Independence Day, also referred to as The Fourth of July or July Fourth – An American Holiday primarily celebrated with barbecues, fireworks, flags, and … alcohol. It’s a fun and patriotic holiday, a time to gather with family and friends; however, for those in recovery, it is yet another holiday that challenges their sobriety. No matter where you are in your sobriety, these tips may help you stay sober on the fourth!
1. Celebrate your Freedom from Substance Abuse – Addiction threatens freedom in one of the most basic senses, freedom to pursue health and independent living. While America celebrates its freedom, use this holiday as a reminder of yours. Remember your freedom, sobriety, and the fight you fought to get here.
2. Pick your Parties – Don’t let the fear of missing out (FOMO) lead you somewhere that you do not feel safe and supported. You don’t have to attend every party you’re invited to. Surround yourself with friends and family members who are supportive of your sobriety and recovery.
3. Have an Exit Plan – Set guidelines for yourself, identify what are high-risk situations ahead of time. Be prepared to exit if you need. Drive your own car or attend events with someone who is willing to leave if needed.
4. Utilize your Support System – Attend events with other people in recovery, whether it be a sober event or just bringing a friend along to a party. Call your sponsor or other support systems beforehand, a few words of wisdom can go a long way. If you attend meetings, perhaps plan on going to a few more days leading to, day of, or after the holiday.
5. Practice Saying No – This may sound a bit corny, but – just say no. You’re not obligated to explain your situation to anyone, all you have to do is say no. If an individual is persistent or you’re feeling triggered, it might be time for tip number 3.