Summer and Sobriety
By: Tania Lewis
Many of us look forward to summer; especially the warm weather, it signifies a time of relaxation, recharging with a much needed vacation and enjoying long weekends with family and friends.
We look forward to a relaxed lifestyle and longer days.
We are invited to more social activities; the kids are on break from school, traveling or busy planning our own socials events. The reality is summer can actually be a time of increased stress.
In recovery, these situations can be challenging, it is more important in these times to put recovery first.
It is easy to slip into complacency, don’t get trapped and justify summer as time off, and jeopardize sobriety. Realize your recovery program – meetings, sponsorship, service, can actually be helpful, and a healthy outlet to refocus and renew your program.
Here are a few suggestions to help keep your recovery program alive during the summer months and don’t forget; sometimes the best way to get away from some of the chaos is to escape to a meeting. Wherever your travels take you this summer, be open-minded, adventurous, check out new meetings, and meet new friends in recovery.
1. Have a recovery plan, Get to a meeting or try online recovery sites:
That means if you need to find 12-step meetings outside of your home group/ country because of travel find them before you go. There are 12-Step meetings all over the world and online. Most places in the world have meetings, and English speaking meetings if need be.
Online group meetings: www.intherooms.com
2. Call your sponsor or a friend in recovery:
Sometimes checking in with someone else in recovery who understands and knows what you are going through is just what you may need to put things in perspective. Consider Skype, whatsapp, facebook and twitter as means to communicate in real time and ask for help if unable to connect over the phone with your sober network of friends and family.
3. Write a Gratitude list:
Keeping a journal is a healthy recovery tool; you may not have time to write a full entry all the time. Consider writing down every day what you are grateful for and keep it simple. You will be surprised how rewarding and inspiring this simple exercise is. It will help you connect with a Higher Power and keep grounded in recovery. As summer draws to an end, take a look at the list and continue to practice in all seasons.
4. Take some time for yourself:
Practice relaxation techniques, deep breathing, meditation, journal, yoga, acupuncture and exercise.
These techniques will keep you calm, collected and rejuvenated.
5. Work on Step 6: June is the 6th month.
The Step says: “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
This step helps you to focus on honesty and willingness.
The words “entirely ready” means that you are open to change and willing to let go and give a new way of life a try. Even if it is just for today, or one day at a time. You cannot truly grow and move forward unless you are willing.
Most of all have fun and stay sober!