Many people fear that if they get sober, their life will be boring. Before entering recovery, I pretty much assumed fun was no longer an option. Coming up on six years sober, I can say that’s far from true. Addiction is never fun. It often negatively impacts nearly every aspect of your life.
Recovery Brings Time, Energy, and Presence
If you have to drink or use drugs in order to enjoy an event, it might not actually be fun. Being sober gives you the clarity and discernment to choose things you actually want to do. It gives you back time and energy that you can use any way you want. You can learn a new skill or try out new hobbies. You could spend that time really deepening your connections. After getting sober, you’ll probably have more capacity for both of those things.
Recovery frees you up. When you’re not worried about how you will get more alcohol or drugs, you can be where you are. You can be playful when you’re not caught up in the dramas of active addiction.
I’m not going to say that I’m always present; presence is a skill you work on consistently, not something that comes automatically when you remove alcohol or drugs. But I will say that there are way more instances where I can be fully present than when I was drinking or using. This allows for true joy and fun.
No Hangovers or Blackouts
Sobriety also allows you to remember the fun you had. Even the times in active addiction I thought I might have had fun, I rarely remembered all of it. In recovery, when you do something exciting, you’ll remember so you can seek it out again. It also helps not to have hangovers.
Fully Experience the World
Even if you use alcohol or drugs to numb your emotions, eventually they come back stronger (and often distorted). This is not fun. When we’re looking to have fun, we’re often looking to experience life to the fullest. Sobriety forces you to sit with your feelings, which can be a challenge, but it opens the space for a full experience of life. Being in reality does the same.
We’re basically trained to think that getting intoxicated—especially with alcohol—is what you do for fun when you’re an adult. This is an unfortunate idea, because life is actually so much richer without the constant blunting of alcohol or drugs. Recovery is many things, but boring isn’t one of them.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. Amatus Recovery Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. We offer expressive and recreational therapy to help you learn to participate in the world—and have fun—sober. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.