Not to be an ungrateful bitch, but I am already bored, homesick, and miss my daily routine, and it is day 3 of the two month get away from the “cold” winter in Tennessee.

Vacations at the beach are meant for drinking, something I no longer do.

I am completely incapable of relaxing.  I believe it stems from a childhood of being on high alert for any chore that may have gone undone. As kids doing nothing was seen as laziness, and it was not tolerated.  Therefore, I spent my time around the house sussing out things to do, to at least look busy, and fly under the radar of getting yelled at.

We arrived at our 2 month rental, in warm and sunny Florida, less than 48 hours ago.  As of tonight, I have already done 3 loads of laundry, swept and dusted the condo.I have taken two 5 mile runs, watched 4 episodes of Gilmore Girls, one movie, and finished one book.  I sat on the beach for two hours today, and felt like I wanted to punch myself in the face, or drink.

I am not going to drink, but it sure is crossing my mind VERY frequently.  Not only am thinking about drinking, I am talking about drinking.

Yes, I have looked up the AA meetings in the area, and guess which night there are none?  Yup, Wednesday night.

So, here I am with you guys.  Telling you I am thinking about drinking, and talking about drinking, about having a drink.

I am not going to drink tonight, I will go to a meeting tomorrow, but how the heck am I going to cure this boredom?  (Which seems to be creating a HUGE desire to drink, and  think about it, and talk about it.)

I need a To Do list.  I always feel much better with a To Do list.

My current To Do list has:


check youtube for meditation videos

learn to use the settings on the camera

move the wine glasses to a different cabinet, one that I don’t open numerous times a day

That ought to take until 10 am tomorrow.

I need something that will quite down the voices in my head that are calling me lazy and continuously tell me to get up and go do something.

The washing machine and dryer went on strike this afternoon.

Boredom is bad for my sobriety.

Any and all suggestions will be immediately set into action.  It isn’t as if I don’t have time to try new things.


34 thoughts on “I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO RELAX

  1. What I find interesting about this is that the boredom dilemma hit me too for a while in sobriety, and now, I wish I could get some of that downtime back. I think part of this is that my kneejerk reaction against having to take action, was to drink. One of the things I enjoyed about my first 30 days of enforced sobriety in a detox unit was having to to fill all of that downtime and being provided with a myriad of opportunities.

    Part of this seems to have to do with the perpetual question I ask myself to this day “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

    Here is one thing that I never have enough time for is http://www.coursera.org or any of the other MOOC offerings on a myriad of things – all for free with an internet connection.

    So, yeah, I think the boredom factor is very real early on. In part because of all the energy we put into drinking. I have always thought that the drinking was a reason I would not have make plans or get engaged. Without, there is a whole different world out there with time to fill. I think it takes practice and getting used to. Best wishes!

    • I looked at a few topics on Coursera this morning, but will have to dig deeper this evening.
      You are right about plans while drinking. I never made any, because they would interfere with the drinking. So, that being said, I am at a loss to fill up all this spare time I now have.
      Today was better.

  2. Hi – I may not have any good suggestions but I can tell you that you’re not alone. I feel like a total weirdo saying this but I really don’t enjoy vacation :(. I don’t like the lack of routine. And being bored on vacation is a special kind of hell because I think about all the things could be doing at home! Drinking or not drinking I’ve always kind of felt this way. I usually want to come home after 2-3 days. It’s like torture. It’s definitely worse sober though. I guess I’m too much of a homebody! Can you hike, run, ride bikes? Maybe fresh air will help! Keep blogging and don’t drink 🙂

    • Meditation is the one I need. I have so many voices in my head constantly chatting me up. I can’t even listen to a whole song on a run without being interrupted.
      Tomorrow will be another day alone as the hubs is taking the car to go golfing, so I am going to YouTube the meditation thing and see what happens.
      We are on an island, so the volunteer opportunities are slim.
      And I look at Julian Edelman daily. Love the Minitron!!

  3. Ugh, boredom and “turning off” in the evening are the things that make me want to drink. Fortunately (?) for me right now at the end of the semester I am too busy to be bored, but in a week that will be something to contend with. So I hear you and I’m grateful to hear how you deal with it. So many great ideas in the comments- I will keep those in my toolbox.

  4. I have a very hard time with boredom too. I have a hard time sitting still and relaxing. I have found relaxing things that require me to DO things (like painting, sculpting with clay, and a new found hobby of stained glass) help a LOT. They are calming, but also keep me out of my head.

  5. I think it’s difficult for me anytime I need to put “relax” on my list. I posted something yesterday on the Club East blog called Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m coming up on five years sober and I’m still figuring things out. It’s not the alcohol at this point, and it hasn’t been for a long time. I just don’t want to lose myself in recovery. There’s so much more to life than simply staying sober and not drinking, which is only part of this whole thing. I need to give myself some time (and grace, thank you) to figure all that out. Healing is a journey, not an event, and I’m still just beginning.

