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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:42 pm 
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Finding a great hobby that I thoroughly enjoy has been, I believe, instrumental in keeping me in healthy, active recovery. I know even when suboxone stops our "physical" cravings, many of us still have lingering thoughts of using and wanting to get high. In addition to my intensive therapy, last year I found and have stayed with a great hobby. Many of you know that I'm disabled and also take sub for chronic pain. I find when it comes to dealing with such pain that it's even more important for me to stay busy and distracted from self-destructive thoughts and/or yearnings for drugs.

My hobby is genealogy. I use Ancestry.com and am tracing my family as far back as possible. My tree includes all possible branches and has over 1800 people on it. Not only does this keep me busy and happy, but it's given me the gift of a new family. I'm now in contact with dozens of new relatives I didn't know I had.

So I'm starting this thread to hear about other consistent ways people have to keep themselves from languishing in some kind of "dry drunk" state (for lack of a better way to put it). In the beginning of my sub treatment (and even before) I had trouble with laziness, boredom, and lack of motivation. But I've found since I've been active in my genealogy research/hobby that my recovery has become stronger & more stable, I'm more active overall, and I'm a much happier person.

Anyone else want to share with us how you stay active, strong, and happy?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:37 pm 
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Great topic, I'm suprised it is not brought up more often. How's the saying go "idle hands are the devils work shop" or something like that. I feel it is extremely important to keep ourselves busy. What better way than a hobby you enjoy and can get lost in. I'm a very obsesive person so I always have some kind of compulsive project going on. When my son was into model trains and wanted to set up a small track in basement I wound up making a 16 * 8 track with an entire city with lights and 110 ft. of track. When he started getting into golf I turned the back yard into a golf hole with a putting green and 2 sand traps. My point is I will completely lose myself in projects and usually thinking about it 24 hours a day and spending way too much money on these things. The list goes on and on. Helpful with my sobriety? Yes. Healthy? Not sure about that but I think it can be very helpful, especially early on. I used to spend a good part of my day trying to maintain my habit, take that away and it's alot of spare time. Again good topic, very important IMO.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:30 am 
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That's a pretty cool hobby hatmaker. I really wish I had half the amount of intelligence and patience that it takes to do that! I would love to do that:) Maybe I'll look into it! That's awesome that you have been able to expand your family by doing this- you can never have too much family.

Smoothy- I am a lot like you with the obsessive tendencies. If I find something that I like, well, I throw myself into it wholeheartedly. I have had 'problems' with video games, reading, and playing music (aside from the drugs, obviously, haha). I love to read, and will do so to the point where I will lose sleep over it, or even avoid social obligations. Anything can be bad in excess, kids! I have been able to tone it down a bit now, however. I mostly read online, and an occasional book (instead of multiple books at a time, all day every day), and have a few games that I play to keep me busy. I also play bass guitar (poorly), but haven't been doing that often lately. I should probably start that up again as well- it would be good to have some talent:) I would prefer to have a more productive hobby such as the ones that the two of you have. I have thought about learning to make jewelry. I do start a lot of things and never finish them, though. Whatever; it keeps me entertained and busy!

Good topic:)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:27 am 
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Melsi - I used to have this very bad habit of picking up or starting a hobby and dropping it a couple months later (if that long). I did this over and over again. So you're not alone on that front. It used to drive my husband crazy, because I'd put money into starting these ventures - taking a class, supplies, etc. I think it's a matter of just finding the right hobby for you. I feel lucky that I found something I enjoy so much. It's been almost a year now that I've been doing it. And let me say, it doesn't take any special smarts to do it. Just go on Ancestry.com and check it out. If you like it, it's about $30 a month for full access to their records, including old census forms, draft cards, etc. I've traced many of the branches of my family back to the 1500's, believe it or not. But it's free to start out and see if you like it. Just keep looking and you'll find the right one that suits you the best.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:36 pm 
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haha, yeah, I've definitely picked up quite a few hobbies in my life, and few of them stuck with me. I do like to try new things, though, and I actually DID visit ancestry.com and started on my family tree, however, I don't have the money just yet to get any further, but I would love to do that. It's just something that I have always been curious about, and have always wondered about...I'm so glad that you have gotten so far in your pursuit. I bet you've learned a lot about where you came from, and your family members, and to actually have come into contact with some of them is awesome in itself:)

For now, I'm kept busy by reading and thinking about getting my bass out again...I am also attempting to save for a Kindle (I've fantasized about that thing since I first heard that it existed), so that I can have even MORE books!:)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:12 am 
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I realize this post is a bit out of date but, I enjoy photography,birds,and fishing. They keep my mind and hands busy. That's what I need.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:48 am 
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Did you happen to photograph the bird that is your avatar?

