I had to share this post.

One of the reasons people with substance abuse problems have trouble quitting is because they are afraid that they won't have any fun without their substance of choice. I certainly felt that way about alcohol. Though I knew it was hurting me big time, I still was afraid to let it go because...well, because I was addicted to it.

When I saw the post 7 Fun Things to Do Instead of Getting Wasted, it reminded me very clearly of what happened when I quit drinking more than five years ago. The joys of little things returned in a way that was so overwhelming that I was often taken aback by them.

There is a pink cloud for many that stop using their addictive substance of choice. A clarity creeps into our consciousness that wasn't there before, and when that happened to me, I found great pleasure in more than half of the seven things on this list.

Here are the things from the original post that I started doing after I stopped getting wasted.

1. Working Out

I still worked out a little bit when I was drinking. It just hurt a lot more, and didn't do me as much good because my food intake was negligible. A lot of days, I just ate beer. Not great for physical development. After I stopped getting wasted, my body started to REALLY respond to workouts. It felt amazing!

2. Eating a Good Meal With Friends

For those of us that may have drank too much, we realize how food took a backseat to drink. When I quit drinking so much, I was still hungry, and glad to realize what joy there is in the great taste of food, and the nutrients it brings. Add friends and family and it's hard to find better quality time than around a table filled with food. Plus, when I stopped spending all my cash on booze, there was plenty left for indulgences that were actually serving my body, instead of weakening it. So, I could order the big fat steak, or the lobster, because in the days past, I would have spent that much money on booze and then some.

3. Pick Up An Old Hobby

The really interesting part for me in seeing this on the list of this great post was that they used a picture of a guy on a skateboard. This is the main old hobby that I picked up after I stopped getting wasted. I skated like crazy as a kid. Then I used a board to get around the sizable Penn State campus. I tried skating the parks when I first moved to Fort Collins, but what do you know, balance and booze don't go hand in hand. After I quit, I strapped on some pads and learned all the banks of Edora and Northside. The point of this list item is that when less time is devoted to boozing, less time is spent being hungover, and more time is available to do things that are worthwhile.

The final item spoke to me so loudly and clearly that it made me want to raise my arms in victory.

What was one of my favorite things to do after I stopped getting wasted?

7. Nothing at all!

As a drinker there was no time where I did nothing at all. At least not without some cocktails. The cocktails would turn the 'nothing at all' time into boozing time, and the next day would just be one big hangover. For once downtime was refreshing and rejuvenating. Like the old Zen proverb says,

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

The reason why these activities felt so wonderful after getting wasted all the time is because I hadn't felt the simple joy they could bring since I was a kid. It was a rebirth of sorts, after which, old became new again, and with that rebirth, I felt that this life can hold real, positive possibility.