By: Michael Murphy, Transformations/Help For Our Heroes alumnus & Alumni Coordinator

Last summer, after I graduated from Transformations I took what I had learned and hit the ground running. In my time here I learned a tremendous amount of knowledge. Not only about myself, but also about life “Back on the outside.” It is no secret that there will be some challenges thrown our way once treatment is completed. But one thing stuck out to me most, and I certainly did not see it coming; FUN.

How do I have fun in recovery? How can this be so hard? Hell, half my life has been one big party. I even spent a decade partying it up with athletes and rock stars. Surely, this cannot be that hard.

As it turns out, it really isn’t that hard. I was just overthinking it, per usual. One day I saw something on Facebook that caught my eye. I thought to myself, “That sounds really cool. I’ll look into it.” And I remembered all the times I would see something I wanted to do, but never did, bc alcohol ran the show. Either I wouldn’t attend bc of being broke or just feeling like a dirty mop bucket. Random adventures had always been kind of my thing, I just never got around to a lot of them because of this disease.

So, I made the decision to change that. After all, what better time than now, and what better place than here?

June 19th I celebrated my one-year mark of sobriety, and I wanted to do something special for it. So, that cool thing I saw on Facebook? I bought the ticket and headed to Downtown Miami. I went and saw the Van Gogh Experience. I have always been a fan of his art and story. What can I say? We have a few things in common. Mainly his struggles with alcohol and his mental health. But, I also really enjoy the Netherlands and have family there. And unfortunately, on my last trip there I was not able to go to his museum. I got to the venue with enough time in the morning to explore a bit, get an empanada and Cuban coffee (I do not miss the shakes).

The exhibit was amazing and I was able to learn more about him than I already knew. But, in the main Immersive Room, I got to lay there and reflect on the past year of my life and really appreciate where it has taken me. And as relaxing as it was, I left the exhibit feeling re-energized. Well, maybe that was still the coffee. But you get the point. I was able to take away with me a sense of pride and accomplishment. And, I was doing one of those fun things drunk me would’ve talked about doing, but never did.

I ended the day with chicken wings (I know the best place in SoFla, get at me) and bought some shoes. In one day, not only did I celebrate, I learned, was grateful, and had FUN. Turns out it’s not so elusive. Just don’t overthink it.

This is our new life. Go out and ENJOY it!!

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