Enjoying experiences with a side of alcohol is one thing, but when sobriety becomes a hostile attack on a person’s definition of fun, then there’s something wrong with how they spend their time.
People sometimes have this misconception that fun dies the day you decide to put down the drink. What they forget is that a life made fun only by alcohol is not a life lived. Letting a substance consume your life is not something to be celebrated; rather, it’s a personal problem that needs to be worked on.
Alcoholism, one of the more common forms of addiction, creeps up on people who feel that their habit is just a gauge for how much they love to be social. By drowning real interaction in booze, you turn a potentially fun get-together into an opportunity to get blackout drunk, forget half the night and wake up with a blinding headache and a liver that is none too happy about your behavior.
It’s not just possible to have fun while being sober – it’s much easier, once you get the hang of it and reconsider what fun really means.
Identify What Fun Means to You
There is no way to pinpoint a strict definition of fun – that just isn’t fun. Instead, think about what comes to mind when you’re thinking of fun. Don’t just think about a specific circumstance; think about the feeling itself.
Alcohol and other drugs drown out our feelings, they replace them with numbness and artificial pleasure. We end up having our “fun”, but it’s never real.
Real fun is like being a child again. It’s satisfying curiosities, discovering new things, pushing boundaries. Having laughs and being surprised and experiencing something unexpected. It’s about seeking out something unique every chance you get.
Now, think about what you used to do that would evoke emotions like that. Think about what you could do to evoke emotions like that.
Addiction recovery is serious business. There are medical complications to consider during detox and withdrawal, and every individual’s treatment must be tailored to their circumstances. But ultimately, once you’re out of rehab and thrust back into real life, it all get far too much too fast.
You need to have fun if you want to stay sober. A fantastic way to start is by tackling the issue with others.
Find More (Sober) People
Friends are a good thing, especially in recovery. because they support you and seek out your support. Friends will be there to tell you when you’re right – and when you’re wrong.
However, when it comes to sobriety, many people experience a transformation in the relationship they used to have with their drinking friends. Some become defensive, aggressively shunning you for quitting booze. It’s not on you to force them to realize they have a problem.
Yet all that drama can lead to a problem – loneliness. Loneliness is a common factor in addiction in the first place, and it’s an incredible danger to people struggling with sobriety. However, when you’re sober, meeting new people at the bar or in a night club is typically out of the question.
Instead, meet sober people through the Internet, and through local meet-up opportunities like book clubs, sports clubs, and other hobbyist meet-ups.
There are plenty of opportunities to get your groove on with others, minus the alcohol. Sober raves are a thing of the present, and their presence is growing alongside other sober-oriented activities, such as juice bars.
Improve on Your Hobbies
Speaking of hobbies, hobbies will often be your primary source of fun when in recovery – not because hobbies are more fun than traveling or exploring the world, but because they double as an effective way to build consistency in your new sober life.
When you’ve freshly shoved addiction out of your life, the last thing you want is a chaotic living situation. “Cleaning up your act” does not just involve getting clean and finding a job, but it will also involve taking the time to improve yourself and do things that help you feel fulfilled and proud of your accomplishments.
Hobbies like art, music, cooking and exercise are not just effective ways to pass time, have fun and meet new people. They can also be a form of therapy.
Enjoy Having More Time & Money
One of the immediately noticeable side effects of going sober is an abundance of newfound time. because addiction is time-consuming. For example, it’s common to hear people struggle to remember the night before on a very regular basis when they have a drinking problem. Addiction also has the habit of consuming and replacing most of our other priorities, to the point where we think way too much about our favorite vice.
Addiction is also expensive. It costs a significant amount of money to be a chain smoker, let alone drink booze every night. All the money you spend on your addiction is money saved when sober. A few months of sobriety can save you a serious cash.
Now, having more time and more money does not immediately mean more fun. However, it is a step in the right direction. Think vacations, overseas trips, camping journeys, expeditions with your friends, investments into your passion. Save your booze money and buy a better guitar and a quality microphone to fuel your passion for making ballads.
To Get to the Gist of It
Quitting an addiction leaves you with more time, money, sense, and the opportunity to make better friends and meet more interesting people. It also gives you the chance to remember the great experiences you get to have. Believe that it can drastically improve your relationship with your own self and the problems you’re facing in life.
Sure, you won’t get the chance to get wasted. But there are much better ways to enjoy yourself. All it takes is a shift in perspective, and the willingness to try new things.