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Bars

Yesterday I had a good day.  It was nice to have a good day because over the past few weeks they had been few and far between.  Finally, yesterday it changed.  I started the day with a nice walk outside and then took care of some errands before I went to work.

Work was fine, it usually is.  It’s my personal time that is always the issue.  That is when I struggle with motivation.  The simple fact that I took care of some of the errands made a big difference.  I also think that the beginning of the day walk is a very good thing.  I might have to try and do that more.

I get done with work late in the evening and I’ve been starting to hang out at the bar across the street  more often.  I live in a small town and it’s really the only place I can socialize.  Being in the bar does not seem to be an issue in terms of temptation so it’s been ok.  I just drink my Ginger Ale.

What I have been doing is beginning to experiment and practice normal socializing skills.  I realize now that when I was drinking I actually did not socialize very much.  I knew who most of the other locals were who hung out there every night, but I never sat down and talked with them face to face.  Now I am purposely forcing myself to talk with everyone there.

This is different for me.  I’ve never been outgoing.  I can tell that it is already working.  Instead of just being a lump sitting on a stool I am now an integral part of the “regulars”.  People don’t just know my name now.  They really know who I am.  It’s been fun!  And then when a stranger comes into the bar I enjoy going over, introducing myself, and getting to know them.  That is soooo not like the old me 🙂

So, a lot of things are going well.  I’m not drinking.  I’ve been interacting more socially instead of hiding, and I feel good about what I’m doing.

The only area I need to keep working hard on is achieving my personal goals.  This is where motivation and using my spare time come into play.  This area is still difficult.  I have dreams of all these tasks I wish to work on during my non work time and I rarely seem to dig into them.  I’m going to start easy and just try to work on something small each day to get me into the groove.  Just like yesterday when I took care of a few simple tasks and my whole day was better.

Time to wrap up this post.  I’m going to go out for a walk.  Later I will head back down to the lake for the weekend.  Most likely I will be staying at the lake almost every weekend now.  It’s close to my job so I save a couple trips back into town.

– BST

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After work tonight I hit the festival.  Once again I passed on buying a wrist band for the beer garden.  I sat on a wall for a bit watching the band over the fence and quickly determined that they were a pretty shitty cover band.

Did a few more laps walking around the festival and the carnival area, then stopped into the bar.  I had a really good time tonight.  With the festival going on the bar was busier, and very lively.  I met some new people, and chatted with a lot of my old friends.

I rolled with ginger ale again tonight.  I get the feeling that I’m going to turn into a ginger ale aficionado.  That and tea hehe.

The festival was a good test.  This event is completely designed around alcohol consumption.  I saw a shitload of hammered people, and I’m sure I’ll see more the rest of the weekend.  The temptation was there.  It was not a sharp temptation.  It was in the background, kinda dull.  It was also fleeting.  Within moments it would go away.

As the night went on I got stronger and felt better.  At the end of the night I relaxed on the bench outside in front of my apartment.  There were drunk people stumbling up and down main street and a few that could no longer walk being dragged by their friends.  Watching this at the end of the night always gives me a sense of strength.  It reminds me of what I don’t want to be.  Yes, it is always rewarding at the end.

Well, I managed to stay up VERY late tonight hehe.  It’s 4am.  *yawns*.  Oh btw that means I have officially passed the 1 month mark!!

– BST

This is it.  The biggest festival of the year hits town.  It’s a beautiful sunny Friday afternoon and the crowds are already out.

Last night after work I walked around for awhile and then hung out at my favorite bar.  It was overall pretty quite, and I did not hang around long.  Tonight after work should be different.  I expect the town will be packed to the rafters.  Usually on the festival weekend the bars are so full you can hardly move.  Should be some interesting people watching.

I’m sure I will run into a lot of people I know.  I ran into a few peeps last night, and had some good conversation.  Of course, I also had to deal with a few random drunken conversations.  When I was drunk I must have been oblivious to these weird drunken talks.  Drunk people seem so much more drunk now LOL!!!  Slurring, drooling, unintelligible gurgling hehe.  Frankly, it shocks me a bit.

Is there a story here about the life of average Americans?  Or, a story about humans in general?  Is this really where we are?

When I was young I wished that I lived in the far future.  Present day society always seemed so primitive 🙂  I’m not gonna lie.  Going sober can reveal some stark truths about life.  During the days of drinking my brain was weakened and more susceptible to the placating media, and soothing control structures that keep you working like the little cog in the machine that is wanted.

Even under those conditions I was the cog that never fit.  Always causing problems for the machine.  Never “fitting in” just right.  After a month of sobriety my eyes are open again, and the brain is recovering.  The shocking truth is now in my face everywhere I go.  I can’t just put my mind on cruise control and slide by.

That’s ok.  I would rather be aware and freaked out, then oblivious and content.

Time to go and enjoy this wonderful day.  I can smell the festival food wafting through my window.  I better get out there in the sun.

