A common excuse that addicts will use for not escaping their misery is that they fear life in recovery will be boring. Such individuals just find it impossible to imagine how they will keep themselves entertained without alcohol or drugs. This idea that life in recovery is boring is a complete myth. Once people are established in sobriety they are more likely to complain that there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things they want to do. The real boredom is to be found in the predictable life of the addict. Such individuals have no interest in doing anything unless it involves getting intoxicated. Once people become sober they find that there is a world of entertainment possibilities available to them.
The Dangers of Boredom in Recovery
Boredom in recovery is not only undesirable, but it can also be dangerous. This is why it is listed as a potential relapse trigger. If people feel bored, they may begin to miss their old life. They can begin to wonder if life in recovery is worth the effort and if it truly can be satisfying. Boredom can be particularly dangerous in early recovery when the individual is still struggling to find their feet. One of the reasons why many people turn to substance abuse in the first place is because of boredom, so this really is something to watch out for in recovery. The remedy for boredom is to find fun things to do. Luckily, there are plenty of options for people in recovery.
Finding Things to Do in Recovery
When people first become sober they can feel a bit lost. If they have been addicted for a long time their whole identity may be tied up with using alcohol or drugs. They will not have had much time for anything else. This means that when they get sober they may be unsure about the type of activities they enjoy. Early recovery can be a time of discovery when the individual rekindles old lost interests or finds completely new things to enjoy. Here are some tips for finding things to do in recovery:
* It is a good idea for people in recovery to experiment with lots of different activities in early sobriety. This will not only give them the chance to find new things to like, but it also makes early sobriety fun. The most important thing is that people are willing to try different things.
* If there were things that the individual liked to do before they became addicted then it can be worthwhile to revisit these old passions. Most people find in recovery that they enjoy a mix of old hobbies with a mix of new hobbies.
* It is best if people have a number of different hobbies in recovery. That way they will be less likely to become too obsessed with just one activity. Sometimes people who have given up an alcohol or drug abuse can slide into addiction substitution. This is where they use things like exercise or the Internet as a way to escape dealing with their problems. If people have a number of different hobbies, then this is less likely to occur.
The Need to Stay Away from Bars and Clubs
In Alcoholics Anonymous there is a well known saying, if you visit a barbershop often enough, you will eventually get a haircut. The message here is that alcoholics continue to frequent bars or clubs they will be taking a risk with their sobriety. When people are firmly established in their recovery they may feel strong enough to infrequently visit wet places, but only when they have a good reason to go there. It is not recommended that people in recovery go to bars or clubs for entertainment purposes. There is just too much temptation in this type of place.
Entertainment Options for People in Recovery
There is an almost endless list of entertainment options for people in recovery. These are some of the most popular:
* Going to the cinema. These days most people will have be able to watch all the movies they want at home, but it can still be an enjoyable experience to go watch something on the big screen.
* Ten pin bowling can be a fun sober night out, although some of these places do have bars. If the individual regularly got inebriated while out bowling with friends then they might want to skip this particular entertainment option.
* There are different classes available that not only provide entertainment but also help people learn a skill or increase their physical fitness. Activities such as yoga, meditation or Tai Chi can be good options for people in recovery.
* Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous organize events like discos where there is no alcohol on sale. There are also sober clubs and other nighttime entertainment for people in recovery.
* Outdoor pursuits can be highly rewarding for people in sobriety. Just going for a walk in the evenings can bring a great deal of satisfaction. Taking up activities such as running and cycling can also be highly rewarding.
* Even in small towns there will be regular events going on that would be suitable for people in recovery. When people are addicted to alcohol or drugs then tend to not notice these entertainment opportunities, but people in sobriety can be amazed to find out how much is going on in their community.
* One of the most rewarding activities in recovery is spending time with friends and family. Sobriety offers the opportunity to rebuild old relationships and begin new ones.
* Some people rediscover their love of reading once they are sober. This can be a wonderful way to spend a few hours.
* Journaling can not only be enjoyable but it also helps people strengthen their recovery. Some enjoy this type of writing so much that they go on complete a memoir of their life. This can be a cathartic experience even if the manuscript is never read by anyone else.
* The web provides endless entertainment options for people in recovery. One of the most rewarding activities is starting a blog. Here the individual can document their experiences in recovery from addiction, or if they prefer they can write about something completely different. Keeping a blog can not only be enjoyable for the person maintaining it, but the information provided might also be of benefit to other people, especially if it is a recovery blog. For those individuals who do not enjoy writing, it is also possible to start an audio or video blog on YouTube.
* Strictly speaking helping others might not be classified as entertainment, but it can certainly be a great way to spend some time in recovery. This type of service not only benefits the person getting the help but also the individual offering the help. One of the cornerstones of 12 Step groups is service. In Alcoholics Anonymous they remind people that you have to give it way to keep it.