A very popular excuse utilized by addicts as an argument against going to rehab and sobering up is that life in the absence of alcohol comes with the burden of soul crushing boredom. I myself have stated that on numerous occasions before actually checking into a rehab facility for the first time.
To be perfectly honest, I just couldnít imagine my day and my evenings without the regular routine of visiting the pub and getting hammered then coming home and passing out, occasionally fully dressed.
What I failed to realize back then was that my whole predictable schedule was in fact what brought along the boredom. In other words, I was so hooked on the idea of getting my fix that Iíd spend the rest of the day counting the seconds to it and naturally, getting bored out of my mind. But I didnít see it like that. Liquor was a major part of my life and I would have felt lost without it.
What Happened After Rehab?
I had been told many times that you canít allow yourself to get overwhelmed by monotony, especially when youíre just taking your first baby steps towards sobriety. My response was always the same, more exactly that I canít stave off boredom because I have no particular interests or hobbies, ergo I wouldn’t know what to do with my time. I repeated this statement so much that, eventually, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
My first few weeks at home were excruciating, as I would quickly lose interest in every project I took up. The problem, however, was not that the activities were tedious, but rather that I wasnít really committing myself to anything for more than a few minutes. I was secretly still in love with liquor and longed for its embrace. As I became increasingly desperate, it didnít take long before my very first relapse, which paved the way for guilt, shame, and regret. But, thankfully, thatís not how the story ends; I didnít give up.
There is Stuff to Do Outside the Bars!
As I previously mentioned, irrespective of what activities have been suggested to you by the therapist, your rehab partners or your sponsor, youíll most likely dismiss them without thinking when your mindset still revolves around booze.
The second time around, I realized that liquor still had power over my thoughts and I was determined to break free from the spell; I decided to actually try my best to find solace in other activities rather than just engage in them for the sake of the people watching me. And, to my surprise, it worked!
I became a regular at my local theater and cinema, actually giving a shot to productions that I would previously push off as stupid without even reading a synopsis. During the day Ė I was still unemployed at that time Ė I would spend some time with my parents and in-laws, who were still supportive in spite of my relapse. In the evening, I started power walking, which eventually turned to light jogging and then running as my stamina improved. Later on, I returned to bowling Ė one of my favorite sports in adolescence.
If you put your mind to it, youíll come to realize that you can find so many interesting things to do sober Ė and that thereís often not enough time to do them all. What is your favorite post-rehab activity now? Share it here in the comments!