When most of us get clean and sober, we can't imagine being able to have fun without booze or drugs. We begin to understand the necessity of recovery, but figure we can pretty much kiss fun good-bye.
Well, as it turns out, having fun is like just about everything else in life...it's a matter of perception. When I look back to my early years of drinking, I was having a lot of fun. I went to concerts, clubs/bars, and parties with friends and the booze gave me comfort and relaxation. This was my perception at that time. Then in early recovery I realized that the last many years of drinking were filled with misery. I felt self-loathing, constant fear, self-pity and isolation. These states of mind do not fit my perception of "fun".
With "fun" being a sense of well-being and enjoyment, I am slowly learning in recovery how to "have fun". Being a fairly serious and quiet person by nature, this continues to be a struggle for me. On one hand, having fun isn't a requirement for basic survival. On the other hand, if us addicts do not feel a sense of fun to balance all the work that recovery requires, we will go back out. And that WOULD threaten our survival.
So, from an internal point of view, I pray and meditate every day. A lot! This helps me to live in the moment and find fun in every day activities and situations. And on those rare occasions when I am able to attend events I like, such as concerts (I saw Social Distortion in July!) or movies, I enjoy every moment of the experience and truly do "have fun".
My addict brain loves to complicate just about every thing in life. So I am constantly aware of when I am working to have fun. The defeats the entire principle and tosses me into misery.
A perfect example exists right now. Typically I consider writing to be fun. It's an expression of a gift and I enjoy it. But right now it's feeling like a lot of work and I can feel discomfort and anxiety. So I am going to stop now and go meditate. But by the time you read this, the moment will have passed and in the new moment, I will probably be having fun.