General Question

nebule's avatar

What gives you pleasure that doesn't involve alcohol, drugs and food?

Asked by nebule (16439points) March 9th, 2009

I’m trying to change my life. Most of my pleasures derive from cigarettes, alcohol and food in some shape or form…indulgence.

In trying to turn my life around and rekindle my passion for life and not a passion for substances that will numb the pain…I’d like to know what gives you pleasure…real pleasure…that makes you excited to get up in the morning, that makes you feel like a kid again, that makes you want to live. That makes you happy and feel fulfilled.

And if you’re gonna put “sex” can you list some other suggestions too…:-) cause i figure this might be a popular answer

Thank you

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57 Answers

discover's avatar

Playing video games
watching funny movies, soaps etc

rooeytoo's avatar

When I made the decision you are now making, I had to find a variety of more healthy obsessions to replace the ones I was giving up because for me, once an obsessive, always an obsessive. I felt that in my life I had accomplished mediocrity in so many areas but never stuck with anything long enough to excel so I took up tennis with a passion and became a respectable club player. I delved into many artistic mediums, joined a yoga class, went to a lot of 12 Step meetings for the socializing if nothing else. I read prolifically. And now almost 19 years later I am still clean and sober, although a little too pudgy for my own taste, and still love all of the above distractions.

Good luck and don’t hesitate to seek out the camaraderie and the power of a group of people with similar goals.

mcbealer's avatar

making jewelry
listening to music

laureth's avatar

Crafting (in the sense of craftsmanship). Making useful things that are also beautiful.

Learning! There’s always more to learn.

Spending time with the ol’ husband is always a winner.

Live music. Live music is to recorded music as fresh food is to canned.

Reading. Writing. Connections.

hearkat's avatar

Being actively involved in my son’s growth and development, and seeing the world through his eyes. As a single mom (like you) I knew that I had to be everything to him, and that it was important to be a true role model and not just lecture him about right and wrong. I also knew that the time I have with him is remarkably short, so I was willing to put him first and foremost in my life. Now he’s nearly 18 and about to finish High School, and it truly has passed in a blur. I do not regret setting my wants aside… rather I regret not having done it sooner.

Other things that help me are getting into nature, and marveling at the beauty of it all. Spending time with animals (I have cats, but I like all animals) and observing them just being what they are. Listening to and singing along with music. Writing in my journal.

I’ve been focusing on improving my fitness, because I had truly let myself go (fortunately not to the point that my health was affected) and I’ve been enjoying swimming and yoga and Zumba classes—getting physical helps take me out of my mind and reconnects me with my body. I’ve had issues with body image resulting from childhood abuse, so this has been a long journey.

Now that my son has a life of his own, I’m somewhat of a blank slate, and am looking to develop other interests. I’ve joined some social groups in the area and have been going on group walks, to comedy clubs, trying new restaurants, and tonight there’s a craft outing. I generally don’t consider myself creative, but I realize that I may have just been holding myself back out of a lack of confidence and self-censorship, so I’m looking forward to trying these new things!

Bluefreedom's avatar

Video Games/Games
Playing Golf
An afternoon at the park

Aethelwine's avatar

Anything that involves the outdoors. Hiking, swimming, fishing, yard work, rollerblading or just sitting on a swing with a good book.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I second Laureth’s list. I like making things, especially knitting. There’s the pleasure from mastering a pattern, then actually finishing a project and having something useful as result.

Also, gardening. My yard is gorgeous every year, and I meet lots of people when they comment on it.

Cooking for others. I did some catering for awhile, and I like baking and bringing food into work for my coworkers. I’ve been thinking about getting more into baking bread.

Sewing clothing.

kevinhardy's avatar

colleting dvds, books, cards, magazines
making a name for myself, why not?
avioding negative people

pathfinder's avatar

The best euforeic pleasure gives me.As a first thrue and as second ideas and as third music.

EmpressPixie's avatar

my boyfriend
project euler (actually it drives me nuts, but the high I get from actually doing one of them is worth it because I’m past all the easy ones)
watching movies

dynamicduo's avatar

Quilting. Sewing in general, actually. And music. There’s something about the two that just calms me in a way nothing else does.

bezdomnaya's avatar

“And if you’re gonna put “sex” can you list some other suggestions too…:-) cause i figure this might be a popular answer”

Damn, i was going to put ‘sex’ but I can’t think of anything else that’s not drugs, alcohol, or food… Um, knitting!

