August 17, 2021 New Foundations

Having a Fun Sober Summer

Summertime is filled with lots of outdoor events including festivals, concerts, family gatherings, and barbeques.  Most, if not all of these get togethers will unavoidably include alcohol.  If this is your first sober summer, it doesn’t have to be any less fun or eventful.  Here are a few ways you can stay true to your recovery during these summer months. 

If you’re feeling nervous about being around a large group of people. Maybe there will be alcohol available. It’s scary to imagine yourself in a position to be offered alcohol and have to turn it down. What will you say? Will you feel shamed or embarrassed? Do you say anything at all and just politely decline?  Maybe you’re going to be around people that know you’re working on your recovery and sobriety. Chances are, they’ll be willing to stay sober when they’re with you, to show you support. The more that the “breaking the addiction stigma” is seen as the norm, the more accepting the general population is becoming about sobriety in general.  It is not “weird” to not drink, now a days it is admired and respected. It is easier said than done, but by surrounding yourself with the right people aka the ones who understand your recovery process and won’t jeopardize it, you will feel less pressure to explain your sobriety. 

There are so many ways to enjoy yourself, while staying sober this summer. Having a sober crew, people who don’t drink anyway will always be a great option. Or you can consider bringing a sober plus one, a huge advantage.  Power in numbers, especially regarding sobriety, can be incredibly helpful if you are new to recovery or a few years in – it doesn’t matter! 

Remember, it is okay to leave an uncomfortable situation.  Your sobriety is your number one priority.  In fact, planning your own events can help to ensure that you won’t be walking into a tempting situation.  Schedule a dry pool party or a sober cookout, invite people who you know will respect your no alcohol rule. 

Everyone likes a tasty and pretty drink, it doesn’t have to have alcohol. You can go the extra steps and create a variety of “mock-tails” that are fun and easy to make. There are many already well known virgin style drinks to have on that list.  

  • Shirly Temple, lemon-lime soda and grenadine, I like to ask for them with a lime twist! 
  • Arnold Palmer, just tea and lemonade 
  • Virgin Mary, a Bloody Mary without the alcohol 
  • Lime Rickey, simple syrup, lime and soda  
  • Cinderella, pineapple juice, orange juice, soda water and lime 

If you are attending a party or event that will have alcohol, bring a small gift for the host and a beverage of your own choice.  It’s a good idea to have your own beverage in your hand at all times, so people will be less inclined to offer you a drink from the bar, or to bring you an unsolicited alcoholic beverage. 

Always have an exit strategy, for example, you’re at a party and you are doing fine, but then all of a sudden, you feel a craving to drink. Rather than staying at the party, fighting yourself. Don’t stay there with the temptation. Use your exit plan and excuse yourself early from the party. There are always a few creative excuses to come up with to get yourself an easy out. You can go to the bathroom and come back out to announce that your friend called and needs a ride home from work. Or you can always use my favorite excuse for anything, I’ve got a migraine, and I need to get home asap.  

Instead of going out in the evening, when it’s easier to let loose. Try going out on lunch dates and outings. It’s usually less common for most to want to drink during the day.  

Whatever you do, just stay sober. Sometimes it’s best to just dip our toes back into the social life. You don’t have to jump into the party pool fully clothed.