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Do Your Likes and Dislikes Change After You Get Sober?

People worry about life after recovery. Addicts usually quit because they finally realize, for whatever reason, that their addiction is unsustainable, but often they don’t know what life in recovery will be like. Many fear they will never have fun again, because drugs and alcohol were always central to having a good time. Some people worry they will lose friends because many of their friends use. Some people fear they will no longer be the same person with the same personality and tastes.

All of these are true to some extent. The life you led before led you to addiction so some things will have to be different if you want to stay in recovery. You can’t go to the bar with your friends. You will probably have to stop spending time with people if being around them tempts you to relapse. If you want to stay in recovery, some things will have to change whether you like it or not.

The question of whether your likes and dislikes will change after you are sober is more personal and seems to get at the essence of who we are. Our desires and aversions make up much of what we think of as our identity. It feels like if our likes and dislikes changed significantly, we would lose part of of who we are. That is a scary proposition, and not just because we want to feel like our regular selves. Having a clear idea of who we are and what we want for ourselves allows us to function.

The thing to remember is that your likes and dislikes when you were using were distorted by the drug. You can easily prove this to yourself by asking, “What was most important to me when I was using?” It was almost certainly the drug. Only an addict would feel that way. Much of what you thought you liked or didn’t like was foisted on you by the drug, the drug itself above all.

What’s more, most of the people and activities you thought were cool and fun when you were using were only cool and fun because you were using. You probably have at least one hilarious friend who won’t seem remotely funny when you are sober, especially if she is not sober.

Things that used to seem really fun are not much fun sober. That may be why you started drinking or using in the first place–some part of your life seemed a bit rotten and instead of fixing it, you got wasted so it would seem less bad. If you were to spend a sober evening at the local bar–which you should definitely not do–it would probably strike you as bit dank and depressing. Most of what you thought you liked about it was in your head, and your stomach, and your liver.

Even your senses may change a bit. You may be sensitive to certain tastes and smells, especially alcohol. You may be triggered by surprising things and have to avoid them. You will, by necessity, make new friends and find new fun things to do. They maybe things you would have disparaged when you were using, but ask yourself if you want to be ruled by the opinions of that version of yourself.

If you are still struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help. We offer medically assisted detox in a comfortable facility and we can help you decide the best way to move forward with your treatment. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.