Vacationing in Recovery
Recovery is a lifelong process. It’s something that needs to be consistently watched over and practiced. Summer welcomes new and familiar vacations and as a consequence – new and old triggers for those in recovery. Learning how to deal with these problems and going into summer with your game plan in place is one of the main keys to having a successful and sober summer.
Some might say that vacation might not be for them while they’re in recovery – and that may be the case for some, but fear not if you think all is lost. There are solutions – there are ways for you to enjoy your life, have a fun and safe summer without expecting a backslide.
Expect Temptation and Have a Game Plan
Temptations are a part of life. Nobody should expect to walk through life completely free of temptation. That’s why it’s so important to have a game plan beforehand. Know where you’re going, and what you might get yourself into. Learn the local areas and what you might be tempted by.
Not all vacations are equal. Some destinations are better than others for a multitude of reasons but for someone in recovery, there are certainly places that are worse than others for someone who is trying to truly beat addiction.
Places known for their party culture might want to be completely avoided. Las Vegas, major cities in Central/South America, and other obvious inclusions. Depending on your personal status, who you’re going with, whether it be alone, with friends, or with family, will also influence where you might go. If you usually travel alone or with close friends, it might be worth looking into more “family friendly” places, as many of those places are still extremely fun, and are made for a good clean vacation. There are even dry cities and towns that you could consider going to, if you might be convinced.
Remembering how to vacation sober is also a good part of the process – someone who’s in recovery might feel like they cannot have any fun other than sitting down and succumbing to their vice. I assure you, there is so much fun to be had and so much to see and do in the world. Reconnect with the world in a way that a child would for the first time. Go adventure – go explore. Use the freedom that you have to see things in a light like you never have before. Camping in Yosemite, taking an RV across the country, finding a new hobby like rock climbing, surfing or something else are all good vacation pastimes.
Even these plans can still be full of problems. Expect the unexpected, learn what is going to be a trigger and what to do when you encounter a problem. How are you going to react when you’re offered something while in recovery? Remember that while many of these places are nice, they are not experienced to their fullest while under any influence. You’ll be trading a real experience, something that you can truly see and feel for a manufactured one.
Unplug but Remember Your Supports
If you’re not traveling with a support group that you trust and are comfortable with, remember to stay connected to those that have already been major influences in your recovery process. Take the time to stay connected and remember how far you’ve come already. There are places to go and your friends can be everywhere. Be cautious, but learn to recognize friends wherever they are.
Stay in touch with those you need to. Remember to never lose contact with those that are directly responsible for your recovery. They are just as invested in your sobriety as you are, don’t keep them out!
Once you’ve picked a spot and your group, leave with your head held high and expectations set firmly in place. If there are any people that may have gone through recovery with you, learn to keep them close and try your best to keep yourself within your own expectations.
Use the resources that your rehab center offers! Many rehab centers offer different services after graduation, look for these alumni programs and use them to your advantage.
It’s the Journey, Not the Destination
Vacation is about the journey and the times that you have along the way. Recovery can be just like that at times. Remember that each step that you take is another step in your journey and one that you are taking yourself. Be proud that you can walk around with a sober life and one that can be fulfilling.
A sober life is fulfilling and can be more than a life with addiction can ever be. Learn to vacation again and make it fun and safer than you’ve ever could have imagined.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, reach out to us at EcoSoberHouse.com right away and get the help you need.