Getting sober is one of the biggest life changes that you can make, and it can be difficult because it seems like everything you’ve ever known is no longer an option. When we’re using drugs and alcohol, it infects every aspect of our lives. Having fun and using become so deeply intertwined you may believe you can’t have one without the other.
The truth is, having fun in sobriety is not only possible but it’s even better than you may expect. Not only do you remember everything, but you’re more present, engaged, and mindful about the experience. You don’t have to live a boring life just because you’re sober. In fact, a life in recovery opens up even more opportunities for you to have fun experiences.
When get sober, we often look at the lives we were living before and realize that we need to change a lot. When we’re using, everything revolves around getting your drug of choice. You’ll find that you don’t hang out with the same people or frequent the same places because those places are about using. In sobriety, you have no business hanging out with those people or in those places – they’re dangerous to us. Instead, look for folks who are also in sobriety and surround yourself with them. Finding sober, like-minded people is essential to working a program of recovery. They understand you, and they’re also looking to have fun without using their substance of choice.
Look for people who you can connect with in your outpatient program or 12-step group. Oftentimes, you’ll find people who have been living a life of recovery for much longer and who have figured out how to have fun in sobriety. If you enjoyed going to concerts or dance clubs when you were using, find a group of sober people who like to do this too and can teach you how to engage in these fun activities without using drugs or alcohol. You don’t have to give up your favorite activities just because you stopped drinking or drugging, and there are people out there who are enjoying them sober and can show you how to too.
Oftentimes when we’re in the midst of addiction, hobbies, and interests we used to have to get left behind because we’re focusing all our time attention around using. When you enter sobriety, you’ll notice that you may have a lot of time on your hands. This is a great opportunity to jump back in on the hobbies and interests you gave up for substance abuse. Pick-up the guitar, or pencil, or paintbrush. Start knitting or crocheting. Jump into the stack of unread books that have been sitting in the corner of your living room. Not only will you rediscover the fun and enjoyment of the hobbies and interests you lost touch with, but you’re also keeping your mind off your addiction.
When you get sober believe it or not, the options for what you can do grow tenfold. This is because you have the time, focus, and energy available to try something new because you’re not consumed and obsessed with drinking or drugging. If you’ve always wanted to travel, start planning a road trip. Take a yoga class. Join a gym. Run that marathon. If you’re a thrill-seeker, schedule that skydiving lesson, go to amusement parks and ride all the rollercoasters. Start writing that novel you’ve been putting off. Getting sober gives you the time, resources, and ability to actually follow-through on your ideas and passions, and opens up a world of possibility.
Life in recovery doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, sobriety opens up a world of opportunity for you to literally do anything. Instead of sitting on a barstool thinking about all the things you want to do with your life, that you want to try, you can actually go and do them. You may feel that the “fun” of life is over when you get sober. The reality, however, is that life is just beginning, and you are now able to truly live.