El_Cadejo's avatar


jbfletcherfan's avatar

My family. We all get along & love to be together. That’s the biggest joy in my life.

hearkat's avatar

I also wanted to add: helping others. I work in healthcare, and it is very rewarding to help others. Many people find that volunteering with the disabled or disadvantaged also gives them the benefit of feeling good for contributing to the well-being of others, as well as reminding us of how fortunate we are.

wundayatta's avatar

Making music. Dance. I agree with @hearkat in that I think helping others gives back a lot. Political work, if you believe in the politics, is good. Writing. Some sport or at least exercise. Travel. Book groups. Conversational groups (like a salon). Progressive dinners. Open house for Sunday brunch. Anything that brings people together.

Judi's avatar

Play, walking, reading, scuba diving,

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I thought a lot more people would’ve said sex…. But I guess cuddling, sleeping, taking photos, watching movies, listening to music, and being in a relationship.

tabbycat's avatar

Good, live entertainment (music, dance, theatre). A good book. A walk in the park. Working with young people and seeing them excited about achieving their goals. A really good dinner out—or cooking one. Baseball. My dog and cats. My friends.

nebule's avatar

excellent!! ...thanks all for contributing…keep em coming though…

Milladyret's avatar

Making music
Sleeping in late
Playing in the snow
Smiling children
Seing the snow melt :P
Good music
Happy people :D
(and sex, of course)
In no particular order, btw, but sex is NOT on the bottom of that list.

skfinkel's avatar

I find that the arts in general, and museums in particular (but also great ballets, theater, concerts), play an important part in making my life full and happy. When I lived in a small town, and would visit NYC, I had to rush to as many museums as I could to see artwork. It really felt like I was being nourished.

ignorantsavage's avatar

find a hobby. something youve always wanted to do but haven’t. or comedy, laughing always helps

augustlan's avatar

Deep philosophical discussions, especially with my children.
Beautiful skies.
Twilight (the time of day, not the books)
Painting and crafting.
Using hand tools, especially a good ole’ hammer.
Using power tools. I get this feeling while using a table or chop saw…it’s like RAWR.

iwamoto's avatar

playing videogames and guitar, and of course, playing with myself :)

mangeons's avatar

A great discussion
Watching a funny Youtube video
Talking on the phone with a friend
Hot Chocolate
Warm Bread with Honey Spread
A plate of good Macaroni and Cheese
Watching a Comedy Movie
Reading a Comic Strip
That 70’s Show
Painting (Splattering is GOOD)
Making a funny craft
Petting a happy dog/cat/lizard

casheroo's avatar

Going to museums, the zoo, parks…all with my son. But, my husband and I did those things before we had a child.
We’d watch the most obscure movies we could find, and have fun with that.
Aquarium, taking pictures, my cats, collecting things (whatever you enjoy..) Go on trips, like to the mountains or the shore and just enjoy the scenery or check out the local touristy stuff.

nebule's avatar

and…is all this stuff…really better than food, alcohol and drugs?

mjchatter's avatar

My Significant Other – Always

Really Really amazing food – music – theatre – movies

sometimes…. my kids

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@lynneblundell: Sex is better than anything.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I’m with Tits on that one.

cyndyh's avatar

I love doing a lot of things. I think it comes down to a sort of long-term balance for me. I love trying new and different meals and microbrews. But when I seem to be spending too much time and money that way I need to change things up for a while.

I love knitting, crocheting, reading, watching movies, writing, puzzles, games, and some types of studying. But sometimes I look back over my week and find I’ve spent way too much of that time sitting on my ass. I love to do a lot of walking, hiking, kayaking, biking, gardening, etc. But even that can wear me out if I’m taking no time to sit and read or do something else more sedentary. I think it all comes down to what you feel like you’re missing lately.

I enjoy long-term pursuits: learning to play an instrument, the quest for more live music in my life, slowly leaning to cook in a certain style, finding the best beer-pizza combination, exploring my city’s museums and parks, furnishing my home with things my husband and I have made, collecting trails that I’ve hiked, that sort of thing.

