Posted on February 5, 2013 in addiction recovery

Can I Ever Have Fun Again?

How The Right Step Helps Turn Sobriety Into a Satisfying, Lasting Way of Life

George Joseph is Chief Operating Office of the 20-plus The Right Step drug and alcohol treatment centers and one of the nation’s foremost experts on beating substance abuse. He has a captivating and insightful series of blogs on the website www.doctoroz.com.

Joseph’s five-part series, “Characteristics of Sobriety,” explores all that it takes to attain – and maintain – a sober life, including one concept that isn’t generally associated with the process: Fun.

“When people think about getting sober, one of their biggest fears is: Can I ever have fun again?,” Joseph writes. “Most people think sobriety is boring.”

It’s not, he notes – at least, it’s not once a newly sober person takes a good, hard look at what “fun” really means. Sober fun isn’t based on risk. Sober fun isn’t rooted in excitement to the point of danger. Sober fun isn’t even social, when the society involved is solely focused on self-destructive behavior.

What fun is, is that “Aha!” moment that comes with sobriety and that turns the compass toward a new, rewarding life that is marked by positive milestones and accomplishments.

Joseph should know – he had his own “Aha!” moment. It occurred after HE had a battle with substance abuse. It happened after HE had become sober. It took place when HE was scared he would never have fun again.

The setting was a wedding in Thibodaux, La. Joseph was living in a halfway house, and one of his program counselors was getting married. As is often the case at gatherings of that sort, alcohol was present – and flowing.

“My peers and I were sharing a video camera to film the reception,” Joseph recalls. “When it was my turn, I felt comfortable behind the camera and didn’t want to let anyone else use it. This was because I was nervous being in a social setting and not drinking.”

During the reception the attendees – people just out of treatment – were urged to join the band in a rousing and admittedly “not very good” version of the Credence Clearwater Revival hit, “Proud Mary.” Joseph reluctantly joined in … and “Aha!” happened.

He looked around and realized the crowd didn’t care how bad he sang. In fact, the worse it got the more fun everyone had. More importantly, the more fun Joseph had. “This was an eye-opening experience for me,” he says. “We repeated this at a few other sober weddings in the future, and I truly learned the lesson of letting go of my fears and defenses – that it is okay to be silly and vulnerable, to have fun. This was a major breakthrough in achieving long-term sobriety.”

Joseph hopes to help others discover the same revelation. In fact, he has devoted his life and career to building The Right Step into a facility that does just that. From his office to every staff position at the 20-plus locations, center personnel have crafted effective, state-of-the-art programs and procedures that produce sobriety – and more than a few “Aha!” moments.

To learn more about The Right Step, call 844-877-1781, or visit The Right Step website.

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