For many being in your 20s means wild parties, staying up all night drinking, and forgetting what may have happened the night before. For those in recovery, however, it means avoiding these. Focusing on the journey of sobriety and the difficult road ahead during this time in life can be hard for those walking it.
Having fun while in your 20s and still avoiding the temptations associated with these activities is a balancing act. To thoroughly enjoy yourself while remaining sober, you need to set yourself up for success, avoid old habits, and find enjoyment in unexpected places.
Building the Foundation
If you’re already in recovery chances are you have a support group you’re attending. Don’t stop! Continue attending and grow with those following the same journey as you. These people could become your friends as well as your sober support system. Traditional support groups will also help you work through co-occurring disorders you have experienced as well.
Branch out and find new groups who share your interests and sobriety standpoint as well. If you’re religious, your place of worship may offer small groups and a place to connect with others your age. Meetup is a service that connects likeminded people together. You can find a wide variety of people who enjoy the same things as you. There are sure to be groups around you that will allow you to thrive. By building up different groups of friends you’ll be able to find activities to keep your social life interesting.
Avoiding Old Haunts
Recovery teaches us to avoid the traps that were our biggest downfalls prior to sobriety. When you’re in your 20s these places tend to be where everyone else is; bars, smoke filled clubs, tailgates, and more. Avoiding these is essential to maintaining sobriety. However, when social events surround these locations it’s hard to say no. Changing the way you interact with these places is the way to go. If your absolute favorite band is playing a club, you should go, but go prepared. Bring friends who are committed to remaining sober with you during the event and give your ID to your friend for safe keeping so that you’re not even tempted to fall back into old habits.
Find new places that fulfill the same interest, but are sober friendly. If you used to love going to the bars to socialize, visit coffee shops instead. If sporting events were what you’d gravitate towards, gather a group of sober friends and attend more college games, as typically schools don’t allow the sale of alcohol on site.
Additionally, avoiding old friends may help keep you sober. If your old friends only ever want to hit up bars or other places that could trigger a relapse maybe it’s time to say goodbye to them. By setting yourself up for success with new groups and friends, you’ll have others to rely on when looking for fun.
Finding the Fun in Life
Enjoying each day can help with your recovery. Every day will not be sunshine and roses, but if you truly use your journey to better yourself as a person, you may find the road easier. Search for the little things that bring you joy and expand upon them. Cultivate a sense of child-like wonder again and bring some friends with for the trip. Stay up to date on what your local park system is doing and attend a few events. Plan micro-adventures in the area you live or browse Atlas Obscura for new ideas. You’ll be surprised what you can find just a car ride away. Volunteer for a cause that is close to your heart and take up a new hobby. Through some trial and error, you’ll find plenty to do that is both fun and helpful to your recovery.