Learning how to have fun in sobriety is probably one of the most important things I’ve had to learn over the last 32 months. I started drinking as a pre-teen at age 12 and as nobody ever intervened I quickly progressed into using every other drug available. My drinking and using continued for 15 years until I got sober at age 27. As you can imagine, every idea that I had of what fun was involved drinking and using.
Based on my experience, when teens begin drinking and using at such a young age, we don’t develop a strong sense of what we like (or like to do). Everything that I did as a teenager (and well into adulthood) involved drinking alcohol and using drugs, so in getting sober, one of the most frightening thoughts (for me) was that I would never have fun again. As it turns out, that thought couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
Thankfully, the drug treatment program that I went through incorporated “mandatory fun” as part of the program. We had to go out with the group every week to learn how to have fun in sobriety…to learn that fun is possible without the use of mind altering substances…and necessary. Not having had any healthy or positive hobbies up to that point, it took some time (and trial and error) for me to learn how to have fun and what things I like to do. Interestingly enough, there were some hobbies that I had developed as a teenager (such as writing and photography) that I still enjoyed, it just became a matter of learning to enjoy them in a sober state. There are many things that I’ve since learned that I like (which I never would have imagined liking before).
Looking back into my active addiction as a teenager, the less I remembered about any given day or night is how I determined the amount of fun I had (the less I remembered, the more fun I must have had….obviously!) My ideas about fun now, in sobriety, are much different. I enjoy being present for each moment. The fun of everything is here in the moment!