Summer is upon us! The weather is changing and getting warmer; flowers are blooming and well, let’s not forget about the gorgeous sunshine! Memorial Day is the indicator in many states that summer is here. This is also the day that we remember our fallen soldiers in history. Memorial Day is when pools, water parks, and other water activities begin for the summer months. For many of us in recovery, this holiday reminds us of past ideas on how to celebrate this day.
In the past, many of my friends and family would celebrate this day going out to the lake and drinking an alcoholic beverage on a boat filled with people who were intoxicated. For many of us, this Memorial Day will be different and we will need to celebrate it differently. That does not mean we have to stay in or lock ourselves up to not be around other people. It means there are a lot of different ways we can celebrate this holiday without becoming intoxicated, or being around people who will be drinking.
Here are five tips to help you stay on track this Memorial Day.
Hang out with your friends who are in recovery
We can plan an outing with our recovery friends and enjoy the day in a similar way, minus the alcohol or drugs. Who does not LOVE going out on a boat and having fun in the sun?! And the food, let’s not forget the food! Hanging out with other people who are in recovery helps us feel connected and understood.
We all have been in a place where we can get bored and think about calling up an old friend and reliving the “good ol’ times”. This can be dangerous for us because maybe we are placing ourselves in a not-so-good situation. Check out recovery events and other activities that are going on around your city. It is always good to plan ahead and choose a healthy activity you can participate in.
Family may not understand your journey
My immediate family is very supportive of my recovery and life choices. However, I know that not all of my family understands that I do not drink. Even though I care deeply about my extended family, if they are drinking during this holiday I will make it clear that I will only come to an activity for a short time to say hello. My recovery is my responsibility, not theirs. I don’t want to feel uncomfortable, nor should they feel uncomfortable. If you feel that it may not be safe for you to go there, you don’t have to. If you think that it is going to be uncomfortable, but still want to go, ask someone to go with you for added support.
Always have an exit strategy
One important note to make when you do go to your families or to a gathering is you should have an exit strategy. You should plan to have an exit strategy in case you need to leave because things are getting out of hand. If you drive and have transportation it is pretty simple to make an exit. If not, that is when you should ask someone if you can call them in case the gathering becomes uncomfortable. Be proactive, and take care of yourself.
Keep your recovery a priority
Make sure to utilize your support system if you are feeling uncomfortable. Take care of yourself and make sure that you are putting boundaries in place if you feel emotional or uncomfortable. Your recovery should be a priority during any holiday and if you feel uncomfortable, make sure you have support!
Being in recovery doesn’t mean we do not have fun anymore. In fact, it is just the opposite. We can have fun every day! Just remember to take care of yourself and be proactive about the activities you want to participate in. It is time to celebrate summer! So let’s celebrate TOGETHER!
Life of Purpose Treatment
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Boca Raton, FL 33431