This post was originally published at http://www.orlandorecovery.com/.
“I will literally never have fun again. My life is over. It’s ruined.”
This was one of the first things to cross my mind when I stopped drinking. Like so many things from that period of my life, I was wrong. In fact, I’ve had some of the best times of my life while sober. Having fun and letting loose has become an important part of sobriety and recovery.
Without fun, I would simply be wallowing in self-pity, wishing I could drink. Sobriety has been freeing in that I have realized that I am someone who can make situations fun simply by being who I am – someone I never thought was good enough when I was drinking. In sobriety I’ve found that people enjoy this version of me much more than they enjoyed the drunk version. When you come to terms with the person you are, it becomes easy to enjoy yourself without the aid of a substance.
These are a few of the reasons having fun in sobriety is important, and even necessary.
1. It’s distracting.
Distraction was what I needed most when I first got sober. If I wasn’t distracted it meant that I was either thinking about drinking or feeling sorry for myself, neither of which was productive. By forcing myself to get up, go out and have fun sober I was able to forget about everything else, even if it was just for bits and pieces of time. As time went on, it was more and more easy to let myself really be immersed in whatever I was doing for enjoyment and I eventually realized I no longer wished I was drinking while doing it.
2. It’s clarifying.
I compromised a lot of personal values when I was having “fun” while drinking. But now, when I have fun sober, I am fully aware of the choices I am making. I know myself well enough now to know how to make choices that align with that person. Having fun in sobriety has taught me a lot about the person I’ve been this whole time, but it’s also made me more comfortable being that person.
3. It’s fun you’ll remember.
I had fun while drinking..I think. Actually I don’t really remember. I told myself I had fun, but when you don’t remember a night it’s hard to know if that’s true or not. Now when I go out I have every memory in tact. I know what happened, where I went, who I was with, and if I had fun. And the truth is, I have a lot more fun when I am sober than I did when I was drinking. There are no drunken tears, fights or vomiting.
4. It allows you to bond with people – even other sober people.
I went to a Young People in AA event in Texas all by myself one year, and it was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. I didn’t know anyone going into it but I took the chance and it turned out incredibly. Having fun with other people in this world is one of the healthiest and most important parts of life, especially in sobriety. It’s truly freeing when you realize that there is light in your life again.
5. It teaches you that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time.
This was probably the biggest thing for me, as well as for other sober people I know. I didn’t think I would ever have fun while sober because I was so convinced that alcohol = fun. Situations are really what you make of them, though. I’ve spent many nights sipping on energy drinks or pop and having more fun than the drunk girl crying in the corner. Alcohol has the potential to make things fun, sure. But it also has the potential to spiral emotions out of control, which is the opposite of fun.
Life without alcohol can be a blast. And sure, it can also be a pity party. But as with so many things in life, it’s really what you make of it. And I’ve chosen to make it fun.