol. All that said, it's not our place to say let to the person, everyone needs to find out their own way (usually through pain/loss).

There's a lot of paradoxes in sobriety, and one is that while your 10 weeks was a miracle that should be celebrated, it's very little time to allow your brain to reconstruct the reward/pleasure pathways that we so fucked up in our use. Six months is often a "first step" for a lot of people. I actually felt like I came so much out of a haze at 6 months the first time that my new perspective helped scare me into a relapse. Long timers say you need 5 years to really appreciate it.

We're addicts. We're hopefully going to live 4000+ weeks. Good things don't come in 10. But yeah I know what it's like to want pleasure/good feelings right now. I'm an addict.

You can hold on to your thoughts that "life is better with the substance" and not believe the sober community. When I get these thoughts I usually think of what my childhood self would think of that. Anyway, I'd recommend keep trying sobriety. If it doesn't work out for you we'll gladly refund your misery.
 
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ProjectPick

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4
Yo sober era!

Pretty cool to see this thread here. I don't post a lot on Era, but this thread might change that.

I'm at 87 days sober, so that big 90 is getting close. I'm already sober longer than I've ever been since I started drinking all those years ago and it feels pretty damn good. I had always done the I'm done drinking thing in the past and would last a few weeks at a time without taking any actual steps to better myself. This time I said enough got myself into an intensive outpatient recovery center, took advantage of FMLA and short term disability and got myself on the right path. I realize not everyone can do that, but it was 100% the right choice for me. I'd always avoided these places because of the stigma of 12 steps reliance on god, and my beliefs as an atheist+. I'm still navigating that portion of it, but making it work. I love Russel Brand's book on recovery, I recommend anyone with similar feelings as me check it out.

I'm at the point where I feel like I've at least rounded that first corner and can finally see a life with booze. I feel like that is a change for me in the last week or two. I've survived work events, family gatherings and a week of travel for the job and found out I don't need to be drunk for it at all. For me its been going through those experiences, having a plan, surviving one day at a time and making so cool ass sober friends helped me get over that hump I see some folks talking about. The other big help is just talking about it with other people.

This shit isn't easy at all. For me the cravings around 30-45 days in were brutal, when the first one hit I thought I was having a panic attack. I could actually feel myself making and tasting an old fashioned. It was frankly a total mind fuck I wasn't ready for. I reflexively called a sober buddy with more time in and he talked me through it.

I'm still learning how to enjoy lots of things without alcohol and will be for quite a while I'm sure. Luckily I'm a helluva lot better at games sober, I am an era member after all, so this was something that helped me get through my early days.

This ended up a lot longer than I thought. I always enjoy hearing others stories and sharing my own!
 

Blue Skies

Member
Mar 27, 2019
1,980
Just 5 days sober here, and I’m having huge issues getting good sleep
How long’s it take to get better sleep?
My caffeine intake is only in the morning.
Well, Coke Zero with lunch as well, but none for dinner.
 

Cybit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,007
Welcome to all the newcomers! I will respond to a bunch of these soon.

Sleep took me about a week and a half with zero caffeine intake and a lot of chamomile tea. :D
 

Finaj

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,023
I don't know if I apply to this community, but I don't drink just because I can't stand the taste (it all tastes like cough medicine to me).

It has led to me to feel left out of certain social circles/events, but peer preasure is not going to get to me.
 

Shiloh

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,081
Today marks two weeks! I'm having sugar cravings every night, which makes sense as I'm no longer getting my nightly dose through drinking.

Hung out at a bar last night and just had diet soda, figured ordering water would be too many questions.

As for sleep, I've thrown a lot of my new found free time into physical activity and have found myself falling asleep pretty easily. Hopefully that doesn't go away once my body gets used to being active.
 

Awesome Kev

Member
Jan 10, 2018
1,289
Daytona Beach
Just 5 days sober here, and I’m having huge issues getting good sleep
How long’s it take to get better sleep?
My caffeine intake is only in the morning.
Well, Coke Zero with lunch as well, but none for dinner.
i started waking up early (i wasnt sleeping well either for the longest time) around 4 or 5. sometimes i wouldn't sleep much at all but i'd still get up (better than just laying there being frustrated). make breakfast, have a cup of coffee (or two, hehe), and go for a jog. just a half mile to start but over a couple weeks try and work your way up to a mile or two if you can. try to maintain a busy schedule throughout the day (this was essential for me to keep my mind off booze anyways). go to the gym for an hour in the afternoon or evening, if you dont have a gym then just try to do some sort of intense physical activity like push ups, pull ups, crunches/sit ups, sprints... something that's a little more intense than a light jog. eat healthy throughout the day (limit your sugar intake) and drink plenty of water.

if you do all that, you'll be so tired by 9 or 10 o clock you'll be ready to pass the fuck out. at least that's what worked for me. regardless, doing all those things are healthy for you anyway so even if you don't start sleeping like a rock right away, it may help you get there faster as you're body's healing process will be rev'd up.

good luck!
 

