Curious humans, hello.
Happy American summer holiday long weekend thing.
I’m here to write about fun and fulfillment.
I have always been a pretty serious human. I used to believe this was a defect. Something I needed to change or suppress. Astrology has helped immensely with this set of beliefs, but I digress. The nerdy smart kids were the drags on all the shows I watched. I was shown that following rules was not the way to go, because my Mom likes breaking rules, and that’s her jam. That’s totally cool for her. Me? I like rules. I like guidelines and directions. I like changing them sometimes, but I like them. I didn’t spend time around my peers because I didn’t go to school, so I learned about being a kid mostly from young adult historical fiction, sitcoms and being a social human by adults who almost always used alcohol to socialize. So by the time I hit the quaint streets of Boston at age 20, I was primed to utilize what I’d learned about the most successful and appropriate way to show up in the world as an adult and a social creature. Alcohol and cigarettes fit into these beliefs in many ways, and the way I felt when I used them felt like the key to finally being as footloose and fancy-free as I was supposed to be in order to have friends and find happiness.
As I’ve spent time with myself unhindered, I’m getting back in touch with what really makes me happy, leaves me feeling relaxed and fulfilled. I also am able to find forgiveness and compassion and love for Past Bailey, and the circumstances that shaped her.
Imagining life without alcohol and cigarettes was a mystery to me when I first became interested in it and a big concern originally was, “will I still have (or, more accurately, BE) fun?”
Holly of Hip Sobriety writes, “Prior to October 2012, if you had asked me to describe what I imagined sobriety looked like, I would have said something that sounded like a fart noise while I pointed two thumbs down. A life without alcohol might as well have been a death sentence of boring. A life half-lived with half-smiles that smelled like Clorox bleach.” – WHAT I DO FOR FUN. (NOW THAT I AM SOBER).
Laura McKowen writes, “This may sound obvious, because my idea of fun had to change, right? Yes and no. Yes, I had to change my playground and my playmates, for sure. But I didn’t expect to actually like it. I didn’t expect to like doing the things I like doing now. I didn’t expect to really, actually like things that didn’t involve drinking.” – 4 AMAZING (AND UNEXPECTED) BENEFITS OF SOBRIETY
Kelly of Sober Senorita writes, “My life was a cycle of drama and chaos that was always changing. I never knew what was going to happen from day to day and I reveled in the excitement of the unknown. It felt good to be crazy, impulsive, able to agree to anything, or go anywhere, at the drop of a hat. In those moments I felt truly carefree. I didn’t have to worry about anyone or anything and consequences of my actions fell by the wayside. With alcohol, I had the courage to do or say anything. I have to say I miss that feeling too. I miss that feeling of “anything can happen” and the insane stories it brought along with it.” – Can You Be Carefree, Fun, And Spontaneous In Sobriety?
So what’s the answer for me, after six months?
My answer is that Fun doesn’t begin to explain it.
Listen, I don’t know what sobriety would look like for anyone else. My life without alcohol is not the same as anyone else’s. It’s also exactly the same. Confusing, right? I only know that eliminating alcohol and cigarettes, and using the healthy self care tools I’ve picked up instead, has made my life huge. It’s made me able to care so deeply for myself and for the people I love that I don’t know what to do with it all. It’s made me say No and mean it, when I need to. It’s made me say Yes, even when I’m scared. It’s given me a chance to explore so many different facets of life that I couldn’t before. It’s made my laughter genuine, my solitude refreshing, my sadness cleansing, my anger tolerable, my days longer, my connection more authentic, my interest deeper, my compassion more all encompassing.
I was originally going to write a list of stuff I enjoyed but… that sounds like a sales pitch. I can’t pitch the merit of Genealogy or Going to bed at 9 PM if that’s not interesting to you. But maybe sober for you means going to shows every night of the week, or going to the gym every day, or volunteering at the ASPCA on weekends, or going back to school. Sober doesn’t look one way. We are creatures of infinite differences, and that’s not a weakness. It’s the fucking biggest strength we have to learn our inherit differences and similarities, to find love for them, and bring them together under the umbrella of compassion, lovingkindness, communication, humor.
This post was pretty challenging and cathartic for me to write, so thank you for reading it. I hope it brings something useful or beautiful to your mind, and if it brings something more challenging then I am sending you strength.
And don’t let this Mars-Pluto Opposition today bite your butt! I’m going to drink kombucha, go to yoga and do a little shopping. Maybe watch Finding Dory for the 800th time later.