Those who are considering escaping addiction or are new to recovery might worry that sober living is a bit dull. They fear that the excitement and spontaneity found when they use alcohol or drug just won't be there for them in recovery.
It will all just be lemonade drinking and waiting for the day to end. I remember having these thoughts myself when thinking about sober recovery; this fear that I'd be losing on something by getting sober. I now realise the my thinking about this could not have been more wrong; life in recovery is not dull and looking back it is hard to understand how I could have put up with the tedium of addiction for so long.
Drunks and addicts really do suffer from some warped logic when they are in the depths of their misery. I would start drinking when I woke up and would continue drinking until I fell unconscious in the afternoon or evening; I had stopped leaving the house and I did this every day. My life was miserable, but I feared that things just wouldn't be as exciting in recovery. I failed to see that people living in solitary confinement had more excitement than I did; at least they could dream about freedom. What could be duller than being an addict? Life for an addict is depressingly predictable.
My life in recovery is anything but dull. I wake up in the morning and feel excited about the day ahead. There was once a time in addiction when I would wake up sobbing because I was still alive. I have no idea where life will take me, but it is always exciting. The dreams I had in childhood are now coming reality for me in middle-age. There is nothing that I miss about addiction, and can't believe how it once seemed like an interesting way to live. Addiction is not living; it is only existing. Sober living offers the chance for real joy and contentment.
Anyone who is considering sober living but worries that life will be dull should think again. This is just the addictive part of your thinking trying to keep you in familiar misery. Unfortunately we often choose misery over a future that seems unsure. If you want to have real happiness in
your life you will not find it in alcohol or drugs; it is just not possible. In sober recovery you can find a life where you feel content much of the time and have regular periods of great happiness. Staying sober becomes a habit and then it becomes part of who you are and effortless.
By Paul Garrigan
November 21, 2009