After the dreary winter months—followed by the COVID quarantine—you may be itching for some summer fun to cure your cabin fever. If you’re in recovery and concerned that warm weather events often associated with drinking (pool parties, barbecues, concerts, etc.) could wreck your sobriety, we have some suggestions to help you partake while remaining sober…with proper social distancing in place, of course.
The key to sober summer fun lies in preparation. Mapping out a plan can help you to feel confident that your sobriety will remain in tact:
- Buddy Up. There’s strength in numbers. Invite a sober friend to join you for support.
- Strategize an Exit. Drive yourself (or ensure you have a reliable ride) in the case that others around you are drinking and your sobriety feels jeopardized.
- Pack a Non-Alcoholic Beverage: If you’re worried you’ll feel out of place without a drink in hand, bring your own alcohol-free beverage.
- Read Up Before-Hand: If you’re a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, reviewing the Big Book pages 86-88 can help you focus your thinking.
- Prepare for “Pry-ers”: Think ahead about how you will respond to questions about why you aren’t drinking. Keep in mind that you don’t owe anyone an explanation. Simply saying “I don’t drink” is sufficient…just like “No” can be a complete sentence.
And, remember…even though having a solid plan is important, it’s also crucial that you examine your motives for attending an event where drinking might take place. If it’s a family wedding or a company picnic where making an appearance is necessary, have at it (as long as you’re feeling secure in your sobriety). But, if you are hoping to live vicariously through other drinking guests—reminiscing about your drinking days—play it safe and stick to recovery-friendly events.