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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

How To Have Fun Sober/Stay Away From Using Friends

I'm only 17 and I don't even know how to have fun being sober anymore. When I try and sober up, I'm either very depressed, or completely unemotional. I can't have fun, laugh, smile... I don't enjoy music like I normally do... I can't stand going into public because I have social anxiety, and I can't meet new people because I'm just extremely shy. All I think is fun anymore is doing any drug I can find, driving around or hanging out with my friends and just talking.

I hate to say it that the only time I can show/talk about my feelings is when I'm on a drug, or have been drinking. I lie awake at night just wishing I could cry, so I could fall asleep... and not feel so damn bad. I'm a very introspective person, and one of my favorite things to do is learn and talk deeply, and analyze life... I can't seem to get into that deep thinking mood unless I am with my best friend (who also uses very often), and high on something. One of the hardest parts I'm going to have to overcome in being sober is staying away from him... and trying to figure out how to have fun sober, and how to tap into my deep thinking self.

I am aware that why I can only reach that stage when I'm on drugs is because I'm crazily dependent on them to feel normal. I know that it will take a long while for my brain to get back to normal, and start making emotions again... But I just need to know HOW to make it through this period of utter hell. No one my age that uses drugs wants to be sober. My parents are super supportive, but have no idea what to do to help. I just need to know how to have fun, be happy, and attempt to be some-what normal without drugs. I need to know how to stay away from my friends who use. I need to know how to make new friends who are clean and sober...

I know it seems like I'm expecting someone out there to have all the answers... And I realize that what I perceive as being fun isn't the same as what anyone else may think... But I'm just desperate. I pray to God for wisdom, for strength, to help me know what to do, to show me how to do it... But I get no answer back. I don't even know... It's 3:30 in the morning and I'm just fricken broken.  
11 Responses
Avatar universal
U do need to stay away from others that use.  I know what u are talking about I have five kids and I thought I doesn't love them becuse I wouldn't kids them of huh them so I started to do it and talk to them more you can get past the emotionless feeling that u get trust your parents talk more to them they love u give your mom hugs and smile even if u don't feel like it makes your brain think your happy it helps with depression and stay as busy as u can it dose help alot.  I try my best to be busy all day on almost no sleep and I only used for two months and I feel so emotionally uninvolved being on this Web site helps me get though the long lonely night keep prying God is listening read the Bible it helps take it one day at a time that's all we can do.  
4341997 tn?1514592288
i'm sorry you're feeling this way....in my area there are NA meetings that are specifically for teens or younger people....why don't you google the meetings in your area and find one for younger people....they would be clean friends (hopefully) and also the deep thinking you like doing will come back...your brain is physically in a fog right now without substances....it also will be back to normal as well.....just hang on, the fog will clear and your emotions will come back....really strong, or mine did.  I would laugh at silly things for 15 mins...and would cry easier as well....it all evens out...you just need to hang on to your sobriety and for me, praying does help...God hears us all.  One min, one hour at a time hon.  Also a counselor might help you as well.  I see an addiction counselor.
Avatar universal
I'm sorry you are feeling this way, but I want to take the time to point out a few things to you.  Please don't take this wrong and I am not trying to minimize your situation.  I know how dire times can seem.

First off, you say that you are completely unemotional yet everything you wrote is flooded with emotion.  I see despair, uncertainty, desire, just to name a few and they are all emotions.  You say that you are a deep person, so look deeper into you...  If you want to spur some deep thinking, give reading some Deepak Chopra a shot.  He breaks down life to the metaphysical level and puts it out there in a language that you and I can understand.

Secondly, from what you've written above, I'd guess that you use/abuse because of some things that happened in your past.  Being high is that little get away that allows you to not have to think about those demons.  The problem is, being high ends up being a new demon to deal with.  All addicts are running from something.....  When we do not address what we are running from, the issue stays and in some situations grows.  (As in developing an addiction.)  A therapist, either behavioral specialist or addiction specialist might be a good fit.  

