Summertime is approaching. The change in schedules, weather, and relaxed nature can lead to an increased risk for relapse. It’s the time of year where social interactions seem almost constant. Outdoor activities and vacations are in abundance, and there are pool parties, barbeques, and trips to the beach with friends – all with or around individuals who partake in regular alcohol consumption and partying.
For people who do not struggle with alcohol addiction, alcohol seems like a universal staple when it comes to summertime activities. For those who struggle with alcohol addiction, transitioning into the summer months and the activities that come with them can be like maneuvering through a sobriety minefield. Individuals in early recovery find it extremely difficult to separate having fun while sober from having fun while consuming alcohol.
If you’re in recovery, you know it’s almost impossible to hide from whichever substances you struggle with, especially if it’s alcohol. During early recovery, sober people develop the ability to navigate social interactions where alcohol is present and learn to enjoy life without drugs and alcohol. These skills are both important and achievable. As difficult as it may be to stay sober this summer, your sobriety is in your hands. You can have fun this summer without compromising your recovery.
Your Sobriety Must Come First
As we transition into the first month of summer, renew your commitment to your recovery program. Your recovery must come before everything else. If you’re invited to an event where you know there will be alcohol and you’re not ready to face that obstacle, allow yourself to skip it. It’s okay to skip activities or gatherings that make you feel uncomfortable or jeopardize your recovery. A surefire way to bolster your sobriety is to surround yourself with others who are in recovery. This can help you get out to enjoy activities and social interactions without the temptations of alcohol.
Just because the sun is out more doesn’t mean you should skip your meetings. Stick to your schedule. Many people in recovery find that attending more meetings during stressful times helps them stay focused on what matters the most – their sobriety. If you have a planned vacation, look into the local meetings nearby or search for meetings online that will give you access no matter where you are. Attending meetings online or in other places can introduce you to like-minded individuals from all over the globe.
Plan Ahead for Success
Summertime can bring on a lot of temptation and triggers. If you’re meeting with friends who drink, try to avoid meeting them in restaurants or bars. Instead, meet them for a hike or at a coffee shop. Plan appropriately to avoid being stuck in a situation where temptations and cravings may arise.
Take a Timeout for You
Invest time into yourself. Pursue activities that once brought you joy, or try something new and dive into it. Take the time to reconnect with yourself and with others who you may have pushed away because of your addiction. This could be a parent, sibling, friend, or even parts of your past, like religion or community engagement. Self-care is such a crucial part of recovery because it reinforces the idea that you matter. Investing time into filling your own bucket will bring a lasting benefit to your recovery.
Reach Out to Your Sponsor
If you choose to attend a summertime celebration and you’re not ready to face it alone, ask your sponsor or a sober friend. Having at least one person there with you who is also sober can help you feel more comfortable, as you won’t be the only one not indulging in alcohol or drugs.
Don’t Rush It
Pace yourself this summer. It can be easy to get carried away with all the fun to be had. Resist the urge to go all-in, as hard as you can; recovery is about moderation and balance. Just let the summer flow. Take the time to sit back and enjoy this summer being sober and finding a newer, healthier path for yourself.
Let Go of Old Memories
We’re all guilty of romanticizing old memories and all the good times we’ve had, especially exciting summertime memories. As great as it is, summertime may include memories that paint former drug use in a nostalgic and romantic light. Let those memories go.
Make Your Own Vacation
Don’t sit back and let others dictate what your summer is going to look like. Organize a vacation that is geared towards the person you are today. Check out companies like Sober Travelers who specialize in finding resorts, cruises, and hotels that offer alcohol-free vacations. This is your summer; just because you’re choosing to be sober, doesn’t mean you have to skip out on all the fun.
Summertime can be a glorious time filled with outdoor activities and social interactions. It’s a time where people enjoy being outside, partaking in cookouts, vacations, and – for some – lots of alcohol. This summer, you can still focus on your sobriety while also still indulging in all the festivities. Although your summer might look a bit different, your sobriety is worth making these changes. Planning ahead and attending meetings are just a few ways to help you stay sober. While the summertime is just a couple of months out of the year, your sobriety is something that you’ll be working on for a lifetime. Recovery is a process that takes time and effort, and the payout can be tremendous. If you or someone you love are struggling with sobriety this summer, we want to help. We have a team of clinicians that can help you on your road to recovery. Call Achieve Concierge today at (858) 221-0344.