Summer Fun In Recovery From Addiction
“Summertime and the livin’ is easy…” so says that tune! Many of us look forward to this time as a time of relaxing, recharging and spending time with our loved ones and friends. The reality is that summer time is actually a time of increased stress. There’s a saying in recovery that if we are “spiritually fit,” we can go anywhere without fear of relapse. But, it’s probably also true that if we are spiritually fit, there are places we know we shouldn’t be hanging around unless we have a very good reason. As we enter the height of the summer months, we are likely to be presented with more outdoor parties, braais, and celebrations than we usually experience. We are going to have to make some decisions about what we are going to do.
We’ve also been hearing about staying away from “people, places, and things,” but does that mean we aren’t allowed to go anywhere other than to see our councillors or our local meetings?
When we are new to our recovery, our choices should be geared toward giving us the best chance to achieve long-term recovery. It’s never going to be a good idea to expose ourselves to situations where people are drinking or using drugs before we are secure in our recovery, if ever!
Whether we are new to recovery or we’ve been around for a while, we always want to be as prepared as possible. There are a few things we can do:
Stay the Course:
Holidays and celebrations have just been upon us, but our disease never takes a day off. We have to continue doing what we need to do for our recovery each day. Staying clean and sober requires us to be vigilant. Being vigilant means covering the basics every day. We should remember:
- Don’t let ourselves get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.
- Stay connected to our recovery support system and continue to make recovery a priority.
- Stay connected to our higher power. Consistently practicing prayer and mediation will keep us balanced and centered.
Have a Plan:
It’s not reasonable to expect the world to stop drinking or using drugs just because we did. If we are going to be in a place where drinks are being served, it’s best that we structure our visit so that we can be as safe as possible.
Have your own transportation. If things don’t go well, it’s important that we aren’t tied to someone else’s schedule.
Bring a friend. If we can bring someone in recovery with us, we’ll have a ready source of support.
Bring your phone. We should have a charged cell phone and make sure someone we trust knows to expect that we might call. If we find ourselves feeling out of sorts, a quick call may be all it takes to get us back on track.
Leave early. Many times, we can satisfy our social obligations just by showing up and paying our respects. It’s a good idea to hit the road before the party has gone on too long.
Have a back-up plan. Even on a good day, things rarely go exactly as we expect. If our phone dies, or there’s no reception, or the car runs out of gas, we still need to be prepared.
Summer is a traditional time of relaxation we can join in provided that we are careful in the way we approach it.