Men’s Issues: Being a Wet Blanket

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Alcoholism and addiction can affect anyone, regardless of age, wealth, gender, race, or religion. The disease affects us all the same, though our individual symptoms may be unique. Luckily, the solution for alcoholism and addiction is the same for all of us as well —  the 12-Steps of recovery. They can help any person suffering from alcoholism and addiction if they are taken. 

Our common disease and common solution unite us, for at the end of the day we are all one, and we have more similarities than we have differences. However, at Jaywalker Lodge, we treat male alcoholics and addicts. Over time, we have noticed specific issues that seem to impact men. This month, we are addressing the fear of being a wet blanket once we are sober, and how we can combat this issue in our recovery.

Taking an Honest Look at Our Past

A lot of us who suffered from alcoholism and addiction may sometimes remember the good parts more than the bad ones. Perhaps our memory mistakenly paints us as “the life of the party,” when in reality we were a chaotic mess. It is important that we look at our past with clarity. Was it really that much fun? Were we any fun? Or do we just think that’s how it was? Sure, perhaps some of it was fun, at least at first. But if the party was still going, we wouldn’t need help in getting sober and recovering. We need to be able to take an honest look at the truth of our lives in the disease.

It may have started with a party, but it likely didn’t end there. We were hurting, and so we were hurting the people we loved and destroying our lives. That’s not fun for anybody. Neither is being sick, messy, causing problems, creating chaos, drowning our pain, or running away. If this is true (and it is), why are we so afraid that getting into recovery will ruin the “fun” for us? What fun was left? Who was even having fun anymore? Ask yourself these questions and give yourself honest answers. So many men have a sinking suspicion that once they get sober, all the fun will stop. Life will just be a boring slog from work to a meeting then back home to sit alone until bedtime. Literally, nothing could be further from the truth!

Fully Experience a New Type of Fun

Many alcoholics and addicts who work the 12-Steps of recovery find that their lives are truly just beginning for the first time. Life starts all over again with recovery, and we get the chance to right our wrongs and live our dreams — that sure sounds like fun to us. Sobriety is not the death of joy and fun, it is the start of being able to fully experience those things. With a clear mind, a calm heart, and no nagging disease to appease, we are free to really experience all the joy and fun life has to offer while being totally present for the first time in probably years.

Living an active life, participating in a vibrant recovery community, and helping as many people as we can fill our lives with fun, joy, and meaning like nothing else before ever could. The party isn’t over in recovery — in fact, the true fun is just beginning. We are able to make friendships based on real love and shared healing. We are able to engage in all sorts of activities that are centered around improving our recovery and our lives, not hiding from our pain and causing wreckage.

Perhaps we are starting to see that this fear of being a wet blanket is totally unfounded. It’s an old pattern of thinking to believe that fun must be based on drinking or using, but it’s simply not true. Fun is had when we are present with people with love — when our minds are free and clear, and our hearts are light. Then we can really soak up the happiness and joy of participating in just about anything with the wonderful people in our lives. We don’t need a drink or a drug to be the life of the party anymore. We simply need to be alive and appreciate life for the incredible gift it is. Recovery is not about paying for the mistakes of our past. It’s not about suffering or repeating the mistakes of the past. Recovery is about hope for the future, joy for the present, and love for everyone around us. Nobody with that mindset could ever be considered a wet blanket.

A New Life Is Within Your Grasp

In time, we start to see that our fear of the fun ending in recovery is totally bogus. There is no end to the fun we can have in recovery. There are always sobriety-centered events, meetings, friends, people to help, and much of what we found fun before — except this time we can do it with a clear head. If we liked playing sports or going out to dinner, those things are still available to us, only now we can really engage with them instead of through the curtain of our disease. 

It’s probably not a great idea to attend too many drinking parties or hang around a drug spot. But really, those places weren’t about fun. We were imprisoned by our disease. Take the gift of freedom from alcoholism and addiction and use it to live your life to the fullest. The past probably wasn’t as fun as we thought it was, but the future in recovery can be as full and fun as we want it to be.

Alcoholism and addiction are not a party. Those who suffer from the disease may seem to be enjoying themselves and having fun sometimes. But the reality is that we are drinking or using to satisfy a craving beyond our control. As alcoholics and addicts, we have no say in if we will drink or use — it’s only a matter of when, and we never know if we will be able to stop. There is a solution to this vicious trap, which can be found in the 12-Steps of recovery. Once this program of recovery begins, a person who once suffered so terribly can find themselves living a full and meaningful life, one that is more fun than they ever imagined. Jaywalker Lodge is ready to help anyone who is willing to begin their journey in recovery. To learn more about our programs for men, call us today at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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