Three words: fun in sobriety. If you had spoken these words to me as I was sitting the first few days in residential rehab, I would have told you it wasn’t possible, at least for me. I couldn’t see enjoying life without my mind or mood being altered by something. Only later did I realize that that was one of the many lies I believed that kept me trapped in the vicious cycle of addiction.
During treatment, I made some friends, and we stayed in touch after we left treatment. It was only after several months into recovery that something happened that had my friends and I laughing so hard we could hardly catch a breath. I felt so happy, so alive. I also felt like I was “a part of” instead of “apart from” for the first time in my life. A thought came to me: “Here I am, sober, having so much fun…I feel like a little kid!” At that point, I knew there would be so much more to see, to do, to love, and to share sober. I finally realized that fun in sobriety isn’t a myth. It’s one of the greatest gifts!
Think about it…a bunch of people in recovery together has got to be interesting, right? Well, it is and vastly so much more than that. My life is full today. I realize that I never knew how to have fun before. I knew how to get messed up and mess things up. But there was no fun in not knowing how you got somewhere, what you said or did, going to jail, doing things you said you would never do, and ultimately hating life and yourself.
Fun in sobriety is a by-product of working a program of recovery.
I did the work, and I got a new life, one I wouldn’t trade for anything. It really is that simple. If you would have told me years ago, as I sat in that treatment center, what my life would look like today. I would have thought you were crazy. I would have told you that things like that don’t happen to someone like me.
My life is no longer gloom and doom. It’s not perfect, but it’s wonderful. I feel like I’ve lived two lives. I am very blessed and grateful that today I don’t need any mind- or mood-altering substance to be okay. I am whole, happy, and free.