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Long gone are the false assumptions that getting sober is boring or uninteresting. People in recovery communities swear by the power of having a blast regardless of what they are consuming – or in this case – not!
One of the Auraria Recovery Community members shared her absolute love of going to clubs and dancing into the night, saying she enjoys the experience lots more without taking any substances than she had previously. She describes her new exhilaration saying…"there's a special pleasure that comes from the essence in enjoying music, the beat of the base so finely attuned to the heart's rhythm, to an extent that heart and beat are one and uniquely synchronized! In the past, I needed a lot of alcohol to even resemble this experience, yet now I'm completely present with the people I go with and the activity we are engaged in!"
Sobriety also increases the ability to connect with others more deeply because individuals need to find new ways to interact and place more emphasis on the activity being fun. Studies show there's a direct correlation in some animals between the number of pleasurable interactions with others and substance consumption. This can be increased if the interactions are of lower satisfaction, making sobriety also a great tool to be more intentional with how we spend our time and who we surround ourselves with.
Having squashed the notion that people can only have fun when “under the influence”, a whole new world of experiences opens to people in recovery. When substances once numbed the emotions and senses, people can newly experience the things they always loved but with the sharpened senses of sight and hearing, smell and taste. Dancing becomes a fluid experience of one’s heartbeat syncing with the beat of one favorite music, a mountain hike becomes a sensory experience as one takes in the beauty of a bluer sky and deeply inhales the fresh, pure fragrances of the alpine air. Connecting with a friend over coffee becomes a more meaningful event when the coffee tastes richer, the interaction is more enriching, and the listening is deeper, more mindful, and intentional.
Recovery is anything but boring as many people who have experienced the intense pleasure of pursuing old and new activities in recovery and tackled mastering new hobbies with renewed enthusiasm and zeal. Replacing a chemical high with the natural high of adrenaline rushes from extreme sports such as hang-gliding, skydiving, or kayaking is a thrill that many people in recovery cannot get enough of. Others receive immense pleasure from connecting the mind and body with purpose when pursuing the practices of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.
Fun has many definitions – amusing, enjoyable, light-hearted pleasure, or entertaining – and the healing power of having fun in recovery is measurable by the exhilaration of people in recovery who do so with more intention, heightened senses, and an appreciation for being present in the moment with people they want to make meaningful, long-lasting connections with.