Why the Weekend Is Different for Those in Recovery
With another weekend approaching, many are making plans to get together with friends, blow off some steam from the work-week, and spend the next 48 hours unwinding until it’s time to do it all again. Realistically, this often means going to bars and drinking heavily–or worse. The reality is that the world doesn’t stop because we are in recovery, and many of our friends and loved ones take every available bit of free time they have to drink and, in many cases, engage in other recreational substance use. While part of our post-recovery routine should include removing ourselves from toxic circumstances, this can be hard when, at the end of every week, the people we care for the most are engaging in the very behavior we’re trying to avoid.
This doesn’t mean that weekend fun, or continuing our relationships with our friends, ceases to be an option. We simply must be mindful of our current level of vulnerability and apply the tools we gained in treatment to help us during high-pressure situations. We can further help ourselves by keeping our sponsors and therapists on speed-dial when we know we might be heading into potentially problematic situations. It might also serve us better to simply avoid certain social situations until we’re comfortable enough to be in an environment where alcohol, and sometimes drugs, can be present.
We don’t have to insulate ourselves from the weekend, or anything else in life for that matter. However, it’s important that we continue to be realistic and mindful regarding our progressive strength and contrasting vulnerability. We now live lives in which we must continue to put our recovery first. This means looking at many of the things we take for granted in an entirely different way, including something as basic as the weekend. When we allow ourselves time to build up the emotional strength and confidence we need to thrive in recovery, the rest is sure to follow close behind.