How to Stay Sober on Independence Day
Celebrating the Fourth of July (or any holiday) can be challenging if you recover from addiction. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stay sober on independence day. So before you go on with your family or friends, follow these tips so that you can have a happy and alcohol-free holiday.
Know your triggers.
Independence Day can be stressful if you’ve been struggling with your sobriety. If you feel incredibly anxious or tempted to drink, you must know your triggers to avoid them and stay sober.
What are my triggers?
Triggers might vary from person to person, but here are some common examples:
Seeing alcohol everywhere around you—even if it’s not in plain sight (like in advertisements) or hearing people talk about drinking—could send someone struggling with sobriety over the edge. Knowing this about yourself helps when making plans for the holiday weekend. Just being around alcohol every day might make staying sober difficult for some people. Staying home would be better than going out into these environments where there may be a temptation to drink!
Make a plan.
It’s essential to have a plan in place before the holiday.
You should consider your triggers and how you will deal with them. If you know that hanging out with certain friends is likely to lead to drinking, stay away from them or make sure they will be sober too. You could also check in weekly with your addiction recovery sponsor or therapist to get advice on preparing for the holiday season without alcohol.
Here are some other things that might help:
- Know what keeps you sober, and stick to it! For example, if keeping busy helps keep you from drinking, then make sure there’s plenty of activity on Independence Day and every day leading up to this momentous occasion!
- Be prepared for temptation by ensuring plenty of healthy foods are available at home or work if hunger strikes. At the same time, everyone else indulges in unhealthy options like burgers or hot dogs (which often include ingredients such as sugar).
- Eating healthy snacks like fruit makes it easier because they provide nutrients for good health and fill us up quickly, which means less time thinking about food when we’re out celebrating America’s birthday!
Ask for help from a sponsor or a sober friend.
It’s essential to have a sponsor or a sober friend. If you don’t, find one. A sponsor has been through the 12 steps and helps others work their way through them. You can approach your sponsor when you are ready for help or conversation about your relationship with alcohol (or other substances) but not during meetings, which are meant for group processing and not individual advice.
The best place to find a sponsor is at an AA meeting. It might sound intimidating at first, but going to meetings where you don’t know anyone will give you more opportunities to get better.
If this seems overwhelming or makes sense only as something worth doing “one day,” consider approaching someone after the meeting—say hello and ask if they would be willing to take on the role of being your sponsor (if they say yes).
Spend time with supportive people.
It is essential to spend time with supportive people. This can be spent time with sober friends or family or talking to your sponsor about how you feel. At first, talking about your alcoholism and drug abuse problems on Independence Day may not feel like a good idea because you want to celebrate the holiday positively. However, you must share how you feel so that others can help support you through this challenging day.
In addition to talking about your feelings, it is also helpful if other people understand why Independence Day feels different for someone who has been through addiction treatment. In that case, they will be more likely to provide adequate support during the holiday season.
You will have better luck staying sober if you’re doing something besides drinking. It might be difficult at first, but find an activity that is not alcohol-related and give it your full attention. Some ideas include:
- Go for a walk or run around the neighborhood.
- Play a game of basketball with friends or coworkers (or even alone).
- Set up a tent in your backyard, invite some people, and throw your backyard barbecue! This can be especially fun if most guests don’t drink much, so they won’t judge you when you decline their beer offer.
Go to a recovery meeting on the Fourth of July.
Recovery meetings are a great way to stay sober on Independence Day. Recovery meetings are safe places where you can talk about your feelings, make new friends, and learn ways to stay sober. If you’re feeling lonely or sad on the Fourth of July, going to a recovery meeting will help you feel better.
Do something for someone else, and make sure you recognize how good helping someone else feels.
Independence Day is a great time to celebrate your freedom and the courage it takes to live life on your terms. While celebrating with friends, family, or alone, you might consider taking advantage of this opportunity by doing something nice for someone else.
It can be hard to find joy in helping others when we feel like we don’t have much left over for ourselves after being so focused on our recovery. But learning how to give back—donating clothes or volunteering at an animal shelter—is one of the most rewarding parts of staying sober as an adult!
You also deserve recognition for all that you’ve achieved through your sobriety efforts! Recognizing that other people need help more than yourself (and giving them some) makes it easier for others to realize that they can do something good too—which is one way we stay sober!
Remember that the Fourth of July is only one day, and tomorrow will be better.
Remember that this is just one day. The Fourth of July is a celebration, not an everyday activity. Tomorrow will be better.
You can do this! You can stay sober on Independence Day and have fun in the process! Celebrate your independence from addiction by celebrating freedom for all Americans—and enjoy yourself while you’re at it!
Staying sober on the Fourth of July is hard, but it’s not impossible if you have the right tools and support.
There are two main things you need to stay sober on the Fourth of July: tools and support. Tools are anything that will help you stay sober, like a sponsor or plan. Support is anyone there for you when things get tough—a sponsor, recovery meeting, straight friend, or family member.
It’s essential to have both because tools can only do so much if you don’t have support from others in your life who encourage and motivate you as well!