Many adults reflect back on their teenage years professing that it was the time of their life. If you’re an adolescent who is newly sober, you might not agree. How can I possibly have fun with my friends if I can no longer use substances? This question is one that we hear often.
It’s totally understandable that you might be questioning your ability to fit in and have fun in the absence of substances. Sustain Recovery wants you to know that you can find joy in sobriety. Your life isn’t over because you cannot engage in substance use. In fact, you’ll find that there are opportunities for joy in places you may have never thought to look before.
Your Life Isn’t Over
For many people who have addictions, their social life and relaxation time before they entered treatment revolved around drinking alcohol or using drugs. This is especially true for adolescents who engage in substance use. Before treatment, you might have solely based your weekend plans on the opportunity to drink or use.
It’s also not uncommon to form friendships with other people who use substances. But, now that you have gone through substance use treatment, your lifestyle has changed. You are now working on remaining sober. It can be daunting to return home after treatment where so much of your old lifestyle remains.
Sustain Recovery is here to encourage you during this difficult time. We’re here to remind you that your life is just beginning! You can’t use substances anymore, but there are so many other opportunities to find joy and have fun in recovery. Now is the time to shift your focus from what have you lost to all that you have gained.
Endless Opportunities Await You
Keep your new mindset and goals in mind when you are searching for opportunities that will bring you a healthy dose of joy and fun. Substance use can sometimes stem from the need to feel connected to others. You may have felt pressured to use substances because your friends were using and you wanted to fit in.
While that sense of connection isn’t going away, there are many other ways to feel connected that don’t involve substance use. Think about sober activities you enjoy. Whether it be playing sports, being creative, learning something new, or helping others, you can build connections through these activities.
If you are looking for a way to make new friends in recovery, sports are a great place to start. There are leagues you can join if you enjoy playing sports, groups that meet up at local games to watch, and online communities that serve as a space to talk about, analyze, and debate sports of all kinds. Meeting and engaging with people who share your love for sports is a great way to build friendships and have fun without engaging in substance use.
There are also a plethora of creative activities to try in your recovery. From book clubs to gardening groups, there is a space for you if you enjoy being creative. Not only do these activities foster connection, they also help you find healthy ways to process and express your emotions. Allowing yourself to be creative gives you the space to be vulnerable — and vulnerability gives you the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with others who might be going through similar things as you.
Learn Something New
While school gives you the space to learn subjects like language, mathematics, or science, there may be other subjects that you are interested in exploring. Take advantage of your free time in recovery to learn something new. For example, you might be interested in learning how to code or how to cook.
Check out materials from your local library that give you a step-by-step guide on learning to code or a cookbook with cultural recipes you’d love to try. Learning something new will challenge you in healthy ways and help you explore parts of yourself that were hidden by your addiction.
One of the best things you can do when you’re struggling is to help others. Not only are you giving others hope when you volunteer, you will feel better about giving back to your community. If you love animals, check out a local shelter and ask how you can help.
If you are a people person, find groups that help the elderly or those with disabilities. Volunteering can give you the opportunity to meet new people who share your passions. The joy you feel from helping others is something that you won’t find anywhere else.
You Can Do This
Giving yourself the space to find excitement in activities that don’t involve alcohol or drugs is necessary in your recovery. Try to let go of any anger you’re holding for not being able to use substances. There’s a whole world out there to explore if you are sober.
You’ll meet new friends who share your beliefs and similar goals. You’ll find activities that thrill you beyond a buzz or high. Your recovery is going to be as joyful and fun as you make it. Keep an open mind and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Your life is just beginning.
At Sustain Recovery, we can help you find the joy and fun that you are craving beyond substances. We provide the ideal environment for adolescents to begin their recovery in a serene, structured, and safe place. Let us help you overcome your addiction and show you how amazing life can be. To learn more, call us today at (949) 407-9052.