April 1, 2017

Young person’s guide to sober fun

Written by Alex Thompson


For some of us, we spent the entirety of our teenage years drinking and drugging. To use was to live and to live was to use. Maybe we played sports, hung out with friends, went to class and participated in after-school activities, but our identities centered around an addiction that consumed us. Then, all of a sudden, we thrust ourselves into recovery and life as we knew it changed completely.

In early recovery, outside of attending meetings and going to work, we should channel our energy into productive hobbies and associate ourselves with healthy people. At first, we feared that giving up the bottle or drug meant giving up our social lives and sense of belonging. We couldn’t imagine another day intoxicated, but we also couldn’t imagine another day without. It is this fear of the unknown that leads young men and women back out, time and time again.

With help and input from our friends in the program, we present to you the young person’s hitchhiker’s guide to having fun in sobriety. This is not a detailed list as to how to attain long-term recovery (that can be found in the twelve steps), but rather the different activities, hobbies and happenings in southern Louisiana that helped us along the way. If you are bored or in search of direction, try some of these suggestions and add your own to the list.

1. Do service work
2. Get an education
3. Get physically active

Active day trip suggestions:

Hike Tunica Hills
Bike Tammany Trace 
4. Enjoy the sportsman’s paradise 

There is nothing like being able to connect with my Higher Power in the outdoors. When I am hunting, sitting silently, that’s when I talk to God. I’m not thinking about anything but the now and living in the moment. That’s where I find peace, and it’s the same with fishing. I always loved the outdoors, but I lost that passion when I was using. I make a choice everyday to turn my will and life over to god, and naturally my love and passion for the outdoors returned. It just means more to me now.”- Corey B.

5. Saturday night in Death Valley
6. Crawfish boil 
7. Geaux to a sheaux

“I’ve definitely had spiritual experiences at shows. Being there for the music and bonding with my best friend is a far greater experience than being there to use drugs and alcohol. Being free from the chains of addiction gives me the opportunity to enjoy the music, the atmosphere and all the sights and sounds!”  – Jordan R.

8. Serenity by the Sea Convention
9. Meditation
10. Tiki tubing
11. Clean Break, Spring break 
12. Trivia Night

Honorable mentions: Coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde, learn an instrument, record a song, arts and crafts, take a cooking class, go to the National WWII museum, plant a garden, go bowling, join a book club, Go to 13th Gate, attend LSU sporting events, plan a road trip, photography, journal, tour the USS Kidd, Go to the movies, Red Stick Farmer’s Market, go sailing or get a snoball on a hot day