There is often chatter amongst certain individuals who enter into recovery that profess that sobriety is the end of fun as we know it. This notion is actually correct; it is quite literally the end of fun as we knew it. What is meant by this is that it isn’t that the ability to engage in fun experiences that ceases, but instead, through the formation of our new self and identity, we necessarily begin to define “having fun” in a different way.
Prior to engaging in recovery, the version of fun portrayed by the addict is a wholly different concept than of those who are working a serous recovery program. This is likely due to the fact that “having fun” while in addiction is defined unidimensionally, or in other words, fun is defined by whether or not we were getting high. While not only does getting high not constitute fun in recovery, the realization of the consequences that had to be paid in full for all the “fun” we had while addicted becomes a version of hell that we would best be served not returning back to. There is an adage that says something to the effect of, “if boredom is your problem, the problem isn’t boredom.” This could be restated in the context of addiction as, “If you’re not having fun in sobriety, it’s not being sober that is keeping you from having fun.” It is likely the case that if we cannot foster ways in which to enjoy ourselves in recovery it is due to either a reservation and desire to go back to using, or it is that we simply may not have expended enough energy into diving into to things we enjoy!
Taking on personal responsibility in sobriety and the loss of fun are often falsely conflated in regards to recovery from addiction. It isn’t the case, however, that because we choose to adopt a radically different lifestyle, that we also sacrifice the wonderous experiences in our lives. In fact, it is actually the opposite. When we were addicted, true enjoyment of experiences were limited because “staying well” was always at the forefront of our consciousness which requires that we not be present in the current moment. In closing, if we limited our definition of “having fun” to using drugs and alcohol, then yes, the fun is, and ought to be over. Conversely, if we define fun as the ability to clear-mindedly engage in new experiences in life without the shackles of addiction limiting our every move, then yes, we will actually be able to have more fun than we might otherwise have imagined.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon is a men’s addiction treatment center that teaches our clients how to roll with life’s punches and use the tools they’ve learned throughout the treatment process to stay on top of anything life throws at them. Call (503) 850-2474 to see how we can help you today.