where do alcoholics go instead of thr bar ?

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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where do alcoholics go instead of thr bar ?

Postby natshen » Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:27 am

i went out last night to a comedy club which i knew would be be full of drunk people , it was a big test for me , the question i have is , where do alcoholics go so as to avoid the bars , i have spent alot of my life in or arround bars and now i wounder where do all the non-drinkers go , any suggestions on how to start a social life would be appreciated
thanks natalie

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Postby Dallas » Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:04 pm

Hey Natalie,

Good question. :lol:

When I first came in to A.A. -- I thought it was the end of my life... alcohol was always at the center of everything that I did. If there wasn't alcohol there -- I felt I had no business being there!

My questions were:

1. How could I ever be happy not drinking?
2. How could anyone ever have fun -- not drinking?
3. Where could I go -- where people would not be drinking?
4. Doesn't everone drink?
5. How can I go to business meetings -- and not drink? (If I didn't drink they would think I had a problem with alcohol!) :lol:

What I realized was: all my thoughts were still about drinking. To think about "not drinking" is to think about drinking. :lol:

I thought that my entire life in the future -- because I had become alcoholic -- would center around thoughts about "not drinking."

I thought that because I was alcoholic -- and not drinking -- that I would have to spent 24 hours a day -- thinking about "not drinking."

I thought that the sober-alcoholics insanity of the "next first drink" -- would be when the alcoholic was not thinking about not drinking. Made perfect sense to me! :wink:

One morning -- I had been up all night thinking about some problems -- and it was about 3:00 a.m. in the morning -- and I discovered that I had not been thinking about not drinking. It scared the heck out of me, because I thought that I had caught the "insanity of the next first drink" so I called my sponsor to alert him and to ask for help!

I woke him and his wife up with my plea as I told him "I think I'm going to get drunk! And, you said call you before I drink! So, I did it this time! I'm calling!" He said, why are you going to drink? and I said "I was sitting here thinking and I suddenly discovered that I was not thinking about not drinking!" He say "what"? I found out that I wasn't thinking about drinking. And, that must be the alcoholic insanity -- my mind slipped aready because I wasn't thinking about not drinking!"

He asked if I had any alcohol in my apartment and I said no. He asked if I had already started drinking -- and I said no. Then, he seemed like he was mad and said "That's what's supposed to happen! That's normal! That's why we take the Steps so that we don't have to sit around thinking about not drinking!" And, then he told me to go to bed and stop thinking! :oops:

One day I discovered a place in our book that says: "Therefore, the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than in his body."

I already knew of a Spiritual Principle of "my mind will attract and manifest what it thinks about." And, I put those two thoughts together.

1. My main problem centers in my mind...
2. I will attract and manifest what I think about...
3. If I'm thinking about "not drinking" -- I'm still thinking about drinking -- so, if I don't stop doing that -- I'll eventually have a drink.

So, I reversed my thinking (with effort). I started thinking about "staying sober." Naturally, one of the actions to take to stay sober -- is to not take the first drink -- but, there are other actions, too. So I began to think about those other actions -- and suddenly I discovered that I was taking the other actions -- to stay sober! (My mind was attracting and manifesting what I was thinking about -- "staying sober").

One day, while I was doing that -- I discovered that I had gone the whole day without thinking about "drinking or not drinking." Now, the only time I think about drinking is when I'm in an A.A. meeting and I'm supposed to say something about my drinking! :lol:

My mental obession with alcohol had been removed. The insanity of thinking about drinking had been removed. The insanity of drinking without thinking -- had been removed. That's what the 12 Steps do for us. Then, practicing the Steps daily, causes us to take other actions -- and those actions lead us towards staying sober, towards sobriety -- and causes us to have sober thinking.

That huge long story to answer your question? :lol:

Simple. I go pretty much where I want to go because the alcohol problem in my mind has been removed. And, I have fun and I'm happy doing what I'm doing -- sober. Drinking would mess it all up. Drinking -- would eventually would lead me back to unhappy and having no fun.

I don't go to bars or clubs -- unless I've got a good reason to be there. And, if I feel like I'm on shaky ground -- I don't go there even if I do have a good legitimate reason to be there.

With bars out of the way -- I can pick up a newspaper, an Entertainment Guide, or phone book -- and see thousands of places that I can go and many things that I can do -- sober. And, I do them. :lol:

I particularly like going to museums, art gallerys, antique stores, junk stores, restaurants, concerts, plays, theater, movies, historic sites, fairs, rodeos, carnivals, bike riding, photography, cooking outside, going to the park, hanging out with friends -- my list could go on, ad infinitum!

For me -- Life has become really wonderful -- sober. It's easier to stay happy -- sober. I remember where I go, what I did, who I was with, what I said, what it sounded like, what it looked like, what it felt like. I remember if I liked it or not. :wink: And, for the most part -- I stay out of trouble easier -- sober.

