Los Angeles is notorious for its seedy underbelly, and a history of violence (that has largely declined) – but as with any large city, LA is a melting pot of stories, some tragic and some miraculous. Here, cultures come and blend together, and you’ll find a little bit of everything and everyone on the streets of LA, from the richest actor to the poorest pauper.
Living in such a colorful and vibrant city comes with its challenges. It’s hard to keep up with LA and its many subcultures. As diverse as the place is, some things never change. Chief among them: LA’s lively nightclub scene. For its sober population, living in the shadows of some of the city’s biggest hubs of nocturnal hedonism is challenging. The temptations are strong, and they’re not just there at night.
But in truth, the transition from drug use to sobriety is always jarring and difficult – and if you’re struggling, then know that you’re not alone. It’s not easy to jump into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim. Thankfully, there’s a lot of help there trying to keep you afloat. When it comes to successfully staying sober and live drug free in LA, the key is knowing how to have fun in the city of Angels without a single narcotic.
Exploring the City of Angels When You Live Drug Free
There’s this misleading conception that being able to live drug free is a magic switch, one that, when flipped, will instantly change the way you see life. On the other hand, another misconception is that the only way to live drug free is to be sober and angry.
Neither of those things are true. Being clean just means not drinking or using. But to successfully live drug free, you must take away all reason for drinking or using. It’s not just about forbidding yourself from “letting loose” – it’s about lessening the temptation until it’s completely overpowered by a sheer love for life, and a will to experience it in its unadulterated form.
There are few places on Earth where finding something about life to fall in love with is as easy as in Los Angeles. There’s just about everything here – anything you’d want to try or pursue can be tried or pursued in LA. Acting? Music? Modeling? Martial arts? Cooking? Tech? New languages? You name it, there’s someone in LA organizing an event or get-together for it right this second.
In early recovery, your job is to find that person – specifically the person you’re most interested in. Then give it a go. If you don’t like it, move on to the next thing. Keep searching – and keep finding new things to become obsessed about while you live drug free. Sure, playing the guitar won’t give you the same high as, say, a dose of heroin – but it also won’t kill you, and it’ll still make you happy and feel accomplished as a person.
A good way to figure out just what’s happening in LA – and whether you’d be interested in it – is by giving the internet a little once over. Meetup.com, Facebook, Eventful.com, Eventbrite and other websites give you an overview of all currently on-going and upcoming events in and around the city, giving you an endless supply of things to do and places to be.
Social media websites are also a great way to find new restaurants to go to, or sport clubs like bowling alleys and indoor sports courts. If you’re into fitness, then the local gym is a great place to work off some excess stress and find yourself in-between sets while you live drug free.
The Importance of Finding Friends
Beyond finding things to do while you live drug free, it’s important to find people to do things with.
In Los Angeles addiction treatment recovery, friends play a vital role in a two-part foundation for successful sobriety – a foundation based on support. Alongside family, friends are necessary to keep people who are struggling with their problems on-track, and remind then why they’re doing what they’re doing. Friends help provide inspiration and motivation.
They also confide in you. They make you realize that there’s a reason you’re they’re friend: you’re decent. Reminding yourself of those “redeeming qualities” helps you fight back against the negative thinking that feeds addiction, and continues its vicious cycle. With friendship, you can break addiction.
It sounds very cheesy, but it’s quite simple in practice. Friends have your back, even when you feel close to a relapse. But sometimes, friends are the problem. That’s when they can no longer be your friends. If you’re transitioning out of a life of drugs and alcohol, and consider your old acquaintances to be a problematic reminder of that life, then it’s important to find new friends when you live drug free.
It’s Not About Sobriety
Remember – you’re not doing this to cage some beast deep inside you. You’re you – and the idea behind emotional honesty is letting the real you shine forth. The key is to enjoy being you – and to enjoy it when you live drug free. Drugs just hide that and cover it up. Being sober is just a way to keep the drugs from interfering in what really matters: life.
There’s a lot of ways to have fun out in LA, even on a limited budget with little time. All you need is a little courage and an adventurous spirit. So let go of your rigidity, swallow your fears for a few minutes, and have fun trying new things and meeting new people. You’d be surprised what a journey like that can bring to the table.