Today’s guest post is written by Austin Recovery employee, Justin Smith. Justin shares a little bit about the things he loves to do while remaining sober. Thank you, Justin!
I am here today to tell you all about the fun to be had whilst maintaining sobriety. Now, I have always cringed in these conversations, the reason being that any conversation having to do with “sober fun,” and not “un-sober fun” makes it sound like his or her fun is limited. As a newcomer hearing the word “sober fun” brings to mind cardigan sweaters and furniture wrapped in plastic. I am here to tell you this is simply not the case. I would even go as far as saying that now that you are sober, you can truly begin having fun. I say this because in my experience I have a hard time calling anything I did while drunk, or otherwise intoxicated, fun. As they say, though, “hindsight is twenty-twenty.” So sit back, relax, and allow me to enlighten and humor you a bit with my thoughts and commentaries.
Certainly, the most common activity brought up in any discussion involving fun in recovery is bowling. This isn’t a bad one—however, it is the beginners’ course in sober fun-seeking. It’s most fun in a large group, and there are certainly laughs to be had, but now a-days, personally, it isn’t quite cutting it for me. There just isn’t enough here to keep my attention. It’s a great way to get your feet wet and let out a little pent up aggression on the lane. I do want to be clear I am not knocking bowling. It’s the classic sober group activity, but even classics can get a little stale sometimes. Beethoven’s 5th is a classic, but when I’m in my car and I’m in the mood to jam with my windows down, it isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind. Now, we have been hanging out in the corner of the proverbial party that is sobriety. No one is talking to us and I think I see some older kids snickering. Let’s mingle a bit and get a little more advanced in our fun seeking. Here is a list of advanced fun in recovery:
Dancing. Concerts. Swimming. Playing in the park. Going on a road trip. Late night trips to a diner. (More fun than it sounds). The list goes on and on.
I know what you guys are thinking. How dangerous, what if I slip up? Look, all of the things on this list I have done SUCCESSFULLY, multiple times. (Except for dancing, I tried it once and moved on, ashamed of the moves I had “busted”).
As we get more advanced on this list of sober fun activities, you should stay aware of your spiritual state. I’m not telling a newly sober member of recovery they should go hit the club right after rehab, but in time, even these activities can become attainable and healthy.
Also in every one of these “fun” suggestions it is good to remember that there is strength in numbers. The Big Book of AA often references our higher power removing our mental obsession. This is an absolute truth for me. As long as I continue to do the next right thing, and I keep my relationship with my higher power, no door is closed to me.
What fun can be had in recovery? The answer is only limited to how wide your imagination is. Try something you’ve never tried, go eat food you used to gag at, and when you’ve run out of things to do, well, there’s always bowling.