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23/Jun/2017

They say you can get sober anywhere, and I truly believe that, but being in South Florida made it a much smoother process for me. South Florida is commonly known as the recovery capital of the world. With its numerous treatment centers, its wealth of halfway houses, and the strong presence of 12-step fellowship, here in Palm Beach County we exude recovery. We seem to eat, sleep and breathe sobriety. Call me biased, but I really believe that this is the perfect place to get sober.

Recovery is Everywhere

Everyone who worked at the treatment center I attended knew what I was going through, because they had been where I was. They were almost all in recovery, and many of them had attended the very treatment center that they now were employed at – from the Behavioral Health Technicians, the therapists, and even the receptionist. There is something remarkable about sitting across from someone who has been where you are, who knows how it feels, and who has come out the other side and is a happy, sober person freed from the mental obsession of drugs and alcohol. Personally, the only people who have ever gotten through to me are people who experienced the same things as I had.

Whatever your addiction, you will find a twelve-step meeting for it. Be it alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, an eating disorder, sex addiction, codependency, or a combination of the two, here in South Florida we’ve got a meeting for you! There are meetings at literally all times of day, every single day. No matter what hours I work, I can still find the time to get myself to a meeting. I am guaranteed to be within a few miles of a twelve-step meeting wherever I go in Palm Beach County. One 12-step clubhouse hosts over 100 meetings per week!

The community of sober people who scooped me up and made me whole again saved my life. Not just in the rooms of 12-step fellowships, I run into recovered people I know on a daily basis. Whether I’m grocery shopping at Publix, or taking an Uber to work, I seem to run into people in recovery even when I’m not looking for them. It’s inevitable. I run into friendly faces I know from twelve-step meetings literally everywhere I go in Palm Beach County. It’s actually a very comforting feeling.

People Get It

When I first started my journey to recovery, I felt that I was alone in my suffering; that I was the only one in the world who felt those feelings of desperation. When I got to treatment in Florida, I was pleased to find out that I was wrong. I was surrounded by people who knew how it felt. They understood. Not only did they relate to where I was and what I was feeling, they had gotten through it and they got better. These people were smiling, laughing, and genuinely happy and content. They had been through the thick of it and emerged out the other side. They were complete people. They had filled the black hole inside of themselves. I was intrigued. I wanted to know more. That little bit of intrigue is what got me to where I am today, it’s been over two years since I’ve picked up a drink or a drug. Seeing so many happy, recovered people made me think “what if I can recover too?”. That tiny thought of “what if?” is all I had when I made my beginning, and I’ve come to learn that’s really all anyone needs.

It’s a Beautiful Place

It’s no wonder why so many people take vacations to Florida so frequently. The sunshine, the warm weather, the beaches, the palm trees, the fresh air; it is an extremely beautiful place. While these things have absolutely nothing to do with recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, it’s certainly nice to have them in our lives. In the moments where I feel disconnected from my spirituality, I am quickly reminded of it by just looking out at the wondrous nature and the beauty of it all.  Beyond that, there are so many activities to do outside here in Florida, it’s hard to isolate and stay inside. Yoga, beach volleyball, surfing, swimming, snorkeling, and even sun-tanning. There is a never-ending list of fun, cost efficient outdoor activities to choose from here in Florida. When I’m not doing 12-step work, I can indulge in the Florida weather and get outside to do something fun.

If we take the necessary action, it’s possible to get sober no matter where we are. Someone close to me likes to say “you can get sober living under a bridge,” and she’s absolutely right. In my opinion, it does, however, make it a little easier if we are surrounded by recovery day in and day out.


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23/Jun/2017

Super Bowl Sunday is commonly known as the drunkest holiday in America, over 3 million gallons of beer is consumed on this day alone. That’s almost enough to fill 500 Olympic sized pools. If you’re newly sober, this can be a specifically challenging day to get through. We understand that it can be difficult to participate in the cultural phenomenon of the Super Bowl without also having a drink in your hand, but it doesn’t have to be!

In the world of recovery, it’s a fact that you can go anywhere and do anything and remain sober, so long as you are in fit spiritual condition. At Believe Treatment Center, we know this to be true. But for those of us just starting out on this journey, what do we do?

If you’re newly sober, maybe you should consider skipping the party altogether this year. Ask yourself, would you feel comfortable saying no when a drink is passed your way? If you are unsure, we suggest that you stay away from these parties until you have a stronger handle on your recovery. Chances are, you have sober friends who are watching the game as well. See what your fellows in recovery are doing, because sober people have parties too!

It can be dangerous for a newly sober person to attend an event that’s fueled by alcohol, and we strongly suggest avoiding it for a while. However, if you are determined to go to a party where there will be alcohol, we have a few strategies for making it through the event clean and sober. Remember, if you are in a 12-step program, always call your sponsor and run your decision by them as well.

Start your day right

We recommend attending a 12-step meeting the morning of the big game, so you can be in the right head-space when you attend the party. Here, you can express any concerns to your support group, and get some good advice on how to stay sober if you’re going to a party with alcohol.

Have a wing-man

We recommend attending the party with a wing-man who will stay sober with you. People in recovery are everywhere, so we recommend that you seek out other people in sobriety to stick with for the night. It’s always easier when you are not alone. Support is key. We also recommend having sober people you can call if things get difficult. Your fellow 12-step members are happy to help!

Have an exit plan

It’s good to have a clear exit strategy, just in case you begin to feel uncomfortable. If it turns out to be more difficult than you thought it would be, it’s best to be able to leave at any point. We suggest having your own mode of transportation to make this a non-issue. If you do not have a car, you can arrange to have a sober support come and pick you up, and Lyft and Uber are always safe options.

Focus on the food, not the drinks

While there is a lot of beer consumed on game day, there is also an astronomical amount of food consumed. There are over one billion wings eaten during Super Bowl Sunday! These events generally include tons of delicious snacks, take advantage of this.

Always have a cup in your hand

Hosts always want to make sure their guests are taken care of, so if you do not have a drink in your hand, chances are you will be offered a beer. You can avoid this by always having a full glass of soda or water in your hand. People are less likely to offer you a drink if they see you already have a full glass, whether it’s alcoholic or not is not usually an issue. To be safe, don’t pick up anyone’s drink but your own.

Keep in touch with your recovery pals

It’s always smart to slip outside to give your sober supports a call if you get uncomfortable. Let them know how you’re feeling, they can most likely relate. Reaching out is always a very helpful thing when you feel like you’re slipping.

Have fun!

Enjoy the snacks, watch the game (and the commercials!), spend time with friends. This day does not have to be daunting, and you can have safe and sober fun in any environment you are in, if you are prepared. One last thing, it has been reported that 7 million Americans will not make it to work the following day, so be grateful that you can wake up Monday morning refreshed and feeling good!

What has helped you out in the past? If you have any other suggestions, we would love to hear them! Happy Super Bowl everyone, stay safe out there.


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