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Learning to have fun again without alcohol

Old 09-20-2014, 08:48 AM
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Learning to have fun again without alcohol

When I was a kid I could have a great time sober (luckily for my parents). I was fairly outgoing. In lots of school activities, went on trips across the country, cub scouts, martial arts, etc. I had a great time.

Unfortunately, most of my adult life has revolved around alcohol. I admit I made some extremely fun memories. People tell stories of how funny I was this time or that. Continued to go on trips. Laughed at stupid things. And also made some really horrible memories that will haunt me forever. Every time I think of the bad I get somewhat of a shock-wave through my body of sadness, embarrassment, and regret.

My question is, do you ever enjoy things again as much as you did while drinking? Did you take any steps to help this along or just allow it to happen naturally? As of now the thought of doing anything sober seems so dull.
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:13 AM
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Im still too new at this to really say, but what you are talking about had always been among my primary fears of sobriety. Overall it seems those fears were unwarranted.

Now if I were to do things like go out to Night Clubs, Karaoke, stuff like that sober would I enjoy it as much now? Honestly...probably not, but that's something I need to accept.

Besides it got to a point where my main priority was getting drunk, and "fun" often didnt occur or was short-lived as a result.
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:13 AM
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When I first got sober I honestly didn't believe life would ever be fun again without alcohol. Truth was that everything I did revolved around alcohol. Bowling meant drinking. Going to the movies meant sneaking a bottle into the theater in my sock. Fishing meant coolers full of beer. Going to clubs and parties was a no brainer. And every single thing I did was the same. Alcohol came first, and the activity was secondary. If the activity even mattered. Sober, I had no desire to do any of those things.

I knew I couldn't live that way any longer though, and pretty much had no choice but to start to learn to live differently. I'm super grateful for the "fellowship" part of AA to show me that the fun in my life wasn't quite over yet. I made some friends in AA and started participating in things. We went to dances, there were sober clubs around at the time I got sober... we went on camping trips, to beaches, did a whole bunch of things I used to only want to do drunk. My network of friends for the first year consisted of only AA people, and I needed that. I needed to have others around that could relate to everything I was feeling and experiencing. Because of the practice I got with them, by year 2 I started becoming a part of the real world. Got a part time job, signed up for college, forced myself to take an acting class to help get over my shyness and wound up getting cast in some shows.... joined the drama club, started making friends outside of AA, started to have more fun than I ever experienced while drinking.

I've since then vacationed in many parts of the world, played shows (I'm a musician) in different countries as well as all over the US, gotten married on a beach in Hawaii to an awesome woman who's not an alcoholic, and did about a million things (without exaggeration), that I enjoyed immensely without alcohol. Things that I'm certain I'd have never done had I continued my drinking.

Alcohol is a liar. And I believed it bigtime. It promises you everything that it will eventually steal from you. Sobriety gave me everything alcohol promised. But it didn't come by simply putting down the drink. I had to change. AA and the 12 steps were my main tool. Others find other means.

As long as the drink is down, the rest of your life is up to you . Wishin ya the best.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:46 AM
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bowling and karaoke can still be fun without the alcohol, I have a hard time at barbecues though, I need to leave early on those events.
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:33 PM
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I actually enjoy life a lot more than I did when I was drinking.

For many years I forgot what real fun was - fun to me became a bottle...whether other people were there or not became immaterial.

Sober, the world is your oyster - the only resl limit is your imagination

D
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:35 PM
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Great response joe nerv and I definitely needed to here that. As I come up on 6 months things are slowly starting to be fun again. There is no doubt that the quality time that I now spend with my kids is 100% better. I always thought I was having fun with them while drinking yet the only thing truly on my mind was where is my next drink. Once I started, there was no stopping so everything had to be planned out. Not being a slave to that now is amazing. So my answer is yes, I think we can have fun again. Do I miss drinking and going tubing on the boat or playing golf with my buddies. Absolutely. But each time I do those things sober, they increasingly get more fun. Learning to live again is an amazing journey and gets better with each passing day.
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:59 PM
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I enjoy it more because im sober and thats everything
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:27 PM
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It's always more fun to wake up without a hangover. Always.
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:29 PM
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I might remember having fun, but I don't remember much else. I don't remember the people I was with, the sights, the sounds, I wasn't really present. There was no me, there, just a drunk. And I certainly remember the shame, the anger, the depression, anxiety. I remember the uneasiness - I was laughing at times, but it was as though I was an impostor, a lie and a fake.

