If you've worked hard to overcome addiction and stay focused on your sobriety, congratulations! Your effort to stay clean and sober cannot be lauded enough. It's a huge accomplishment, although one that requires constant effort to maintain. When it comes to the newly sober, temptation can be everywhere.
Unfortunately, coming into your first sober summer can mean that you must gear up to fight temptation. There are a lot of things about the warmer season that can invite a relapse or falling off the wagon. With more socializing happening, more outings, more outdoor activities, celebrations, parties, barbecues, and gatherings, it can feel like you're staring temptation in the face at every turn. Sure, you didn't plan for that margarita blender to be there and the punch laced with rum to be sitting on the table, but there it is.
Summer can be a hugely testing time for those in recovery. Here are our tips to stay strong in the warmer months and maintain your sobriety. Read on to find out more.
Skip the Event
As much as you may want to attend an event, you are not obligated to go. If you don't feel that you are strong enough to resist the temptation of a beer or three at a backyard barbecue, perhaps it's better that you eliminate the temptation all together by not physically being there. Avoid events or gatherings where there will be substances that you should stay away from. Especially if you don't feel strong, this is a good way to make sure you don't slip up.
Have Planned Reactions
If you call your sponsor when you feel tempted, that is a backup plan that can serve you well. Any time in the summer that you feel that you are tempted to have that drink or go buy that substance, you need a plan of action of what you're going to do. Step one can be call your sponsor, step two calling a family member, and step three could be finding the closest AA meeting near you. Step four could even be going to church, temple, or synagogue. Have a plan for what you're going to do when you feel tempted.
Do Sober Events and Activities
Picking up hobbies and doing things that are sober is a great way to not even have to deal with temptation. Plan a badminton party with friends who are sober, or take up going to film festivals or foreign film screenings. If you love working out, hit up the gym or do something challenging outside. Take up kayaking, yoga, or kickboxing. Hang out with sober friends, take a yoga class-- whatever is interesting to you that is not your addiction and expands your health is a good thing.
Figure Out Your Triggers
When you know your triggers, you can deal with them. Knowing your triggers can help you acknowledge their presence and take action to avoid relapsing after. Talk with a counsellor or meet with a therapist to delve into why your addiction exists and how you can take steps to stay sober, especially during the warmer months where there's so much to do and you can feel especially tempted to relapse.