Is Sobriety Boring?

Dec 2023 Is Sobriety Boring?

Deciding to get professional help for a substance use disorder is an act of courage and hope. But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy choice to make. Change – even a beneficial change like this – can prompt concerns about the future. What will your life be like once you’ve ended your drug use? Will you still be able to have fun? Is sobriety boring?

Why Are People Afraid to Get Sober?

If you’re scared to be sober, you are not alone. 

Even though they understand that they are hurting themselves by continuing to abuse alcohol and other drugs, many people who have developed an addiction are legitimately fearful of what might happen to them if they got help and got sober.

Why would someone be afraid of sobriety? Here are a few possible reasons:

  • They don’t think they’re capable of maintaining their recovery.
  • They’re worried about going through withdrawal.
  • They fear they’ll lose their friends.
  • They don’t know how they’ll cope with stress and sadness without substances.
  • They assume they won’t be funny or creative any more.
  • They believe they won’t enjoy life as much.
  • They think their life will be boring.

We don’t have time in this post to address every potential reason why a person might be scared to be sober, so for today we’ll focus our attention on the last point in this list. Is sobriety boring? And if you’re afraid that it might be, what can you do to change that perception?

Is Sobriety Boring?

Boredom, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. An event that one person considers to be a thrilling adventure could, to another person, be simply tedious and tiresome.

Given the subjective (and personal) nature of excitement and boredom, how can we answer a question like, “Is sobriety boring?”

One way to do so is to think about what we’re actually referring to when we talk about sobriety. 

Imagine that you were walking around with the wrong type of prescription glasses. Everything looks blurry, misshapen, or virtually unrecognizable. Then you put on the right glasses, and the world around you suddenly snaps into focus.

Being sober is like finding that right pair of glasses. When you were using drugs, you had a skewed view of reality. Now that you’re sober, you can see things more clearly. 

What’s important about these examples is that in both cases, the world didn’t change. The difference is solely in your perception.

Is compulsive substance abuse really fun and exciting, or is that just another lie that your addiction tells you (or you tell yourself)? Is sobriety boring, or is that simply an excuse you’ve latched onto to justify not getting help and taking an honest look at your life?

How to Make Sobriety Fun and Exciting

Men and women having fun in their sobrietyGetting sober means taking accountability for your actions and facing some hard truths about yourself. 

It also means you can be fully present when you’re with others and totally engaged in whatever activity you’re participating in. 

In other words, instead of asking “Is sobriety boring?” you should probably ask yourself “How can I make sure I have fun while I’m in recovery?”

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Stay connected: Staying connected with close friends and trusted family members can help you find joy in sobriety. These are people who can help you process your difficult experiences, strategize ways to overcome challenges, and motivate you when you’re struggling. They can also help you explore new ways of having fun, without resorting to substance abuse.  
  • Learn something: Take a class. Acquire a new skill. Challenge yourself in ways that are beneficial and motivational. Some educational opportunities can help you advance in your career. Others can enhance the quality of your leisure hours. There’s no right or wrong way to approach this, as long as you’re expanding your horizons and enjoying the process. 
  • Be active: Learning is one type of activity that you can use to fill the hours you previously dedicated to substances, but it’s far from the only option. If you’re athletically inclined, you may want to think about joining a team or a league. If you’ve always wanted to act or work backstage, contact your local community theater. If you’d like to give back to the community, there are myriad volunteer organizations that would appreciate your help.
  • Express gratitude: Take a moment every day to acknowledge something that you’re thankful for. Adopting this practice will prompt you to actively look for reasons to be grateful. It can also be a consistent reminder that happiness can be a choice. This doesn’t mean that you have to ignore the pain, stress, and frustrations that are part of life – but it does encourage you to make sure that you’re never neglecting the experiences that bring you joy.

Why Is Sobriety Worth it No Matter What?

One of the harsh truths about sobriety is that it won’t protect you from the bad days. But it can stop you from making a bad situation even worse. It can also give you many other reasons to appreciate why maintaining your recovery is always worth the effort, even during difficult times. For example:

  • Physical health: Substance abuse can have a devastating impact on your body. Possible negative outcomes include organ damage, elevated risk of certain bloodborne diseases, and even a greater likelihood of developing some types of cancer. When you stop using drugs, you stop inflicting harm on your body. If you stop early enough, your body will hopefully be able to heal from any damage you have already incurred.
  • Mental well-being: Being addicted to alcohol or another drug can increase your risk of developing various mental health disorders. Addiction can also exacerbate the symptoms of a mental illness as well as complicate your efforts to get help. As with your physical health, when you stop using drugs, you lower your risk for further psychological harm. Sobriety can also empower you to finally get help for your mental health challenges.
  • Relationships: Accountability, responsibility, and honesty are integral to successful recovery. These characteristics are also essential components of healthy relationships. Being sober doesn’t guarantee that every relationship you have will be successful, but the skills you develop and the commitment you make while working to maintain your sobriety can absolutely have a beneficial impact on how you relate to other people. 

If You Need Help Getting Sober, Contact Our Addiction Treatment Center in California

When you’re ready to discover the joy and hope of long-term sobriety, Phoenix Rising Recovery is here for you. At our addiction treatment center in California, skilled professionals provide a full continuum of personalized services within a safe and highly supportive environment. Working together, we can help you find your path toward successful, long-term recovery.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact page or call us today.