Those First-Time “Again” Clean and Sober Experiences


Now that you’re not using, you get to have—or have again—various “first-time” sober experiences. From sex to holidays to your child’s birthday, there are a lot of very important experiences that you now get to have clean and sober, either for the first time or “again” for the first time.

Eating a slice of your favorite pie. Swimming in a pool or the ocean. Having sex. Being present for a child’s birth. Being present at a funeral. And Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah or New Year’s Eve. And these are just off the top of my head.

I personally believe each renewed first is to be celebrated as a big deal—because it is. Most likely, you thought you’d never again enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures, as well as milestones, free of crystal. But today, a new world free of meth’s bondage literally opens before you.

The process works like this:

You have this new experience—let’s say, for example, sex—and it’s new because you’re doing it clean and sober. After you have the experience, you get to decide if you liked it or not. You make an adult choice and choose if you want to have that experience again in the same way or, perhaps, change it up a bit. Sex is interesting to discuss because, quite often, what worked for us sexually while high, doesn’t work so well sober. We’re just not in that “dark” place and, certainly, sex doesn’t last for five hours anymore. But let’s suppose you have your first sober sexual experience and, on reflection, it doesn’t “feel right” to you. There’s no blame, here. You didn’t do something you shouldn’t have. As long as you were sober and didn’t harm anyone else, it’s okay. Much of sobriety is about finding out who you are again without meth or other drugs in your system. And only one thing is certain: you are a different person now that you’re no longer high on crystal meth.

It’s going to take a lot of new experiences and time to get to know that clean and sober you. And, without a doubt, many notable experiences are now going to feel different. Some will instigate an intense inner examination of intentions and ethics. Others will be pure delight.

Some of these first-time experiences you’ll not recognize until after you’ve done them. One recovering addict told me she’d forgotten, until she did it again sober, how much she loved to shop every Saturday at the local farmer’s market.

What about that first time you saw a police cruiser and, after the initial panic, you suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude (maybe even pride) because you are no longer under the influence and don’t have a pipe with stash hidden somewhere in your car?

If you are like me, you never thought you’d get to live life sober again. Life without this awful drug in your body—what an amazing thing to experience all over “again” for the first time!

These new first-time again experiences are a big deal. So let’s celebrate them as such.