Being present, aware of myself, aware of others and how they might be enjoying themselves, makes things so much funner now. I am real. I am me. And that is a good person to be.
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:41 PM
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PolarBlue...this is a very normal feeling. Boredom....when will I EVER have fun again, experience REAL excitement and joy?

It takes time, but I promise you it will come if you commit to building a new life without alcohol.

Addiction hijacks our brain and dopamine levels, and leaves our whole perception of fun (well, everything, really), screwed.

There is no gap or hole in my life anymore. It isn't a constant battle to fill the gaps - huge gaps, of time that consuming alcohol filled. I sit in peace, the beast doesn't knock at my door. Getting sober was the hardest thing I've ever done, painful, scary and everything in between.

Get yourself a new routine, fake it til you make it! Mine was a movie at the cinema every Saturday night, amongst other things. There are so many things I stopped doing when drinking, I had to relearn what I enjoyed all over again.

You can too.
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:59 PM
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You are not even a week sober. Focus on recovery and don't make sobriety contingent on having fun.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:00 AM
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Every day, I struggle with this 'crossroads' of an issue. I am still trying to find my way when it comes to looking at life as a non-drinker, and trying to find the fun in it.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:06 AM
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I'm with doggonecarl...

When I do the sobriety vs. drinking equals serious vs. fun, then I'm setting myself up.

It is easy to do. In early sobriety we get really excited about the possibilities of efficiency! and fitness! and clean closets! and good jobs! and getting places on time! and showing people we're capable! and - blah-blah-blah...

I recognize that a big part of this efficiency and doing frenzy in sobriety is a result of guilt and shame about lost time and lost possibilities, but in my own experience, it makes sobriety a tense-shoulders, to-do listy, clean closet world, and - I'll be honest - if I wanted to be the kind of girl who wakes up at five to go to spin class, I probably wouldn't have partied so hard in the first place...

Mind you, there could be a day when you'll see me posting all excitedly about how much fun I had waking up at 5 am to go to spin class, but it likely won't be soon.

My point being, sober doesn't make me an entirely different person, well - different in some ways - but in terms of joy and fun, I can't fill that hole with pride in my efficiency or my gleaming bathtub. My goal is to explore the world and behave in the world as it suits me, and hopefully to not get caught up in the whole black and white rigidity of "bad slackerdom vs. good task-i-ness."

So, I'm right beside you, exploring all this. Truth be told, I don't really have "fun" going to the gym. I've been going regularly because I can't sleep for sh** in sobriety, and find that regular hard exercise is helping with that. I don't have "fun" cleaning my house or getting my finances in order or even - sometimes - going to AA meetings. I know that these are things that are contributing to my health, that they are medicine to me right now, and that I am in a "convalescence" of early recovery.

Fun to me is dancing, music festivals, board games with friends, disc golf, sex, movies, spa appointments, making music, restaurants with friends, etc. I aspire to a life that is sprinkled with lots of those activities, in which I am sober, as well as many of the people surrounding me (making new friends in sobriety). I recognize that this will take some time to build. It is EASY to set up those things while drinking and using, a little more challenging to find/create my fun community in sobriety - but if I am patient, it will emerge.

The important thing to me is to recognize and accept that there will be less opportunity for "fun" in this early sobriety, and not to confuse "accomplishment" or "efficiency" or "things that are good for me" with the sober definition of fun, because I don't think they are the same thing, and if they were, I'd be demoralized and give up and simply want to drink....
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:25 PM
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Early days for me, but when I got home last night after my day out at a sporting event, I said to myself "I haven't had this much fun in a very long time". I was really very excited by that.

I had such a good day because I was clear headed, I wasn't hung over, and I had energy. These are feelings that I haven't felt in a very long time.
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