Everything is challenging in early recovery, there is no denying that fact. When you first get out of rehab, the world seems like a big, scary place filled with temptation and people ready to suck you right back into addiction. While true, there is also a lot of good in early recovery, it is all about looking in the right places.

Autumn Festivities in Early Recovery

Since it is the fall, it is timely to talk about how to overcome several of the hurdles you may encounter at this time of year as you try to stay sober. No one said it will be easy, but it will certainly be worth it. Always remember that recovery and sobriety need to be your number one priority, and everything else will eventually follow when the time is right. Here are three things that may make you want to throw away your sobriety. Don’t!

  • Cooler weather and shorter days. Many people simply don’t know what to do with their time now that the weather is getting cooler and the shadows are growing bigger. It’s common for alcoholics to say there is nothing else to do besides go to the bar, or drug addicts to claim they just want to sit at home and get high. While seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a real thing, there are things you can do to combat it. Save the money you would have spent on alcohol and drugs and use it towards a class or another fun sober activity. Keep yourself distracted and busy and you will have less of a chance of relapse.
  • Football season. Football and beer go together in America like ham and cheese. Where you have one, you will find the other. If you feel like it is highly likely for you to slip up, it is probably the best if you skip out on football parties entirely this year. Wait until you are strong enough to go and hold your own. If you do opt to go, bring your own non-alcoholic beverages. If you feel comfortable, let the host know about your situation before you go, and come up with a way to duck away from those awkward “why aren’t you drinking” questions.
  • Fall parties. Spiked apple cider, anyone? How about regular apple cider… similarly to going to a football game or party, you need to learn how to gracefully sidestep offers of alcohol and have fun sober. It takes practice and holding your ground, but anyone can do it!

You are the only one who can best gauge your ability to stay sober. If you feel like you are throwing yourself into the dangerous path of temptation, find an alternative. Don’t beat yourself up over saying “no”, it just means you are dedicated to working on yourself and committed to your sobriety, health, and well-being.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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