Published On: July 2, 20174 min read790 wordsCategories: Recovery
When most people think of the Fourth of July they picture fireworks, barbeques, family picnics and a day at the lake. For a recovering addict, this holiday can feel like a minefield of temptations to crack open a cold beer or indulge in recreational drug use. If you are newly sober or have been struggling to maintain your sobriety over the summer, the Fourth of July can be a dangerous day.
Preparing yourself for the potential pitfalls of this holiday weekend can help you to engage in the celebrations without jeopardizing your sobriety with temptations to use. In this article we’ll share a curated list of the top sober holiday tips to help you prepare for the festivities and manage triggers to use as you partake in the spirit of the day and enjoy a sober summer.
Be honest about your triggers
Brushing potential threats to relapse under the rug doesn’t help anyone. In fact, it only causes harm. If you are aware that certain situations, locations and people pose a danger to your recovery, plan to avoid as many upsetting or triggering things as possible. While some triggers you will inevitably have to face one day, allowing your day to be filled with temptations sets you up for failure.
You deserve to enjoy a sober summer, so find ways to avoid the triggers that can easily be nixed out of the schedule. Attend parties during daytime hours, spend time at family-friendly events, attend with sober friends or avoid contentious topics with family members. Focus on keeping stress low and avoiding triggers when possible. Stay in control and plan ahead.
2. Bring a friend
It’s important to stay accountable to yourself and to avoid putting too much pressure on a loved one to keep you sober, but having a friend who has your best interests in mind can work wonders when push comes to shove. Your friend can help you from straying from your goals and have a powerful presence without even saying a word.
Even better, have a conversation with your support person before attending a party, a parade or a fireworks show to discuss potential triggers that could pop up. The more you clue your friend in on the issues that may arise, the better equipped you’ll be to handle them if they do. You friend can also help you navigate the tricky conversations that come with the social pressure to drink.
3. Make your own fun
While your social circles may have changes since embarking on a sober life, and that’s OK. It’s best to surround yourself with only positive and like-minded friends when you’re in active recovery (and the rest of your life for that matter). Use this holiday as an excuse to invite new friends or find a community that shares your goals.
As you make new friends who support your recovery, you can find new activities to try that don’t bring in overwhelming triggers.There are plenty of sober ways to celebrate that are more enjoyable than using drugs or alcohol for a temporary high (and they don’t have any negative consequences). Here are some ideas to make your sober 4th of July memorable.
Rent a boat;
Use sparklers to write messages;
Have a barbeque cook-off;
Host a relay race;
Have your family compete in minute-to-win-it games;
Make patriotic-themed desserts;
Attend a parade;
Make a float for a parade;
Have a hula party;
Build a giant bonfire;
Ride a Ferris wheel;
Have a picnic.
There are endless ways to have a sober 4th of July and plenty of ways to engage your creativity. Try starting a new tradition, and each year you’ll be able to celebrate a sober summer and have a milestone marker to remind you of your progress.
4. Motivate yourself
Change itself can be a trigger to return to substance use, so even if the day goes smoothly there’s always a chance that a shift in routine alone can invite relapse. In part of your planning process, it may be helpful to choose a motivator to get you through an especially tough scenario.
Consider designating a specific reward for yourself when you successfully have a sober 4th of July. Maybe you’ll want to treat yourself to a nice dinner the following evening or purchase something you’ve been looking at for weeks. Whatever you choose, it should offer a little incentive to sticking to your plan.
Get help today
Don’t let addiction spoil your plans for another day. Get in touch with Freedom Detox and start living every day like it’s a holiday. When you get sober, you’ll be able to enjoy life more, have meaningful relationships and find your purpose in life. Call now to schedule an appointment and have a sober 4th of July.
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