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Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the official beginning of summer 2017! For many, the sunshine and warmth signals the beginning of party season, excessive drinking and drug abuse. Living your summer through a haze or a series of blackouts may be how you’ve done things in the past, but if 2017 is your year of change, learning how to have fun and stay clean and sober is crucial to long-term success.

If you’re on the fence about seeking recovery this summer, or feeling tempted to resort to old habits, we have 5 reasons you should spend this summer sober:

 

Reason 1: Building New Memories

REASON 1: Summer is Made for Making Memories

The sun and warmth of summer inspire lots of outdoor fun: trips to the beach, pool parties, hiking, and other activities to get you up and moving. Adding in the company of friends and family members lends to the fun, builds bonds, and creates cherishable moments you’ll want to remember- you just can’t do that when you’re under the influence. Spend this summer sober, creating memories you can look back on fondly in photo albums instead of on your arrest record.

 

Reason 2: More Money for Fun Experiences

REASON 2: More Money for Experiences

Some of the best concert tours kick off during the summer. It’s also a great time to get out there and explore- rather in your own home state, across the country, or internationally. Summer is a great time for experiencing what the world has to offer, enriching your life and broadening your view of the world. The only problem is that active addiction and substance abuse has a way of eating up all of your money, leaving you feeling stuck and limited in what you can achieve. This summer, sober life will open up doors that bring your dreams into reality!

Imagine for a moment if you had a savings account filled with all the money you’ve ever thrown away on drugs and alcohol. The amount inside would probably be pretty alarming- it’s easy to lose track of money in the pursuit an addictive substance. Odds are you could probably fund a getaway pretty easily if only that account existed- or, you could start saving today. Putting away what money you can toward reaching an objective is a great way to exercise self-discipline and goal setting. Plus, the reward is the adventure of a lifetime!

 

Reason 3: Making Meaningful Friendships

REASON 3: Meaningful Friendships Formed in Sobriety

Addiction has a way of bringing people together and calling it friendship or love. You’ll find along your journey this summer sober life reveals a lot about the people in your life, especially those driven by mutual substance abuse. Once that common interest is gone, these relationships fizzle or worse- they become  toxic and damaging in an attempt to draw you back in. Problematic relationships have a tendency of dissolving themselves as your commitment to a sober lifestyle strengthens.

As the negative and toxic people in your life are left behind, creating new, healthy bonds and relationships helps keep your focus forward and toward healing. Spend this time in your recovery connecting with others and forming meaningful and lasting friendships. You can find like-minded people who are also on this path of recovery, or others who can provide support and encouragement. Surround yourself with positivity and see where it carries you!

 

Reason 4: The Summer of Self-Exploration

REASON 4: The Summer of Self-Exploration!

Spending your summer sober opens up the opportunity for self-exploration and growth! Addiction recovery is a complete life transformation: taking this time to learn about the person you’ve become and are still becoming. Throughout the journey you discover new passions, hobbies, and other hidden gems about yourself. Spending this summer sober could be the most enlightening experience of your life, launching a new, deeper understanding of self and what it means to live beyond addiction.

 

Reason 5: Summer Health and Fitness Challenges

REASON 5: A Fit and Healthy Summer

We sure do love #challenges, right? We made leaps in scientific research for ALS because the internet decided to dump freezing water on their heads- it’s amazing. So why not make your challenge for this summer sobriety? Every year thousands do so for #DryJanuary to kick start the new year on a good foot, typically for health and fitness reasons. For people with alcohol abuse disorders, the challenge has deeper meaning and doesn’t end on February 1st. You don’t have to wait until the New Year to kick-start your recovery- start today.

ADDITIONAL READING:

Sober Summer 2017: 5 Great Date Night Ideas

Be Active! 10 Ways to Make Fitness a Part of Your Sober Summer!

An Open Letter to Those Who Seek Encouragement 

The 5 Friends You Need in Recovery

What reasons do you have for spending this summer sober? Leave them in the comment section to encourage others, too!

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