Summertime as a newly sober man can be as exciting as intimidating. Going to summer parties, events, music festivals, and barbecues feels strange at times as everyone else is seemingly happy, drinking normally, recreationally using drugs, and you’re not. The FOMO, the fear of missing out, during summer for newly summer men is real. All it takes is one quick trip down memory lane, straight past all the good times and right into what it was like at the end of your addiction. Your drinking and drug use wasn’t normal or happy, most likely. Your body and your brain were sick, chemically dependent, and progressively weakening. Rather than be surrounded by friends, you might have been terribly alone living a less than fun lifestyle. Despite knowing where you’ve come from in your recovery and how hard you’ve worked to get to where you are now, your brain has been influenced by addiction. The sights, the smells, and the hopeful potential of one more good time is as intoxicating to your brain as your substances of choice.
Relapse is not so much an episode as a process, starting with euphoric recall. Euphoric recall can become strong and vivid enough to convince the brain it has already relapsed and consumed mind altering substances. As a result, the brain sends out the signals of obsession, craving, and withdrawal, to attempt forcing the consumption of more substances. Relapse, however, is a choice. In the moment of truth when temptation is present and the FOMO is flaming hot, you have one simple choice to make: say no. Say no to substances, say no to relapse, and say no to going back to the dark place you have worked tirelessly to escape.
In the early stages of sobriety, saying no is a practice and a challenge. Here are some of the best ways to practice rejection at parties this summer:
- No thank you
- Nope, I’m good
- Nah, not today
- I’m not drinking today
- I’m not drinking anymore
- I’m sober
- I don’t do drugs
- I’m the designated driver
- I’m not in the mood
- I don’t do well under the influence anymore
When all other niceties fail, never feel ashamed to share your truth about recovery with other people because you never know whose life you might be saving. Tell people how bad your drinking and using became, that you spent months working hard in a treatment program, and that you value your new life in sobriety. Guaranteed, you won’t be made an offer for the rest of the party.
Live your life without limits by participating in transformational addiction treatment. Our innovative and adventure inspired programming at Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California, liberates men from addiction and sets them up for life beyond their wildest dreams. Hear it from a graduate by calling (855) 202-2138 for information today.