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As a former addict or alcoholic, how can I enjoy staying sober?

George Joseph
Addiction Medicine
When people think about getting sober, one of their biggest fears is: Can I ever have fun again? Most people think sobriety is boring. Well, the newly sober person needs to adjust his or her perspective. Yes, being sober won’t involve death-defying police chases or risky actions that can really hurt them or those around them. The definition of fun changes: The longer people stay sober, the deeper and more enriching their joys become!

If someone gets sober and doesn’t learn to relax and have fun, their chances of long-term sobriety are very limited. They must insist on learning to have fun. It can be a matter of life or death for some. This is a very critical component of recovery, along with developing a deep spiritual connection and working the Twelve Steps
 
Why are addicts and alcoholics afraid to let go and have fun? They had to ingest serious amounts of drugs or alcohol to let go of their fears and insecurities. The more they used, the more fear they would have before getting high to relax. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that the need only gets worse the longer one uses. The fear of being vulnerable that newcomers experience in the early stages of sobriety is so intense that some can’t get past it. Working the Twelve Steps helps to reduce the fear by creating a fellowship with others in recovery, which can also help teach what the “new fun” looks like. The beauty of recovery is that, if you reach out enough, you will find others who have the same interests as you, and often even the same sense of humor. But first it takes reaching out.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.