Recently I spotted an interesting comment on my blog about feeling bored.
It said: “I’m finding it difficult to quit, because I’m so used to having a glass in my hand in the evening. It feels like it gives me something to do. I’m bored in the evening. Has anyone else experienced this?”
Boredom is a surprisingly common trigger in early sobriety.
Whilst many people love the extra time that sobriety frees up, others feel a bit lost without alcohol to fall back on in the evening.
Today’s blog isn’t some patronising list of ideas for things you can do in the evening when you’re sober…
Instead I want to talk about what’s really going on for us when we’re bored – and what the real fear is…
Feeling bored isn’t actually a bad thing
As humans, we’re meant to experience the full spectrum of positive and negative emotions – that’s how we’re designed. There can be a bit of stigma around boredom, but it can also fuel so much creativity.
Sobriety itself isn’t boring
Let’s get one thing straight: alcohol isn’t magic joy juice. Drinking until you pass out on the sofa at home, alone, isn’t fun or interesting. It just makes you numb enough not to care that you’re bored or unhappy.
You may need to make other changes
Most people drink in order to fill a void of some sort, e.g. an unhappy relationship, an unfulfilling job, loneliness or feeling bored with your daily routine. If you take alcohol away, but do nothing to change those other factors, you’re probably going to feel it.
What really scares us?
When we feel bored, we notice our own thoughts. If those thoughts are very negative, then hanging out in your own brain isn’t going to be a great experience. This is where the real work of sobriety is – facing up to your own mind.
Choose your discomfort
What would you prefer: the discomfort that comes with drinking and all the negative side effects? Or the discomfort of stepping out of your comfort zone and making changes in your life?
Alcohol free living is not as simple as just taking the alcohol away. It’s about creating a life you don’t want to escape or numb out from.
If you’d like some help and support to quit drinking – and create an alcohol-free life you love – click here for details of my online course.