Expanding Your Sober Life
Many people are under the mistaken impression that a life in recovery is dull, boring, and full of tiresome work. We often fear that the fun ends when the drugs and alcohol go away. Let’s think about that realistically. Odds are the fun had stopped long before we got sober. Now we are sober – and a dull, empty life is NOT what awaits us.
The Big Book clearly says, “we are not a glum lot…we absolutely insist on enjoying life.” There is so much to enjoy about life, all on its own. Recovery at Jaywalker Lodge can help us see our lives through new eyes. We can begin to see all there is to enjoy and be grateful for. Life still has the ebbs and flows it always did, but now we can experience each moment of life with peace, joy, and a desire for understanding.
There are, however, other elements that go towards making a full life. The program of recovery gives us the 12-Steps to continue taking, meetings to attend, and people to serve. This alone can make for a pretty full and happy life. Yet some of us may still find time on our hands, or a yearning for more. Staying sober not only allows us to be grateful for what we have, but also empowers us to expand our lives. If we aren’t enjoying our lives as much as we’d like, or simply looking for new ways to grow, there are many rewarding things we can try.
Dare To Dream
Most of us find the life of our dreams to be unliveable when we are in our addiction. We simply can’t get any closer to the life we long to live. After getting sober at Jaywalker Lodge, we come to see that life is more beautiful than we’d ever realized – and that perhaps we have much of our “dream life” already. We just never noticed it before. Once we can appreciate the life we have, we become capable of building on it.
The Big Book mentions “a life beyond our wildest dreams,” and a lot of that has to do with the reshaping of our values and gratitude as we walk the 12-Steps. With the foundation of recovery growing us as people, we can also undertake things we were never capable of before. Allow yourself to explore what you find drawn to as you remain in recovery.
It just might be time to go back to school, learn a trade, or update your resume and apply for that job you always wanted. In sobriety, we are no longer limited by our addictions. It’s okay to set new goals and dream again, as long as we keep ourselves rooted in the reality of recovery.
Quite literally, having fun in sobriety is encouraged. It says so right there in the Big Book! Many of us had favorite hobbies or pastimes that got replaced by drugs and alcohol – and soon forgotten entirely. In recovery, we are free to return to those healthy sources of enjoyment we’ve long since lost.
Odds are that we will meet other people in meetings who have similar interests, and now we can share our hobbies with sober friends. Sober softball league? There are tons of them. Sober board game night? There’s plenty. And if there isn’t one in your fellowship already, maybe you can start one! The possibilities are endless.
There are so many healthy outlets for sober fun – either alone or in a group. In recovery you are seriously encouraged to have fun. Maybe some of the things you enjoyed doing got too closely tied to drinking and using. With your sober community around you, you can decide whether to revisit those hobbies sober or find brand new ones. Sports, games, arts, and entertainment are all part of the happy, joyous, and full life that’s highly suggested in recovery.
Explore Yourself and the World
Occasionally, early sobriety can feel like a bit of a routine. Because the 12-Steps are always the same, you may begin to feel stuck in a rut if you don’t make the effort to really explore all that sobriety has to offer you. You will likely learn more about yourself and begin to see the world in ways you could have never imagined. So get out there and see what’s waiting for you!
You may find you that love yoga when it never seemed like it would be your thing. Perhaps Buddhist meditation catches your attention and you give it a try. Maybe you really like coffee before a meeting and going to sushi afterward. Maybe you still don’t like sushi. The point is that you’re going to be learning a lot about who you are. It would be a disservice to yourself to not try new things and see if you enjoy them. You just might discover your new favorite cuisine or activity in sobriety.
The spiritual aspects of the program can be a hard pill to swallow for those who don’t really investigate what the 12-Steps ask us to do. They simply ask that we keep an open mind. For those who don’t resist the spiritual elements of the program, you may find a vast number of new spiritual avenues open to you. We are highly encouraged to “perfect and enlarge” our spiritual lives.
Whether we stick to 11th-Step prayer and meditation, return to the faith of our childhood, or discover spirituality for the first time in our lives, there are so many life-enriching avenues of spiritual experience and learning open to us on the road of recovery. Take the mindset of a student, and try to learn what speaks to your heart. You may discover the foundations of spiritual belief that will lift you up from the inside out.
Let Us Help You Get There
However you feel about your life in recovery, there is always room to grow. At Jaywalker Lodge, we are all on the grand journey of learning to be of maximum service to our higher power and our fellows. A big part of that is living a full life. We don’t have to settle for dull routines or bare-minimum living in recovery. We can expand ourselves and our sober lives, allowing us to reach out and be of service to more people than ever before.
If you’ve lost your way or you’re struggling to begin your sober life, Jaywalker Lodge can help. We’ve all been there before, and we found our way through. A sober life is a full life that never stops growing. Get connected with us now, and learn how to begin living a life that’s better than you could have ever imagined. Call us today at (866) 529-9255.