3 Tips to Make Sober Friends

One of the more important things about being in recovery is avoiding relapse. Former users and drinkers are only likely to achieve lifetime sobriety once they have achieved five years of sobriety. You have a long way to go, but you don’t have to make the journey alone.

It can be difficult to cut ties with old friends and make new friends, but it can be a beneficial thing to do. So how can you make new friends who also want to be clean and sober? Here are a few tips.

1. Find a new hobby.

Taking up a new hobby is a great way to spend time doing something that you enjoy. Before your recovery, I’m sure you spent a lot of time getting wasted. Now you have a lot of unused time to do other things. One of the best things you can do with that time is to find a new hobby. This can also be a great way to meet other people who have the same interests as you. There are tons of different things that you could get involved with. Photography, collecting stamps, doing puzzles, painting, the possibilities are endless.

2. Join a Support Group.

There are benefits to joining a recovery program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous that will be sure to help you on your recovery journey. But you will also be likely to find people who are just like you. Attending a support group is helpful for realizing that there are a lot of people who are going through what you are going through. Because you already have some common ground, you will have a basis on which to build a friendship. And you can help each other to stay sober and clean together.

3. Find sober activities to get involved with.

I know you are used to wasting a lot of time at the bar or at the club, but why not think about participating in activities that will keep you in good company? Go back to school. Take a class at the community center. Volunteer. Audition for a play. Join a book club. There are a ton of things you can do. Look on sites like Meetup.com for sober meetup groups.

One of the best things that you can do in recovery is to find new friends who will help you to stay sober and to be a good influence on you. Try these above tips and you will be well on your way to better friendships.

8 Things that Have Happened Since I Stopped Smoking Pot

I’m 23 years old, and a lot of people I know smoke pot on a daily basis. I used to be one of them. I smoked a lot of pot, sometimes many times a day. Sure, I had fun, but I have found that since I stopped smoking pot three months ago so many good things have happened:

1. My memory is better. It’s no surprise that smoking pot can do serious damage to your short-term memory. Since I stopped smoking, I haven’t spent thirty minutes looking for my car keys only to be late to wherever I was going. I haven’t forgotten any major plans. My memory has just been so much better, and I am able to function.

2. I have lost weight. Once I stopped smoking pot, I stopped having the munchies so much, which means I stopped eating whole gallons of ice cream at three o’clock in the morning. I also felt more motivated to exercise. With the combination of eating healthy and exercising, I have managed to lose 12 pounds in the last three months.

3. I have more energy. I don’t sleep until noon anymore. I’m going for more walks. I’m going to the gym more. I just feel generally more motivated and energetic.

4. I have more motivation. I get up in the morning, and I go to work. I am more productive. When I get done with work, I go out to a book club once a month, I go out with my friends more. I don’t sit around watching stupid television as much.

5. I can think clearer. I have found that I have been able to read more and write more. My mind just feels a bit clearer, and it feels easier to focus.

6. I don’t say as many stupid things. Hang out with a stoner for a couple of weeks, and you will soon see what I’m talking about.

7. My sense of humor is better. I don’t just stare at my shoes and burst into laughter for ten minutes anymore.

8. I have more genuine relationships. My connections with my friends and family are more sincere now. I am able to do more things to help others, and I haven’t been as selfish lately.

5 Great Things about Not Drinking

As a 22-year-old college student, I know so many people who spend all of their weekends binge drinking. You think this is super fun when you are doing it, but since I stopped drinking six months ago, I’ve found that there are actually quite a few great things about not drinking:

1. You don’t have to worry about hangovers. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to never wake up with a pounding headache and feelings of dehydration. Without drinking, I feel pretty good most mornings. This was definitely not the case after a night of heavy drinking. And I have to say it’s pretty fun to be the only chipper one when all of your friends are hungover.

2. You never have to worry about how you’re going to get home. I used to hate having to plan out how I was going to get wherever I was going, how I was going to get home, and how I was going to get my car the next day. No more Uber rides. It’s so nice. It’s also nice that occasionally I can be the designated driver for my friends who still drink.

3. You always have more money. I didn’t realize how much money I spent on drinks until I stopped drinking. It’s really easy to rack up an expensive tab at a bar, especially because the more you drink, the less you care about how expensive it is. I have definitely woken up and checked my bank account to find I spent $70 or $80 at the bar before. And when you are a broke college student like me, that really hurts.

4. You are less likely to do crazy things you’d never do sober. I know a friend who cheated on his girlfriend because he got drunk. I know some girls who got arrested for trying to break into a closed store when they were drunk. Drinking makes you feel like anything is a great idea when it reality, it really isn’t.

5. You don’t have to worry about having a beer belly. I’ve lost my gut since I quit drinking. There are so many calories in drinks. Alcohol is mainly sugar. It’s so much healthier for your body to not drink.

Why I Regret Using Meth

It started out as a relatively harmless thing, I thought. I was at a party with some friends who were smoking crystal meth. I thought I would try it. And that night, we all had a pretty good time. But the next day, I couldn’t stop thinking about how great it made me feel. I called my friend who got us all to try it, and he hooked me up with his guy. Before I knew it, I was using it every single morning.

I told myself I needed it to wake up to do everything I needed to do. I told myself it was giving me more energy and motivation. But I actually stopped sleeping. I would do it in the morning, and then I would do it again in the evening when I got home from class. I would stay up all night. Because I was doing productive things like cleaning, I justified it to myself.

After about two weeks of this, I was a hot mess. I was completely paranoid about everything. My roommate was getting worried about me, and she sat down to talk to me. I was convinced that she called the cops on me so I yelled at her and ran out of my house and down the street. I hadn’t slept in five days and I had run out of meth so I finally passed out. When I woke up, I was in someone’s back yard. It was at that point that I realized it had gotten out of control.

I started attending twelve-step meetings and reading about recovery. I hung out with a good friend of mine who had recovered from a pretty bad cocaine habit, and he really helped me. I managed to get my life back together.

Now I look back, and I wish I could go back to that first party and stop myself from ever even trying it. If you have the opportunity to try a drug like meth at a party and it seems fun, I encourage you to stop and really think about what you’re doing. Is the fun really worth the potential damage you could do to your life and your relationships? I don’t think so. No “fun time” is worth that much.