Before people enter addiction recovery, their “fun” often centers around alcohol and drugs.
Maybe as early as high school, you and your friends incorporated drinking and using into every weekend. That behavior might have followed you through college and into adulthood until the “fun” was no longer fun and your work, family, and health began to fall apart.
Maybe you entered treatment then, and maybe you began to feel like you could get your life back. Even so, you may have feared how sobriety would change your life. Maybe you were afraid to lose the friends you used to use with, or that your social life and ability to let loose and have fun was over.
And then it happened: you attended an event or went out with a friend and discovered that you were having a great time–that you were having fun.
This time, the fun felt different. Your head was clear, you were able to truly engage with people around you, and you knew that you would remember every moment of this experience for years to come.
It’s true that life in sobriety is different. There is so much to relearn about how to relate to people, how to relax, and how to have fun. How can you learn how to have fun again? By sticking to your recovery plan, being patient, socializing with other sober people, and exploring various activities until you discover what feeds your spirit.
It helps to remind yourself that nothing was fun in the throes of addiction.
When you’re feeling stressed or sad or bored, it can be tempting to look back on your time of substance use as a time of fun. But you can also remember that the fun didn’t last long. In addiction, you use substances to avoid pain. You felt out of control. Now that you’re sober, you can discover that fun is something that you can engage in and cherish even when pain is present. Fun becomes less a way to escape pain and more a way to fully engage with yourself and others. You learn that fun can be quiet sometimes, that it doesn’t have to include drama and reckless behavior. You learn that you have control over how you feel and how much fun you have–and that you have the power to change your mood and mindset without help from substances.