Like I said (in the Introduction to this Recovery Toolbox section), your recovery, and your sense of who you are as a person, depend on you reconnecting with your sense of fun. And once you have reconnected, I encourage you to have fun as often as you can.

Why is this post in the ‘Spirit’ section? Because your spirit is the essence of who you are. The phrases ‘keeping your spirits up’ ‘in good spirits’ and ‘spirited’ all reflect that we are first and foremost a spirit – one that currently resides in a physical body.

If you have fun you can’t remain ‘heavy’ in your heart or your body.

The trick is to make frequent visits – as frequent as you can – into the Aladdin’s cave of Fun. Children do this naturally. Then they get it drummed out of them. We all feel so much better if we can have fun and bring some light-heartedness into our lives.

You may well be feeling so downhearted as you read this that you’re tempted to make a quick exit from this site, and I’m aware that this post may irritate you.

But wait a minute.

I’m not suggesting you go to Alton Towers / learn to surfboard / take up country dancing this week. Though actually – I reckon all of those things are brilliant ideas. When you are ready for them, or your own version of them.

The difficulty lies in taking the first step towards making that reconnection. We’ve mothballed ourselves, right? Our emotions are in cold storage, and ‘Fun’ has exited from our lives like a rat leaving a sinking ship..

As so often in this game, you may find that strategies help.

Some might say I’m over-egging the pudding by suggesting strategies for something as simple as having fun. But do you remember the notion that Addiction is a cunning and baffling disease? And that it affects the whole family? So the question is: who’s going to win this tussle?

You are.

So here are some strategies:

  • Visualise a time when you had fun (doesn’t matter whether it’s recently or a long time ago). Connect with how you felt at the time.
  • pretend you are going to be a kid for an hour/an afternoon/a day. This is linked to:
  • ‘being’ someone else for an hour or two. Start small and build up. See ‘Your Secret Life’
  • make a list of 6 things you’d do if you weren’t feeling crap.
  • If you can do one of those things today, that’s brilliant. Otherwise – make a date in the diary to do something fun. Invite your partner to join you. If they’re not up for it, do it anyway – with a friend if you like, or on your own. Either way is good.
  • In your Notebookmake an ongoing list of Fun Things To Do (there’s a power in writing things down). Then make an entry every time you’ve had Fun and note down how you FELT while you were having fun.