Redefining “Fun” in Recovery

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

When we start the recovery journey, we have to redefine what it means to have fun. Here are some tips.

When we’re in active addiction mode, perhaps we’re not sure what “fun” really means to us. Early on in our addictions, we might have used alcohol and/or drugs and other addictive behaviors as a way to lose control, have fun, self-medicate, party, and/or relax. Eventually, we realize that our addictions collapse into turmoil and hardship. “Fun” doesn’t figure too heavily into the equation. One inspiring part about recovery is that we get to redefine what it means to have fun. We get to figure out what we enjoy, what makes us feel free and lighthearted, and what makes us feel bad. Oftentimes, we’re starting from the ground up. However, we can view this process of redefining what it means to have fun as an exciting self-discovery journey. Here are a few tips for redefining fun in recovery. 

Go Your Own Way

As long as you’re not putting your recovery at risk, the sky is the limit. It’s important to think for yourself and define fun on your terms, not someone else’s. For instance, society often tells us that binge drinking or using recreational party drugs is the ticket to a good time. Recovery is a great time to deprogram from those false notions and create your own rules. Going your own way will involve getting to know yourself and your interests on a deep level. What makes you feel like you’re having fun in recovery? When do you feel your best? What lights you up inside? There are no right or wrong answers. The important thing is that you’re posing these questions to yourself and letting go of societal programming and peer pressure. This is about you and your life. Recovery does not have to be a solemn and stoic endeavor. You can have a great time.

Let Go of The Past

It can be tempting to start romanticizing past drug or alcohol use, as our culture often associates those things with a good time. Holiday parties, BBQs, and birthday parties are filled with alcohol and sometimes drugs. It’s time to let go of the past and redefine joy and lightheartedness for yourself and your recovery. Try to call to mind the negative aspects of partying with alcohol or drugs. Did you have a hangover? Did you remember the actual party or the people? Did you have meaningful conversations? If you’re struggling to let go of the past, call upon some of the negative aspects of your active addictions. If you catch yourself romanticizing about past parties and drinking or drug use, try to accept these feelings and talk to a counselor or your group about them. It’s completely normal. However, it’s not healthy to live in the past and it can often prevent us from embracing the present moment, where so much is happening.

Listen to Yourself

Listening to yourself and your inner voice is one of the most important parts of recovery, redefining fun, and life in general. Getting to know ourselves all over again in early recovery can feel daunting. However, when we tune in and truly listen to ourselves, we start to know ourselves and our needs more intimately. There are so many wellness practices that can help us achieve deeper self-knowing. These include meditation, mindfulness practices, therapy, visualization, and guided meditation, among others. Don’t be afraid to get quiet, listen to yourself, and cultivate an interest in who you truly are. This will help you redefine what it means to have a good time, as well as what things don’t interest you. In short: we learn about our values, likes, and dislikes all over again in recovery.

Make it a Group Thing

You don’t have to take on all of this work by yourself. If you’re in a supportive group of people in recovery, get together and plan sober activities. The possibilities are endless. Options for sober and fun activities include hiking, running, yoga, cooking, dancing, going to the movies, book clubs, beach walks, and more. Plan a gathering or a party without alcohol and bring games, activities, and movies. Feeling isolated can be a fast route to sadness. When you feel as if you’re part of a group and you’re all having fun together on your own terms, separate from the cultural norm of drinking and drug use, life will feel more full and happy. 

It’s a Journey

Remember, recovery and redefining yourself and your happiness takes time. It’s a constantly unfolding journey and your ideas of “fun” will always be in flux, as humans are not static. Remember that there is no destination or rush, and try to think of this process as an expansive, enjoyable, freeing one rather than a negative burden. You’ll be having tons of fun on your own time before you know it. 

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 844-857-5992 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you – it’s never too late to begin taking steps towards a happier, healthier life.

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