It helps to have the long view. Then you’re not just practicing playing this one song. You’re learning to play an instrument. You’re not just cooking a meal. You’re learning something new and becoming a better cook. And even when it comes to eating out, when I take the long view, it’s not just getting a meal out. It’s trying a new place and exploring my city and/or continue that quest for the best pizza-beer combination. :^>

Today I got up to finish a book I’ve been reading, take a walk to return some books to the library, get a pork shoulder marinading, cut back some bramble, and get some outdoor wooden furniture into the garage to dry off so I can give it another coat of finish before the weather gets nicer and we want to have a BBQ. By themselves none of those things sound really exciting to most people, but it’s all a part of a grand scheme of mine. :^>

forestGeek's avatar

Being with Family & Friends
Making & Listening to Music
Road Trips

El_Cadejo's avatar

@TitsMcGhee but you cant deny sex on drugs is just THAT MUCH BETTER

adreamofautumn's avatar

Hiking, Comic Books, really good music and really good movies. and well…sex haha.

@uberbatman I am inclined to agree.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@uberbatman: Wellllllllllllllllll…

maybe, yeah.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

music. being outside in nice weather.

Milladyret's avatar

PlayStation! I forgot to put PlayStation on my list!

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Making people who are having a bad day, or who are just kind of down, smile. Spreading smiles and laughter is one of my favorite things to do.

I also have a few hobbies that give me great pleasure. Making candles always makes me feel good, and makes the house smell nice, too.

Digging in my garden always makes me happy.

Playing with my Hissers is fun, too. I’m not real sure how they feel about it, though. <—The link gives you a good idea of what they are about.

VzzBzz's avatar

Hanging out with friends

kevinhardy's avatar

playing card games by myself

Poser's avatar

Riding my motorcycle
Playing with my son

JellyB's avatar

interesting movies
sunrises and early mornings
nature and animals – specially cats
being with my animals and SO
talking with friends

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Dancing argentine tango, reading Harry Potter books, laughing, Bikram yoga, eating dark liquid chocolate and learning..and of course, sex

cyndyh's avatar

Oh, crap. Tell me something good right now. I’ve had a weird mix of good and blah and blah and blah and much more blah lately. Tell me something good right now. Geez.

augustlan's avatar

@cyndyh Hush, now… everything will be alright. Have a pancake. :)

cyndyh's avatar

Oh, geez. I soooooooo don’t need a pancake right now. :^> It’s taken me the last 6 months to lose 30 pounds. No. I don’t need a pancake. I’m the type of person who can gain 5 pounds just by looking at a frickin pancake. Don’t talk to me about no frickin pancakes. :^>

Sorry, I put the smileys throughout, but there are times when I feel just a shitstorm of not-pleasure at everyday life and I really do need to hear, see, read something good to offset the crappiness. Thanks for the attempt, augustlan. I’m just reaching out because I’m not really feeling it on my own right now. Take care.

hearkat's avatar

@cyndyh: 30 pounds in 6 months (26 weeks) is a healthy, safe weight loss. Be proud!
I’m thrilled that I’ve lost 25 pounds in 6 months (which is actually a little less that the recommended maximum of 1–2 pounds per week), because I’ve done it through easy lifestyle changes that respect my body so it is able to adjust at a natural rate; so not only is it better for my health, I also know that it is a permanent improvement.

cyndyh's avatar

Thanks. Most of the time I am proud of it. But I have my moments. It’s been a lot of work and it’s so much harder than it was when I was a few decades younger.

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

Damn…......thats a tough one!

jerrytown's avatar

go skydiving, scuba, parasail, go see lots of live music(although drugs and drinking are usually involved), hike to waterfalls, travel, put a garden in your yard to include in your food, go on a camping trip with friends. enjoy some family time

Aster's avatar

”...…real pleasure…that makes you excited to get up in the morning, that makes you feel like a kid again, that makes you want to live. That makes you happy and feel fulfilled.”
Are you kidding me? Nothing. Nada. Zip.

little8632g's avatar

what a bombass question! i am as guilty as the next guy (and probably more so;) for going down the substance = pleasure path but like you – i also know this therefore since one cannot un-know what they know – i also have made some changes although if taking drugs is self medicating or numbing – i personally still cannot home in on any pain i am numbing? Could it be that some people just like to alter consciousness? I read a paper by a psychologist who maintained that humans will inherently alter consciousness. Case in point is how children will instinctually learn how to make themselves dizzy. Sounds like a solid deal to me!
To answer your question – i have many interests and even waking up to a beautiful sunny or snowy oregon morning with my wife is a source of pleasure – snowboarding is definately a huge source of pleasure for me. I get high bombing down the mountain. i also love drag racing especially on weekend nights on lonely back roads – thats a rush.

nebule's avatar

@little8632g do you have a link to that paper or some more information at all please?

markylit's avatar

Music and photography.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Finding a geocache!

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