Here we are moving through the seasons again. For most folks it is no big deal, they may feel a little lethargic as clocks change forward and back but other than that it has not much of an impact.

In addiction the change of seasons can be an especially vulnerable time. Change of seasons is just that, change. Change of any kind can throw someone early in recovery off balance. For that reason it is important for an alcoholic or addict to take note so they may adequately protect themselves.

As we move into spring the days get longer the weather gets warmer, especially if we live in an area that truly experiences winter with the cold and the dark. We feel free. It’s time to party or go on a nice long vacation. The windows are open and we like the feel of the wind and sun on our faces. We crank up the music a little louder and we begin to feel energized.

Something as simple as the time changes are enough to throw you off kilter and leave you feeling lethargic for a week or so after they occur. On top of that, weddings, graduations, religious ceremonies of all sorts take place in the spring not to mention St. Patty’s Day. People all around may seem to be having a great time while a newly recovering person is trying to hang on.

With the free and easy feeling of the approaching summer months comes a lowering of inhibitions as we feel like cutting loose. The long hazy days of summer beckon and we long to celebrate if just a little. It can take some time to discover that celebrating does not have to equal drinking or drugs.

On the other end of the spectrum there is the moving into winter. The days are shorter and often colder. We may find ourselves spending more time in front of a television set constantly being encouraged to grab a beer. Many early recovering people are affected by the days getting shorter and the lack of light and the colder weather. Feeling down or in a funk, so to speak, the person in early recovery may not understand exactly what is happening. They may just feel an urge to get relief. The upcoming holidays can be a source of anxiety and the familiar way to cope has been to check out either with drugs or alcohol.

So is the newly recovering person doomed to fail? Not at all but it would be foolhardy to not acknowledge the risks. It takes a few cycles of the change of seasons to determine how you may be affected, what feelings crop up and where your weak points may be.
If you notice yourself feeling restless and irritable when the seasons change this would be a red flag alerting you to protect your sobriety.

The same way a person with an allergy to nuts, shellfish, or penicillin takes precautions to protect themselves, a person serious about succeeding at sobriety takes note of what causes them to feel like using. If you know what your triggers are, you can step up your efforts to remain sober.

Additional meetings if you are a member of a twelve step program would certainly help support transitioning the change of seasons. Making sure you are eating well and sleeping regularly will help as well a little exercise. These are suggestions that are useful no matter where you are in recovery; during times of stress they can make the difference between success and failure. Letting friends and family know that you could use some support will help you not feel isolated. Also taking part in some great activities that do not involve alcohol or drugs will help to establish a new lifestyle minus these substances.

Taking care of yourself during the change of seasons will help you to establish a strong recovery. Reaching out and letting people know how you are feeling is a personal responsibility. Recovering people successfully make it through the change of seasons because they use all the available tools to make the transition a smooth one.

Author's Bio: 

Maureen Staiano is a Life Coach specializing in working with midlife women and the unique challenges, opportunities and transitions we face in our lives. Please visit me: and receive your free copy of Building Better Confidence and Self-Esteem. Also please visit my blog