The associates at My 12 Step Store in West Hollywood on how they’re staying sober these hot summer days.
BY PAULO MURILLO
″When I was in my addiction, I’d be running around and always looking for the next place where I could get high. I’d be walking in the heat for hours at a time. Now that I’m sober, none of that sounds like fun.
I plan to stay sober for the summer by continuing to nurture my relationship with my Higher Power. I believe that’s what made me fall the first time. I strayed and I didn’t have faith that God existed, or that having faith could keep me sober. That’s what I plan to continue doing, which is to practice my prayer and meditation, so I could have have that connection. I also plan to continue going to meetings and fellowship and stay connected to people who are sober.
To anyone who is struggling this summer, I say find a way to get connected to something bigger than yourself. That’s the only thing keeping me sober. That’s the bottom line for me.”
—Fernando Rojo, sober since October 2016.
″Before I got sober I spent most of my summers alone hidden away. I’d be afraid to go out in public because I was so paranoid from my drug use. When I’d party, I’d lose control. I’d go full throttle. There was no middle ground. I was never able to enjoy it.
My summers today are full of life, love and recovery. I get to hang out by the pool, go to the beach, travel, and go to concerts. I can do all of these things sober. I enjoy my life in recovery. I could not imagine it any other way.
I don’t see myself getting triggered during the summer anymore, because I know it’s not what I want. It just doesn’t seem appealing to me, because I know what it was like. If people want to drink and use, it doesn’t bother me, because everyone is entitled to live their own life. If they want to party, then let them party. It doesn’t really affect me.
For those who struggle to stay sober during the summertime, I recommend they hang close to a group of sober friends and attend as many 12-step meetings as necessary. Staying open and honest about how they are feeling is also very important.
—Jacob Hall, sober since November, 2015.
DO THE WORK
″During my addiction, I had a lot of opportunities to do things with my friends and my family, but I would never go, because I spent most of my time indoors and isolating.
Now that I’m living clean and sober, I have a whole new lease on life. I’m engaging with my family who are very supportive of me. They are doing a lot of outdoor events and taking vacations that I’m always invited to and that I’m a part of. I’m spending a lot of time with my girlfriend at the beach and hanging out with my sober friends. My sponsor recently had his sponsees over to his house and we all hung out at his pool in the valley. It was nice.
Being triggered during the summer for me is a little different than most people. I get triggered from emotional stuff. Today I’m equipped to deal with it. I do the work and I get to check in with my sober friends and support group.
To the sober person struggling during these hot summer days, I tell them that it’s very possible to have fun in recovery and experience the summer fun while being sober. You just have to surround yourself with love and people who support your sober lifestyle.”
—Ricky Cardoos, sober August, 2015
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