How to Deal With Boredom in Sobriety


This is dedicated to the “newcomers” in sobriety who are biting their nails, pulling their hair out and wondering when the hell this recovery thing starts feeling good.  I KNOW the feeling of boredom.  It felt eternal, and awful.  If drinking wasn’t sending me on such a downward spiral, I would have had a drink, but I had no choice… I HAD to stay sober.  And the first time around, it felt like I was looking at life through a dirty windshield, locked in my car with my windows rolled up on a hot summer day… without air conditioning.  I was sitting in endless traffic (figuratively speaking of course), and the only thing that could have been worse, is if I was walking uphill through the hottest desert in the world wearing a wool turtle neck sweater.  YES, the feeling of being bored in early sobriety is suffocating and yes, it feels endless, but I SWEAR to you, that this will all pass.  If you just hang in there, and keep going to meetings for your own sanity, you will slowly start to feel the wind against your face again, and life will ease up. 

Most of us go through this knowing that it sucks balls, but it will pass.  Deep down we know this is something we have to go through in order to recover, but often we need to be reminded that boredom is simply par for the course to eternal sobriety.  In our addiction, the last thing we ever did was sit still when we were bored, but now we have nothing to grab onto, so we suffer through this.  You do not have to suffer for long.  For me, this dirty windshield view of life lasted about a month, and I attribute that to all the chemicals in my body being completely screwed up from my alcoholism.  For others, it may not take this long, and for some, it may take longer.  It all depends on if you’re resisting the experience, or embracing it for what it is.  All this boredom is, is simply your body, mind and spirit rebalancing without a drink or a drug.  Balance is always occurring, so allow this hellish experience to overcome you for the time that it takes, and remind yourself that it will pass by hanging out with others who are actually happy in their sobriety.  Most people are, because life sober, is a gazillion times better than life as an addict.  It’s so much more simple, and you will begin enjoying things that you least expected to make you happy.  Instead of HIGH’s followed by intense LOWs, you will level out and see the world my more clearly.  Just hang in there, please.

Sit with the discomfort.  Welcome it into your experience.  Trust that it is just a passerby who will soon flee when you stop trying to control how you feel.  Anger will arise, and possibly a bit of grief.  You will feel restless and moody, but these short-term feelings are merely guests whom you need to make acquaintances with for the time being.  They are not eternal guests in your sober house.  If this was the case, none of us would remain sober.  We wouldn’t have the desire to remain sober if it sucked like this eternally. 

Get curious about yourself and imagine that you are embarking on a journey.  There will be rough mountains to climb, heavy storm clouds, and days of desert monotony, but the amazing view is just ahead, and this is what you’re aiming for.  Keep moving forward and know that you are exactly where you need to be today.  Hang in there, my friend… this boredom will surely pass.


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