RE: Loneliness and the sober line cook

“Now the thing that I call living is just being satisfied
With knowing I got no one left to blame”

Gordon Lightfoot, Carefree Highway (song 1974)

I knew going into becoming sober I would have to keep myself busy It’s not that I don’t do anything I do quite a lot of things, go to work mostly, ride my bike, help my wife and her mother with some of the landscaping projects around the house, play with my daughter when I have a day off. I write, or at least make an honest attempt at it.

The problem is that’s all it ever seems to be, just keeping busy. I have not had a drink in over a year and a half, and one question still persists. When do I start enjoying life again?

Don’t get me wrong the last year or so has had its moments. There has been however this overwhelming feeling of emptiness around me. I have been living in isolation for that time, what remains of my previous lifestyle, the one thing that I haven’t found a viable way out of, is my job. To make that work I have to put up with crazy schedules, always working weekends, and putting in long hours at night.  This leaves little in the way of time to schedule socializing during the day. Most cooks and other restaurant personnel take care of their need to blow off steam by frequenting bars, and night clubs, and house parties.

For a few reasons this isn’t a good option for me.

It’s not that I don’t trust myself as far as staying sober goes, I feel I have moved past that for the most part; of course I see no reason to test this on a regular basis.  No, at this point the problem seems to be that I find drunk people terribly annoying now that I am sober. To voluntarily surround myself with them more than necessary, well that seems like a good way to make my relationships with my coworkers a bit awkward.

This leaves me largely alone in a house full of sleeping people most nights. Fiddling around on the internet;  feigning interest at the comings and goings of antisocial networks and streaming bad television shows. Anything to occupy the time while wrestling with erratic sleep patterns and a short attention span.

And it all begs the question, what do sober people do for fun?

Well enough of that. I apologize for missing my regular publish time this week. I’ve been feeling a bit out of sorts the past few days.

Hope you all had a happy Monday.

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3 thoughts on “RE: Loneliness and the sober line cook

  1. My brother-in-law had a health scare and stopped drinking also. He found it really hard to find a life outside his drinking ‘friends’ for 2years. He also spoke of the ’emptiness’. He initially started spending lots of time on the computer, but then, made a few motivational changes in his life. He joined a 24hr gym and went to the gym a few times a week, usually late at night (when he used to be out drinking). It helped with his work stress and restlessness. Then he joined a martial arts club and developed a different social network. One of his friends who gave up drinking started building model railways and trains in his garage -but this was one expensive hobby!! I’ve never been in your shoes so I won’t pretend I understand, but I hear you and I hope you will find something to fill that part of your life. Something positive and constructive 🙂 Good honest post!

    • I have considered getting back into practicing martial arts again after about a 18 year hiatus, I am not sure my reconstructed knee could take it though. Maybe starting with something low impact like tai chi or beginner’s yoga might fit the bill. Still thinking about it. For now writing is what I do to work out stress and anxiety, by and large it is working but does little to cure the isolation.

      Thanks for the insight, and for reading. Nice to have regulars come by to visit.

  2. In case you do, in fact, want some suggestions:

    1. Exercise such as swimming/yoga/weight lifting. Something that uses all major muscle groups.
    2. Art involving actual media: painting, large-form sculpting
    3. LOTS OF READING
    4. Writing
    5. Cooking for fun
    6. Hiking
    7. Photography
    8. Forming groups of likeminded. Writing groups, reading groups. Even if you need to use the internet to do so.
    9. Gaming. Tabletop, board games, cards, etc.

    These have long been activities that have helped me stave off the empty feeling I can only assume is analogous to your own.

    If you find anything else that works better, share?

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