Teamwork, physical and mental health, support, sunshine, picnic lunches, and a celebration of recovery month. These themes were what collectively worked together to make Sober Softball such an incredible experience for everyone involved. On a beautiful sunny day at a park in Culver City, residents and staff from Muse and PVRC all got together to play a friendly game of softball to celebrate recovery month.
Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors Recovery Month in an effort to honor those in recovery and increase the understanding of mental and substance abuse issues. Each year, recovery month sponsors different events, encourages other people and organizations to plan their own, and promotes these events on their website. Each year, recovery month has a theme. Last year, the theme was “Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, Valuable!” This theme was effectively implemented within the Sober Softball event, as each attendee was encouraged to actively participate in the games and share their stories in an effort to connect to others.
We munched on picnic lunches, played a friendly game of softball, and spent a beautiful day at the park together in celebration of our sobriety as well as our individual and collective journeys.
Events like this help us remember a few very important concepts. First, it is possible to have fun in sobriety. Second, we are not alone; while everyone has their own unique past and struggles, we are all in this together. And third, a life without alcohol and drugs is beautiful, fulfilling, and possible.
One of the major fears present in most addicts is that it is impossible to have fun in sobriety. It was so inspiring to see those in the early stages of recovery discover otherwise. The day was full of laughter, excitement, and teamwork, as we all got together to cheer on our teammates. Many participants shared memories of being involved in sports before their addictions took hold of their lives, and were reminded of how much fun it can be to get out there and get sweaty. The element of teamwork was powerful as well; even though we were playing on different teams, we were working together to not only make the day as special as it was in the short term, but to overcome our own unique challenges and struggles in the long term. It was impossible to deny the beauty of spending a day out in the sun, playing sports, cheering people on, and ultimately sharing such an incredible, healthy experience surrounded by supportive friends and community members.
Sober Softball was an undeniable success; we were surrounded by love, laughter, support, sunshine, and healthy fun throughout the event, and were able to introduce those new to recovery to the beauty that is available to them in a life of sobriety.