Stop Whining and Start Celebrating
If you’re thinking, “I’m sober, my life is over”. You wouldn’t be the first. This is one of the many misconceptions of early sobriety and especially if you don’t already know someone who is sober and also has a full life. Since September is National Recovery Month, it’s the perfect time to remind you that if you’re just getting sober or just coming back to sobriety, it’s time to celebrate because your life is not over, it’s just begun.
So where do you begin celebrating this new sober life?
First, remember you can’t say the team sucks if you’re not even willing to get in the game. You also can’t claim recovery is boring if you stay at home and refuse to go anywhere or talk to anyone. This is the time to get out there and do the things you only talked about from a barstool or thought about while locked up in your room at night drinking. There is no limit to what you can do and accomplish now that your primary focus is not drinking or drugging and staying constantly intoxicated or escaping yourself. That is a full-time job and you’ve just been given a long standing vacation.
Celebrating recovery can mean a lot of things. It can mean reclaiming your love of laser tag or working out, dining out and movies and bowling (yes bowling, it’s fun). It can also mean simple things like not having a constant hangover and being able to enjoy a walk in the park on a sunny day without a pounding headache or sunglasses to keep the daylight out. It can also mean being able to be present with a friend over a coffee or lunch in a way you could never be when you were obsessing over whether there’d be drinks and how many looks like too many at lunch hour. Reclaiming your life and creating a new one where you’re free to spend your time pursuing your passions instead of repressing or obsessing about them is a step by step process. Step one is to make a list of things you have enjoyed in the past and have heard or read about and thought sound interesting or exciting. The second step is to google the things on your list and learn more about the local places offering them. The fact is there’s nothing to lose by trying something new and worst case scenario you go to a pottery class and realize I HATE POTTERY. Congratulations, now you can try painting or go-carting.
As for celebrating your new life right now in September, check out a sample of cool events happening on SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) https://recoverymonth.gov/events/find-events for National Recovery Month or check out their Facebook page with updated and newly added events: www.facebook.com/RecoveryMonth/. There is yet another useful calendar of events through Faces & Voices of Recovery http://www.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/events/type/5. Another simple idea is to search local meetups using key words like sober, recovery and sober fun at meetup.com. You can also ask at 12 step meetings and clubhouses if there are any events like dances or dinners coming up for National Recovery Month or just in general.
Whatever you choose, just get out there and start celebrating. Have a Happy Recovery Month.