For the longest time, I refused to accept the idea that it’s possible to have fun being sober. Sure, I had plenty of fun growing up with friends before drugs were introduced to me, although the moment drugs became part of my life, it was hard for me to find my joy anywhere else. I began to associate any sort of normal activity with a drug. Going to the movies with friends? My thoughts were that smoking a bowl of marijuana or getting drunk before hand would make it more enjoyable. Hiking? Maybe some acid would go well with that. My favorite past time was going to a club or a festival where I would need some MDMA or ecstasy. I was living in delusion and was self-absorbed in a life of drug and alcohol addiction.
We live in a nation where alcohol and parties are glamorized which makes the thought of sober living to be out of the question. While in recovery, I thought that I would never be able to reach true fun and fulfillment again. I remember my first day out of treatment I said to myself, “Well, this is it… AA meetings and recovery the rest of my life.” This however, is not what recovery nor life is all about. I learned that staying busy, trying new activities I had never done before, and pushing myself to be the best version of myself was where I could find true happiness. Here are a few ways I spend my time now:
Learn an instrument
Life after drug and alcohol addiction opens so many new doors of opportunities. With your new free time in sobriety, maybe it’s time to learn a new instrument. Even if you believe you aren’t a musically inclined person, learning an instrument is something that can be fun, challenging, and also keep you busy. Perhaps this has always been something you’ve wanted to venture out into trying, but haven’t had the time or courage to try. Well now is the time to learn! There are many tips, tricks, and tutorials available online for beginning to learn just about any instrument.
For me, yoga always seemed like an activity that I would never get into or it seemed too feminine to try. After my drug addiction, a friend explained to me that yoga is not just for women, but for anyone looking to find true peace and strength. Not only can yoga be fun, but it is also very beneficial to your health and mental well-being.
Have you ever wanted to expand into your artistic abilities? Why not pick up some art materials and create some nifty art or crafts? From painting on a canvas to molding clay, there are a wide range of different art and crafts projects to get started with! Not only can you make useful items, but you can also work on items around the house that may need a little sprucing up. Painting old furniture pieces not only can make your living space more beautiful, but could also serve as a source of income if you’ve become really good at it.
Being active is not only important while in recovery, but also something that can easily be enjoyable and rewarding. Recently, I have been hiking and exploring new areas around town while staying fit. I have formed close bonds with many people in recovery that participate in all sorts of activities outside such as fishing, rock climbing, running, cycling, etc. Find something that works for you and get in the habit of doing this on a regular basis. You may even be able to find a good community of people who also equally like being active!
Traveling is always full of exciting adventure, and there are so many parts of the world to explore. If your travel bug is itching, try taking a road trip to somewhere you’ve never been before whether that’s three hours away or across the country. If you’re really up for a serious change of scenery, take a trip to a different country and be immersed into a culture you’ve never been in before. You can learn so much about yourself and about the world if you travel out of your city and comfort zone.
If you’re anything like me, sometimes I enjoy being a couch potato and being lazy. Unfortunately this has never done anything good for me and if anything, this gets my thought processes headed into a dark area that could very well lead to me getting high. By staying busy, not only do I feel more accomplished, but it also keeps me from having those unwanted negative thoughts. By trying out some of the recommendations above, you can find true joy and happiness while being sober.