Suggestions for putting fun and adventure into early sobriety.

Steve G

Northern Virginia

During my seven years in the fellowship, I have attended uncountable meetings where members new in the program bemoan the impacts on their daily routines now that they cannot drink with their friends in familiar surroundings. Their set patterns take them past places where they used to buy or drink alcohol. They are miserable.

When I was at college, I took a course on Animal Behavior. During a lecture on territoriality, the lecturer told us that we humans are also territorial. He told us to do an experiment. He said: Tomorrow when you come to college try a different route or cross the street a hundred yards before or after your usual spot. It won’t feel right.

I tried that many times in the following days. He was right. It didn’t feel good. It was a bit scary. Our lecturer told us that “normal” human beings have set patterns and fixed diets, and most people in the world grow up, marry, get old, and die 50 miles or less from where they were born. Normal people exist in tiny behavioral and cultural “prisons”.

Is our mammalian territoriality one of the causes for us being uncomfortable in early sobriety?

The following are some ideas that I have suggested to newcomers. I tell them to enlarge their cultural and spiritual worlds. They will start to perceive themselves and the world differently: by expanding their identity, augmenting their sensitivities, and thereby altering their values, priorities, and appreciation of the purpose of life.

  • Try the experiment I did at university. Force yourself to go down local streets that you have never explored before. Your subconscious will tell you that this is silly and that you don’t need to. Your subconscious will tell you that you already know the area where you live. But, if you get a street map and mark the ones you do know, you will probably see that your “home range” is very tiny.

  • Once a month to go to an Asian supermarket and a Latino grocery store. Don’t be scared. Make it an adventure and go with a friend. Enjoy the cultural diversity and start to become a part of it.

  • Buy fruit that you have never eaten before. Look them up on Wikipedia.

  • Try to escape “cultural conformity”. Go with a friend and try a new restaurant once a month. Some have religious icons (Buddha in most Asian restaurants and the Virgin Mary in Latino restaurants).

  • Learn how to use chopsticks – it takes about five minutes, and you can find how to do it on YouTube.

  • Take short courses and learn new skills such as CPR and first aid.

  • Meet new people and make friends by volunteering one day each month at a local charity.

  • Recognize your kinship with all forms of Life. Go to nature centers.

  • Check out local “bird walks” listed on the website of the Audubon Society.

  • Breath with the rhythm of life. Try Japanese “forest bathing” (Shinrin-yoku).

  • Be adventurous!!! Try cooking new foods.

Albert Einstein wrote: Everything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want, and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.

So, why don’t we create sobriety realities of fun and adventure while living on this amazing planet?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *