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How To Have Fun Without Drugs

by jenny sansouci on July 8, 2014

“It’s so sexy how she can’t remember last night.”
-said no one, ever. (except gym class heroes).

A couple of weekends ago I was up at Wanderlust Festival in Stratton, VT.  A girl came up to me as I was sitting on the floor in the main tent, probably instagramming.

“Hi…you’re Jenny, right? There’s something I want to tell you.” She seemed nervous.

“So…for a long time I was afraid to quit using drugs because I thought my life wouldn’t be fun anymore. But after following your instagram and seeing how much fun you can have being healthy…I haven’t touched drugs for 6 months.”

Whoa. I wasn’t expecting that. I teared up. She teared up. It was a beautiful moment. It also made me realize how much my life has changed over the past 7 years — along with my view on what’s actually FUN — and that I should probably write about it.

Needing to be under the influence of a substance in order to have fun is a perceived limitation, and it’s about damn time we freed ourselves from that!!!!

I remember feeling that exact same way when I quit using drugs. I even said it out loud to a friend. “I just want to have fun, and I don’t think it’s possible to have fun without partying.” My friend said, “Different things will start to be fun to you. Trust me. It’ll be so much more fun than you can imagine.”

I remember resenting that. I even remember being resentful towards sunny days in the summer, because (in my mind) it meant everybody was partying, and I was sentenced to a life of feeling my emotions and reading self-help books.

Now…I laugh, because my life is more fun than I could ever imagine having when I was getting fucked up all the time, and the fun is more sustainable, more nourishing on every level. Different things are fun to me now. Feeling really good is fun to me. Being creative is fun to me. Connecting deeply with people is fun to me. Getting inspired is fun to me. Finding healthier ways to achieve the ecstatic bliss I used to seek out in drugs is fun to me.

I don’t think it’s fun anymore to stay at the bar until the sun comes up and then sleep the entire next day, dealing with the physical depression and anxiety that comes with it. I don’t think it’s fun to spend my money on cocaine, I’d rather spend it at the spa with my best friend. I don’t think it’s fun to have my entire day dictated by how much adderall I have left and how I can get more before I run out. I don’t think it’s fun to be constantly self-medicating to manage every situation in my life. I definitely don’t think it’s fun anymore to smoke cigarettes. I don’t think it’s fun to not be in control of what I’m saying or doing, not respecting my body or my mind, and then blaming it on drugs or alcohol the next day, laughing it off while I secretly dive into a shame spiral and count the minutes until I can go out and party again to create new stories that will wash away yesterday’s mistakes.

Waking up with integrity is fun to me. Feeling clean is fun to me.

Will I ever use drugs again? I have no idea. Maybe. I can’t predict the future. Alcohol? It continues to be something I test out once in awhile and the consequences are mine to experience. I’m not preaching sobriety here. What I do know, though, is that you don’t have to be a slave to these substances or the rollercoaster ride they take you on. It’s just not worth it mentally, physically or emotionally, and being addicted is definitely not fun.

Life is way more fun without that stuff. Seriously. 

So when that girl came up to me and told me that my instagram photos inspired her to quit using drugs, I started thinking about exactly why my life is so much freaking fun today.

FYI, I am not here to help you actually quit drugs. If you need to detox, get to a rehab or a 12 step meeting.

Here’s what I suggest if you want your life to be a shitload of fun, sans drugs:

Find your people. One of the most important things about living a healthy lifestyle is finding people to jam with who are on the same wavelength. I cannot imagine my life without the community of healthy friends I’ve met through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, being a part of the health and wellness industry has truly changed my life. When I hang out with people I’ve met through IIN or the wellness industry, and more recently the personal development entrepreneurial crowd, I have the most incredible time and it feels so genuinely fun and fulfilling.

Figure out what inspires you. Do it. Feeling inspired is so much fun, I feel like it lights up my entire body and soul more than drugs ever could. Once you figure out what inspires you, surround yourself with people who inspire you to do it even more. The phone conversations and jam sessions I have with other creative entrepreneurs, especially bloggers and writers, make my head spin with excitement. A friend texted me after one of our creative brainstorming phone calls and he said, “I’m so excited I want to flip over a car. In a happy way.” That’s the kind of fun I’m talking about. And I have it daily with my circle of inspirational collaborators. Nothing is more fun to me than sitting around with a bunch of creative people doing awesome things and geeking out over ideas.  I didn’t find these people overnight, but as my own life shifted they were presented to me – all in beautiful divine timing. Once you begin exploring what inspires you, life will rise to the challenge and meet you with incredible people and experiences. SERIOUSLY FUN.

