How Do I Shake The Nighttime Jitters In Early Recovery?










Nightfall. Witching hour. The dawn of darkness. There’s just something about it. During the day, you’re fine. Uncomfortable, but fine. Recovering and fine. Come nighttime, there’s an uneasiness you can’t explain. You get itchy. The discomfort is almost too much to bear. The flow of the day settles down and you have nothing to do. It isn’t that you have nothing to do, you have to come up with something to do. You’re just learning how to do things clean and sober, which has proved to be more difficult than you realized. Making decisions about food and what to wear? Sometimes that’s really really hard. Making a decision about how to keep yourself busy at nighttime can be hard as well. At night, people are hitting the bar. They’re getting together with friends to have a few drinks, maybe recreationally use some drugs, and “relax”. Until recently, your life had involved that nightly intoxication as well. If you had become fully chemically dependent on drugs and alcohol, your life was probably inclusive of intoxication multiple times a day, if not all day.

Thankfully, this discomfort doesn’t last long. The longer you stay sober, the more you will learn how to entertain yourself, take care of yourself, and do things sober you never thought you would be able to do sober- like have some fun. There are plenty of things you can do when the sun goes down and the stars start twinkling in the sky. Here are some of them:

  • Go to recovery support meetings with a bunch of friends. Get coffee before hand, go to dinner afterwards, and hang out after dinner. The more you build a network of sober peers and make recovery a social activity, the more normalized it will become and the less alone you will feel.
  • Get into a local sports teams. It’s true that a lot of sports functions sell alcohol. For local club leagues, however, there usually isn’t a big budget for corporate sponsored booze like there are at commercial national games. See if there is a local team for your favorite sport and become their biggest fan. Grab some like minded friends and go be obnoxious from the bleachers, which, you don’t even have to be drunk to do. You might even join the league and become part of the team yourself.
  • Become a film nerd and explore an entire genre of movies. So you’ve always wanted to watch every single movie Richard Gere has ever been in? Now is your chance. Netflix and other streaming sites have made it easier to plow through volumes of movies and TV shows. Rather than numb into entertainment, try picking an educational topic. Learn about food, history, science, space, and planet earth, one documentary at a time.
  • Learn how to cook by finding recipes online or buying a cookbook. A well prepared meal can take a bit of time. Invite friends over and ask them to contribute ingredients. Together you can practice what you’re learning about diet and nutrition in recovery while developing your life skills for self-care.


It’s not impossible- you can have fun clean and sober. Lakehouse Recovery Center takes pride in an integrative approach to treatment which shows clients how to thrive in recovery, learning how to have fun without drugs and alcohol. For questions on our clinical approach to treatment and our holistic healing methods, call us today at:  877.762.3707


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