Adolescence Recovery Safety

Coachella: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Coachella is happening and there are tons of opportunities for sober fun!
At Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival

MusicCares is in the house, representing artists in recovery. There are organizations like Soberchella who host 12-step meetings every day of the 3-day festival. Aside from listening to the varied array of musical acts (seriously, there is more variety at Coachella than at the 99-cent store!), you can enter a “Bad Dancing Competition,” or you can Hula Hoop, participate in a “Not-So-Silent Dance Party,” a Three-Legged Race, play Dodgeball, participate in a Joke Contest, or a Pinball Competition. The opportunities for sober fun are many!


There are tons of things to do at Coachella that don’t involve drunk and disorderly behavior.


Still, you should have an out, or a way to take care of yourself in the event that you get overwhelmed or someone in your party relapses or does something unwise. Know that your recovery isn’t contingent on being liked, popular, or the life of the party. It is contingent on self-care, healthy boundaries and a system of solid support. If you go, make sure you have:

1: Your sponsor’s number

2: Your parent(s’) number

3: A safe place to go if you want to leave early


Know your boundaries: Maybe this year, Coachella isn’t for you. Maybe you’re not in a place to be able to maintain healthy boundaries. Maybe “No” frightens you and is connected with your perception of being liked. Maybe your best friend is pressuring you to go but your gut tells you you aren’t ready. That’s tough, especially as a teen. It’s normal to think you will miss something or be left out of something über cool. The interesting thing about this: it will pass and you will begin to recognize that taking care of yourself and your recovery is far more important than being in the midst of temptation.


So, whether you go to Coachella or if you decide to skip it this year, remember to treat yourself the way you want to be treated. Everyone deserves to be loved, respected, and heard. Can you provide those things for yourself? I believe you can!



Serious to Silly: Finding your Funny Bone in Recovery

Do we have to stop being silly just because we’re in recovery?  I think not!  In fact, our mental health just might be at stake if we get too serious!

Things we do need to be serious about:

  • Our sobriety
  • The 12 Steps
  • Our speech: is it helpful or harmful?
  • Our actions: are you being selfish, self-centered, greedy, or manipulative?
  • Our health: are you taking care of our mental and physical health?
  • Asking for help
  • Developing self-awareness
  • Self-care

But here are some things where being silly, play, lightheartedness can be invited in:

  • Creativity
  • Exercise…outside…in the mountains, or at the beach. In fact, learn how to do something new, like stand up paddle boarding, and bring your sense of humor with you–you’ll need it!
  • Look random things during your day that bring you joy and share them with others.
  • Games: grab a yo-yo or try to walk a slinky down some stairs. Remembering how to be ridiculous is truly liberating.
  • Have a Game night. Seriously a night hanging out with friends, some coffee, and a silly game like Balderdash can be hilarious.

Getting sober, managing mental health issues, learning how to be comfortable again or for the first times in our bodies is hard work. It’s scary, emotional, and intense. When we get lost in the intensity, and lose site of our light side, recovery can feel overwhelming.  This is where finding humor, laughter, and fun can act as a release valve we so desperately need.  Keep it simple never sounded so good!

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