I’m interested in the concept of boredom … particularly how it relates to boozing & sobriety. I always used to say that I drank because I was bored. And without a doubt one of the most difficult things for me in getting sober has been learning how to just ‘be’ with a wide-open brain.
Is this me learning how to combat boredom or is it something deeper? Is it a problem I have being alone with my thoughts and at peace with myself? I’ve been pondering this for a while.. since early sobriety actually.. here’s an excerpt from my book when I was at sober day #76 ..
“I now know for certain that I do not like to be overly emotional and that drinking helped me to avoid that. It’s good to have that basic knowledge about myself. But I’ve still got a lot to learn. Starting with, how to just be around at home without my beloved wine.
Why did I do so much drinking at home? I used to say quite a lot that I was ‘bored’, and that drinking wine helped with the ‘boredom that comes from being at home with kids all the time’. In a twisted way I thought wine was a clever solution to stop me from getting bored at home ‘like all housewives do’. But now I’m wondering if there was more to it than that.
Once again a TV guru helps me, although this time it’s not Oprah but the rather slick addiction-specialist Dr Drew. I’m watching Celebrity Rehab one afternoon when one of the addicts on the show, in a counselling session, tells Dr Drew that he uses drugs ‘cos I’m bored all the time’. Dr Drew quickly interjects with, ‘You know boredom is just another word for depression, don’t you?’
At the time Dr Drew really got me thinking, and realizing that I had to learn how to be still. I am certainly much better at it now than I was nearly 3 years ago. There is definitely a quietening down/slowing down that you have to accept if you want to stay sober.
Is this getting used to boredom or is it something else? I’ve noticed others talking about boredom in the Members Feed recently.
“Today is Monday and I have work today … so pleased I have work .. that means I won’t want to sit around feeling bored and drink”
“Boredom is the alcoholics thing of wanting more”
“Boredom to me is a pure of lack of motivation and negative self talk.”
“I have been thinking that I am mistaking my boredom for a new calmness. Very interesting”
I’ve heard it said ‘only boring people get bored’. But maybe Dr Drew is right and only depressed people get bored. Or are people who say they’re bored just not content within themselves (like I wasn’t)? Is the boredom that comes from having no booze in the brain calmness or depression? Is getting sober all about figuring out the answers to these questions..?
What do you think?