When many people first get sober, weekends seem difficult to navigate. During active addiction, I drank over 15 drinks every night of the week; still, when I got sober, I worried about how I’d fill weekends without alcohol or drugs. I figured I could power through the weekdays sober—a tactic I’d tried a few times during active addiction in an attempt to moderate my drinking—but weekends would be a different story.
Weekends Are Not Lame Without Alcohol or Drugs
We are trained by the culture to think that weekends are for substance use. People may think they don’t have a problem if they only drink or use drugs on the weekends, no matter how much they consume or how much that consumption affects their lives.
Closely tied to the idea that weekends will be empty without alcohol or drugs is the notion that you can’t have fun in sobriety. I’m seven years sober, and in my experience, both are myths.
In active addiction, you can lose a whole weekend to substance use. I’ve noticed that in sobriety, weekends feel longer and richer, because I can fill them with more activities. I am able to balance getting things done with socializing—both because recovery frees up time and energy and because I have better time management skills.
Weekends also feel hazy when you’ve blacked out parts of them or spent large portions recovering from a hangover. I’ve found that doing fun things I can remember is a lot more satisfying, and not feeling physically unwell is a huge bonus. Recovery allows you to be more present, rather than worrying about when you will need more alcohol or drugs.
But What Can You Actually Do?
You can use newfound energy to go on a hike or to a dance party (or make your own dance party). You could go to a museum, take a small road trip, visit the park, go kayaking or tubing, take a class, see live music. You could go out for a meal or to a coffee shop. Having friends over to watch movies is a lot more fun when you’re cognizant to follow the plot.
If you’re in a solo mood, you could read, start learning a new language or instrument, crochet, journal, paint. You might cook or bake. You could eat snacks and watch TV. You could also do anything you did during active addiction–with the exception of simply drinking or using–sober.
While I started sobriety worrying how I’d fill my time in general, it turned out that there is so much to do sober–and that the things I do are much more fulfilling.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. We provide recreational therapy so you can learn to engage with the world and have fun without drugs or alcohol. Call an admissions specialist at 833.641.0572.