Written By: Katie Schipper
Remembering What It Was Like Out There
For any woman who’s made it to the point where they attend a women’s treatment center, the idea that there was anything good left in continuing to get high sounds insane. Knowing that intellectually is pretty obvious, but remembering on a daily basis what our lives used to be like? Well, that isn’t always so easy. See, us addicts have a peculiar mental proclivity towards euphoric recall. That’s when we decide that active addiction actually had quite a few perks (no, not those perks!) and that drinking and using resulted in fun stuff.
Maybe that’s true. It probably is for most people, because most people don’t start out at the bottom. For the real alcoholic and addict though? The reality of our lives in active addition is misery, tragedy, and loss. The reality of our lives is misery, tragedy, and loss for everyone involved, not just ourselves. The memory of this pain will fade and warp in our minds. To stave off euphoric recall and the idea that addiction has anything to offer, the newly sober woman might want to find some new things to do.
There’s a really amazing and very simple way to make sobriety appealing: pick up some hobbies!
Sometimes, it’s a great idea to look to your past. What were things you loved to do in high school, or even further back? Think about sports that made you feel good. Did you like to read, or paint, or be outside? Make a list, choose things you like.
If you haven’t ever had hobbies you love, now’s a really stellar time to start. Think about the things you’ve always wanted to do, but never did because you were a) drunk b) high c) in a codependent relationship d) all of the above. Go do one. Go do them all.
The idea is to do something. You’ll hear a million times in the rooms of alcoholics anonymous , “I didn’t get sober to be miserable.” The reality is that once you choose to get sober and to take recovery seriously, you get to decide if you’re miserable. That doesn’t mean you get to choose whether you feel pain or negative emotions. Those happen, they’re a part of life. As for your overall happiness, your day-to-day contentment, your ability and willingness to experience joy – that’s all yours for the taking.
Hobbies aren’t only an incredible source of fun and fulfillment, they can also be a path to self-discovery. Learning who you really are is one of the many, infinite, and endless gifts of sobriety.
If you feel like you have no interests, or don’t know what your interests are, start by sitting quietly and envisioning yourself happy. What surrounds you? What are you doing? Try to set aside judgment and doubt.
If all else fails, find someone who seems happy. Find someone who seems to be sober and having fun. What’s she doing? Tag along until you find things you like and make them your own!