Take radically good care of yourself. When you’re healthy, you want to get fucked up less often because you already feel so awesome. Treat your body right and it’ll treat you right back. When you eat healthy foods, drink healthy drinks, and exercise, you’ll find yourself wanting to escape yourself less often. You’ll form a very intimate relationship with your body, and you’ll be able to manage your energy through proper nourishment, rest and exercise instead of addictive substances. Exercise will fill your body with endorphins and make you feel WAY sexier than that temporary high from drugs will. Feeling sexy and healthy is very fun.

Make your reality a place you want to live in. A lot of the reason people resort to using drugs is to escape reality. What if your reality was so badass and fun that you wanted to be completely present for it all the time? That, to me, is extremely cool. The present moment is actually really exciting if you pay attention. Be present. LISTEN to people. Like, really listen. Practice being in the moment and seeing how freaking gorgeous it is. Laugh. Play. Love people so intensely your heart feels like it’s gonna burst. Travel. Take chances. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do. WAKE UP. You won’t be here forever. Don’t waste your life in a blurry state.

Go to fun places that have a purpose other than getting wasted. Since I decided to jump on board the healthy train, I’ve gone to incredible amounts of festivals, conferences and general fun-fests that focus on things other than substance abuse. Check out some of my recaps: Yoga Journal, Wanderlust, Bhakti Fest, Omega Institute, etc. I go to healthy events like it’s my job. And guess what? You might hate me for saying this, but I’ve never paid a cent for any of them. That’s the honest truth. You can easily go to events for free by volunteering at them, requesting a press pass if you have a blog/publication, or offering to be someone’s assistant that’s teaching. So don’t let money stop you from getting into the game of inspirational and healthy fun. If health/wellness events aren’t your thing, no problem. Figure out what is. And go do those things.

Once you find your own ways to have healthy fun, SHARE what’s working for you. Like I said, I’m not here to 12-step you, but one of the biggest parts of a 12-step program is helping other people. The idea that in order to keep it, you have to give it away — nothing could be more true. Feel the bigger purpose behind it all. Feel that you are a vessel for sharing the amazingness of life with other people and helping them overcome their struggles. THAT in itself is so much fun, you’ll cry yourself to sleep with tears of joy and you won’t be able to wait until you wake up (with integrity) the next day.

I also want to add that I’m on a plane, flying across the country from NYC to San Diego as I write this. I’ll be traveling for a couple of weeks — spending time with some incredible people who inspire me to be a better version of myself, taking a chance on something that feels exciting, going to the World Domination Summit (why wouldn’t I be going there) in Portland with some of my entrepreneurial soulmates, and generally geeking out over everything and everyone that crosses my path. I’ve created this lifestyle because FUN IS IMPORTANT TO ME. Loving life is important to me.

And having fun in a way that feels life-enhancing and purposeful is wildly important to me. I think it probably is to you, too.

Ok, YEAH PEOPLE!!!! That’s all I got for now. Chime in if you have stuff to add.

For more healthy highs, follow my manic life adventures on instagram. I like sharing. I love it, in fact. I love sharing.

Byeeeeeeeee! xx




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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

stephanie July 9, 2014 at 10:01 am

Hi Jenny –

As always, your articles are always very timely. I just came out of a very dark period in my life. No substance abuse, but Rock, ROCK Rock Bottom. I’m still healing, and I still have a long road ahead of me, but I FEEL what you’re saying on every level. I freaking finally woke the F up, and the synchronicity I’m experiencing and miracle moments are building and building. Basically, I love life again, and there’s no magic pill or drink that can make you feel the kind of joy we’re talking about. Mixed in is still some pain, but I’m learning more and more that you can’t experience the true highs without experiencing the lows.

