Fourth of July Weekend and the festivities that accompany the Holiday can make it challenging to remain sober. Whether in early recovery or long-term recovery, triggers during holiday weekends can be challenging to navigate.
Independence Day celebrations usually come with pool parties, beach days, BBQs, and potential mass alcohol consumption. In 2016 Wallet Hub reported that Americans spent more than $1 billion on beer and $568 million on wine to commemorate the Holiday.
Some helpful tips for staying sober this holiday weekend:
Choose to Host the Event:
By hosting the party, you can control the main supply of beverages and ensure plenty of non-alcoholic options. Or you can even declare it as a dry event or be selective upon whom you invite, like other people in recovery. If you host the event it may help eliminate some of the anxiety as well. You are in complete control of who attends, what activities will be played, and when guests will depart.
Go to a Meeting:
Attend a meeting before heading out for the day, discuss your stressors, and learn how others in recovery handle going to parties sober. Your peers can give you tips on handling triggers and provide you with confidence to still enjoy the event sober. Your recovery group peers are living examples that it gets better with time and strenuous effort. The holidays can be especially tough on individuals in recovery, so it helps to have the added support of a 12 step meeting.
Have an Exit Strategy:
Have an escape plan if you start to feel the temptation to use alcohol or drugs. It is always easier to plan ahead of time than to feel stressed over making one up on the fly.
Meet for Fireworks:
You can always skip the daytime activities that may be more alcohol consumption-focused and meet up with people for evening fireworks. This plan allows for less peer pressure to drink and a more straightforward exit strategy as well.
Hang out with Family Members:
This group of close family and friends is aware of your substance abuse issues and recovery. They accept and respect your recovery, and you don’t have the added pressure of having to explain your sobriety or be embarrassed by it.
Attend with a Sober Friend:
Try to attend any social gatherings with another sober friend. This way, you don’t feel isolated, and someone else is abstaining from alcohol alongside you.
Grab a Non-Alcoholic Beverage:
As soon as you enter the event, grab a non-alcoholic beverage to decrease the opportunity of someone offering you an alcoholic beverage. Soda or water in hand will help with the temptation to say yes if alcohol is provided.