How Can You Have Fun at Night Without Drinking?
In recovery, nighttime may take on an entirely new meaning as you contemplate life without drinking. After all, it’s common for many people’s evening routines to include a few glasses of wine or maybe a nightcap as they wind down after a long day. If you’re trying to maintain your sobriety, you may feel stressed when the sun begins going down, worrying about how you will manage the night ahead without giving in to cravings.
If you’re used to equating nighttime with drinking and drug use, you will need to find new activities that serve as a healthy outlet for your stress without causing you to dwell too heavily on the way things used to be. Recovery is all about lifestyle changes, and you’ll have to learn fresh ideas for having fun at night while remaining sober.
Navigating Nightlife in Sobriety
There is a cultural expectation that socializing and alcohol go together. Because of the way alcohol removes inhibitions, people associate it with having fun, but people tend to forget the dark side that a lack of inhibitions can be dangerous.
You may feel guilt or shame when you recall things you did or said when you were drinking or using drugs in social settings – or, more likely, when other people remind you of how you behaved in the “bad old days.” You can’t risk going down that road again, but you don’t want to withdraw from society, either. Loneliness and isolation are addiction triggers for many people, so you’ll need to focus on finding new social activities that don’t involve drinking or using.
Create Sober Experiences for Yourself
As a newly sober person, you still want to have fun just as much as you did before you entered recovery treatment. The difference is that you’ll need to find a new way to accomplish that goal. Activities that link closely in your mind to drinking or drug use are now out of the question, so you’ll have to consider other options.
It takes time to get into the groove of a sober social life, so don’t give yourself a hard time if it doesn’t immediately “click” the first time you try it. Depending on your interests, you may consider trying some of the following suggestions:
- Go to the theater, or a local museum or art gallery, to soak up culture and exposure to new ideas.
- Visit an amusement park or arcade that does not sell alcohol and spend some time being a kid again.
- Challenge yourself to break through new fitness plateaus. Many gyms are open 24 hours, so you can go late at night if it fits your schedule.
- Host regular potlucks or game nights at your home for your new circle of sober friends.
Discover Your New Way Forward
No matter how you choose to reinvent your nights, make it something that will engage your interests. There is a vicious cycle linking boredom and addiction, and you need to avoid getting caught up in it again.
Though you may have pictured life after addiction as drab or colorless, given time, you will find it is even more joyful and rewarding than you ever expected. You’ll need to discover a new way of doing things that creates happiness and excitement without triggering damaging thoughts of your past.
If you are ready to commit to a drug- and alcohol-free life, Seabrook is here to help you forge a different path. Offering a full continuum of care based on the 12-step principles of recovery and a four-decade legacy of helping adult men and women recover from addiction, Seabrook provides the foundation for genuine, lasting change. Explore our range of services and reach out today.