Ok… so you went to treatment and stopped getting high. Now what?
In all seriousness, when I first got sober, my biggest fear was that I wasn’t going to have fun anymore. Drugs and alcohol turned my life into shit, but in some strange paradox, they were also the best thing I had. I had no clue how to laugh or smile or enjoy life if I wasn’t at least buzzed.
Now that I have been sober for a little while, I’ve learned that life is way more enjoyable now than it ever was.
Life has it’s ups and downs, but I’ve found ways to enjoy my life that don’t require drugs. Let’s take a look at some things to do now that I quit getting shitfaced.
1 – Working Out
For me, exercise has probably been the most important thing. When I am working out, I am not thinking about anything. I am not anxious about work, I am not worried about the future or if anyone is pissed at me. I am just in the moment focusing on my workout.
Running has really become my form of meditation. Not to mention the “high” I get after a hard workout is really comparable to any other high I used to get. I feel healthy, I like the way I look and it keeps me mentally sharp. Not everyone may feel the same, but I have found exercise to be important for my spiritual life. It keeps things in perspective for me.
2 – Eating a Good Meal with Friends
Eating a meal with people is one of the best ways to get to know each other. Food is and always will be a great way to share conversation, culture, and just relate to people in general.
Over time I’ve started to learn a little bit more about food and appreciate it more. When I was hooked on dope, food was just a thing I would put in my belly to keep me alive. Now that I have learned more about it, I really see it as the art form that it is.
Nothing brings people together like food.
3 – Pick Up an Old Hobby
This is going to be different for everyone, because everyone is passionate about different things. The point is that we all have hobbies that we love. Maybe you love to draw, or ride your bike, or write poetry.
When I first got clean I got back into skateboarding. I used to love skating. I would skate for hours and hours. I used to compete in small local competitions. It just made me feel good. When drugs started taking over, obviously skating took a back seat.
I picked it back up again when I got sober. I never competed again, but I really enjoyed just skating around the streets and being back on my board. Put my headphones in, listen to music and just cruise with some friends.
Get back to doing what you love.
4 – Travel. Go See The World!
The world is a fascinating place and travel will expand your mind and your perspective in ways you can’t even understand until you do it on your own.
Travel is expensive. But now that you don’t spend all your money on blow, you can afford to put money aside for trips and vacations! Go you!
Just this last year I went to Scotland for a cousins wedding. My best friends and I went to Las Vegas and then drove across the desert to Los Angeles. We rented a camper and went to Bonnaroo. I went to New Orleans with one of my best friends. I’ve been able to go back up north to Philly and Manhattan a few times to see my family.
Being able to travel is one of the biggest blessings I have ever received.
5 – Music! Music! Music!
If you aren’t obsessed with music I feel like there is something wrong with you.
Everyone loves music. I personally think music is the greatest creation of man. There is so much great music out there. It’s a lot of fun to research new artists and follow the bands I already love. I like to share new music with friends. I like to grab my guitar and write some music of my own. I go to concerts with friends. I like concerts more now that I am sober than I ever did. I remember the whole thing! 🙂
Music is the shit! If I am feeling down, I just put on a feel good play list and go for a walk. It really helps.
6 – Go Volunteer Your Time
For many people in recovery, sponsoring other addicts and alcoholics is a great way to help out. If you are not a person who goes to meetings or works the steps, you can still volunteer your time and help make the world a better place.
I volunteered at a no kill dog shelter for about a year. It was awesome. I had no money and not a lot of friends so I would just go play with dogs on the weekends. The couple who owned the shelter appreciated it so much. I had to clean up after the dogs, feed them, and clean their pens. I got dirty for sure but these dogs made me so happy.
I have always been a lover and advocate for Pit Bulls and it made me feel good to see people come in and adopt dogs that otherwise would have been put down without my help. But you don’t have to do what I did!
Go work at a food kitchen, go volunteer at a boys and girls club, go outside and clean trash off the street. Getting out of yourself and doing some kind of service will do wonders for your self worth, your self esteem and it just downright feels good.
7 – Nothing at All
When I was using, I had the hardest time sitting still. I felt like I was always missing out on something. I always wanted to be out and about, I always wanted to be with other people or be at the most exciting party.
I am not suggesting to be lazy. If you have shit to do than get it done. But some down time every now and then is really good for you, and it should be enjoyed.
It was very difficult for me to get comfortable with silence, and to learn how to be still. It has been a great learning experience for me. Sometimes it’s okay to sleep in a bit. Sometimes it feels really good to stay in on a Saturday night and hang out with my girlfriend and my dog.
Learning how to stay calm has helped me deal with anxiety and stress. Sometimes the best thing to do, is nothing at all.
I Didn’t Get Sober To Be Bored!
I really mean when I say that my biggest fear in early recovery was that I would never have fun again. The beautiful truth is that recovery has given me the freedom and the confidence to go out in the world and leave my own mark.
My hope is that if you’re reading this, you will understand that you are bound by nothing. Recovery will slowly give you the opportunities to take your life and make the best of it.
There will always be fear and insecurities involved, but if you can get sober, you can do anything! You don’t need drugs to have a good time. Now go out there and live!!
If you have any other activities that you do in recovery, please leave them in the comments section below 🙂