There’s a belief that sober people are boring, glum, and dull. They spend most of their day praying not to drink and rebuke anyone they see drinking.
This stereotype doesn’t have to be you. Recovery through the 12 steps doesn’t mean you become a saint with no room for fun in your life.
If you’re a real alcoholic, you may not have been having much laughter in your life for a while. Even when you were at entertaining events, such as concerts or parties, you likely squandered that time thinking about drinking or getting more to drink. Alcoholism takes over our every waking thought, which doesn’t leave much room for fun.
Let’s look at what fun looks like in recovery.
Returning to the hobbies that you enjoyed before
Usually, our addiction pushed out the activities we used to love doing. If we enjoyed oil painting, pottery, or gardening, it’s a good idea to try them again.
I won’t guarantee that you will have the same passion as before. However, it’s worth giving another chance because the odds are good that the love will return.
For me, it had been a long time since I engaged in my classic hobbies. I enjoyed pottery before but found that I didn’t latch on to it. So I tried oil painting for the first time, which sparked that fun I used to have with clay. Oils put me in that “zone” which I remembered with pottery, where the outside world melted away, and I only focused on the canvas.
Staying Flexible with Old Passions
The zone is something I achieved through the arts, and it’s been a respite during challenging times in sobriety. But for others, it’s a variety of activities, like car mechanics, exercise or whatever. The point is that when you return to an old hobby, it may not be as captivating, so don’t be afraid to branch out into a new one in a similar category. The spark will come back even if it doesn’t look the same as before.
As another example, let’s say you liked open water swimming before. However, when you try again, it feels like torture. So, instead, try kayaking in open waters and see if that clicks any better for you. In other words, your soul always enjoyed spending time in nature in large bodies of water, and all you need to do is slightly change the physical activity you engage in.
Invite Your Numerous New Acquaintances
If you joined any new recovery programs, you likely met many new people, many with the same interests as you.
Invite them along to any leisure activities you planned. Although you may have engaged in the activities alone before, your new wide circle of friends is more likely big fans of whatever you planned. It was probably rare to come across the folks who liked your past times due to the low numbers you came in contact with.
However, the odds are promising based on the sheer numbers at recovery meetings. You will find kindred souls.
Afterward, they may invite you to similar activities that they planned as well. Having a few reliable friends you can rely on to get out also serves as a motivator to not stay home and isolate.
Avoid Isolation: Be open to New Invitations.
One of the most consistent behaviors that destroy joy is isolation. Addicts have an uncanny knack to avoid other people at precisely the wrong times, which leads to more unhappiness. We don’t see that getting involved in other people’s lives is exactly the way to get out of our heads.
Our thoughts prevent us from having fun. Our anxieties, fear, and shame stop us from that date, hike, or go-cart race.
As an introvert, this advice may sound like it doesn’t apply to you. However, everyone has a limit to the amount of time they can spend alone and maintain sanity.
The motivation to venture out isn’t always there, but it is essential to stay happy in recovery and find entertainment.
Fun in sobriety means saying “yes” to new things where you might feel self-conscious, such as group karaoke. It means going against the comfortable way we went about life, where we came late and left early. It means being vulnerable to feel human.