Timothy is a writer and video content creator. He enjoys helping others learn to improve their lives and shape better futures.
I've struggled with drinking for many, many years.
I took my first drink in my early 20's and from that moment on I was in love.
Beer was my alcoholic beverage of choice, and pretty much every evening after 5 o'clock you could find me with one in my hand. That one beer led to two, two led to three, three led to 20 - and me passing out drunk yet again.
This was my life for many years. But as time went on, the dark side of drinking began to show more and more in my daily life. I'd always had bad hangovers, but as the years progressed, they got worse. This led to me missing more and more days at work.
Passing out drunk at home turned into me getting black-out drunk all over the place. I woke up way too many mornings unaware of where I was, how I got there, or what I'd done the last few hours of the night before.
I got drunk and cheated on my girlfriend. She dumped me.
I got drunk and vandalized the front of a restaurant. The cops threw me in jail.
I share all these stories to (a) let anyone reading this article know that I have a pretty good idea what they might currently be going through, and (b) to show why I decided to quit and get sober.
And that's when a whole different struggle began.
Anyone who has ever tried to get sober knows that the urge to drink can be overpowering. You realize just how much your body and mind have come to depend on the drink when you try to take it away.
It was a daily battle in the beginning to keep myself from giving in and 'just having one beer' (which would have led to a whole night of drinking). But honestly, that wasn't my biggest issue with trying to get sober.
My biggest issue was: THE BOREDOM!
Only someone who has lived the party lifestyle and abused substances for long periods of time can fully understand how dull life can seem once you stop and put the drugs and/or alcohol down.
It was so bad with me that even ordinary activities like watching a movie after dinner seemed like an impossible task without having a few beers to accompany it.
What was I supposed to do: Go out to eat with my boys and drink WATER????
Or take a young lady out on a date and drink SODAS???
I'm not exaggerating when I say that no activity in my life, except work, didn't seem negatively impacted by my decision to stop drinking.
Read More From Youmemindbody
Fortunately, however, I eventually came to realize that this was just flawed thinking, thinking that was being carried out by an addicted brain that desperately wanted me to drink again.
Why? Because it had gotten used to the 'highs' that came with drinking. The bliss, enjoyment, and numbness that came from drowning my brain cells with cold ones every night.
These days one of my favorite quotes about sobriety is that "the highs aren't as high, but the lows aren't as low".
What finally helped me to overcome the boredom that initially came with getting sober was the realization that (a) even if my life was boring now, it was better than the hangovers, the blackouts, the shame, and the guilt and (b) my life actually wasn't that dull. I was still doing most of the same things I used to, I just had to get used to doing them without the 'high'.
I started thinking back to when I was a child, before I ever even thought about drinking. I used to have tons of fun! And aside from an occasional 'sugar high', I had all that fun totally sober! Why couldn't I get back to that space in life and enjoy all my hobbies/favorite pastimes without alcohol again?
It wasn't easy, but once I realized that I was really just resetting my brain back to an earlier state, dealing with the 'boredom' wasn't as bad. I knew I just had to put in enough time sober that my brain stopped prompting me to drink as often, and realized that I could find enjoyment in life without the highs.
So I forced myself to watch movies every night stone sober. (I'm not going to lie, in the beginning I went to bed super early many a night, halfway though a movie).
I made myself hang out with friends and drink water, soda, or sweet tea. I had to learn to go on dates sober, and yes, even have sex sober. (That topic could be an article all to itself!)
And eventually, I found that my enjoyment levels started to even out. And it was so gradual and natural that I can't really say how long it took. I just remember suddenly finding myself really enjoying activities that a week or so before I was struggling to get through.
It didn't seem like a chore to hang out anymore. Netflix was my best friend again. When I was out at dinner I didn't find myself staring at other people's beers, desperately wanting one any longer. Now I was wrapped up in conversation and just enjoying the atmosphere and companionship.
Basically, the boredom was gone and I had my life back!
I want to re-emphasize that it wasn't easy to stay sober and get over the boredom. It was literally one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. It took enormous amounts of effort, and quite a bit of time. But it was doable!
And you can do it too!
Focus on how great your life will be when you finally have the 'alcohol monkey' off your back. When you can go wherever you want, and be around whoever you want, without having to worry about getting drunk and causing a scene.
Focus on how great it will feel to get up every morning and not have to worry about being hungover, sick, or guilty about your actions from the night before.
Focus on how good it will feel to be able to tell your loved ones that your are 3 months sober. 6 months sober. 1 year sober!
You can achieve all this! And having to deal with being bored for a few months is actually a small price to pay. Your younger self got through every situation life threw at him/her completely sober. You are now a grown adult, and way stronger than when you were a child. You have what it takes to stand strong and resist the urges to drink and the moments of boredom.
Millions of others are fighting this same battle with you right now. They are going to win and you can too!
Sobriety might be boring at first, but it's worth it. And so are you!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.