Having a Blast in Recovery
It is a common misconception that when someone stops drinking or using drugs, that they will no longer be able to have fun. This could not be further from the truth. From my experience, sobriety has delivered on all the promises that the drugs made. I have had more fun being sober than I did when I was using, plus I can remember all of it!
We recently took some of our alumni out for a paintball excursion at Tempe Indoor Paintball, and what an amazing experience it was. We had a total of 22 people in our group 12 of which were alumni and 10 who were staff. We set the teams up as alumni against staff.
Six hours and 32,000 Paintballs
We all met up at the field at noon. We were briefed on the rules and given our equipment. Then they call our colors, orange (staff) and gold (alumni). We make our way onto the field. The referees explain that this game will be vitals only, meaning if you get shot in the head or chest you are out, but you have two lives. Once you’re hit, you must return to the starting base and begin again.
Three, two, one, GO. The first game begins, everyone starts laying paint down range and spread out across the field. It is intense, paintballs flying everywhere, people running to new bunkers, people shouting out positions of the opponents, it’s pure mayhem.
After five minutes the refs blow the whistle and we switch sides, and the chaos erupts again.
The teams were pretty well balanced so it was hard to say which team won.
After the end of the next round we go back out to the staging area and regroup while the next teams are playing.
This routine continued on for the better part of the day.
Getting a Rush without Drugs or Alcohol
When you are playing and paintballs are whizzing past your head or when you get tagged with a ball that is traveling about 230 feet per second, it gets your adrenaline pumping. It makes you feel alive. It is a healthy rush; much different than the rush we’re accustomed too when living in active addiction.
When you are not using drugs or alcohol to get your dopamine fix, you experience a “high” when your body produces these chemicals naturally. This process is truly amazing. For someone who’s used since I was 13, I rarely experienced a naturally occurring high. Now I enjoy the little things in life and get to experience everything this world has to offer.
Life in recovery allows me to be present in my life. It allows me to not only be there for myself but also be there for others. I am able to do things that I only had dreamed about doing because I was tied down to the drugs. When I surrendered to myself and found a way out of addiction through a 12-step program, I was able to go from just existing in this world to living in it.
Life in recovery is not always easy but it is always worth it.