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How to Stay Sober at Summer BBQs

Summertime often makes you think of boozy drinks by the pool and a cold beer at a BBQ. However, if you’re trying to stay sober at summer BBQs it can be hard to imagine what those days might look like. The first step is to plan in advance how you’d like the day to go. Being mentally prepared to be around alcohol is often an important factor in staying in control. You can plan to bring non-alcoholic drinks with you so that you can still have the feeling of a cold drink in your hands. Talk to your friends in advance if you’re comfortable. And finally, remember that you can always opt-out if you’re feeling uncomfortable. Hopefully, you’ll be able to have fun at summer BBQs without having to compromise your goals of staying sober.

How to Stay Sober at Summer BBQs: Stay in Control

Plan in Advance

The first step towards staying sober at summer BBQs is to make a plan in advance. It can be much harder to stick to your goals of avoiding alcohol if you’re confronted with it unexpectedly. If you know in advance that you’ll be around people who will be drinking, it can be easier to resist the temptation when you’re mentally prepared for it. Decide if you’ll feel comfortable being around alcohol at all. If so, you might want to have a plan to leave if things start getting very out of hand. Or if people are peer-pressuring you to join in the drinking.

Bring Mocktails

Staying sober at summer BBQs can be difficult because often standing around talking to people makes you want to feel a cold beer in your hands. If this is the case, give mocktails a try. You can find non-alcoholic beers and wine. Or try your hand at some fancy summery mixed-drink mocktails. Use fancy glasses and don’t forget the mini umbrellas.

Talk to Your Friends

Another way to stay sober at summer BBQs is to talk to your friends in advance. If you’re comfortable with the people that will be at the BBQ, you might let them know about your desire to quit drinking. You never know how people might react. Your group of friends might be very supportive. In fact, they might choose not to even serve alcohol if they know it makes it hard for them. If they don’t want to leave out the alcohol altogether, chances are they won’t try to pressure you to join in the drinking.

Remember You Can Opt Out

The most important thing to remember when trying to stay sober at summer BBQs is that you can always opt-out. You aren’t obligated to attend every event. If it sounds like things will be getting out of hand, feel free to decide in advance that it won’t be a good fit for you. Also, remember that you can leave anytime you want. If you start to feel uncomfortable or are feeling tempted to drink, just leave the party behind. Your sobriety is much more important than a BBQ.

Staying sober at summer BBQs can be difficult since they often conjure up images in your head of alcoholic drinks. However, it’s possible to stay sober. Make a plan in advance so that you won’t be surprised. Bring along non-alcoholic alternatives to help you with cravings. You can also talk to your friends about your desire to quit drinking beforehand. They might be very supportive. And finally, remember that you can opt-out of the get-together if it’s making you uncomfortable. The most important thing is that you stick to your goals of living a sober life. Hopefully, you’ll be able to enjoy social events like BBQs without compromising your desire to quit drinking.

How-to Keep Yourself From Relapsing

You have worked so hard to get clean, but staying clean can be a challenge in itself. In the short-term and long-term future, you will come across different triggers, events, or emotions that may make you want to pick up bad habits again. While it may be a struggle, it is possible to make it through while staying clean. There are different steps you can take to help keep yourself from relapsing.

How-to Keep Yourself From Relapsing: Prevention Steps

Be Aware of Triggers

Everyone will have different things that trigger them, but there are some triggers that are more common than others. It is important to know these in order to help keep yourself from relapsing. First, being around old friends who are still using drugs or alcohol and have no interest in getting sober can be a relapse trigger. It is difficult to keep all of your old life the same without falling into the same bad patterns too. Certain locations that you used to engage in substance abuse can also be a trigger.

Other common triggers include isolation, relationship issues, uncomfortable emotions like feeling hungry, lonely, or tired. Some people are overconfident in themselves, thinking that they do not have a problem, or that the issues are all behind them. This overconfidence can actually create the perfect scenario for relapse.

Stages of Relapse

One of the best ways to keep yourself from relapsing is to understand the stages of relapse. This way you can already know what to be mindful of. Relapse is usually a gradual process, and can even start months before the actual relapse event occurs. The different stages of relapse are emotional, mental, and physical.

Emotional Relapse

With emotional relapse, you’re not actually thinking about using. However, your emotions and behaviors can set you up for a potential relapse. Some of the signs include anxiety, mood swings, not asking for help or going to meetings, anger, and isolation. Change your behavior and practice self-care. With emotional relapse, it is the easiest to get back on the right path and stop yourself from actually relapsing.

Mental Relapse

Mental relapse is when part of you wants to start using again, and the other part does not. You are being pulled two different ways. Some signs of this include lying, hanging out with your old friends and thinking about people and places in your past. It also includes glamorizing your past use and even fantasizing about using again.

If you are struggling with mental relapse, talk to someone and tell them what you are going through and thinking about relapsing. This could be a friend or even a support group. Urges won’t last for too long, but just make sure to distract yourself by going on a walk, or calling someone to chat. Remember to take each day at a time so that the process does not feel so overwhelming.

Physical Relapse

Lastly, the best thing is to try and catch yourself from relapsing before you get to the physical relapse point. Once you start thinking about relapse, it does not take long to get to physical relapse. This is when you actually physically relapse again. So, pay attention and react to the warning signs so that you do not make it to this point. Get help before it is too late.

What to Expect at Your First Meeting for AA

Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 Step type programs have become world-renown for help with alcoholism. If you’re considering going to your first meeting for AA or another type of 12 step program, you might not know what to expect. You’ll have an initial meet and greet time period, and then an introduction for the meeting. Next, you’ll probably have some time where you all learn a bit about a certain step of the program. Next, there will be time for people to share their experiences. And finally, you’ll wrap up and have time to socialize. Remember that you won’t ever be forced to participate if you are uncomfortable. Everybody there has gone through similar experiences as you and just wants to help you on your journey to sobriety.

