Sobriety is about living life to the very fullest without the need for drugs and alcohol. Drug addicts and alcoholics become so used to self-medicating that they forget what it means to enjoy things without being under the influence. Working a program of recovery rooted in spiritual principles allows drug addicts and alcoholics to not only be rid of the constant need to self-medicate, but to live free – truly free, and happy without the burden of an unmanageable life.
But many people who get sober have the fear that they will be unable to enjoy life without substances. It’s a matter of practice, as it is with anything new. Change is never easy, and the difference between living sober and living in active addiction is so drastic that many people become overwhelmed with the idea that living a happy life is possible without the need for substances.
So how do you enjoy life sober, when you are so accustomed to living perpetually intoxicated?
It takes a certain amount of re-learning what it means to have fun. In active addiction we were content to stare at the walls as long as we were sufficiently intoxicated, but staring at the walls usually doesn’t cut it when you’re sober. You have to rediscover things like what activities make you happy. You have to find your passions. In sobriety you have the opportunity to experience the kind of freedom that you had come to forget in your addiction, and with that freedom comes an overwhelming amount of options. You see, life is so limited when under the influence. Awareness is destroyed by being intoxicated, so with sobriety comes intense awareness of everything that could potentially have an effect on you. Apathy shrinks away as the substances leave your body, and a renewed interest in countless subjects creates a sometimes daunting feeling of infinite possibilities. The world becomes a bigger place, with more to explore, and with sobriety comes the opportunity to experience everything that life has to offer.
Humans in general can be overwhelmed by choices, and possibilities, but enjoying life as a sober person does not mean that you have to spread yourself thin by participating full throttle in a non-stop evolving experience. It’s a matter of perspective. Learn to cherish the small moments in life; the moments that you took for granted in your addiction. A sunset, the grass between your toes, the scent of cherry blossoms, and the sound of a thunderstorm, are examples of the sensory gifts that are bestowed upon us by the universe. If you learn to find value even in the smallest of experiences, then you will find that happiness is determined not by the nature of the experience, but the lens of your perspective. Then life becomes less overwhelming and more organic, and you will find that you enjoy things without even realizing it. Happiness is directly related to gratitude, and with the practice of being grateful for the gifts that life offers comes the ability to learn and be happy with any given situation.