Decided to mix it up and drop an episode on Wednesday. It's also my birthday -- so HEY, HEY! A lot of this stuff is still top of mind for me.
With everything going on, wanted to spend some time discussing summer sobriety. For some, the summer is like any other season but I know for me, I was hella social in the summer (birthdays, being out, late nights) so when I got sober I had to shift my expectations on how I thought summers should be.
First, there are no hard and fast rules. These are some of the things that worked for me but like most things when it comes to recovery -- it's not one size fits all.
Being Self Compassionate!
Have a Plan!
Find New Activities!
Just know, you will trip up at times. You will get triggered. It's just life but if you have some tools going into most situations, you can learn to navigate. However, it's normal. There isn't something wrong with you, we all go through it. You will learn (and become stronger) each time.
It's all about what works for you, your health, your mental state, your recovery. Do what you need in order to feel safe.
And as always, thank you for listening to my lovely show. If possible, I would love for you to review me on iTunes, Google, Stitcher -- anywhere, really.
If you have comments or suggestions feel free to hit me up via the ways below! And sign up for my mailing list. I do like to do giveaways from time to time.
Hello, my name is Cynthia, welcome to the latest episode of getting together a podcast where we discuss what it's like to get it all the way together or at least attempt to one day at a time. I know some people that are doing dry July, so I want to dive into some things that I did last year because last year is my first summer. I'm also a summer baby. I was born in July, my best friend was born in July. So I do a lot of celebrations in July. And I'll be honest, last year, during this time, I was in my going into my seven month of being sober. So I was still relatively new and I was kind of anxious about being sober in the summer because I'm just so active. I would go out and do things and you know how was I going to be sober and these spaces I've still navigate A lot at that time I was going to a, fairly regularly, but even with that, and I was getting and I started to cultivate more of like a silver circle and the people that didn't drink and the people that I knew that did drink, they were very supportive of everything that I was doing, but I was still like what the fuck? You know, because fun to me at that time fun to me still, by that time or at that time was still dealing with or having alcohol. So there are some things that I just had to learn and figure out and move through and see if it fit right for me and I guess that's what I wanted to always leave with. This is how it worked for me are things that work for me may not necessarily work for you, but at least it gives you a starting point. You know, as I say, I think a lot of recovery circles, take what you need and discard the rest. I truly truly truly believe that when it comes to most things in life actually take what you need and discard. The rest of it doesn't apply. So for me, I guess I want to cover like three things that I leaned on and or I tried over the summer and my first one was that I gave myself permission to admit or say that I didn't know what I didn't know that I had no clue I've researched the hell out of things you never know when it comes to certain instances how you react to a given situation. I've had a lot of triggers from just not being able to drink from being around certain people that was easier for me to be around them when I drink or my are my feelings or emotions were at peak around them when I was drinking, I can numb them enough being in places where I couldn't go to fall back into what I used to know I just came to the table like you know, I'm just going to try my best with what I'm currently have. So some of that was being a lot of this has to do with of course, at the time I was really happy and Kristin Neff book self compassion. I know I've talked about it extensively. I think I'm gonna do a podcast episode on it one day because that whole book was so instrumental to me in my learning. Even if I wasn't sober, I don't think I would have been able to take on that book if I wasn't sober. So I'm glad I read it as I was getting sober for a while was sober or on my path to sobriety or recovery, but I learned to just be okay with not having it all the way to all the way together. And that I gave myself permission to be like to be or to say that something wasn't didn't feel right to me. I didn't try to say, well, it should feel right. Everybody thinks or everyone's acting like it's right, or it feels right to them. And so I learned a lot of just being self compassionate towards myself. So for example, if I went to a party, and I went and I was having a good time, but after a certain point of the night, I wasn't feeling anymore. Before I would try to like I would drink and just be like, Okay, well, I'm just gonna keep drinking until I'm having a good time, or I can't remember. I went to some parties that I was like, okay, after a couple hours or a few hours, An hour at one I was done, you know, and then I was like, Alright, well, you know, time for me to go, I always came to a party prepared. So even with that if you know, I was ready to go, I still came prepared. Whether that's like I always recommend to, like, have a backup plan, have an escape plan. I know that people are like, well, these are my friends, these are the environments but even if it is, your friends, or an environment that you're familiar with, you never know how you're going to react to it as a sober person. You never know if there's going to be something there that will trigger you or set you off. And it's always in your best benefit to do what's best for you, especially if you're in early recovery. And I would have backup plans. I would have people that if I had to reach out to them, they they were there I would bring someone if we were cool like that to go with me to