The problem with seeing a therapist is, a therapist is not going to make everything okay.  That is up to you.  A therapist can give you the best information out there and give you the tools to address whatever is in the back of your mind that you are self medicating for.  There is a lot of work involved with sobriety and that is why a lot of addicts relapse.  They cannot stay engaged and deal with the situation one minute, one problem at a time.

About hanging around with people that use.  I tried that when I was trying to get sober decades ago.  The problem was, I wasn't really trying to get sober but I was doing my best to convince myself that I was.  I might have been using less, but that gave me an excuse to use again.... kind of like a reward system.  "Geez, its been 3 days since I was high.  I deserve to get high today for being a good boy!"  Ridiculous way of thinking and it doesn't work.  Any time you find an excuse to use, you are not committed to quitting.  Hanging around a user will almost undoubtedly spur you to use.

When it comes to addiction (and this is where a therapist will help) you've got to turn your mind 180 degrees.  Instead of looking for a reason to get high, look at all of the reasons to not use.  Those demons are going to dig at you and try to make you rationalize getting high, "just one more time".  That is the thinking you need to put to bed forever.

Look, you have your whole life in front of you and I can tell you from experience.... going through any part of your life high is so much a disservice to yourself.  You are younger than I was when I got sober.  I got sober on my own.... what I never addressed was why I was using, and some 25 years after finding sobriety I had the worst emotional melt down ever.  I had this melt down because I never dealt with what caused the use, and that caused me to be clinically depressed.

You have to get to the root of the problem.  A therapist is your best bet.  I wish you good luck.
b

4204073 tn?1361835076
Some excellent advice given to you here!  I was also thinking that you may need to see your Dr to talk about the possibility of antidepressants??   I know for me that is what helped me get over that hump.  It wasn't just them alone.  I still had to do the work, which meant forcing myself to participate in daily activities whether I wanted to or not.  I would always find that after I did, I felt better.  It gets those endorphins going.   Also exercise, even walks help get those endorphins going as well.  The worst thing you can do is sit around thinking about how you feel.  That just seems to make it even worse.  In time I started finding that activities I used to enjoy were slowly coming back to me.  The first 30 days are the hardest, but if you can focus on short term goals that lead up to your long term goals, then you feel the progress and you can celebrate those victories as they happen.   You have so much life to live and it goes by fast.  You sound like a very intelligent young man with much to offer.   Don't throw that away on being high.  That takes the real you out of being present in the moment.   And as always, there is an end to that high and then you are seeking another and another.   You don't want to go through this again.  I'm proud of you for stepping up and getting help.   Kudos to you Kiddo!   ((Hugs))
3197167 tn?1348972206
Hey Nate.....you hangin?  Keeping busy w/work helping some?  Sounds like you still feel pulled in two different directions....like the old Indian torture method of being pulled apart by the limbs on two diff trees, huh?

I hear you on the not knowing HOW......but you can LEARN how....At least you have some youth on your side where you haven't repeated these patterns for years and years and years......that will help SOME. I don't mean it will be easy because you are 17.....just easier than if you were 37 LOL  Less grooves on the record....if you will.  Un-learn and re-learn, huh?

I know you said you live in a small rural town.  But, as rampant as our disease of addiction is....there's GOTTA be some younger people where you live that WANT to live clean and sober.
It will be HARD to step out of your comfort zone and put yourself in a position to meet these people.....but a new life style, new values, new ways to party and dance and have fun WITHOUT drugs will ONLY be found with THOSE people.  The pull of your "old friends" will be there until you develop friendships and relationships with "new friends" that DON'T want to drug their way thru life.
And at some point, you will have to become willing to say "goodbye" to all that "you think" represents "fun".
You aren't gonna like this suggestion much, but I gotta share it anyway....
The individual at Celebrate Recovery that betrayed your trust....... please contact that person.....share what happened INSIDE of you.......he/she ISN'T the WHOLE group by the way.  He/she is just one fallible human being.  It will help YOU AND help the "leader person.".....to talk about it.  Resentment is like poison.....a thorn sticking in us that oozes, gets *****, gross and the resentment poisons the resentor.......NOT the person we are resenting. He/she may be able to shed some light on what "you heard" happend and what may have "really" happened....or at the least, help that person to be aware of something they did that was so hurtful so they don't do it again and hurt someone else that is vulnerable and trying to get clean.
The "thorn" has to be removed or it will continue to fester.  There may be a scar.....but only when you intentionally "pull it out" can it begin to heal.
Heck, this person may not even know what he/she did.....or maybe there is more to it than you know about and won't unless you are able to share your heart with them.......doing that will OPEN a door in your heart that is closed.

