While the Holidays and the time between Thanksgiving and the post-New Year may be extremely stressful and tempting for those in sobriety summer can present a much greater set of temptations. Memorial Day, the 4th of July, barbeques, outdoor parties, pool parties and outdoor festivals are all events which generally involve alcohol and/or recreational drug use not to mention summer brings with it, it’s own natural sense of “laze-fair” ambiance and an atmosphere where everyone is relaxed with “guard down”.
Here are some successful strategies to assist you with staying on track and sober or drug free as you travel through this summer:
- First and foremost learn to relax! Do not feel like you have to have an “action-packed summer” where you are on the go constantly. This will only increase your stress levels;
- Put your recovery first and continue to attend recovery meetings;
- Plan ahead. If you are invited to a party where you know there will be alcohol and/or recreational drug usage but want to attend keep in mind you don’t have to stay all evening. You can still make an early appearance, socialize but depart before the party gets in full swing;
- If you decide to stay at a party where there is alcohol serve yourself. In that way you won’t have others tempting you by offering you a drink;
- Be honest about your recovery if someone tries to push a drink or drugs on you. Most people have a conscience and once informed will generally try to shy away from tempting you. Should they continue, stay strong and don’t be afraid to just say no. In fact, practice saying no before you go so you are prepared in advance. Better yet, if you know the party will be too great a temptation there is nothing wrong with simply bowing out. A true friend, while they will miss you at the party, should understand and respect your reasons for not attending.
- Plan vacations to a new spot. Revisiting old places may bring back memories be they good or bad which may cause you stress and weaken your resistance to reach to a substance again to cope.
If you are feeling weak and uncertain about whether or not you can stay sober you can always bring a support system as in a buddy from your recovery group or program. It’s the old theory “Safety in numbers”. Staying sober through summer doesn’t have to be a difficult task but preparation is “9/10’s” the battle.
Let the O’Connor Professional Group take the guesswork out of putting a treatment plan together. Our combined personal and professional experience empowers us to empower you with a private consultation and customized plan of action for getting the help you need. Call us today for information: 617 910-3940