places so I had someone to least lean on if I was feeling weak, but I also just gave myself the permission to be like, deuces, I'm done. It's time for me to peace out of the situation or a piece out of here. I didn't apologize necessarily. I wasn't feeling sorry. I was like this is just something that I needed to do. So I would do that. Another thing I would say, always try to bring your own beverage don't necessarily rely on someone to have non alcoholic options for you, as is another thing that I did. I mean, I know that right now with COVID things are kind of like in flux when it comes to hanging out. But if you do have social engagements, bring your own stuff, I would make it known that this is yours, if you can share it if you want to be brave enough to share but if it's just yours, I would say hey, this is something that I bought for me. I'm not you know, partaking in anything else, this is just something I'm doing just or I want to have for me, or you don't even have to justify for like, people feel like you have to give a reason or excuse. This is something for you bring something for the party, bring something for yourself. And then like this is yours, having to be apologetic all the time is so exhausting. So I would urge you not to feel like you have to do that. And a plus is yours. So you don't have to worry about anyone slipping anything into it. You don't have to worry about someone accidentally mixing something for it and then giving it to you. You control all of that and I feel like right Especially now that is so important. I still go when I was like pre Kobe because I haven't really gone anywhere post COVID or Well, we're not post COVID. But I haven't gotten anywhere really in COVID during COVID like that, but I would bring stuff to my friends parties, I would bring something for the gas or whatever if I felt like if I was cool, if not every Sunday for myself, and that was mine. And it was cool. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Another thing for me was also finding new activities. I think what helped me a lot was opening up my mind to other things that you can that you can do that didn't have to necessarily revolve around drinking. So I went I did like these pop up shows I forgot the name of the thing is called, I would do like these pop up events where you figure out they release tickets for a certain type of genre and you get those tickets and you end up going to this random place all around New York. For like a music night, I would do like shuffleboard and video games, I would go to like arcades and things. And it's like, you know, I tried different things in order to just take my mind off the fact that I was didn't have a drink in my hand, and I helped a lot. I think right now, with everything that's going on, things are still somewhat shut down. So you may not have to worry about that. I also think that thinking about when we potentially can do start doing things or if you're in a place where things are more open, proposing new activities to do, it doesn't have to be at a bar, it doesn't have to be at a restaurant, or you could be at a restaurant, and it could potentially be like a bar slash arcade or something like that. So there's something to keep your mind, at least for me, it kept my hands occupied, and kept me focused on something. So I didn't start thinking about, oh, that part looks nice. Or that drink looks good or something like that. Or I had those thoughts less less often, I should say. And just to like, close it. There's going to be situations where things are going to be complicated and things are going to be tricky. I know for me, I was out one time last year. We're in the summer with someone. And the situation was triggering me pretty bad. Truthfully To this day, I don't know, I think there's a mix of things as misc mix of being an environment like a bar, and people were dancing and not feeling like I could be there because I didn't know how to have fun without alcohol at that point, and not feeling free enough to move because I love to dance and things like that. I also think it was the stuff between me and this person can be not me working and learning boundaries and figuring how to articulate them and me just being stuck on learning a lot of things and I got really, really uncomfortable, right. I didn't know what to do. And I think I really got so petrified frozen because I just didn't know what to do. And I want it to just like run screaming into the night, which I guess I could have done. I'm sure it's been in New York, everything's happened here. But I think when I look back on it now or even how I handle it, I think I think I handle it. The best way I could at that time. And I think that's one of the things that I want you guys are guys and gals, are people I want everyone to, I want you all to realize is that you're going to do things to the best ability at that time. And you're going to have to be okay with that. And you may look back on and be like, Oh my gosh, I should have done things better. Now I know better. Bla bla bla. Yeah. Now you know, but you had to go through it in order to figure that out. You're learning a lot. You're responsible for a lot when it comes to just remaining sober, getting sober. Think about being sober. Like there's a lot that comes with that. And I feel like don't guilt yourself if you feel like you didn't handle a certain thing in your mind the correct way. You know, you have to throw all that stuff out. No, you're going to get triggered. It's going to happen in some kind of way. You'll be surprised I've been to how many bars, clubs, dances and things like that. I didn't necessarily drink it, all of them, but I was triggered that night. It happened. I had it's a totally human thing. I think learning from what I did, I felt like now I'm telling you like if there is a time and place that you're feeling uncomfortable, like how I felt totally okay to excuse yourself and go totally okay to be like, this is it for me, I need to leave. I'm taking a raincheck I'll talk to you later. You don't have to over Explain yourself, you can say exactly how much or how little you want, because it's really about what makes you feel safe in that moment. A lot of being in the summer is about just being safe in so many ways. So whether that's rain checking event upfront, saying like that, oh, that's not a good look for me. Whether it's bringing your own stuff if you decide to go whether it's going and then realizing I'm not sure I'm tired or I don't want to be here anymore and decided to leave and whether it's coming up with another alternative idea for like hanging out for your social circle. