Life always brings us those breath-holding, heart-pounding, gripping moments—moments that can elevate or disappoint the rest of our week. For some people, the Super Bowl might be just one of those times.
You know what I’m talking about. Or if you don’t, you’ve probably know a person who does—you know, one of those people who speaks fluent football lingo, wears fake Kaepnernick tattoos, and talks as if he (or she) has lived their whole lives to see the 49ers retake the Vince Lombardi.
When they win, we party like we just won the greatest football competition in the nation; when they lose, we walk around like our souls have been crushed—literally. People can get angry, frustrated, depressed, or bitter.
The same thing can happen during recovery when we experience a severe disappointment. Throughout life, we encounter a lot of these moments that can either lift us up or bring us down for weeks or months. When we let our circumstances dictate our emotions, our emotions eventually dictate our circumstances. It can be an endless cycle of disappointment, anger, and a sense of helplessness. When the cycle goes on for too long, these emotions can even trigger us to relapse.
In these rough moments, we need to remember that true joy does not depend on what is going on around us; true joy comes within us. Whether in football or recovery, we have to remind ourselves that happiness is not dependent on circumstances.
Tips for staying sober in difficult circumstances
So what are some ways we can positively handle the low moments in recovery?
- Talk to your support group. Sobriety is tough, but you are not alone. Many of the members in your support group have experienced similar situations. The wisdom and experience of others will encourage and help you with your struggles.
- Read the Big Book. The Big Book is always a great source of inspiration and encouragement.
- Seek support from those who care about you. Telling somebody about your struggle will relieve the stress of battling with the issue on your own and provide encouragement and accountability needed to stay sober.
- Write about it in a journal. This is especially helpful when you are already keeping a journal because you can look back at previous entries and be encouraged by how far you have come.
- Create a gratitude list. Create a list of things or people that you are thankful for. Gratitude has the ability to put life in perspective—and show us how much we really have. Having trouble starting? Here is a helpful list to get you started.
- Call for help. Many rehab websites provide a number that you can call for help and advice. Even if you aren’t looking to go into a rehab program, the counselors on the other end of the line are happy to help in any way.
Tips for staying sober at a celebration party
On the flip side, some may find it harder to stay sober once the 49ers win, when the excitement of victory splashes down in the form of partying. Staying sober at a party where alcohol is served is one of the biggest challenges in recovery. Here are some tips for staying sober at a party:
- Again, it is important to share your concern with your sponsor or support team—even before the game starts. Being prepared for the temptation is the most important part of the battle. Bottling up your concerns will only make them bigger and harder to ignore.
- If you know you will be at an outing where alcohol is present, bring along a sober friend for support.
- Bring your own car so you can leave whenever you feel uncomfortable.
- Get yourself a can of soda and hold it in your hands during the party. Generally, most places will offer other drinks besides alcohol. Keep your hands busy by holding a coke. This tactic may also prevent people from offering you a drink.
- Below is a slide show of 10 tactics to stay sober at a party.