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Learning to Have Fun in Recovery

One of the biggest complaints I hear from clients is that they feel they can’t have any fun without substances. Recovering addicts become accustomed to the high-paced lifestyle of addiction. When you enter recovery, life can seem boring until you discover other activities that you can enjoy. If you don’t actively search for fun things to do in recovery, you may become bored and restless which can lead to relapse.

Finding Fun

Begin looking for activities that you enjoy by thinking back to a time before your addiction took over your life. Ask yourself, “What did I enjoy doing before my addiction?” If you were involved in sports, consider joining a basketball or softball team. If you enjoyed reading, look for a book club in your town. Finding ways to enjoy activities with other people will fulfill your need for both social support and fun.

Take a Class

You can also find new activities to enjoy in recovery. Think of recovery as a time of exploration. Recovery can be a time to try new activities and find new things that you can enjoy. Consider taking a class in something you have always had an interest in but never pursued before. Classes do not always have to lead to a degree or a career. You can take a class simply to try something new and fun. Maybe you have always had an interest in art and decide to take a painting class just for fun. Many local community colleges offer classes in art, cooking, computers and a wide variety of other interests that could help you explore something new that you think you might like.

For those addicts who miss the adrenalin rush of many illegal activities, you may want to explore other safe ways to meet this need. Many addicts feel the need to engage in risky activities and could continue this behavior in recovery if they do not find other ways to meet this need. There are many activities like bungee jumping, rock climbing, sky diving or skiing that are relatively safe when precautions are taken. These activities can help fulfill the need for excitement in recovery.

Whatever you liked about addiction, it can be important to find other ways to meet these needs. Trying to suppress them could possibly lead to relapse. If you are feeling bored in recovery, it is important to address this feeling and find ways to add excitement to your life so you do not start thinking that life will be boring without substances. Life in recovery does not have to be boring. It can be a wonderful new adventure where you discover new things about yourself and the world around you.

I am a recovering addict and a Licensed Professional Counselor. I have over 7 years clean from all substances and more than 10 years from illicit drugs. I work as an addiction counselor and have more than 5 years experience counseling addicts.

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