Sobriety can feel absolutely frightening. It can also be a challenge in those first days of recovery. In today's culture, it feels like not drinking means being alone and dull. I remember in early sobriety, and I thought all my fun was over! Being sober was lame. I was a bore now. My life was going to be completely uninteresting. After all, I was young and a college student. I'd ask myself, "How will I ever enjoy life again?"
Once I removed alcohol from my life, the world began to look completely different. I had much more free time and new energy to discover new things. I still looked at long-term sobriety as dull and depressing. Day by day, though, that thought subsided. And after doing the following activities for many years, my life is full beyond my dreams. I live a fulfilling sober life.
Living sober with sober people can be tons of fun and immensely rewarding. Your recovery depends upon living a new way of life. We have to stop doing some old behaviors. If you went to happy hour, it's a good idea not to go unless you have a valid reason. There is a risk of relapse if we go to the places we drank to get drunk.
Being sober means new experiences and new friends. We get to have lifetime friends unlike any we have had. When you're having a hard time, these new friends can share their experiences with you. We begin to learn how to live differently.
Here are a few different ways to ensure you can enjoy being sober.
Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
This one is a little obvious, but you will learn how to live a life of sobriety by attending AA and addiction recovery meetings. Different support groups for family members are also available so they can learn about your new life. You'll meet new people in AA with whom you can grab a coffee and learn how to have new friends with whom you can have a good time.
One of the many benefits of AA meetings is meeting people in recovery and gaining sober friends. This recovery community can be your lifeline when you need it most. And they can also be friends you spend a lot of time with outside of AA to do fun things.
Fun Things to Do in Sobriety
Honestly, sobriety makes life more fun. If you were a blackout drunk, being sober means you get to remember what you did, where you were, and who you were with at all times. One of the many benefits of sobriety is that we have more time to learn new things. We want to replace old habits with new opportunities. In sobriety, we gain a new perspective on life. We develop healthy boundaries with people in our lives. Our support network grows. We truly begin to know a happy life.
Here are some activities to do in sobriety that will help you enjoy your new life:
Learn to Cook
Making homemade meals is nourishing and healthy for our bodies and soul. Find some food blogs you love and begin to make homemade meals. Start with easy, simple meals that are fast to make. Enjoy eating good food at home. Perhaps you can enjoy the meals you cook with your family. Or with friends.
Go to the Movies
Going to the movies with new friends is a great way to spend time. Movies are fun, entertaining and can get your mind off of drinking. You can even catch a movie by yourself. I like to buy popcorn and a drink and sit back and be entertained.
Gather with Friends
Invite your new friends over to your house. Have a small dinner party with your friends in sobriety. Go to dinner at a local restaurant. Have friends in recovery over to play board games for a night. Or watch movies. These new relationships are there to help you learn how to have close friends and learn to live a sober life.
Join a Gym
Exercise releases uplifting endorphins. Working out is an excellent way for your mind to heal while you are coming off alcohol and drugs. It can help your brain and body recover from years of destruction. At the gym, there might be rock climbing, aerobics, spin classes, water aerobics, weight classes, etc. Any movement and exercise will contribute positively to your overall health.
Get a Massage
Getting sober can be stressful. Massage helps your immune system, is nurturing, and can lift you up even on the worst day. They improve your circulation, can be relaxing, and reduce muscle tension.
Listen to Recovery Podcasts
Begin to listen to recovery podcasts. Turn one on in the car on the way to work or on a walk or run. There are a lot of choices out there. Listening to podcasts can help you relate to others in recovery and can help you if you are in some difficult situations. Sometimes the answer you are looking for can be heard in a podcast. Follow podcast recovery groups on social media. Here's a link to the Sober Speak Facebook page.
Discover New Hobbies
If you need something to keep you busy, go to a craft store and pick out some quiet activities. This can be knitting, sewing, writing, painting, coloring, etc. These activities can help you reduce your overall stress levels. Watch YouTube to learn how to do something new.
Get involved at your local AA group and community. Volunteer your time to help others. If you belong to a church, they may have opportunities. Or contact a local recovery program to see if they need help. Treatment centers are another excellent resource for volunteering. Arrive early to AA meetings to help set up for the meeting and stay late to help clean up. Being involved is key to sobriety and will help you meet new sober friends.
Find AA Conferences
Search the internet and find AA conferences to attend. Conferences offer workshops, meetings, and usually speaker meetings. They are a great way to spend time with others in recovery. Sometimes conferences are in fun locations like Colorado. Not only do you get to do the recovery activities, but there might be golf, white water rafting, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, and more to do. Sometimes there are early morning meditation meetings.
AA Birthday Celebrations
Some AA groups celebrate birthdays during certain times of the month. Chips are given out to AA members for their time staying sober. These celebrations are tons of fun. You can meet new people that might go to different meetings than you. You might hear personal stories that you can relate to. Refreshments are sometimes served as well. You can ask at a meeting or call the group to find out when they celebrate birthdays.
Read a Book
One activity you can do in sobriety is reading a book. There are many different genres and authors to choose from, so you can find something interesting. Reading can be a great way to relax and unwind, as well as to learn new things and expand your knowledge. Plus, it's a great way to spend time without alcohol or other substances.
An essential part of recovery is to enjoy life. AA is not a glum lot. They like to savor life and get the most out of living, especially after hitting rock bottom and having such a hard time in life. It's nice to be directed in a new direction.
Staying busy, enjoying your own time, and living life is crucial to sobriety in the beginning. That's why AA meetings are so important. You can spend time with your new friends instead of being alone. Friends in recovery will help you with your daily needs and questions about sobriety and recovery. You will learn how to live life on life's terms.
During sobriety, your overall health will begin to improve. You can start to think about long-term goals. Make plans for the future. Write down goals. Think about what you want to accomplish in life. Having goals creates drive and purpose.
Being sober means a new way of life that is fulfilling, busy, and happy. No more blackouts. No more hangovers. Enjoying life is easier than ever when you are sober.