If I ever get around to living

“If I ever get around to living, it’s gonna be just like I dreamed” – John Mayer

I feel stuck.  Waiting for those stories I hear from other recovering alcoholics about how they find so much joy in their life, waiting for that to happen to me.  The last two weekends I attended 9 soccer games and a dance recital.  I work, I attend my AA meetings, and I obsess about my recovery, that seems to be about it.  Not that I don’t enjoy these things at all, I like being there for my kids, and I have some nice conversations with other people – but I don’t really feel like I am “living”.  I still feel I am in a robotic stage of life where I just do what is expected of me, perhaps this is how it should be, I don’t know.

Much of the alcoholic state is about selfishness, which presents me with a dilemma.  Am I just being a big baby or am I really missing something?  I also wonder if I am just using the soccer games and everything else as an excuse for not finding motivation to seek out joy for myself – but it sure seems like I don’t have time.

When I discuss these thoughts with other alcoholics, I do not get much sympathy.  Most of them seem to be the type of alcoholic whose selfishness was manifested by neglecting everything around them, so they will suggest to me that these thoughts are self-centered and that I should actually do less for myself.  I feel like I was the opposite type of alcoholic, I did everything for everybody else, albeit for selfish reasons; so that I could feed my twisted need to have everybody think I was awesome, and therefore continue to drink.  My wife often indicates that her number one problem with me is that I don’t enjoy life, so I reason that by finding joy for myself would not be selfish as I would be doing something for her as well.  Maybe I am just rationalizing and I am in fact doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing, and need to find happiness in that, and these other thoughts are just the alcoholic self-centeredness coming out.

I would interested to hear other people’s comments or experiences with this.



About A Beast Within

Trying to find myself, battling alcoholism, and other personal demons. Sharing the journey. View all posts by A Beast Within

3 responses to “If I ever get around to living

  • karenlessscripted

    For me, that sense of not enjoying life is a feeling of low-grade anxiety. I thought that drinking helped me finally be able to relax and relieved anxiety but ultimately, it made it worse. Now that I’m sober (10 months), I find that life is more even without the highs and lows of alcohol but not as exciting. Drinking was an integral part of my routine and there was always a buildup to drinking. One way that I feel like I’m really living is when I do something sober that I never would’ve done or enjoyed when I was drinking. I’ve accepted invitations to events that I wouldn’t have gone to before because they didn’t have alcohol. I’ve enjoyed simple moments with intense clarity that I wouldn’t have felt before. Clarity isn’t inherently exciting but it’s meaningful. I think part of it too is that when I drank, things just seemed more joyful because I got there artificially. Now I have to FIND joy in life. I look for it. I can’t just drink it into existence. I hope this helps.

  • Grandby

    Someone correct me if I am wrong please! I seem to remember somewhere in the literature, ” when we drank, we did so to find higher highs, and found instead lower lows after a binge.” if this is true, than as sober human beings, we are still looking for those crazy highs, they are gone! They were a product of the drinking that we did, and our bodies reaction to the poison we fed ourselves.

  • B. (Below Her Means)

    “I feel like I was the opposite type of alcoholic, I did everything for everybody else, albeit for selfish reasons; so that I could feed my twisted need to have everybody think I was awesome, and therefore continue to drink.” I can relate to this on so many levels. I recently joined a pilates studio to go to class four times a week in the early morning and I love animals so I’m volunteering for an hour per week at the Humane Society. It’s just empowering to go do stuff by yourself regularly, makes you a better person when you’re back with the people you love afterward. Look back to when you were much, much younger, what did you enjoy? Go do that.

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