Thanks for putting all of this awesome energy out into the world. You’re a true blessing.

xo,
Stephanie

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Jenna July 9, 2014 at 11:19 am

I think I was just looking for someone who had actually done this before and was successfully really ecstatically happy! Ty

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Jill July 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm

This is so awesome. Your stuff is always pretty awesome, but this is like reeallllyyy well-said stuff. I can definitely relate, as Im sure many of us can. High school and college kids should be required to read stuff like this I think!

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Michelle July 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I always look forward to reading your posts. Feeling like ” the Queen” from Gym Class Heroes hasent done it for me in a long time(although I kinda love that song). It’s absolutely true that once I started eating healthy, doing physical activities and hanging with different people my negative tendancies just lessened. It’s also true you don’t need lots of money to live an awesome lifestyle. NYC parks and recreation has a million boot camp, yoga and other classes that are Free every day of the week! Thank you so much for your inspiration Jenny. Keep being Unmessable with!

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Kate @ SoCal Runner Gal July 9, 2014 at 5:22 pm

This is so incredibly perfect and I can relate on every account.

I’ve tried sobriety and I’m not quite there yet. Maybe one day. But it is pretty fucking awesome when you love your reality so much that you want to be present for it. That’s where I’m at right now — just trying to be present as much as I can. :)

Although, I admit to the occasional feelings of bitterness when it’s summertime and I feel like everyone is drinking and having a grand old time while I choose something healthier. :-/ Maybe someday I will feel like I’m the lucky one for choosing not to partake as often as some others. Who knows. Progress… March on.

XX I hope you liked my city! I’m sure San Diego loved you!

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Michelle M July 9, 2014 at 6:10 pm

This blog is everything! I’ve totally been feeling that “resentful toward sunny days” because you think everyone is partying and you are reading self help books. That’s totally been my life right now, so thank you for helping me remember that it’s awesome and totally ok :) you’re awesome! Xoxo

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Katie July 9, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Hi Jenni,

I absolutly loooove what you wrote. But one question…how do you attract more people in your life who are on a similar path as you? My best friend is a yoga teacher and on a similar path, but other than that I don’t have a huge community to go to with some of the “nerdy” self help stuff I love to discuss with people! Would love any tips:)

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Matthew Germain July 9, 2014 at 10:09 pm

This is possibly one of my favorite blog posts….ever!!!! Turning people onto life, without chemicals (drugs or other nonsense they pump us full of) is my reason for being. Thanks for writing this. I am sure I will be back here many times to share this with everyone I feel needs to read it.

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jess July 13, 2014 at 5:51 am

This is SO true – “..count the minutes until I can go out and party again to create new stories that will wash away yesterday’s mistakes”.

I am now 6 months sober and realising I am still fun without all the extra help aka toxins has been my biggest struggle/ realisation. I was the life and soul, the party girl, the last man standing…and finding new ways to have fun and new people to have fun with has been the MOST fun! The thought now of risking anything interfering with all the good stuff that has come in now my body is clear enough to let it is a real driving force too. I also love discovering like minded people who are doing the same – and there are more than I thought – which reinforces that we’re actually the cool ones for doing it.
xx

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ACE July 15, 2014 at 9:33 am

The whole WORLD is ours. The trees, flowers, weather patterns, birds, animals, mountains, valleys, cities (yes cities), the country, sunsets, monrise — ALL ours to enjoy, nurture and beautify our souls with. But how many people realize their birthright? How many of you can identify trees and their unique properties? Birds by their plumage and/or birdsong? Flowers? Planets or constellations up there in the sky waiting for us to notice them? Have you grown any flowers or planted a tree? Have you grown crops on your balcony or backyard? Saved an animal’s life by adopting it from a shelter, responsibly caring for it for its whole life, and getting it spayed or neutered so the huge unwanted pet population can decrease? We are PART of the earth and in giving to Mother Earth, S/he gives back to us a million-fold. Drugs do nothing but blow out our brain cells, like little fuses going off — one by one.

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Katie November 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Reading this as a college student who hasn’t drank in a month… this is beautiful. It’s SO TRUE that different things become fun to you once you’ve been sober for awhile!!

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Lisa M. Hann March 27, 2015 at 11:54 am

This is such a great article! The topic is so important. If you’re looking for more information, feel free to check out my ebooks!

How to Have Fun in Recovery – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ILYHCYE

365 Ways to Have Fun Sober – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IO0Q4L2

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