Threadkular

Member
Dec 29, 2017
815
Just 5 days sober here, and I’m having huge issues getting good sleep
How long’s it take to get better sleep?
My caffeine intake is only in the morning.
Well, Coke Zero with lunch as well, but none for dinner.
So trying to fall asleep is when you'll be at most mindful of any (possibly very minor) post acute withdrawal symptoms. Depending on your body's level of dependence these vary, but a very common one (considering it sounds like you're trying to do this by yourself and without medical help) is night sweats. The fan as suggested helps there. If you do have any minor nerve/shaking issues (these are often barely noticeable outwardly) this generally drops greatly within a week or 2.

You really start to become a lot more mindful of your body when sober. There's a lot of "oh that's right this shitty uncomfortableness I was feeling/denying wasn't normal".

Of course the suggestions to exercise is only going to make the process easier on yourself, so I'd do that if you can.

That said be easy on / gentle with yourself. You're doing something amazing.

Today marks two weeks! I'm having sugar cravings every night, which makes sense as I'm no longer getting my nightly dose through drinking.
The advice on the sugar with early sobriety is to just go with it for now... enjoy the sweets or whatever. Weight gain or loss is very different per person with the start of sobriety. No matter what happens you're likely living a lot healthier than you were when you were using. This really is one of those things to give yourself a break on.
 
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AliceAmber

Moderator
May 2, 2018
776
Tampa, Fl
Just 5 days sober here, and I’m having huge issues getting good sleep
How long’s it take to get better sleep?
My caffeine intake is only in the morning.
Well, Coke Zero with lunch as well, but none for dinner.
About 10 days in here! My first week I slept like SHIT. This second week I've been much better. Everyone is a little bit different but I bet you'll see some improvements very soon.

We can do this!
 

Blue Skies

Member
Mar 27, 2019
1,980
Yea I def get the night sweats
I’ll put on a fan tonight! I actually forgot I had one in my closet
 

AliceAmber

Moderator
May 2, 2018
776
Tampa, Fl
Huzzah I'm at 2 weeks! Probably wont be updating my progress until I make a bigger milestone. Don't want to bug this thread. But I was particularly proud this weekend because I got HORRIFIC news this week and managed to resist with the added distraction that there was available booze nearby.

Doing okay! Right now when I get a craving it lasts for about an hour or so, and during this time I try to dive into one of my hobbies.
 

Ploppee

Member
Nov 28, 2018
216
Today marks two weeks! I'm having sugar cravings every night, which makes sense as I'm no longer getting my nightly dose through drinking.

Hung out at a bar last night and just had diet soda, figured ordering water would be too many questions.

As for sleep, I've thrown a lot of my new found free time into physical activity and have found myself falling asleep pretty easily. Hopefully that doesn't go away once my body gets used to being active.
Sugar cravings are totally natural as alcohol is chock-full of sugar and so your body isn't getting it's usual fix of that also. A bowl of cereal is much better than 6-8 beers though so that's what I always try and keep in mind. Trying to deny yourself of absolutely everything at once will make things much harder so don't beat yourself up for a sweet treat. It'll die down after a while too :)
 

Threadkular

Member
Dec 29, 2017
815
Probably wont be updating my progress until I make a bigger milestone. Don't want to bug this thread.
No worries if you choose not to update the thread, but get rid of that negative thinking that you're "bugging" the thread. Sharing your thoughts about things that come up (especially in really early sobriety) is helping others more than you think. Even for those out of that stage it's "oh I remember that feeling and don't want to go back there."

Getting rid of that self destructive thinking (some call it alcoholic thinking) or worthlessness thinking is part of the inside job that is getting sober.
 

sgtnosboss

Member
Nov 9, 2017
2,897
IL
You're all amazing. And thanks for the tips about sugar, I was already starting to stress about that as well. Need to just relax.
like Threadkular said, you aren't bugging the thread. I still watch this thread and read any comments added. Thats awesome you made it through a tough weekend, I still haven't had to go through one yet, but thats more on me for lack of a social life lol. Every time someone comments on their journey it honestly just helps me remind myself what I don't want to go back to again or reasons I shouldn't pick a drink up again.
 

Blue Skies

Member
Mar 27, 2019
1,980
This Ted really breaks down addiction (substances and otherwise) into a few different, easy-to-understand parts and offers an interesting theory on recovery methods.
Will watch.


