So, you’ve entered a sober living program, and have managed to control your addiction to a point. You’ve found yourself a place to stay, you’ve found a reliable job, you’ve made new friends – you’ve essentially done all the things you’re supposed to do, except the most important thing: figure out how to have fun.
No one ever said sobriety was going to be a ban on fun. In fact, with a little help, you’ll have more fun in a week of being sober than you ever had while drunk or high. Let’s go over what your sober life is likely going to look like in the City of Angels.
Lots and Lots of Time
If you spent a lot of time struggling with drugs, you might’ve gotten used to there not being very many hours in a day to work with. While time doesn’t go by fast when you’re high, a lot of time is spent passed out or without memory. After a while, the days can sort of blur together. Not to mention the finances of being addicted.
While sober, time moves much more slowly. And the more we pay attention to it – especially when doing things we don’t want to do – time begins to slow to a crawl. You’ll fight your way through a day at work and realize that there’s still quite a few hours of time on the clock before you’re remotely ready to hit the hay, and if you haven’t really figured out what you like (besides drugs), it can be difficult to stave off boredom.
So, sit down and plan a schedule. If you’ve got a lot of time, the thing to do is spend it. Work in a workout – having some exercise on a daily or regular basis is going to keep your head clear, help you work off stress and frustration, get you into better shape now that you’re sober, and improve both your self-esteem and your appearance – which is going to help a lot at getting to know new people all over town.
Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore – you can turn it into something useful both socially and mentally. Pick a dance course, a sports club, or a new fitness trend and see if you have any fun with it.
A Chance for Nature
Los Angeles might seem like the kind of place that’s plagued most by Californication, but there is a lot of virtue and sober beauty to go around. In a city of nearly 4 million people, not everyone has the chance to be obsessed with glitz and glamour, and there’s a lot of nature and simple living to behold.
From any of the city’s several trails, treks, parks, and green urban neighborhoods, sometimes the best way to clear the head and put a little smile on your face is by heading out into the outdoors and enjoying the copious health benefits of a lungful of fresh air and the sunshine on your skin. If trees and green isn’t your thing, head out to the beach and enjoy the fact that most of California’s beaches are all public property, for you to stroll around. Here are just a couple great beaches to check out if you’ve got an afternoon or two.
Enjoy the Simpler Pleasures
While it’s true that nothing works as fast or hits as hard as a shot of heroin, you’ve probably established by now that the cons very heavily outweigh any potential pros. There are still many ways to relax while sober, starting with visiting some of LA’s best Koreatown spas and enjoying their lovely atmosphere and amazing service. If you’re not looking for relaxation, tickle your funny bone at any of LA’s comedy clubs and enjoy a night filled with laughter. You can take an improv class and have your own stab at comical fame or learn something else entirely.
Hit the Trampolines
It’s scientifically proven that one surefire way to have some fun is to jump around and launch yourself to moderately greater heights. There are several trampoline parks all throughout LA, which are all about the ridiculously simple recipe of jumping a little bit to feel better.
You can practice flips and techniques and use the park as a way to kickstart (or jumpstart) an excursion into tricking or parkour training, or you can just head out to the park with a few friends and make a little afternoon out of it. Trust us – trampolines aren’t just for kids, and if you were ever disappointed at the fact that you probably outgrew the one in your own backyard, these parks are perfect.
Your Time Is Your Own
Ultimately, however you spend your sober time is up to you. What’s important to remember is that being sober isn’t about being sober, it’s just about not being drunk. That might seem confusing at first, but the faster you figure out that you shouldn’t obsess about sobriety, the faster it’ll become normal – and the faster you can integrate it into your life.
Living isn’t about dulling experiences with drugs, it’s about experiencing life in its entirety, whether that means sitting back on a Saturday night and enjoying a quiet book to the tune of a blues playlist on Spotify, to hitting up the nearest dining experience or theater play with a crew of friends. You can choose to spend your time however you want, and no longer have to play by the rules of drug addiction.
The hardest part about being freshly sober and finding ways to kill time and stress, but the only way to figure out what it is that you enjoy most is to try all the things. Take classes, take on physical challenges, meet new people, learn instruments and languages, explore the fringes of your city, pretend to be a tourist, and generally try to live life with a little spontaneity. It might seem like fun is out of the question once you’ve dedicated yourself to being booze-free and drug-free, but that’s completely false. Now is the time for the fun to begin.