What to Expect at Your First Meeting for AA or 12 Step Program

Arrival

When you arrive at your first meeting for AA, you’ll probably be in a church or meeting hall. Often there are light refreshments provided and chairs set in a semi-circle. There might be people socializing and saying hello when you arrive. Feel free to introduce yourself or sit quietly if that makes you more comfortable. Once the meeting begins, everybody will find a chair around the leader of the meeting. The leader will usually begin with an opening statement followed by a short prayer. You do not have to participate in the prayer if you do not want to.

Learning

The next part of your first meeting consists of learning a bit about the program. The leader might ask if there are any first-time joiners, at which point you can choose whether or not you’d like to respond. Some meetings are Step Meetings, that focus on one particular step of the healing process. If this is the case, the leader will probably read some literature about that step to help you better understand it.

Sharing

After the leader has explained which step will be focused on in your first meeting, they’ll invite members to share. This is the point in the meeting where members will most likely discuss their own journeys. You can feel free to introduce yourself at this point. If you’re comfortable, share a bit about why you’re at the meeting. Members will tell stories or share triumphs or hardships. This is meant to be a time where members can encourage each other and learn from others’ experiences.

Wrap-Up

At the end of your first meeting, they’ll probably wrap up with another short prayer or statement. Again, you do not need to participate in the prayer if you are uncomfortable with that. After the meeting is finished, there will be a time where members can mingle and get to know each other more. Feel free to socialize if you’d like. It’s also perfectly fine to leave at this point. Remember that you can take this at your own pace.

Your first meeting for AA or another 12 step program might have you feeling anxious. However, remember that everybody there has the same goal as you. To live a sober life without struggling with addiction. You’ll never be forced to participate or share anything that you’d rather keep private. Most meetings will follow the same plan of a welcome portion, followed by a short lesson. Then sharing sessions followed by a short wrap-up is very typical. These have proven to be helpful for recovery. Learning from others who are going through a similar journey can be so helpful. They can be a great source of help when you’re struggling. They’ll also share with you in your triumphs when you reach goals. Hopefully, your journey to sobriety starts with that very first meeting.

Recovery Relationships: Build Healthy Bonds

When you begin your road to recovery, it can be tough to go it alone. As such, it’s helpful to build up recovery relationships. These bonds can go a long way in giving you the extra support you need during this time…

Recovery Relationships: Helpful Support

Value of relationships

Recovery relationships are quite helpful for those who are seeking to get sober. If you try and do things alone, it can be hard to resist things such as cravings. You could also start to feel rather discouraged and lose your enthusiasm as you begin to face some difficulties.

However, having people to support you can make things different. Here, you’ll have people who can encourage you to keep sober and help to hold you accountable. Not just that, but you’ll also have people who you can trust and be honest with. Knowing you have people in your corner goes far in giving you the strength you may need to get and stay sober.

Unhealthy relationships

If there are recovery relationships you don’t want, it’s any unhealthy ones. These toxic relationships will serve to hurt your efforts to get sober. Instead of support, these people may tear you down instead. Or, it could be the case that they are a bad influence and try to encourage you to relapse back into drug use.

These kinds of relationships can be hard to cut off, as they may be people you know or did drugs with. Still, you have to understand that it’s what’s best for your well-being. Being around these kinds of people will just add a lot of unneeded stress during an already-stressful time.

Creating new bonds

Building recovery relationships can be done in a number of ways. For starters, it’s good to turn to existing friends and family. Those who show that they’ll still help and support you are great to keep around. It’s only those who won’t that you’ll want to cut off.

As for new friends, many people create new bonds when they go through treatment. Meeting people at these facilities is great for making new friends that know exactly what kind of situation you’re in. You can also find new friends at group therapy or treatment sessions. It’s easy to form new connections as you share stories about your experiences.  

How-to Reduce Alcohol Intake: Using Moderation

Drinking in moderation can be a good way to relax and enjoy yourself. However, if you notice that you’ve been drinking more and more than usual, it could be the sign of some dangerous behavior developing. That’s why it’s good to know what you can do to cut down on your alcohol intake. This can help you keep healthy while still enjoying your favorite drinks…

How-to Reduce Alcohol Intake: Important Techniques

Set a limit

One good way to lower your alcohol intake is by setting a hard limit. Usually, before someone start drinking, they’ll have a basic idea of how much they want to drink. Yet, once they begin drinking, it’s easy for them to drink way more than they expected.

By setting a hard limit, you know exactly how much you want to drink. That way, when you start drinking, you know when to stop. Plus, it’s good to let any friends with you know what your limit is as well. This will help them not pressure you into drinking past this limit, and instead help you stick to it.

Eat beforehand

Some people try to not eat much before they drink. In their eyes, they try to balance the empty calories that comes with drinking by limiting what they eat. In reality, it’s not a good idea to drink on an empty stomach, especially if you want to limit your alcohol intake.

By drinking on an empty stomach, you’re setting yourself up to drink way more than you should. It’s pretty simple, as the more space there is in your stomach, the more you can drink before feeling full. By eating beforehand, you’ll be able to better limit your alcohol intake. This will also help you avoid feeling sick or nauseous after a few drinks.

Choose healthier options

Picking healthier choices is also good for when you want to cut down on your alcohol intake. Of course, the most apparent choice is water. Drinking water will help keep you hydrated after drinking alcohol. Plus, it’ll also help you feel full without needing to drink any alcohol. You can also try out some non-alcoholic drinks. Many of these drinks will taste similar to their alcoholic ones, just without the alcohol in them. Choosing these drinks can be good if you want to watch your intake, but still want to experience some unique flavors.