sober summer funA few years ago the idea of spending one day sober – never mind a whole summer sober – filled me with dread. In fact the mere idea of it brought up so many questions, like:

Who the f**k would want to do that?

How the f**k does someone do that?

What the f**k am I going to do all f**king summer?

Unfortunately there’s no easy way out – unless you’re a celebrity and can hire a sober companion from $750+ a day (yes, people actually do that). But for those of us who aren’t Owen Wilson or Lindsay Lohan, that might be a bit of a stretch. Thankfully, there’s plenty of sober people to be found at Twelve-Step Recovery Meetings who’ll likely be happy to talk to you about how they were able to stay sober through the summer and they’ll even have coffee with you without charging a few hundred dollars for their time.

In early recovery getting through any day sober can seem impossible, but it’s really just a matter of having a recovery program in place, a network of sober friends and just getting used to doing it. A summer day is just another day, and as recovering alcoholics and addicts, if we take the one day at a time approach, whether it’s Memorial Day 0r the 4th of July, it’s another day clean and sober, whether it’s filled with fireworks or not.

There are many Twelve-Step Recovery Programs, including AA, NA and CA that have club houses in most cities and these clubs have Sober Dances, BBQ’s and Pot Lucks going on all the time. You might not be up to dancing sober just yet (I’m not sure I’ll ever be!) but you can always show up and just hang out with people who also have two left feet. If you have kids, you are not alone either – a lot of people who go to these clubs do and a pot luck or BBQ is a great way to meet other sober parents who are in the same situation as you are.

If you can afford it, there are even some travel companies that offer sober vacations plus other networking sites such as Meet-Ups where you can look for sober meet-ups where people want to hike, bike or camp together. Although, as with anything on the internet, you should research it thoroughly and take someone with you to the first meet – I’ve been to a few in Colorado though and it was a lot of fun.

Of course, most of us still have friends that drink and though you might want to avoid hanging out in bars with them there’s no reason why you can’t go to a friends pool party or BBQ, just try taking someone with you that’s also in recovery, that way you’ll have a like-minded person in the ‘trenches’ and you can leave together when everyone starts letting loose. (For more on this see People, Places and Things).

My summer kicked off this past weekend when I went to an outdoor concert at Red Rocks in Colorado –And yes, people were drinking too much and smoking (and not just cigarettes) but I was able to enjoy the show just like they did (without the hangover or the munchies). A few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to go to an event like this, in fact I thought it would take a miracle to be around other people drinking and not join in myself. Thankfully, that miracle came in the form of a recovery program called Alcoholics Anonymous and with the fellowship and my Higher Power, I get to enjoy life whatever f***ing day it is!

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