How Do You Have Fun in Sobriety?
Monday, June 8 2015 Kira Lesley
Is it possible to have fun in sobriety? Once you get sober, you'll never have fun again, right? Leading a boring, sad life is a major fear for many problem drinkers that discourages them from seeking a program of recovery. But the myth that sobriety is dull is completely inaccurate. Here's how you have fun in sobriety.
Did You Really Have Fun When You Weren't Sober?
Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you have considered that you might have a drinking problem. Most often that means that drinking has ceased to be fun--or at least the good times are on the decline. I consider myself fortunate that my alcoholism progressed rapidly, and I did not get much joy out of drinking. True, I experienced some relief and certainly numbing and escape, which is what I wanted, but fun? Not much. My life deteriorated rapidly when I started drinking.
That doesn't mean, however, that I am immune to the fantasy that alcohol could be enjoyable. The commercial allure of alcohol culture is everywhere and makes it seem like a sure-fire way to create a good time. It is important for me to remind myself that alcohol is actually the fastest way for me to destroy a good time.
Don't Worry About Having Fun in Sobriety
Even if you believe that for you, consuming alcohol truly is fun and enjoyable, you can experience profound joy, happiness and yes, fun, without alcohol. For many people, especially in early sobriety, staying busy is the key. Some folks require a lot of activity and a lot of stimulation. Plenty of people put down the bottle and pick up a hobby, everything from painting to riding a motorcycle. Sober networks organize everything from football games to sober skydiving.
Personally, I'm not an adrenaline junkie. I like amusement parks but driving fast scares me. But I love being outdoors, playing and writing music, being with loved ones and watching TV shows. The key is that in sobriety I am truly present for activities I enjoy, and I have healthy, close relationships with friends and family. If that sounds boring to you, well, feel free to structure your life however you want. That's one of the gifts of sobriety--we have choices and options where we used to have none.
I should also note that I have been taking antidepressant medication throughout my sobriety and I think it has helped me. It imperative that people who have issues besides alcohol and drugs (which is most of us) seek help of some sort for those issues as well. Try not to worry about how you will have fun. Many people find in recovery that blessings of people, activities and joyous moments enter their lives that they never could have imagined before. Alcohol may lower your inhibitions and cause you to do wild things, but the bottom line is, it's a depressant. The effects of consuming excessive alcohol, both acutely and in the aggregate, include increased depression.
Just Do It, Sober
It is difficult to do things sober. But I can say that walking through life sober has increased my sense of self-worth and my confidence in a way that never could have happened if I were drinking. We all have activities we are terrified to do sober: dancing, attending a social gathering, flying, dating. Working a recovery program forced, and allowed, me to do these things sober. I'm not a good dancer and I know I've had some really awkward moments at social gatherings but you know what? I got through it, and lived to tell the tale. Not to mention, there's hardly anything I can do sober that would be as embarrassing or destructive as things I did when I was drinking. If you take positive, healthy steps in your program of recovery, and in your life in general, increased well-being, happiness and yes, even fun, will come to you. You can have fun in sobriety.