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Embrace a Sober Summer

Ah, summer. It’s a few all-too-brief months with the potential for lots of fun, but it’s also a time when those of us in recovery may struggle with the absence of drugs and alcohol.

If summer used to revolve about substances, a sober approach may require some planning.  Here are three examples of ways you can maintain your sobriety and, yes, have fun:

Summer Fairs – Take a child with you and see the fair through fresh eyes. Head for the rides and the animals, and avoid the obvious red flags, such as the beer tent. I’d suggest avoiding the deep-fried Twinkies®, too, but let’s get real.

Outdoor Activities – Bring your own non-alcoholic drinks for the boating or camping or softball game, and make them special. Love sweet drinks? Stock up on flavored waters. Drink a fruit smoothie. Treat yourself well so you don’t feel deprived. If drugs and alcohol are taking over the party, be ready to get off the boat – or not get on it in the first place – or leave the camping spot or enjoy activities with sober friends.

Family and Class Reunions –If you’re looking forward to seeing Aunt Kathy, bring photo albums to the reunion and record her childhood memories. Ditto with a yearbook and classmates’ stories. Focus on helping others have a good time, which distracts you from yourself. However, if dysfunctional relationships could pull you in, it’s best to just say “no thanks” to these invitations.

Keeping your priorities straight can help you relax and enjoy your summer.

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