Are you thinking about quitting drugs or alcohol? Are you concerned that getting sober might take the fun out of your life? Are you worried that you’ll be bored or feel cut off from everything you’ve come to know? Okay, so some things have to change going forward. You aren’t going to be spending hours at a bar or club every weekend, and you’re not going to be self-medicating while watching late-night cable television. Your life is going to change, but take heart – sober life is not boring (even if some posters in sobriety forums might make it out to be)!
Before we take a look at what fun things you can introduce (or reintroduce) into your life’s fresh start, let’s consider what you’re leaving behind.
- Drinking/using in order to sleep
- Negative people
- Financial costs of using
- Worry you’ll let people down
- Guilt, shame, fear, lying to cover up
This list goes on and on. Can you think of other things you’re leaving behind?
A Sober Life That’s Not Boring
Going forward, do you wonder how you’ll spend your time? Will you need to make some new friends? Maybe. Is that so bad? Of course not. But in the meanwhile, there are many things you can do on your own or with friends and family who support your sobriety. Start small. Look over this list, as well as other resources you might have, and make a commitment to yourself to do at least one fresh thing this week that will bring you joy.
Be a tourist in your own town.
Go online to your city or county’s website and look at popular sites. You can probably find some that you didn’t even know about. Cultural and arts centers, gardens, nature preserves, trails, or whale watching. Revisit a place you haven’t been to for a while or try something new.
Try out some new entertainment.
Has it been a while since you went to a good movie? Try an independent theater – check out a cool independent film or a classic. Pick up a book or listen to a digital book while you do something else (take a walk, clean your house, shovel snow…).
Show yourself the money.
Stopping drinking or using will likely reflect nicely on your bank account. What will you do with the money that you used to spend on addiction? First, pay any outstanding debts associated with your drinking/using. After that is tended to, consider opening a savings account. Name the account what you’re planning to use the money for, such as TRAVEL, ADVENTURE, NEW APARTMENT, or TRUCK. Set up a portion of your income to deposit automatically into that account and watch it grow.
Be in your body.
How’s your health? Have you been eating well? Exercising? Sleeping? Take this opportunity to reconnect with your physical body. Get some good, healthy food back into your kitchen. Find a cookbook that interests you to help you get your nutrition back on track or watch some YouTube videos on eating well. Get outside for at least a few minutes each day. Walk around the block on your lunch break or at home. Look into visiting a yoga class or a gym. Set reachable, short-term goals to eat well, hydrate more (no, coffee doesn’t count), and get some fresh air and exercise.
- Go for a walk
- Plant a garden
- Tidy-up your house like Marie Kondo
- Call your family
- Be a tourist in your own town
- Go for a hike
- Stroll through a museum
- Take up (or return to) a favorite sporting activity
- Go to a gym and work with a trainer
- Go to the ocean: boat ride/ferry/whale watching/tide pools
- Wander through an independent or used bookstore
- Take a mini vacation or a staycation
- Go on a picnic
- Star-gaze – get a telescope
- Try film or digital photography
- Make a date with yourself – do it every week!
As your fresh start opens up to you, try new things. Recall great experiences that you’ve left behind. Meet new people. Take care of yourself and be careful not to take on too many significant changes at once. You can do this. You can be well and happy, sober. Sober life is not boring!
If you are ready to take the leap and start a new chapter of your life, our addiction treatment services can help. Contact us today – we are here for you.