One day -- many years ago, I was thinking the same question as your question. And, I must have had one of those foo-foo type moments -- where it felt like something spiritual might be happening -- and I realized that "God created this entire world for us to enjoy! And, because the alcoholic knows how to have fun -- and they have the "more disease" -- and, I'm a sober alcoholic -- I can put the pedal to the metal and enjoy all of it and more of it than non-alcoholic people -- if I stay sober!"

That's what I do. I stay sober to have fun and happiness anywhere, everywhere and most all the time! And, I do!


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Postby anniemac » Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:12 pm

Hi Natalie,

I remember going to a comedy club when I had a few months sober, and although I didn't want to drink, I was not comfortable around all the drinking. I felt stuck between two worlds. I couldn't imagine that there was a world of happy, social people who didn't drink and didn't go to bars. I, too, was a big bar drinker and found my social scene there.

To bridge that gap out of my old world of bars, before I knew what my new world held for me, I went to a lot of AA meetings. Sometimes 2 - 3 a day. It kept me busy, it kept me in contact with others, and it kept me sober. As time went by, I became included in social events with other AA members -- get-togethers at people's houses, parties, a day at the beach, bowling, dinner out, etc. Although all of my friends are not in AA, many of them are.

My idea of "fun" has changed. Used to be that sitting around somebody's back yard and chatting was on the boring end of the scale for me. Now, I relish evenings spent that way. Sometimes the transition period from one life to the next (my drinking life to my sober life) was uncomfortable, but with time came fulfilling rewards.

And....a biggie that I had a very hard time with -- if nobody is inviting me anywhere, then it's in my best interests to reach out and be the initiator.

Let us know what you find out there!!

garden variety
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby garden variety » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:15 pm

Hi Natalie,

I agree with Dallas. When my obsession with alcohol was lifted, I didn't have any need to go to bars or clubs. I didn't have the desire to either. I could go into clubs or bars, and I have, but like Dallas said, I really need a legitimate reason to be there. For me "entertainment" is not a legitimate reason.

I've met with sober friends from the fellowship in restarants that serve liquor like "Applebys", and the thought of serving alcohol is not an issue. I ususally look at the name of the establishment and what it says about it's business. If an establishment is a "Bar and Grille", I avoid it. If it's a "Brewery" or "Pub", I avoid it. If it's a "Sports Bar" I avoid it. There is nothing in an establishment like that that sparks my interest anymore. I've been in them for nearly 30 years, and they haven't changed much.

I turned down a date with my lady who wanted to see a popular local band play live in a place that was called "The Grog Shop". I found it's listing on the web, and the site showed all these pictures of how beautiful their "bar and drinking area" was, now that they remodelled. They charged a cover charge of $8.00, too. It just didn't make any sense for me to go there.

My life is very busy and I have a lot to do. It's just a full life and everything I do doesn't involve drinking or being around folks that "party". I go to at least 4 meetings a week. I visit with my lady-friend on the nights and weekends that I'm not going to meetings - we do lots of things together like Dallas said. We go to farmers markets, have cookouts, we'll go to a fair or carnival, we work in her garden and flower bed, we take my dogs to the park for walks. We'll look at antiques, and we plan on doing some "garage sailing" looking for cheap treasures. Then there are things I do on my own. I work on my home and my yard, I entertain my dogs and they entertain me, I'll fix cars, and I read a lot these days. Then you throw in step ten and eleven, and my days are pretty full. I also go to some really great AA dances and parties - what a blast - I went to one this last weekend.

When I didn't have a lady-friend in my life, I just went to more meetings. But I also learned that when I made "progress" in making my home beautiful, or attractive, it made me happy. Now, I'm a "guy" and we're not noted for having an eye to make a house into a "home", but I read, and watched others, and learned how to do it.

I "set up" my bedroom as an example. In my early sobriety, I was tired of being homeless and sleeping on the floor, so I bought a big king size wrought iron bed frame and I still use the matress I pulled out of the garbage - really it's still excellent! I found several sets of sheets in neutral colors and I matched them up with a couple comforters sets and dust ruffles. Then I got some curtains and sheers. I found some furniture through Craigslist. I got a nice little Yamaha stereo and speakers off of eBay. I found some nice porcelain figures and artisitic prints that I had framed. Then I put it all together and that was the first room in my house that I finished. It gave me a special place that I decorated on my own that has lots of beauty and it's done - and boy is it easy to fall asleep in! Now the rest of my home is a "work in progress" and isn't quite ready for "prime time", but I'm working on it and making progress.

I just watched others and read some magazines and books. I do that today still. I try not to let a day go by without making something in my home or yard prettier or more functional. Really this is fun for me. I been working on this darn walkway and patio landings in my back yard all summer and it's finally taking shape after taking it apart and putting it together 4 times. Where there was nothing but a muddy dirt path from my gate to my back door, now there's a neat cobblestone walkway that is almost set for winter. I hope to build a sitting place next year with a fountain.

It's all sober fun for me. One day I hope to share it with a certain lady-friend. But what it is, is what it's always been. God gives me a mind to use either of two ways: Constructive or Destructive. When I choose to be constructive, the payoffs are so much more satisfying.

Good luck and seek beauty wherever you can.

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