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with that. I mean, I think those things I know I said I was going to talk about three I mean, those ended up being four There's nothing wrong with being able to do all those things. And none of those things, pick what's best for you in that sort of in that situation or that circumstance and just know you're gonna get triggered. It's gonna happen. It happens to all of us. You never know triggers never go away. People are going to ask you why you're not drinking. You can tell them if you want to. You can also just be like, I just don't want to drink today. And that's a valid answer. If someone reacts poorly towards that, that has more to do with them and their insecurity and their issues then about you actually drinking boundaries and putting that up and be like that's, that's your issue to figure out and just not drinking, just keeping that in mind. Enjoy yourself laugh, have serious conversations, be geek or dork dance, enjoy. Enjoy this moment in time enjoy this life specially with things are going on now. Things are not guaranteed all the time. Things are not guaranteed in general. Even with this whole COVID thing. Things are just not guaranteed. Enjoy these months. moments with your friends and your loved ones or new people or a date and just not have it be such a thing like, well, it's not the same because I'm not drinking, it can actually be more beneficial because you can have those memories and they're not clouded and they're not a self destructive of like, oh, what'd I do the next day, you don't have to have all that stuff, you know, you can just enjoy the moment. And then when you're tired of that moment, or you're ready to be like, this is enough for me, you can just go on about your way. Give yourself that level of grace. Give yourself that level of acceptance that you're going to go into the situation the strongest, you feel like you are in that moment, and then you're going to access as things go on, and it's totally okay. It's totally valid to change your mind. I think that's probably my key thing, self acceptance, and then it's okay, if you're trying if you decide to say in the middle of it that this is no longer working for me, or before you even go that this isn't the right one. That's fine. People that are down for you're cool with you totally understand the ones that aren't all right now you know exactly what how they are. And you can adjust your expectations of them accordingly and they can adjust their expectations of you. That's how I look at it, what feels right to you what they'll save to you what feels good or valid in your recovery should always come first. So yeah, I think I gave a little bit more than just the three that I initially want to talk about. I would say just to quickly recap things to remember one self acceptance is key learning about you and what works for you is beautiful and beautiful. Just so whatever today, but beautiful. It's being cool with the fact that you don't know everything and certain things are going to resonate with you at a certain time, too. If you do decide to go bring your own stuff that's totally valid. Three have a plan in case you need to leave early or you want to leave early. Or you need to have support with someone being there that knows about you what's going on with recovery. know people probably going to be nosy because that's people you can say as much or as little as you want. That's totally fine with you. It's totally up to you. They can't define that for find other activities, right that don't necessarily have to do with alcohol and start exploring that because you never know you might find another hobby or another interest. I know that I did. And five know that, you know, this too shall pass as cliche as it sounds, and I hate the cliche, but it's true. It's just a moment in time you'll get through it, you will get triggered, people will piss you off. You'll have a great time probably in certain situations. I've had so many interesting excursions and didn't think that that would be my jam and it was just being open to that and then also being okay with saying like, this is not for me right now. Time for me to go because that's what worked for me and kept me grounded. So yeah tips for the summer. Maybe tips for Life maybe not just for the summer. That's it for me for this episode. If this resonate with you, please set shout out in the comments DM me, email me, share it out with your network or your friends. If you think this is awesome, I like getting to know each and every one of you also shout out to all the people that listen to my show from all over the world. I don't really look at my stats like that. But when I do, I'm just like, Whoa, people are listening to me from there. That's awesome. Thank you for the support. Thank you for the love sharing it out with your people. And if there's anything that you ever want to know, for me, if you want to ask me a question, if you want me any resources, I'm here for that. I love to just make sure people are connected. I like to help to make sure people are getting what they need, especially their navigating recovery or change in life. Life Changes whether you want it to or not. That's kind of just like something you can't control and changes growth. At least I like to think that but yeah, I'm here for it. I'm here for you guys. Thank you again. Have a great rest of your week until we talk again. Take care talk soon. Bye Transcribed by https://otter.ai