It's a pretty bird:)


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 Post subject: Tennis
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:09 pm 
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I started to get back into playing tennis. I used to be on the tennis team in high school at one point in my life. I really enjoy the work out and the improvement in my game. Definitely a plus to have a hobby of some sort.


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 6:09 pm 
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I wanted to resurrect this topic and revisit the ways in which many of us stay busy and distracted. We all know that boredom can be an addict's worst enemy. I'm still doing my genealogy and STILL finding new relatives. I'm setting up our second family reunion for this July.

What do you do to stay busy/focused to keep your mind off cravings, triggers, etc?

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:06 pm 
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I actually started learning how to surf about a month after I first got sober on subs last summer. It has honestly been the best thing that has happened to me. There is nothing like being out there in the water and feeling the power of the ocean. The combo of exercise, salt water, and being one with nature is very therapeutic and the only form of exercise I have ever done that gives me energy for the rest of the day afterwards! It just really inspires me and helps me power through the tough times. Nothing a good surf can't cure! If you live near the ocean I would highly recommend it! I believe it is going to be essential to my long term sobriety once I get off subs here in the next few months. Lets hope!


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:10 pm 
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I actually started learning how to surf about a month after I first got sober on subs last summer. It has honestly been the best thing that has happened to me. There is nothing like being out there in the water and feeling the power of the ocean. The combo of exercise, salt water, and being one with nature is very therapeutic and the only form of exercise I have ever done that gives me energy for the rest of the day afterwards! It just really inspires me and helps me power through the tough times. Nothing a good surf can't cure! If you live near the ocean I would highly recommend it! I believe it is going to be essential to my long term sobriety once I get off subs here in the next few months. Lets hope!


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:13 pm 
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I'm glad you bumped up this topic Hat.

You are totally right - boredom is the enemy of recovery. I went through a pretty bad episode of depression this past winter (I'm only really realizing how bad it was now that I'm feeling better) and I stopped participating in my hobbies. Now I realize that I need to start doing things for fun and inspiration again - so seeing this was very timely, thanks!

My main hobby is reading. I love books and I read voraciously. But I have other hobbies too.

I do a little gardening - this year I'm growing flowers. I have daisies, calendula, zinnias, poppies and a bunch of others, and I think I'm going to plant some big old sunflowers. I also keep a garden of cooking herbs on my deck.

I like to watch birds in my backyard. We've got hummingbirds, stellar jays, and all kinds of little finches. Just sitting outside on a sunny day, drinking my coffee and watching and listening to the birdies fills my heart with contentment. It's the simple things, truly.

Yoga is one of the hobbies that I've slacked off on, but I'm going to start practicing again.

Writing is another hobby that suffered during my bout of depression, but I have a new project in the works.

I have a bunch of other hobbies too. I seem to go through them in stages - cultivate them for a while and then move on, or sometimes I'll circle back. What you do isn't so important as long as it enriches your life in some way.

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:54 am 
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I like collecting the heads of chocolate bunnies.

Nah seriously, I love writing music. A lot of it is online, but I won't be breaking my anonymity anytime soon.

Geneology is cool. When I was a young lad, Mum got big into it. Some of the revelations were pretty interesting!


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 Post subject: Great Topic
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:44 pm 
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I'm very pleased to see this topic brought up again as I missed it the first time. Reading about others hobbies is giving me something to think about. And I will be retiring in two weeks so finding things to keep me busy is a must.

For now I love to read, surf the internet, go fishing whenever I can and which I'll be doing more often. Ride motorcycles although I don't own one at the moment, but there is a Harley Davidson place close to me that rents them out so I guess I'll become one of their customers.

What I plan on doing is: work out at the gym, buy a bicycle and ride, take a photography class so I can learn how to use my nice new Nikon DSLR, take any kind of classes at the local school that look interesting, and try to visit more state parks and hike. That's a decent beginning.

As far as doing a family tree. Do you all know that the Mormon church has the most up to date genealogy library that is open to the public? Just give a call to your local church and set up a time to use their computers. They did my wife's and it went back to the 1600's. A lot of holes but still fairly decent.

Keep this topic going, I need as much to do as possible before I jump off in a couple of months.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:18 pm 
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[b][i]

It's great to see the interest in others.

I love reading and gardening. I use to do alot of crafts. I even went as far as to rent booths in crafts. After Hurricane Katrina and then my Mom dying right after that I lost interest in everything. I couldn't even pick up a newspaper and read and I've always been a big reader.

