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Saturday, October 21st, 2006

Here’s how to spend ex-drinking time

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

time spent drinkingOne of the most common topics we hear about on our message board has to do with making the adjustment to all those hours – typically evening  – no longer drinking. People are downright bored. And perplexed. They often don’t understand why they continue to have a powerful desire to engage in a behavior for which they’ve lost the physical craving. Because unfortunately, if not addressed, the psychological yearning remains. This is conditioning that resulted after many years of practice, after all. It takes some time to get past it. That’s why hypnotherapy, counseling, and support can be very useful.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s also why, given our predictably addictive personalities, it’s sometimes helpful to become a bit nuts about something completely new, at least early on in the recovery process. For example, when I first started out, I was a maniac for exercise – something that never really appealed to me earlier. But it kept me busy and out of trouble. I had other interests for which I became passionate – building the MWO community was one of them, of course, and it remains one of my most rewarding (and challenging) activities. But on a day to day level…when the witching hour hits and we’re left with a choice we know we shouldn’t make, what are we to do?  In the past I’ve recommended a number of strategies. Take a walk. Take a bath. Get a massage. Enroll in an evening class. Volunteer. Start a new hobby. Become a Big Brother or Sister. Visit an elderly person. Adopt a pet. Redecorate. Learn to mediate. Join a health club. And be sure to have a number of healthy non-alcoholic beverages on hand.    

To be honest, I’ve found another solution that has been very helpful to me although it probably sounds terribly simplistic. It’s this: watch a movie. Believe it or not, you may find it very helpful in a pinch. 

I’m not talking about the $12 theater ticket movies, either. I mean the NetFlix or Blockbuster CDs that you rent online and keep as long as you like. They include several episodes per disk. You can rent the shows you missed last season or you’ve heard your friends raving about. You’re sure to get hooked as you spend your evenings indulging in your new obsession. And it’ll give you something else to look forward to as you drive home from work. 

Over the last couple of years I have found myself hopelessly absorbed in a number of network and cable shows like Six Feet Under, Nip/Tuck, Lost (family favorite), Weeds (my favorite) The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and other fabulous shows. We’ve put our movie subscriptions to excellent use.

I don’t usually make a habit of encouraging couch potato activity. But this is different. If the choice is staying home and slugging down drinks or doing something else, I’d recommend popping open an L-Glutamine, throwing in a movie, and getting hooked on a whole lotta fun.

One Response to “Here’s how to spend ex-drinking time”

  1. imagine Says:
    October 31st, 2006 at 7:58 am

    Thank you for the tips RJ. I will need them as I embark on a month of abstinence in November.

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