Also, you play drums in a praise band.......got a youth group you could consider?.....I KNOW you think partying w/your using friends SOUNDS like more fun......but you know where that leads and it will literally KILL you or you will end up in legal trouble.  You already made reference to a close call or something legally, I thought.  If I remember right, you also said something about a youth pastor or some guy you were totally jazzed about and what had happend to him.  Go talk to HIM.  Start the ball rolling in the OTHER direction.....it will feel like it is UP hill.....and it's HARD.....but you CAN do it.....writing a goodbye letter, writing a song, getting your feelings out on paper......sharing with someone who DOESN'T currently use drugs.
Remember, addicts don't "look" a certain way......we are loved and cherished just as much as someone who has cancer......Only God knows our hearts.........and only another addict knows what it's like to BE one~
4598399 tn?1363710935
Hi Nate – I think I know how you are feeling.  I was exactly where you are now back in 1978 at 15 y/o.  Let me say that I believe that brice1967 has provided you with a response that took me 49 years to finally understand.  I spent 1977 (14 y/o) to 2013 (49 y/o) stoned, tripping, and/or on some type of pain medication.  My dad was an incredibly talented guitar player and has played with many famous musicians in the 60’s ad 70’s.  The issue is that he was a heroin addict (now deceased) and my mother had her own problems (I’ve lived with her 3 years of my life).  My dad left when I was 2 y/o and my mother dropped my off at a relative and I rarely saw her after that.  I was handed off to a different relative or family friend from every year or two and located anywhere from Maine, Kansas, Colorado, Texas and even over to Europe. In Europe, at 14 y/o, I started getting high as soon as I joined a band with some older people who were into the drug scene which lead to much harder drugs.  But as brice1967 clearly said, for me, I was addicted to not having to deal with constantly explaining why I didn’t live with my parents.  I was always the “new kid” in a new school.  Inevitably, some bunch of guys would need to fight to prove their worth at the expense of the new kid.  All I wanted to do was play guitar and ponder life. Getting high was a way to not think about it for a while.  It didn’t solve anything.  It didn’t make people more understanding or accepting.  It surely didn’t allow me to articulate my thoughts on life, human interaction, happiness, love, loneliness, and loss.

Then, again to brice1967’s point, I got married in 1990.  I was determined to create a long-lasting relationship.  Again, never dealing with the deeper issues, I just ended up getting high and taking prescription pain-meds because I was so stressed about NOT ending up divorced like my parents.

Next in life came the kids.  Oh no.  There is no way they are going to go through what I went through.  The migraines became so much worse that it was a very easy, even a convenient excuse to accept taking pain medication for the past 16 years.  It was because it allowed me to block out and not think about the worry and stress I constantly put on myself.  The real reason for why I am still, at 49 y/o, taking the medication.  Every time I drop my daughter off at High School – I’m stressed for her. Are the kids being mean to her?  Every time my wife comes home from work and her day was rough – I’m stressed because
I can’t immediately solve it for her.  I surely don’t have all the answers.  I probably don’t have any but I can say, after 35 years or so of living high daily, nothing truly gets resolved.  I may be a bit more understanding of why but I am no closer to a final resolution or a process of closure and there is still no resolution.  I now find that I barely remember 50% of the intimate details of my life and we all know why.  

Thankfully you have supportive parents.  You could not ask for a better foundation to build upon.  I know 17 y/o can be a rough time.  Making new friends may not be the easiest but it can be done.  What helps me is writing music.  I write a song to convey what is in my soul based on an experience – good or bad.  I can communicate with many those thoughts and feelings that would otherwise be hard to talk about at a particular moment.