Since I've gotten on the Suboxone and my time isn't spent tracking down pills I find some of my interest are coming back. I'm back to buying and planting "Lots" of plants and tending to them daily. I'm also back to my love for reading.
My biggest joy is my time with my grandson.

Today I'm so thankful to find a interest in doing the things I've always loved doing. I really hope one day to be able to get myself back into my crafts. I've thought about painting and decorating a plant pot this weekend so i guess that could be a start.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:37 am 
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cajunmeme wrote:
[b][i]

It's great to see the interest in others.

I love reading and gardening. I use to do alot of crafts. I even went as far as to rent booths in crafts. After Hurricane Katrina and then my Mom dying right after that I lost interest in everything. I couldn't even pick up a newspaper and read and I've always been a big reader.

Since I've gotten on the Suboxone and my time isn't spent tracking down pills I find some of my interest are coming back. I'm back to buying and planting "Lots" of plants and tending to them daily. I'm also back to my love for reading.
My biggest joy is my time with my grandson.

Today I'm so thankful to find a interest in doing the things I've always loved doing. I really hope one day to be able to get myself back into my crafts. I've thought about painting and decorating a plant pot this weekend so i guess that could be a start.


Depression and addiction can really steal away so much of what we love, huh? I'm glad to hear that you're starting to feel some of your interests coming back.

What you said about spending time with your grandson really rang true for me. Spending time with my daughter is a huge source of joy for me, but even just being around random little kids makes me feel happy. I see a lot of little kids at my work and they bring a smile to my face more often than not.

I hope things continue to get better for you!

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 Post subject: Great topic hat
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 9:00 pm 
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I really found this topic very interesting. It's nice to see what everyone else does for fun. Me I just like to go into a batting cage for about 2 hours a week. I don't think there is anything else that clears my head like concentrating on hitting a baseball. I have a very stressful job and 2 daughters. One of my daughters is 20 months and she is perfect. The other is 4 months and is perfect to but has Heath issues and we still don't know what's wrong with her. She sees her doctor every 2 weeks and goes to therapy once a week so I worry about her alot.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:00 pm 
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Hi Thesphinx,
So sorry to hear about your daughter. I pray they can find what's going on with your precious lil girl.


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 Post subject: Cajunmeme
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 11:01 am 
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Cajunmeme. Thank you for your concern it really means alot to me. The people on this forum are so very kind. And the fact that people like you show concern for other people is a big deal to me:)

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 Post subject: Re: Great topic hat
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 11:26 am 
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Thesphinx wrote:
I really found this topic very interesting. It's nice to see what everyone else does for fun. Me I just like to go into a batting cage for about 2 hours a week. I don't think there is anything else that clears my head like concentrating on hitting a baseball. I have a very stressful job and 2 daughters. One of my daughters is 20 months and she is perfect. The other is 4 months and is perfect to but has Heath issues and we still don't know what's wrong with her. She sees her doctor every 2 weeks and goes to therapy once a week so I worry about her alot.


Just wanted to send you my best wishes for your baby. Have they given you anything at all to go on? Is she delayed or is she actually getting sick? Of course, this is none of my business, so I understand if you don't want to answer.

I do know how scary that is. I had a baby too early (29 weeks) and she was so sick. She was very delayed. Her retinas were detaching (common for preemies); there was a suspicious head scan (possible bleed); and she was on a vent and then tube fed for a couple months. Once she got home, I had to do the physical therapy thing too to get her to sit and stand and crawl, etc. She was so small and so behind that I started telling people she was younger than she was when they asked. I did those exercises religiously and just cuddled her constantly and loved her to pieces; I let go and did my best, because that's all I could do! I decided that whatever the outcome was, I would give her the best life and chance I could and understand there were some things I had no power over. THEN, she DID catch up by age 18 months, and I attribute it to the therapy (and all the love, of course). It WORKS!! At 18 months, she passed the 2-year old assessment and they released us. Now she is eight yrs. old and completely fine. You may have a good outcome from this. I've known lots of moms whose children have delays or severe early allergies that make them sick, which then causes them to be delayed; and then they turn out fine. Another example was my foster baby, who had nearly died from shaken baby syndrome. When I got him, he was 5 months and couldn't even turn his head if on his tummy. Social services said he would probably never crawl or walk or talk and would most likely be blind and maybe deaf. Well......lots of physical therapy and attention, and five months later, when I handed him to his adoptive family, he was chunky, babbling, and he was nearly walking. Now, he's in a gifted class in school.

Early intervention is everything, so you are absolutely on the right track.

I wish you all the best!!!!!!!

laddertipper

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