SURVIVING MEMORIAL DAY IN RECOVERY


SURVIVING MEMORIAL DAY IN RECOVERY

We should all remind ourselves what Memorial Day is all about. There are MANY veterans in recovery, and they should be saluted and thanked for their sacrifice and service in keeping this country FREE, but we all should realize that FREEDOM is not necessarily FREE. Veterans, no matter what age or ethnicity, can come back home with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and many of them end up picking up a drink or a drug, just to ease their pain.

The following are tips, whether you are in recovery or not, to avoid using:


  • Plan Your Own Party: By planning your own event, you are able to have full control of the situation, including your guest list, activities, and overall atmosphere. Host your gathering in a way that makes YOU the most comfortable.


  • Make it a Family Day: Plan kid and family-friendly activities to lessen the temptation for alcohol or other substances to be involved. Friends and family can be our biggest support system, so surround yourself with them for good, clean fun.


  • Attend a Support Group Meeting: As many of us have learned during treatment, attend a support group meeting to gain strength and hope. You may surprise yourself to see how many others are being tempted during this time.


  • Call A Friend: Turn to someone when you feel temptation and call them for support. This person can help hold you accountable and let you talk about the temptation; therefore, releasing the desire to use.


  • Bring A Non-Drinking Friend: If you find that you are going to a gathering that will have alcohol, for example, bring a friend in recovery, or a friend who doesn’t use, so you are not alone in the situation and they can help you feel comfortable about saying no to temptation.


  • Have an Exit Strategy: If you are still considering going to a gathering where alcohol or drugs may be present, have an exit strategy planned and ready to go. This includes driving your own car or going with someone who will leave when YOU are ready to leave.


  • Just Avoid Alcohol or Drug-Centered Occassions: Think of tomorrow. If you find yourself in a situation where others are drinking, or using drugs, it can be easy to start thinking: What will it hurt? Who cares if I have “just one”? Just imagine yourself the next day, the guilt, the shame, the embarrassment of everything that you have jeopardized, all your hard work so far, for that “just one” opportunity.


  • Remind Yourself Of The Risks: Play the whole scenario through to the end, for example, you pick up at that moment, and where it will take you days, weeks, months, or even years later, when you finally realize that that one moment that you picked up, is the one moment when you shouldn’t have.


Keep in mind that exposure is a FAST way to relapse. It may not be immediate, but the event can start the process in the future.


Memorial Day, like any other holiday, can be a tough time for those in recovery.

By following these tips, you can make sure that your Memorial Day is full of love and safety.

AND BE SURE TO THANK AND SUPPORT ALL OF OUR VETERANS!!

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