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Is Sobriety Boring?

In a state of active addiction, we often lose sight of the things that used to make us happy. We vaguely remember having fun without drugs, but we don’t see a way of regaining that in sobriety. Drugs and alcohol became our only way of having fun and we fear that life will be boring without them.

When we use drugs, the brain releases two to ten times the amount of dopamine we receive from natural enjoyable activities. Dopamine is what gives us feelings of pleasure, and when we consistently use drugs, our brains stop producing as much dopamine. The result is that we feel “flat” and cannot find any joy when we are not using drugs. According to a 2011 Harvard Mental Health Letter entitled How Addiction Hijacks the Brain, as a result of brain changes caused by drugs and alcohol,  “People who develop an addiction typically find that, in time, the desired substance no longer gives them as much pleasure. They have to take more of it to obtain the same dopamine ‘high’ because their brains have adapted — an effect known as tolerance.” Fortunately, with sobriety, the brain heals and we are able to experience pleasure from natural things.

In the main text of Alcoholics Anonymous, referred to as the “Big Book”, presents a common question many people have before beginning a process of recovery: “Yes, I’m willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I?” The suggestion of A.A. is to get involved with others in the recovery fellowship.

The Big Book states: “There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead.” Through involvement in the fellowship, we find others who understand what we are going through and can help us. We also find that we are no longer bored. Whenever we feel boredom, we can go to a meeting and find others just like us. The cliche that the rooms of 12-step recovery meetings are filled with chain-smoking, coffee-drinking, boring men and women is not true. There are young, active, and happy people who are excited about recovery and sobriety. Sobriety is only boring if we let it be boring. If we want fun and joy, we can find it in the community of men and women just like us.

Resilient House, a treatment facility located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together behavioral health and addiction specialists, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to help clients heal from the damage caused by addiction and alcoholism. The professional and compassionate staff encourages clients to have fun by participating in physical activities at our gym and fitness facility, yoga studio or enjoy the nature trails intermixed by the serenity of the natural pond. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431