Enjoying Sobriety – Nancy Yoon at Sundance 2017

Sundance - Nancy Yoon

Addressing a common fear of the inability to have fun without drugs or alcohol.

One of the biggest fears we hear from people that come to Choices Recovery seeking help in overcoming an addiction is that they think they won’t be able to have fun without using drugs or alcohol. A lot of people start on that dangerous path by using socially – getting high at parties with friends, or maybe a few drinks after work to relax and let loose. It has become such an ingrained part of their routine that they begin to believe that life is boring without it. But this is simply not true.

Anybody who has gone through the recovery process can tell you that addiction is not fun. Though they might think that they are living life to the fullest and that things are so much more exciting when they are using, that is just the addiction lying to them. Only when they have broken free from the bonds of dependency on drugs and alcohol do they begin to realize just how trapped they were, and how hectic and terrible life really was when addiction was in control. They begin to understand that a clean and sober lifestyle is so much more enjoyable, especially when they can actually remember the fun times from the night before.

It is important to let people know that they will not only be able to have fun after they stop poisoning their bodies but that their lives will be so much more fulfilling once they have left that lifestyle behind and started living to their full potential. There are so many messages from all sides – through music or television or social media – that tell them how fun substance abuse is. If we hope to make a difference in the fight against addiction that our society faces, we must battle those messages with our own message of leading a more positive and enjoyable lifestyle through healthy decision-making.

This mission led us to Park City, Utah during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a sponsor of a special red-carpet event known as The EcoLuxe Lounge. Organized by Debbie Durkin of Durkin Entertainment, the top producer of on-screen sustainable product placement, the EcoLuxe makes appearances at several awards ceremonies and festivals throughout the year, gathering together some of the world’s leading innovators in eco-friendly and holistic goods and services.

Our good friend Gretchen Rossi, star of reality TV’s “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” was the special guest host of the Choices Recovery Media Center, and she spent the day chatting with dozens of the Hollywood insiders, industry professionals, and entertainers who visited The Blue Iguana in Downtown Park City, where the EcoLuxe Lounge was held. One of those visitors was Nancy Yoon, who has been seen in several TV shows and feature films over the years, including “Days Of Our Lives” and “CSI.”

Nancy and Gretchen talked about the substance abuse that is so prevalent, not just in the entertainment industry but also throughout our entire society. Many great performers have been taken from us far too early as a result of addiction. Yet, the problem still persists, and many people, especially our youth, seem to emulate celebrities, which can be very dangerous when it comes to using drugs and alcohol.

Nancy had a message for young rising stars in the entertainment industry, but it is a message that can be applied to anybody, young or old, rich or poor, inside Hollywood or in the rural communities across our nation. “I literally don’t drink, smoke, drugs, anything – I do nothing,” she says. “But I still have so much fun at every party, every event. You don’t need that. You just gotta bring your own spirit out, and be joyful.” True happiness and fulfillment in life come from within, not from something that you put into your body. And, with sobriety and healthy living, even the little things in life can bring joy and happiness. It’s all about perspective.

At Choices Recovery, we help our patients to find the things in life that bring them happiness and serenity. We help them to understand that life is so much better when they can see things clearly and think without drugs or alcohol clouding their minds. They learn that there are so many things in life to be grateful for and that there is so much beauty just waiting to be found. They understand the role they fill in the lives of others and the connection that they have with the universe around us. They graduate from our treatment center with a renewed feeling of self-confidence, strength, and hope.