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  • Writer's pictureChristine Coulson

Sunny Days: Is sobriety harder in the sunshine?

Updated: Jun 18

People drinking in beer garden

There are some times of the year which are undisputed in the impact they could have on your sobriety. Christmas is perhaps the most obvious; birthdays and weddings and, in my opinion one of the hardest - the return of Sunshine!


Every year, January and February bring dark, damp and cold days where it's easy to retreat from the world; embracing early nights and curling up on the sofa under a blanket. But it's not long before the glimmers of sunnier, warmer times start to appear.


There are some definite signs of spring fast approaching: the lighter evenings; fewer icy windscreens to scrape and, of course, the Easter Eggs and gardening equipment starting to appear in the supermarkets.


Of all the drinking 'scenarios', drinking in the sunshine is probably the one I miss the most. A sunny beer garden after a walk, or lunch with friends. Sunny BBQs. Evening drinks in the garden. Ah, the rose-tinted memories, but it often does make me wonder if Sobriety is harder in the sunshine...


Because, of course, the reality of these sunny drinks were not as I'm picturing them now. The long, giddy day-drinking sessions in the beer gardens rarely ended in anything other than pouring myself home, with the dehydration heightened and the sunburn painful.


The evening drinks in the garden never ended after just one; the drinking continuing inside long after the sun had set. The next day a groggy, unpleasant hangover would ensue.


As with all other areas of alcohol in my life, the reality of drinking in the sunshine was never the reality. There was no glamour, no sophistication in the drinking. The social interactions were not heightened by the addition of copious amounts of alcohol.


So how do you survive sunny days sober? Because, let's face it - we've waiting long enough for spring to arrive to rush inside and ignore the beauty that it brings.


Remember the reality

Like my rose-tinted memories of sunny day drinking, chances are your reality was very different to the drinking you 'miss'. Be honest with yourself about how things used to pan out, and consider how different your life is now you don't have alcohol in it. Focus on the positives of not drinking, and not the misconception that you're missing out.


Plan!

If you are going to be heading to a BBQ, or a gathering in a beer garden, make a plan. What are you going to drink instead? How will you get home? When will you leave? The plan doesn't have to be to military precision; "I'll leave when people start getting too loud" is one of my personal favourites, but it may be that you want to get home by a particular time or make other plans for the evening.


Enjoy yourself!

The best thing about social events is meeting up with people you want to spend time with, not the stuff you're drinking. Once you have a nice, alcohol-free drink in your hand, enjoy everything that the sunshine and company have to offer.


Photo by Liam McKay on Unsplash

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