One of the mantras often repeated in the rooms of recovery is that “we are not a glum lot”. Indeed, we do not get sober to live boring and miserable lives but rather to restore ourselves to full functionality so we may better enjoy all life has to offer. To this end, there are a myriad of sober activity groups which have formed across the United States so that those in recovery can share and enjoy their common interests and hobbies with each other. Here are just a few examples of such groups to provide some ideas as to what to do with your free time in early sobriety.
There are plenty of physically active members of the recovery community, and many have banded together to form sober sports teams and leagues around the country. Here in South Florida, you can find everything from sober soccer to softball to water polo to equestrian competitions! If it is a team-based physical activity, you can bet there is a sober group participating in it. Joining one of these sober sports leagues is a great use of your free time in early recovery, as you will broaden your support network and get some exercise while doing something you enjoy.
For those looking for some intellectual stimulation, there are a plethora of sober book clubs and enthusiast groups dedicated to a variety of topics. In South Florida, there are art and culture clubs, music appreciation groups, academic clubs, and many many more. The best way to find and become a member of a group which interests you is through speaking to members of your 12 step community. Often AA and NA clubhouses will have flyers posted advertising these and other activities, so you should certainly look for postings at your local recovery meeting hall as well. Where there is a will there is a way, so practice your newfound willingness and put some effort into finding and joining a sober activity groups which interests you!
We get sober in part because we are tired of the vicious cycle of addiction which has overtaken our lives, usurping our time and attention from hobbies and activities we once enjoyed. Now that you are in early recovery, this is a great time to make a return to such activities, especially given the amount of sober sports and hobby leagues which blanket the country. Talk to your sober support network, ask around your AA or NA clubhouse, and find a sober enthusiast group which you feel you would enjoy and give it a try! You may be surprised just how enjoyable you find time spent with these group members, sharing in common interests and building meaningful relationships in sobriety.