Summertime is a season where people fantasize about being in the sunshine, on vacation at the beach, relaxing, and oh yeah – partying down with a drink in their hand. The summer months and drugs and alcohol go hand and hand with one another. The easy-going feel of summer and the relaxation of numbing out can seem one and the same.
If you are newly sober and are fearful that you may start craving drugs and alcohol during summer, you need to know that sobriety is an option. You can stay sober through any season of the year, even summer. All you need to do is keep working your program while having some sober fun doing it! Here is your summer acronym guide to having the best summer ever and staying clean in the process.
When you get sober, you must change playmates and playgrounds to assist your recovery. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a precarious situation attending a summer function that serves alcohol or where drugs are readily available. First, ask yourself if you have a real reason to be there and if you can handle being around these substances. Make your decision based on guidance from a sponsor and be honest about any reservations you have surrounding drugs and alcohol. Once you come to a conclusion that will protect your sobriety at all costs, do whatever it takes to stay sober when attending a party. To avoid pulling an alcoholic drink out of a cooler, or only having a keg to drink from, BYOND – Bring Your Own Non-Alcoholic Drink. This way, you can keep cravings to a minimum by knowing what you are going to drink before you get there. You can also protect yourself from accidentally picking up something that could leave you inadvertently intoxicated.
Host Your Own Event. HYOE can help you maintain control of your environment. It’s also a great way to avoid provoking any cravings or feeling like you are out of place. You can plan anything you wish to provide sober fun. Even if you do not have a house to host a barbecue or a swim party, you can still find other places to enjoy yourself. Improvise and have a potluck picnic in the park. For bonus points, find a park close to the ocean, a lake, or a public pool. Alternatively, plan a hike for friends to join you on. Go for a long bike ride. Take a trip to the movie theater to view a summer blockbuster on the silver screen. There are tons of activities that you can host outside of the home to keep you distracted with sober fun rather than drinking and using.
Be carefree – BCF! Instead of being careless with alcohol and drugs, let your sobriety give you some freedom to enjoy the summer. Continue to work your program every day by going to recovery meetings, being of service to others, working the 12-Steps, and adhering to your relapse prevention plan. Any effort you put into your program will give you more assurance to stay sober and allow you to become more carefree in an attitude of gratitude.
Rise, Pray, and Meditate. RPM is intended to get you started on track for each day. Once you awaken, the first thing you should do is invite your Higher Power into your day. Using prayer, meditation, recovery readings, or a morning devotional can set the tone for your whole day. Seeking spiritual guidance early and often will give you the direction you need in your daily life. Even if you forget to meditate or pray at the beginning of the day, you can use these tools at any time you think to use them. The point is to use prayer and meditation to your advantage, not think of it as a hassle. Consider the fact that if you decide to take time in the morning for your RPM, you are more likely to think about it all day. If you procrastinate until the last minutes of your day, your spiritual routine has less time to work in your life. RPM can get you revved up for the day in a way you are sure not to regret.
Serenity, Exercise, Love, and Food. Add SELF into your day, and you can make sure that you are being taken care of. Implementing self-care means that you can relax and take it easy more frequently. You are establishing self-contentment that can only come from within and taking actions that promote self-love that no one else can grant you. Once you can provide these loving actions towards yourself, you will be more versed in transmitting these loving acts towards others. You become more available for service and experience a happy, joyous, and free way of life.
Have fun this summer and stay sober in the process. You may have once thought that drinking and drugging completed each summer, but this year can be different. Rather than blacking out and passing out, you can be productive in your recovery and still have fun in sobriety.
Recovery is not seasonal here at Valiant Living. We facilitate recovery year-round. We offer “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to connect to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today start your journey in recovery: 303-536-5463