We are hurdling steadily toward the first day of summer, a season synonymous with partying and celebration. For many, June 20th represents the start of a season that will bring weekend after weekend of parties, barbecues, holidays and other special occasions, many of which will include alcohol and perhaps even other drugs. As is the case with many other cultural traditions, summer represents something different to the recovery community; a time to exercise increased mindfulness and diligence in preparation for the inevitable temptation we will encounter. This by no means precludes us from enjoying all that summer has to offer; we just have to be realistic regarding our level of readiness. Some of the ways we can do this include:
Keeping Our Support System Close at Hand – Whether it’s our designated sponsor or a close loved one, it’s helpful to have someone to call when we’re feeling vulnerable to relapse. In the heat of temptation, it can be difficult to recall the tools we gained in treatment. One phone call can bring us back to reality and keep us on track.
Maintaining or Increasing Our Attendance at Meetings – Our social calendars can very easily distract us from keeping up with our recovery plans. Ironically, if we falter in our routine, we may find ourselves at a heightened risk of relapse. Making sure we continue to attend meetings and keep appointments with our therapists can give us an extra layer of protection from temptation
Knowing Our Limits – If we don’t think we’re up to partying this weekend, we can simply stay home, recharge and gather our strength for the next one. Those who understand what we’re going through will understand why we may not be able to be around alcohol every single weekend. This is not weakness; it’s diligence, proactive thinking and common sense.
We don’t have to lock ourselves in our homes and wait for the fall season. If we practice basic mindfulness and basic preparation, we can enjoy all the benefits of this wonderful time of year without having to worry about relapse and losing our way in recovery. Long Island Addiction Resources would like to wish everyone a safe and fulfilling summer.