When you are in the throes of addiction, you use almost anywhere and at any time; especially if you are at a social outing. Having fun and using substances might seem synonymous with each other, and picturing your life without substances might seem boring. However, it is possible to have fun and enjoy life without the need for substances. Keep reading to learn more about how to have fun while sober and more about sober companions.
The first key in learning how to have fun while sober is redefining fun and changing your mindset. Most people believe that fun = alcohol. Imagine showing up to a wedding to find out there is no bar and no alcohol being served; most people would be upset, would leave, or would even feel personally offended. Luckily, your mindset can change everything and the way you perceive fun. The first few times you attend an event sober may be triggering or difficult. However, the more you are able to see that you can have fun without alcohol (and be the only one waking up with a clear, fresh mind) is very liberating.
In addition, it’s important to think about what “fun” was like when you were in the midst of your addiction. Was getting wasted, not remembering the evening, embarrassing yourself, hurting others, and waking up only to waste the entire next day with a hangover really “fun”?
You became sober for a reason—or many reasons. If you are struggling with how to have fun without alcohol, sit down and make a list of those reasons you became sober. Remembering why you became sober in the first place will help guide you. The best part is you will be able to enjoy yourself at events, remember the evening, wake up feeling refreshed and confident, and continue building bonds in your family and relationships.
Participate in New Activities
Another way to learn how to have fun while sober is to participate in new activities that bring you joy. If you enjoy riding your bike, going to the gym, going on hikes, playing beach volleyball, or traveling, find local groups in your area. This way, you can meet new friends and have the focus of your fun be on something healthy and enjoyable that does not require alcohol or drugs.
Having a creative outlet is also something very beneficial to people in recovery. This can include writing, painting, sculpting, or designing. Even if you don’t see yourself as much of a creative type, give it a try. You never know what you might be good at!
Preparing to be Sober at Events
Preparation is important now that you are sober, especially when it comes to attending events. If you are planning to go to an event where you normally would have used in order to have fun, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you able to bring your own drinks or food?
- Are you comfortable letting the host know ahead of time that you are sober?
- Do you have an exit strategy in case you start feeling triggered?
- What do you plan on saying to people if they offer you alcohol or ask why you are not drinking?
- Is there anybody who can attend this event with you to support you and stay sober with you?
- Who is attending this event? Is it a crowd of people you used substances with?
- Is the event worth attending?
The best way to learn how to have fun while sober is to find a sober companion. Sobriety is very delicate in the early stages and having someone close to you who can recognize relapse signs before you is very important. In addition, some people may decide that they simply want to surround themselves with other sober people. Whatever the reason for wanting a sober companion, having other sober people in your life is key in recovery.
Seasons in Malibu offers an additional support system by pairing clients with a one-on-one sober companion after completion of treatment and/or during brief periods away from our Malibu rehab center. Sober companions help clients:
- Get acclimated to life outside of treatment
- Cope with triggers that can lead to relapse
- Use the tools they learned during treatment
- Find 12-step or SMART recovery meetings and fellowships in their area
- Build a network of abstinent peers
- Meet goals during their transition
About Seasons in Malibu
People who continue to remain actively involved in the recovery community have a greater likelihood of maintaining their sober lifestyle, and we believe clients who are paired with a sober companion are better equipped to achieve their goal of long-term sobriety.
Treatment at Seasons in Malibu is systemic, integrative and client-centered. Our philosophy is grounded in the understanding that in order for the client to heal, the entire system needs the opportunity to heal along with them. The pressure to “fix” the client can become overwhelming and unrealistic if we do not examine the underlying issues, dynamics, and environmental influences that might be contributing to substance abuse or ongoing mental health issues.
Our superior team of clinicians is able to succinctly pinpoint those areas of focus that will give the client the most advanced opportunity for success. Our approach towards healing is collaborative, comprehensive, and committed. Our counselors are invested in your well-being and are ready around the clock to guide you or a trusted friend or family member through the initial steps of overcoming drug or alcohol addiction.
For more information, visit seasonsmalibu.com