Filling the void left behind from using a substance can be one of the hardest parts of recovery. We plan by setting goals and preparing ourselves both physically and mentally to achieve them. However, many of us express we are bored and that life is not as interesting without alcohol or drugs. This is perhaps because we have spent so many years associating alcohol or drugs with social or recreational settings that our idea of fun is defined by the drugs. While recovery is about reinvention, how can we reinvent our ideas of fun?
What is Fun?
Fun is defined as amusement, enjoyment, and lighthearted pleasure. So why do so many in recovery associate “fun” with their addiction?
- Rose Colored Glasses: We have most likely heard this expression, seeing the past through rose-colored glasses, and that applies to the sense of “fun” an addict used to have. Studies show that when stress from a situation interferes with recovery, a patient begins to glamorize the past. They think about how easy things used to be compared to now. These thoughts partly come from a longing for the drug. They will discount the negative factors from substance abuse and only look for positives.
- What Fun Means to Them: We must recall honestly about our addictions and this idea of fun. We must remember the turmoil that addiction caused to our lives, and therefore ask ourselves, was that ever fun? Maybe it is not that fun has gone away, maybe it’s that our definition of fun has changed.
- Association: The emotions associated with your sense of fun could also trigger a desire to drink.
How Can I Redefine Fun?
We must first remember the philosophy of recovery itself. This philosophy explains that recovery is a long journey designed to implement the practice of good habits in one’s life to recreate or redefine themselves as a person removed from substance abuse. Finding what our fun is, is not any different. It takes setting realistic goals and putting the work in toward manifesting them. Still, you need some basis to get yourself started.
Finding Your Definition of Fun: Influence from media or friends often suggests that fun and drinking or doing drugs go hand in hand, though this is not true for everybody. Some find fun while doing hobbies, playing music, making art, and much more. Since recovery is built around getting to know yourself again, you might ask yourself “what do I find fun now?” You might discover fun by asking yourself these questions.
- When do I feel my best?
- What do I look forward to during my recovery?
- What starts a spark inside whenever I hear about it?
Your Terms: Always have fun on your terms. Not someone else’s. Sometimes the pressure of fitting in can cause us to make bad decisions. If somebody puts you in a position to feel pressured to play by their rules, you might want to reevaluate the relationship. Talking about your fears and concerns with a friend could be enough to get them to consider you during parties, and even look out for your best interest. Don’t be afraid to politely decline if you think their idea of fun might tempt you toward relapse.
- Get to know yourself more intimately. Early on in recovery, we have yet to meet who we are or might become. This is why practicing techniques to get to know yourself can help you discover what you truly desire. Try one of these methods to help you realize your true self:
- Guided meditation
- Keeping a journal or diary
- Practice finding fun. Sometimes the action is what it takes to find out what fun can be. You can try any number of activities that are not commonly associated with drugs or drinking. You also might want to incorporate friends, to see what might be good social fun versus independent fun. These actives include but are not limited to:
- Taking up playing an instrument
- Book clubs
- Movie clubs
- Game night with friends
- Start a podcast or YouTube page
It Takes Time
Remember, recovery takes time. It also takes time to discover who we are. Even people not in recovery spend their lives changing as people. We are always evolving. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself when all your doing is what everybody else is doing too, and that is getting to know yourself on a deeper level.
True Recovery believes that change happens when we take action. If you are feeling that you need recovery or need to reinvent your recovery regimen, then act! For more questions please call us at (866) 399-6528.