Came in to say that I keep fucking up.
I wouldn’t say I have a drinking problem; but I do drink by myself all the time, recently I’ve restricted to just the weekends, but shit, I have a history of high blood pressure and I think it’s literally just cause the alcohol.
But goddamn it, My life has changed A LOT in the last 6 months. I’m in a new city, I’m no longer in the navy, and I’m a college student. I have no friends, and I’m still in love with my ex, and we’ve rekindled our friendship through text and it’s looking like we’re gonna be in a long distance relationship.
What am I supposed to do every weekend after I finish my homework? I go to the gym and I’m stuck to my own devils and devices, and that usually means some awesome 6 pack of some cool Packaged IPA I find at the nearby store, and I just sit in my room alternating from my drink to era, to reddit, to texting the girl, to watching whatever I’m watching.

AND if I were to start socializing, wouldn’t that mean I’m gonna drink still??
I’d honesty rather just drink at home and avoid problems.

I’ve had a lot of problems when I go out drinking with buddies, so I guess it’s good o don’t got buddies to drink with
 

Threadkular

Member
Dec 29, 2017
815
Will watch.


Came in to say that I keep fucking up.
I wouldn’t say I have a drinking problem; but I do drink by myself all the time, recently I’ve restricted to just the weekends, but shit, I have a history of high blood pressure and I think it’s literally just cause the alcohol.
But goddamn it, My life has changed A LOT in the last 6 months. I’m in a new city, I’m no longer in the navy, and I’m a college student. I have no friends, and I’m still in love with my ex, and we’ve rekindled our friendship through text and it’s looking like we’re gonna be in a long distance relationship.
What am I supposed to do every weekend after I finish my homework? I go to the gym and I’m stuck to my own devils and devices, and that usually means some awesome 6 pack of some cool Packaged IPA I find at the nearby store, and I just sit in my room alternating from my drink to era, to reddit, to texting the girl, to watching whatever I’m watching.

AND if I were to start socializing, wouldn’t that mean I’m gonna drink still??
I’d honesty rather just drink at home and avoid problems.

I’ve had a lot of problems when I go out drinking with buddies, so I guess it’s good o don’t got buddies to drink with
I can sympathize with all of your thoughts and feelings... I've been there. But if you want a place to commiserate with you about "what else could you possibly do besides drinking" this isn't really the place.

Again, I've been there and know the thoughts. That's the disease:
- What possible other options do you have on this planet other than alcohol to entertain myself?
- It is an impossibility to find people to socialize with amongst the 8 billion others on Earth without alcohol
- Regardless, this is ME we're talking about... I'm special/different/shy/anxious/depressed/neuroatypical/etc.

I had to get to a point of "if you want what we have and you'll do anything to get it...". Do that while your "bottom" isn't very low. And you just have to choose it for today.

Edit: additionally, I imagine you can find many others on Era that would tell you your behavior is normal. So you can stay with that group if you want. But it sounds like you're in pain, so I'd try putting down the booze and getting out of isolation for a bit.
 
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Taurus Silver

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,328
I'm sober today, not by choice but by force. I'm in Drug court so doing drugs and alcohol is not an option for me right now. Been in recovery for going on 4 months and it's a weird experience. I actually like it. My mind is more clear today than it was 5 months ago.
 

AliceAmber

Moderator
May 2, 2018
776
Tampa, Fl
Will watch.


Came in to say that I keep fucking up.
I wouldn’t say I have a drinking problem; but I do drink by myself all the time, recently I’ve restricted to just the weekends, but shit, I have a history of high blood pressure and I think it’s literally just cause the alcohol.
But goddamn it, My life has changed A LOT in the last 6 months. I’m in a new city, I’m no longer in the navy, and I’m a college student. I have no friends, and I’m still in love with my ex, and we’ve rekindled our friendship through text and it’s looking like we’re gonna be in a long distance relationship.
What am I supposed to do every weekend after I finish my homework? I go to the gym and I’m stuck to my own devils and devices, and that usually means some awesome 6 pack of some cool Packaged IPA I find at the nearby store, and I just sit in my room alternating from my drink to era, to reddit, to texting the girl, to watching whatever I’m watching.

AND if I were to start socializing, wouldn’t that mean I’m gonna drink still??
I’d honesty rather just drink at home and avoid problems.

I’ve had a lot of problems when I go out drinking with buddies, so I guess it’s good o don’t got buddies to drink with
I understand. It sounds like you are at a challenging time in your life. If you do decide to improve your social life I wanted to suggest checking out meetup.com there tends to be groups for just about any hobby. Like maybe give a board game group a go? Good luck.