Beaches, friends, and fun! The rush of spring break is upon us. Plans of hitting the beach, procrastinating on homework, and a lot of underage drinking. As a person in recovery, I can tell you that I have experienced both sides of the spectrum. There was a time when I went and spent the break at the beach drinking with friends and learned some harsh realities before entering into recovery.
I remember when I was still in high school I went down to Florida for spring break. I was 16 years old, and I wanted to go hang out with my friends and experience spring break. We drove down with a few of my college friends. I can honestly say that I don’t remember much about that week. I spent a lot of time at the beach and a lot of time participating in underage drinking. I was in an unknown city, with a few friends that I thought I was close to and I remember one night getting into an argument with a couple of them and going off on my own. I met people that were down there on spring break from other colleges and had a party at their hotel. I don’t remember much from that night.
It is a scary thought to think that I did not know what I was doing or where I was, which still scares me today. Many people have told me that this is a ‘rite of passage’ for young people. I just don’t understand how this has become the social norm. It has become acceptable to let young adults whom may or may not be of legal age to binge drink, black out, and become incoherent when in a place that they have no knowledge of. We even celebrate the thought of becoming intoxicated to the point of passing out on a beach, which is a symptom of dehydration. Accidents like these happen all too often on the beach during spring break.
After coming into recovery, my first spring break was a little scary. What would I do? The only way I knew how to have fun involved getting intoxicated. I learned of some recovery activities that was put together in Deerfield, Florida. It was called “Clean Break.” Clean Break is a nonprofit and a means for students in recovery to have a safe, supported, and fun time during one of the most hostile times in a young adults experience in college. I decided to give it a try, I met people from different states that were college students just like me, in recovery. We went out clubs, laid on the beach, played volleyball. We had a blast! There are lots of other ways to enjoy Spring break without the stereotype of having to use alcohol as a ‘rite of passage.’
What are those other ways to enjoy your spring break without having to use alcohol and fit into the stereotype? I planned a trip with my friends that are in recovery to go enjoy the beach. I have also stayed home (in my state) and enjoyed activities going on in my city and at the university. The most important thing that I did was stay around people who did the same things I did. Have fun and enjoy my break! While I would have loved to be at the beach, because I am in Kentucky, I still enjoyed some indoor volleyball with my friends!
The point, you don’t have to drink to have fun! You don’t have to travel to enjoy spring break! You don’t have to fit into the stereotype to enjoy your time off! I learned that when I am around the people that want the best for me they don’t make me feel like I need to fit in with some stereotype, I can be myself. Which is a person in recovery who enjoys life. If you are traveling this spring break, remember to stay with the people you travel with and that you trust, you don’t have to drink to fit in. And always HAVE FUN!
Life of Purpose Treatment
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