No. we are not a glum lot. That is true – together before and after meetings you can hear the chatter and the laughter. But sometimes, on my own, I forget how to have fun. Fun had been a drink …or 5, then it had stopped being pure fun, it became fun with problems and finally, then, as they say, it turned into just problems. I kept at it, hoping for at least the “fun and problems” stage – dreaming really of the illusive FUN with FUN part. When that all stopped working I had to concede that drinking was not only NOT fun, but was an illness that could kill or incapacitate me. (Funny word “incapacitate” as is kind of breaks down to “without a head” and I definitely was moving toward a head-less existence). So , back to the subject: fun, or NON-fun. I stopped drinking, started working the program, found some relaxation and entertainment in the rooms – but still – I didn’t know how to have sober fun outside of my recovery tribe. And it is important to know how to have fun; reading or riding, crocheting or climbing, sewing or singing; I needed to find a way to do something NON productive, un-important and joyful. We were talking about this at a meeting recently: “what do you do for fun?” I really had to think! I had been so busy, had filled my time so fully – I didn’t have time for FUN. That is not completely true, I did have time, I was just frittering it away with in-between things (online foolishness, reading stuff on the way to throw it away, over committing myself, cutting out time to BE). I used my “too busy” excuse to avoid making an effort to find fun things to do. As an adult child of an alcoholic I still have vestiges of that reality in the present time; I am responsible for EVERYTHING (not). If I see a pan I wash it, a smudgy floor I mop it, a dry plant I water it and I do not live alone. Not all things are mine alone to do. Step over the smudge and out the door for a walk! Put down the newspaper ads and pick up a book. Don’t darn and mend – create! Make something for fun and not because it is useful. This is one of the reasons sobriety is joyful – we can learn to play. At the meetings I learn to laugh and find silliness in life. I listen to what others do in their “free time” and I try it out for myself. Walks or waterslides, golf or galleries, movies or museums, I need to find something that pleases me and try it. Don’t make it a rule to do it “X” number of times or until thus and such a goal is reached… just sample it and try something else. Life is for living. We are not a glum lot.
Kyczy Hawk E-RYT200 is the author of “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path”, a leader of Y12SR classes, and the creator of SOAR(tm) (Success Over Addiction and Relapse) a teacher certification training she holds with her good friend Kent Bond E-RYT500. Find out more about her, her classes and the training at www.yogarecovery.com