June 24, 2013
At Gateway Foundation, we understand the summer months can be a challenging time for people in early recovery. Those who have struggled with alcohol abuse may encounter more drinking going on outside—from festivals and ball games to concerts and beer gardens—and come face-to- face with temptation.
Remember, it’s okay to be tempted. This is normal. When it happens, observe the craving and respond by reminding yourself of your values and goals that are far more important to you than drinking, such as being a healthy, reliable and productive individual.
If you are early in your recovery, it is an especially important time to honest with yourself, especially when it comes to accountability. If accountability is in question, situations that have the potential to trigger a relapse must be avoided.
Here are some helpful reminders to keep your recovery on the right path:
- Stay connected. It’s important to surround yourself with supportive people who understand your new path. Attend Alumni events/meetings, 12-Step recovery meetings and talk to your sponsor often.
- Drink plenty of water. The heat and sun is dehydrating, and thirst can intensify cravings for alcohol.
- Embrace life. Take advantage of the great weather and explore new adventures, such as kayaking, hiking, cycling bike paths, practicing yoga in the park or joining a running club. And, you will be more likely to befriend others with healthy lifestyles along the way.
- Skip it. If you don’t have accountability, then you should decline the invitation to a wedding or barbeque. If you do decide to go, you should either bring a sober buddy, have someone on standby that you can call, or decide to stay for a set amount of time and promptly leave as planned.
- Be realistic. If you are confident you can refrain from using, you still should expect to be offered drinks or drugs by the people around you. Rather than be offended, you should be prepared with a polite response or to avoid an invitation for a drink altogether, holding a club soda usually works!
- Family ties. If your family is supportive of your recovery, then you may find spending time together is more enjoyable now than ever. For those whose families enjoy drinking at celebrations—it’s okay to bow out of a barbeque or birthday party. If you’re ready to be accountable, bring a supportive friend along and limit your stay. To avoid hurting anyone’s feelings, it is polite to let your hosts know ahead of time you will be bringing a guest and leaving early.
Remember, if you ever need to talk to someone who understands what you are going through, you call your sponsor and counselor. If you are worried about relapsing, you should contact your treatment center right away. Click to contact Gateway Foundation or call our 24-Hour Helpline at 877-505-HOPE (4673).