– BST

My town starts its yearly, 4 day, huge festival tomorrow.  I haven’t been thinking about it that much.  In fact it kinda snuck up on me!  We live in a tourist town that attracts a lot of out of towners the year round.  The festival will bring in droves.

The festival will be in my face because I live on main street, smack dab in the middle of town.  In previous years I would have been fantasizing for weeks about the drunken debauchery that would ensue once the festival kicks off.

I’m still going to enjoy it.  I’m still going to love living on main street and being in the middle of it all when the big crowds come in.  Instead of making lunch, I’ll just walk out my front door and eat festival food for four days LOL 🙂

I’m not going to be buying any wrist bands this year.  I bet I’m gonna save around 200 bucks participating in the festival sober  😉  The money will go to festival food, a few beverages and maaaaaybe a carnival game or two.  Hey!  I can play a carnival game if I want!  I think I’m saving enough on the beer!  ;-p  Oh, and I can get a T-shirt with the saved money too!

When the festival kicks into full gear over the weekend I will be passing into month two of sobriety.  A festival to celebrate my one month!  Perfect timing!  🙂

 

Day 26.  I’m past the quarter mark for the 100 day challenge!

Still going strong!  Temptations to drink have not been a problem.  The only thing I have really noticed within the last week or so is that I do feel different.  Like I’m a different person.  Now I have to take some time to get to know that person 🙂

I don’t always feel good.  I didn’t turn into a sobriety super hero by any means.  I just feel different.  I find my self doing things I usually would not have done in the past.

I have not been to the bar since that first visit a couple weeks ago.  It was fine.  I just find that I’m not hanging at the bar as much right now LOL 🙂  Last night after work I was thinking that I would stop in again.  I got home from work and chilled for a bit, and then went out for a late night walk.  I did a loop around one part of town, and then came back around towards the bar.  I saw some drunk people around main street.  I could hear unruly sounding drunk people from the bar as I approached.  This was right around midnight and things in town were hoppin.

I stopped.  Thought about things a little bit.  Stared up at the moon a little bit.  Aaaaaaand, just kept on walking hehe 🙂  The bar sounded annoying as hell!!!  I just didn’t want to deal with it.  I took a longer loop walk around the other side of town instead.  It was a beautiful night out.

Randomly walking around in the middle of the night is something I would have done when I was 18.  It felt funny doing it.  I saw the town from a different perspective.  Then I rolled up on the canning plant.  This place is huge.  During the summer it runs 24/7.  I looked up at a giant conveyer belt that was dumping green beans.  Like some weirdo I just stood there on the curb after midnight staring at green beans falling through the air.  After a few minutes of this I had attracted the attention of a few workers inside so I decided to move on 🙂

I felt kinda good when I went to bed last night.  I guess walking was more relaxing than the bar idea 🙂

We’ll see what Saturday night brings!

– BST

Here is a not very good picture of the bean plant.  This is just one building.  The whole place is huge.

I survived my outing at the bar last night.  It was the first time entering a bar since I went sober.  I ended up having a great night.  Being sober at the bar was actually fun!

Tonight was another test.  A Major League Baseball Game!  The game was a blast.  Our team won.  I went with my Dad, Brother and a friend of my Dads.  We all had a good time.  It was interesting being surrounded by about 30,000 plus drunk people LOL.  It irritated me a few times, but I was quickly able to refocus my thoughts and recover.

One of the lines I always repeat in my head when faced with these situations is “would alcohol make this moment any better?”  That always brings me back down to earth.  I realize that anything you do can be just as, if not more fun sober than it would have been drinking.

Once again, just like the bar, I saved a lot of money.  Beers at the ball park are $8!!  I could have spent a small fortune getting drunk at that game.  Instead, I bought a $10 item from the gift shop.  Going to a baseball game, and then walking out only having spent $10 is pretty amazing.

Here are some pics from the game!  Enjoy!

– BST

Just getting around to this post here Saturday afternoon.  After work yesterday I decided it was finally time to go visit my favorite bar across the street.  Yes, I live across the street from the bar LOL.  It was another milestone moment.  Everything went well.  I had a ginger ale, and smiled when I found out that it only cost $1 🙂

My old drinking buddy and all the other usual friends were there.  I live in a small town, so it is a tight knit community.  Everyone was happy to see me, and I was sipping my ginger ale and being sober.  It was quite enjoyable.  I could actually have conversations, and I noticed that I smiled and laughed a lot more.  Of course by the end of the night I totally noticed how very drunk everyone else had become.  Conversation did not work out as well at that point hehe 🙂

I spent the rest of the time relaxing, playing some tunes on the jukebox, and chatting with my favorite bar tender.

All total I only spent $5 last night.  $2 on drinks and I tipped the bar tender $3 just for the hell of it.  $5 is pretty good compared to the usual $30-$40 I would have spent at the bar in the past.

I drove back to my parents today.  I’ll be here a few days.  A mini vacation.  We are going to the baseball game tonight.  I’ll take some pics to post later.  Gotta fly!

– BST

 

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