To offer a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson ..” Fine matters need the support of fine matters in others.”  Be strong sk8trnate.  I truly wish you well.  Those on this site have offered me good advice and they are here when I need to reach out to someone.  I assure you, people do care.  Please stay in touch.  
4204073 tn?1361835076
Wow!  I could have written your story, right down to the childhood situation.  Now my kids are grown and out of the house recently and I regret not being 'present' and enjoying the time I had with them more.  I find doing art is a great way of expressing my self and feelings.  sk8trnate you will find yours too.  
Avatar universal
Wow I feel the same way.  I'm 47 I was drinking and doing pain pills every day.  I had so much energy felt on top of the world but it was effecting my family. My son is twelve and has austium and ADHD.  It's hard to cope so I used. I have been clean for 4 days not long at all. My problem is will I ever be able to have fun sober.  Will I be able to clean the house ect. Hang with friends.  

I told my best friend who drinks all the time and you know what she is behind me we have coffee tea chat.  She is on my side.  She still Sri is but. Ot around me that's a true friend you might find that some of your friends will be considerate like my friend...I think it takes time to re make your brain like being sober. I think it takes a while but it's worth it.  You don't want to be an addict your young it's not worth it.
Keep the faith
Use these boards

Avatar universal
Sorry meant to say she still drinks but not around me
4522800 tn?1470329434
GREAT INFO gang. And brice you must be an Oltimer here...Yes sk8trnate remeber in your last post I had a experience with my friend whom I have known for 40+ yrs. I had to divorce ALL my firends that are using/boozeing. If and when I talk to them onthe phone ( only in emg) the first thing I say to anyone is " If you are HIGH or are going to Drama Queen about it, I will hang up now!") I have a new life and a new set of people in it. I live for recovery only. Yes we have young kids who share at a certain area up here and at are meetings too! I also had a bad experience with the "Active Detox" That girl tweek me to no end...I am not even ready for that. I had a situation at a NA that made me mad but I heard someone at a AAmeetings say about someone that was mad say"He wants ANGER not RECOVERY" that hit me hard. Soooo anyway keep posting and keep up the support and great advice from the above it all.
GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS--
vickie
Avatar universal
I couldn't help but come back and see if you've responded.  You received a lot of real sound advice from a lot of people who are experienced.  

I just wanted to point out a few things to you, and perhaps you've already picked up on some of this.  Notice how similar all of these stories sound?  Do you notice all of the similarities between these stories and yours?  I don't know anyone here that would call it coincidental.  That is how addictions work.  Regardless of the addiction.... sometimes it starts off as recreational use.  The next thing you know, you are finding reasons and making excuses to use.  That's when you crossed the lines.

As I mentioned above, everyone has a reason for using and abusing.  Something they were trying to hide from or keep at bay.  Like you, I thought using got me right and made me see things more clear or made me a "deeper" individual.  In retrospect, it made me sloppier... it made me worse.  People who were meeting me when I was high were not getting the real me.  (The real me was an okay dude.)  The higher I was, the sloppier I was and instead of me being comfortable with me being me, I was comfortable with me being sloppy and high.  

Of all the things in life that people want to change, that is the one thing I wish I could change.  I wish I never would have used.  I wish I could go back, not use, re-meet everyone I met when I was not high... so they could see the real me and I could see the real them.  

Later in life, long after I beat my addiction, I was diagnosed as "clinically depressed" and the depression became my drug of choice.  The depression came about for the same reason the drug abuse did.  I never resolved a bunch of things from the past.  I never faced those demons and that is what sent me down.  I thought of myself as week.  I thought of myself as useless.  I thought of myself as a waste of skin.  I thought the world was out to get me.....  All of that was in my head and I did nothing for 15 years to fix it.  

That my friend is pitiful.  I wasted 15 years of my wife and my children's lives by me being a self centered, paranoid, dilusional ex-addict and I kept taking that fact out on myself.  

You can avoid that.
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495284 tn?1333897642
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