The unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day, is just a couple of days away. Oh how I love the summer! The warm days and being able to spend time outside playing golf or going to the pool are my two favorite things. This time of year also reminds me of how life was during my first year of sobriety – and what it was like having my first Memorial Day sober! I had 10 months when Memorial Day came around during my first year of sobriety and I was so nervous. I constantly thought about what I was going to do.
During my first year of sobriety, making plans was top priority for me. I did not want to feel different or alone that year. It gave me comfort to know that I was going to be involved in something social. For some reason or another, holidays always seem to include a lot of drinking, and for me drinking wasn’t an option back then or even today. So, how am I going to feel comfortable with everyone else drinking?
The first holiday was a lot harder than it is today. It does get easier for those of you reading this that are about to have your first sober holiday or Memorial Day!
Here are a couple of tips that worked for me:
1. Whatever you do on a daily basis that helps you with your recovery continue doing that even though it is a holiday and a vacation!
2. Our disease never takes a holiday so you have to treat it each and every day no matter what day it is.
3. If you plan on going to a party where there is alcohol or where you may feel uncomfortable, definitely have a way to leave. It could be a friend, a car or even an Uber!
4. Have an excuse ready for when you are ready to leave. For example, I have another party or my dog has been in the house for hours and I really need to go home and let them out.
5. Have a friend that you can talk to. Having someone by your side that will be non-judgmental and who will listen to you and you can be honest with always makes things better.
At the end of the day, what other people think about you is not important and to be completely honest – most people only think of themselves. So, if you are worried about what other people think about you not drinking, just remember that they aren’t thinking!
Have a great Memorial Day!