Friday Night Pep-Talk: The Sober Living Lifestyle

I hear many people in early sobriety talk about that sober life feels sort of grey, boring and absolutely blah at times. Alcohol seemed to have had a powerful effect in creating things outwardly exciting for us. Once you quit drinking it may take some time for the enjoyable activities to have the same exciting effect. I often felt that alcohol gave me the stimulating reward feeling for the hard life as an adult. I often had (and sometimes still do) some romantic thoughts about my glamorous drinking days, and how life felt so spontaneous and exciting when I was drinking, of course totally forgetting about how impulsive and dangerous it was too.
Possibilities

Unfortunately my need for a return to thrill-seeking and escape had often lead me right back to drinking. When I finally decided that this was it and I was quitting, I had to come to terms with the end of that lifestyle which can be one of the hardest parts to change in sobriety. I remember clinging to it for many years.

I just could not imagine having any fun sober!

I attempted to hang out at bars and go to parties and not drink. I surely do not recommend this; it was just what I needed to finally notice that I could no longer do that if I wanted to get and stay sober.

BUT recovery is not meant to be the end of all fun, or adventure, or thrill-seeking, however it does require more effort to integrate not drinking into those activities. And it also meant doing new things and getting out of my comfort zone; opening the door to willingness to try something different!

In the beginning I just had to stop and not be involved. That meant parties, bars, concerts, wine festivals, and beer tastings and such were out! Then I had to start integrating activities where drinking was not the main attraction.

In the beginning I started going to museums and art galleries, and visited places that I have never been to. I also watched a lot of educational TV like the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel; it opened up a whole new world of knowledge to me.

I also found  that being part of a 12 step program  allowed me to socialize with other sober people. Most groups organize numerous events like movie nights, picnics and dances. And when you meet people at the events you will be able to get even more ideas! If you are interested in becoming a part of a 12 step program please visit their webpage and look for events in your area.Seedling

Other options maybe taking a fitness class, or a painting class. There are also activities you might try like the Photo a The Day challenges, like this one at FatMumSlim. I know, I know… all these may seem a bit boring or somewhat intimidating, but once you start doing few things you will find that the excitement will return and you will keep finding new interests things to do which do not involve drinking!

The process of joining these outlets into sobriety may take some time and change through the years. But eventually you may feel comfortable enough with going to a party or a bar for a special occasion or a concert! I remember my first sober concert it was amazing, and I had a blast and even more fun than I have imagined.

Believe me, the enjoyable activities will once again have the exciting effect and maybe even more because the excitement will be all natural!

**I am adding a little update here – Gardening is amazing! You can do it indoors or outdoors and there are so many things to grow, from flowers to herbs to fruit and vegetables! Check out this Home and Gardens page or the Burpee site for tips on indoor gardening all year round!

What activities do you enjoy?

For Other Friday Night Pep-Talk posts click HERE.


If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at sobercourage@gmail.com.

You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Well, my favorite hobby used to be drinking. Everything else just got in the way of that one. Hobbies like personal hygiene and health got pushed out in my single-minded enthusiasm for my one great love–being a dangerously drunk loose-cannon.
    When I finally had to give up that past-time, I remember feeling at a loss. How will I fill the time? What shall I do? How can I EVER have fun without being a threat to myself and a menace to society?
    Turns out there are plenty of ways to have fun that don’t involve destroying furniture and hearts. Ways that don’t involve accidentally discharging a firearm indoors. Who’d a thunk?
    Good thing, too. Or I don’t think I would have made it this long.
    Today I like to paint, garden, and play with my cats.
    My God, what’s happened to me?
    Whatever it was, it’s good.
    So are you Maggie.

    Like

    1. Would you believe that drinking was my favorite hobby too!? LoL! Yes what the heck happened to us? We become normal? Well maybe not totally, speaking for myself of course!

      And I forgot all about gardening, I guess it just has become part of life! I started gardening 3 years ago when we bought the house and I love it! Love seeing things sprout up from little seeds and then to veggies and then straight into the pot! Yes, that now gets me very excited, but back than I would have totally though you were crazy to be gardening… That’s what groceries stores are for right! Lol!

      Yes, it’s all good! Thanks Marius! Happy Friday!

      Like

  2. justanewme says:

    Great post. Thanks for the photo a day info–nice idea

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    1. Hi! Yeah I really like it, it got my mind focused on it all day trying to find the perfect shot! Lol! She also includes lots of picture taking techniques and ideas for better composition and such! It’s creative that is why I like it. Hope you give it a try!

      Like

  3. This is common, where people bemoan the sober life at first as being “dull” or “boring”. It’s just the absence of the drama that we normally kick up in our alcoholism / addiction. What I found is that this lack of drama was actually peaceful. I had had enough of all that nonsense, so it was nice to be a bit boring, to be going to bed early, to not be chock full of “stuff” all day all night. To some, this is boring. To me, it’s bliss. But we get past this. Many people rediscover the things that made them happy, or pick up new things to do and try. It has taken me over 2 years to even explore things – I am a slow learner. I am glad gardening gets you jazzed up. I love the idea of gardening, but don’t follow through. Perhaps one day I will get out there and really tackle it. I have potted a few flowers – that’s about it. But who knows. It’s amazing how our lives do transform. It just takes time – and an open mind.

    Wonderful post, Maggie – full of hope and joy.

    Blessings,
    Paul

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    1. Hi Paul! Great comment, made me remember that at the end my drinking life was actually really boring – get up, scrub the body, get to work, have a drink at lunch, rush home, get drunk, pass out, start over. I don’t know why I thought that was fun! Lol! But I totally felt like life was blah in the beginning of sobriety. It took me a while too!

      I find gardening cool because it takes time and determination and care and love! And if you do all those you get to see the “fruits” of your hard work! Kinda like sobriety!

      Thanks Paul! Hugs.

      Like

  4. thank you for sharing this. great post. and helpful.

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    1. Thank you! And thank you for stopping by, and I hope you’re having a wonderful day!

      Like

  5. I wish that everyone in early sobriety had access to this wonderful blog, because you cover every important topic for those of us wishing to make this lifestyle change. It’s so hard to imagine what life will be like without alcohol, many give up because that lifestyle seems impossible.

    For me, I found the place I was most comfortable, and got there as often as possible. I found in the earliest days that being in the comfort of my own home, with enjoyable food, the new beverage of choice (diet pepsi), and lots of interesting television, made me feel safe and happy, and thus became a reward at the end of a productive day. The truth is, almost two years later, I still find that rewarding, but I have also become comfortable enough in my sobriety that trying new things is also fun. I have ziplined, I’ve gone to trampoline places, I’ve participated in a 5K, all things I would NEVER have considered in active addiction, because they would have require me to not drink.

    Really, once you are comfortable in sobriety, the sky’s the limit!

    Thanks for this uplifting post, Maggie!

    Like

    1. Hi Josie, thanks for the kind words! That was the idea behind this blog, to focus on early sobriety struggles. It was so tough for me to get sober; in and out and releasing and stuff. No one ever realy said this is what is goning to happen and this is how you deal with it. Not drinking, although the main focus, was just a small part, the not drinking and living was the huge part! And I was just lost, so I am hoping that someone out there finds some good suggestions here!

      I love finding comfort in the simple things! But sounds like you have done some adventurous things too! Ziplined and 5k!!? Oh, the 5k, I remember your post, that was very awesome! Woot woot!

      Yes, the sky is the limit! I remember tearing up almost every time I tried something new. It was so amazing. Good stuff!

      Thanks, hugs! Have a great day 🙂

      Like

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