I once thought it was impossible to have fun without drinking. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Sometimes I just shake my head in amazement that life is so much more fun in sobriety than it ever was during all those years when I was drinking. I really do have fun in sobriety.
When I compare my life while I was drinking with my life in sobriety, I can’t believe the difference in terms of adventure, excitement, and just how happy I am. I think I’ve laughed more in meetings than I have anywhere else in my life. Let me tell you, there are some hilarious people who have told some outrageous stories at some of the meetings I attend.
We all need a good laugh. Just think back to your first meeting. I can only speak for myself, but I wasn’t having much fun at the beginning. No one does. Those first few days and weeks can be rough.
When people think about getting sober one of their biggest fears is: Can I ever have joy and excitement again? Most people think sobriety is boring and no fun! Well, the newly-sober person needs to put his or her view into perspective. Yes, being sober won’t involve death-defying police chases or risky actions that can really hurt them or those around them. The definition of fun changes; the longer people stay sober, the deeper and more enriching their joys become.
If someone gets sober and doesn’t learn to relax and have fun, their chances of long-term sobriety are very limited. We must insist on learning to have fun. It can be a matter of life or death for some. I think this is a very critical component of recovery, along with developing a deep spiritual connection and working the steps.
Why are addicts and alcoholics afraid to let go and have fun? We had to ingest serious amounts of drugs or alcohol just to let go of our fears and insecurities. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that the need only gets worse the longer we use. The fear of being vulnerable that we experience in the early stages of sobriety is so intense that some can’t get past it. Working the Twelve Steps helps to reduce the fear by creating a fellowship of others in recovery, which can also help teach what the “new fun” looks like. The beauty of recovery is that if you reach out enough, you will find others who have the same interests as you, and often even the same sense of humor…but it takes reaching out.
So reach out, have some fun and enjoy the ride of sobriety… Luke D.