Mandatory Fun in Rehab… Is That a Joke?

By Ben Spielberg

My first few weeks in Beit T’Shuvah I was very disenchanted with everything going on. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be in rehab, I had nothing but contempt for Alcoholics Anonymous and I couldn’t quite grasp why everyone around me seemed so happy, dancing and smiling all the time. So I wanted to leave. In fact, I tried to leave… and then again… and again. I packed up my belongings maybe ten times in the first week I lived here. However, I kept talking to other residents and they would convince me to stay for maybe a few more hours, or at least another day. Then came my first Sunday as a resident. A counselor came up to me and asked if I wanted to come to the movies. Yeah, like I had any money. “No, no, the house pays for it,” the counselor said.

So I went to the movies in a van full of about 15 other new Beit T’Shuvah residents. I had barely been outside in almost a week and I was so excited I couldn’t sit still—the surge of energy was almost overwhelming. While I was only outside of the house for a few hours, I realized that I hadn’t thought about getting loaded for the first time in 6 years. It was at this moment that I began to understand, in fact, yearn for sobriety. During the van ride home we all cracked jokes and there was a lot of laughter on everyone’s part. Until then, I had been under the assumption that recovery and sobriety in general, was completely monotonous and utterly boring.

It was a slow process and that day was the beginning for me. It was hard to recognize that a lot of what I assumed of the world was actually wrong—for instance, I can have more fun in sobriety than when drunk or high! This is the reason I decided to open up rather than pack up, this is the reason I stayed at Beit T’Shuvah. I realized I didn’t need to have alcohol, a line, a joint, or a needle to have a good time. Good quality laughter and an open mind were the beginning of a process that has inevitably helped me feel good about myself. And before I knew it, I became one of those residents smiling, dancing and happy most of the time.

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4 thoughts on “Mandatory Fun in Rehab… Is That a Joke?

  1. A slow, valuable process. Great, inspiring post: “Good quality laughter and an open mind were the beginning of a process that has inevitably helped me feel good about myself”.

  2. outstanding!

  3. What a fabulous blog! Good Job Ben! Keep up the good work!

  4. I too thought sobriety was the end of my fun. Yet now, I have found fun, excitement, and fulfillment on totally new and unknown levels. Sure, I could be tempted to go back out. There can be an element of fun. But I no longer believe in the validity of that kind of fun. It is veneer thin and in my case, is certain to lead to uncontrolled chaos and calamity. It did every time while I was still drinking and drugging. Every time. Any suggestion my unrecovered part of my brain tells me that “this time it will be different” is a lie that I do not believe. So I surrender it and let it pass.

    Invariably, amazing moments in sobriety full of unspeakable peace and joy show up again. Further confirming the better choice of staying sober and recovering.

    Glad you are discovering something similar.



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