  6. The last time I recall a craving was on day 1 or 2 of a beach vacation this past summer. I was all out of sorts, and the craving still hit me out of the blue and was more upsetting than why I felt out of sorts in the first place. It passed, of course. (it always does.) I had a great vacation overall, and it was much shorter than your 2 month stay. It sounds like you have a real opportunity to sit with that restlessness and discomfort that hits when you’re not doing something, which I can also relate to. I’m excited for you at the very thought of a 2 month break. I hope it will be restful and rejuvenating 🙂

  7. Maybe time to try a new hobby? Something you can get into for awhile that’s creative and fun? Art journaling has sounded appealing to me lately. I hope you are feeling better today. I just read Kristen Johnson’s book ‘Guts’ and she talks a lot about avoiding feeling discomfort by choosing to be in ‘other’ mode. It is hard to be confronted with ourselves without distraction but maybe is good in the long run? I dunno….I still like my distractions these days. Anyway, stay strong and this too shall pass. xo

    • I just finished that book recently also. It was great. I agree about getting more comfortable in myself. I was speaking about that with my sponsor last night. It can be a growing experience, I hope.

  8. Hi! I’m heading to Florida in January and can totally relate with your boredom. You’re out of your comfort zone there. It’s not like your own home where you could probably find a million things that need doing. I’m retired now and will head to Florida in January. Like you, I need to be “doing”. I also find that being retired can be kind of isolating so I make it a point to “interact” with someone every day – not counting my husband. So, it could be a trip to the library and I’ll chat up a clerk to find out what he/she would recommend. I also volunteer at my condo community. I teach yoga twice a week. The libraries in Florida have lots of programs, lectures, etc. There are also many nature preserves for a variety in your walks or in your case, runs. I’m only on day 54 in my sobriety and I know this trip will be hard for me. There’s a saying in retirement – Every night is Friday night and every day is Saturday. Of course my Friday nights were always taken up with my best friend, white wine. My Saturdays were….well, you know! Hang in there – and keep blogging. You have some great stuff going. 🙂

  9. Look up YouTube videos on Zentangle. Meditative and relaxing, creative and fun. Totally saved my sanity.

    Also look up an app for iPad called Neybers. Total time suck. Creative and meditative as well.

    I hope you find your zen. It’s in there…if we can just put that damn monkey mind to sleep.


  10. Sorry to hear you’re at that place of restlessness. I too have been there. Even to this day, relaxing is sometimes more stressful than going, going, going. It’s really just now, in the last few months, where I can honestly say that I can have downtime without having to apologize or justify it. It’s taken me all this time, my friend. And I was like you (and still can be) – doing, doing, doing. I love to do lists. I love action. Then I complain later that I get no rest…lol. I crave it, but fear it. In the end, it comes down to being comfortable with ME. In MY skin. And I am so much better at it now than even 6 months ago.

    This is normal, what you’re feeling. And the drink is just that thing we used to do. I can’t remember how it was phrased, but someone said something about the fact that we weren’t bored in our drinking days, it’s just that we BECAME boring so that we could drink…you know what I mean? I dropped all the fun stuff or stuff that brought meaning to me because of the drink. So I got bored because I had nothing else.

    Anyway, it will take time to settle down. I know, patience isn’t our thing either…lol. But believe me when I say it gets better. Meditating, etc. helps. Just fill your day, but try to make some windows of time that are unstructured. Don’t put pressure on what you do in that time. Just pick put your feet up and eat chips. or stare at the sky. Or day dream. Or whatever…but not a task!!

    This too shall pass 🙂


    • Thanks Paul. I know that I used to devote a lot of my time when on vacation to finding the liquor store, and getting to the liquor store.
      It has been interesting that during the last year that I have been all over the place, there have been liquor stores right next to where I am staying. That NEVER used to happen when I was drinking. I just ran by one yesterday morning, about a 1/2 mile away.
      Today’s task is to try meditation, and track down the yoga in the park. (After I run of course.)
      Then beach sitting….for as long as I can take it 🙂
      Thanks, as always for sharing your wisdom.

  11. I totally relate to this. We usually spend a week at the beach in the spring, and I always have a hard time just relaxing and having down-time, and by the end of the week, I’m ready to get back to my routine. I would always use that week as a great excuse to start drinking frozen adult beverages on the beach around lunch time. I am 3 months sober, and just thinking about that yearly vacation without alcohol seems really boring and pointless. If I can’t drink all day, then what will I do with myself? Thankfully, we probably won’t go next spring, so I may not have to worry about it until I’m a lot farther into my sobriety.

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