Having Fun in Recovery: Creating a New Normal
As you enter the beginning stages of sobriety, many aspects of your life start to change. After undergoing the difficult mental, physical, and emotional process of detoxification, your mind and body may not know how to catch up.
Intensive outpatient programs are designed to bridge the gap between residential programs and independent living. Upon completing your stay in a residential program, you may feel overwhelmed by decisions, particularly when it comes to deciding your next step.
In an IOP, you gain freedom that you might not have had in a more structured environment. Suddenly, you are confronted with the prospect of finding a job, making an income, and re-learning how to relate to others as your new, sober self.
One aspect of early sobriety that many people struggle with is learning how to have fun—without the influence of drugs or alcohol. After maintaining a long-term pattern of substance abuse, you may find sobriety to contain a great unknown.
Leaving your comfort zone is by far the hardest step in recreating a life that you enjoy.
Find below a few steps in having fun in recovery. You are a survivor—there is so much to celebrate!
- Find a Sober Support Network
Through joining in programs in the community that are full of sober support, you can create a network of friends who understand what you are going through. Try local meetings, meet up groups, or the alumni group at your treatment center.
- Take Up a New Hobby
Recreating a new identity for yourself means finding a new project to tackle or a new hobby to enjoy. Think outside the box—and do your research. Always wanted to learn a musical instrument? Go for it. Want to take up yoga? You’ll experience more benefits than you can imagine. Create a new recipe from scratch, go mountain biking, or simply teach yourself a new swim stroke. The possibilities are endless.
- Join In
It’s easy to retreat and isolate yourself from others during this period of time. You aren’t comfortable with the person you’re becoming—yet. The best thing to do to overcome this is to make yourself an active participant in your life. Simply getting out of bed and trying can be the motivation you need to get through the day, the week, or even the next step of your sobriety entirely. Positive thoughts turn into positive actions. You’ve got this.