Finding new ways of bringing joy to your life is a big part of addiction recovery treatment. Discover ideas on how to enjoy living life sober and staying sober!
If you have already begun your recovery journey with detox, treatment, or 12-step meetings, you have likely heard people say, “just take it one day at a time, and if needed, one minute at a time.” This is good advice, as it is no secret that for a person dealing with addiction, living life sober isn’t always easy, and the ups and downs of recovery can at times make a person exclaim, “I don’t like being sober!” But during those times of frustration and fear, it is important to take inventory of the reasons that you made the choice to change the path of your life and be sober in the first place.
Reasons to Stay Sober
If you’re a person who loves lists, then this is your first defense against the question that might be running through your mind of “Is being sober worth it?”. Making a pros and cons list is a helpful tool for your recovery. Let’s take a look at the examples below.
The Pros of Being Sober
- I have reconciliation with family and loved ones.
- I have a sound mind and healthy body.
- I go to work and have money in my savings.
- I laugh and smile every day, multiple times.
- I have peace in my heart and hope for my future.
The Cons of Using
- I have broken relationships and am lonely.
- I am depressed and don’t eat well.
- I am scraping by and borrowing money often.
- I can’t remember the last time I laughed.
- I am desperate and scared of tomorrow.
Take the time to review this list, so when you are having a difficult time, you can pull it out and be reminded of where you have been, how it affected you, and what you gained from choosing the sober path. In addition, learning how to identify negative and unhealthy influences in your life can help you continue to make positive changes.
- I am grateful to have a safe and comfortable place to live, and food in my belly.
- I am grateful that I did not let alcoholism take over my life.
- I am grateful that I have a loving and caring relationship with my family and friends.
- I am grateful that I can wake up every morning feeling clear-headed, recharged, and headache-free.
- I am grateful to God and for my willpower to stay strong and restore my life.
Affirmation lists help to remind us of our accomplishments and triumphs in sobriety. In addition, they gently remind us to be humble and to not forget where we came from.
Being Happy Sober
After reading your lists of reasons to stay sober, you may also be left with the question “Will being sober make me happy?” In reality, the goal of being sober is not to be “happy” per se (and let’s be honest, not even a “normal person” is happy all the time), and if you place the unfair expectation of always being happy while being sober, you will feel down from time to time.
One thing most alcoholics and addicts have in common is that we have either been numbing or denying certain emotions during our addiction, and it takes a bit of time in sobriety to get the hang of feeling the spectrum of emotions, without emotional detachment or relapse. Over time, you will learn how to enjoy being sober, so don’t give up when the going gets tough!
Although life can get boring whether you are sober or not, it is all about how you make the most of life! In the past, most of us put quite a bit of effort into making sure we had our substance of choice whenever we wanted or needed it; however, there are many benefits of a sober living environment!
Ideas of How to Overcome Boredom and Bring Joy Into Your Life
Self-Care: You must take care of yourself before you can do anything else. This is often not on the top of the list of things to do and can seem challenging to do, but self-care can be fun! If you need to clean and organize your house, run errands, go to a long-overdue doctor’s appointment, get your oil changed, or have lunch with a friend, then go ahead and do them.
Loved Ones: Spending quality time with family and friends can be nourishment to the soul. Many of us remember how we wasted time in our addiction when we could have been spending it with the people we cared about. Stay connected with loved ones and make long-lasting, happy memories.
Animals: Studies show that playing with a pet increases levels of the feel-good chemicals, specifically serotonin and dopamine, in your brain. That being said, pets give and receive love, joy, comfort, and happiness when you interact with them, so go ahead and spend some quality time with a pet today.
Nature: Whether you like high-energy adventures like kayaking and skiing or slower activities like hiking and sunbathing, you can’t go wrong spending time outside in nature. The benefits that come from breathing the fresh air and being out in open spaces can leave you feeling lighter, freer, and more energized than a cup of coffee from Starbucks or an hour session with your therapist.
Hobbies and Travelling: Do you like music, photography, pottery, sports, or some other activity? Have you always wanted to join a bowling league or softball team but never found the time because you were always drinking or recovering from drinking? What about that dream you have of going to Europe or Hawaii? There’s nothing stopping you from doing all of those things, so go out and do them!
Start Your Sobriety Journey With Oregon Trail Recovery
There are tons of ways to find joy in your sober life, all you need to do is look for them. Whether it’s spending time with your loved ones or going on a walk outside, there is something for you to enjoy your life. If you or someone you know needs help with ways to be sober, please contact us today so we can help you!