Seabrook’s Tips for a Sober 4th!
Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Freedom is the will to be responsible for ourselves”. Freedom and responsibility often go hand-in-hand. Independence Day and sobriety celebrate both. 242 years ago, the founding fathers of the United States declared themselves and the rest of the land free from British rule. When someone suffering from substance abuse disorder enters treatment, they declare themselves free from the demons of drugs or alcohol. While sobriety is something to celebrate, you must be careful. The modern definition of celebrating has evolved to almost guarantee that alcohol or mind altering substances will be available. For someone in recovery, celebrating has a different definition. It revolves around the 5 F’s: fun and making healthy memories, family, friends, food, and faith.
Whether throwing your own 4th of July party or attending someone else’s, there are important things to keep in mind.
Know your triggers. Are you hungry, angry, tired, or lonely? Are you surrounded by temptation and negative influences?
Refresh your coping skills. Learn to say “no”. Attend a meeting prior to any festivities.
Have reasonable expectations. Not everyone is recovery. Unless you are attending a BYONB, expect alcohol may be present.
Do not go anywhere you are uncomfortable. In early recovery especially, you are vulnerable. Only you know your boundaries. If you know one place in particular will be too tempting, do not put yourself in that situation. If you find yourself in that position, remove yourself immediately.
Have an exit plan. A good plan may be arriving early and leaving early. Driving yourself gives you the power to leave when you feel necessary.
Use the buddy system. Bring someone who will support you and keep you accountable.
There are many different sober ways to celebrate America’s birthday. There is no shame in bringing back childhood favorites such as potato sack races, capture the (American) flag, or three legged races. It’s a day to enjoy yourself, do not keep yourself from doing something silly such as a patriotic costume contest or American history competition out of fear of embarrassment. If you are looking to start a new tradition, travel! All across the country are different festivals and events. Here are some of the best.
There is no reason not to enjoy this fun holiday just because you are in recovery. However, have fun responsibly. Keep in mind others may not be celebrating responsibly. When driving, be on the lookout. If you see someone driving under the influence, notify the police. The Fourth of July is the 7th biggest drinking day of the year. Additionally, avoid anyone operating boats or fireworks while under the influence. If someone is attempting to leave while intoxicated, AAA and Lyft have special promotions for the holiday offering free rides for those within a certain mile radius of their destination.
In the unfortunate event that you are to relapse, let a loved one know immediately. Seabrook accepts admissions 24 hours a day into any of our detox and rehab programs. We understand that reaching out for help is difficult but it’s the first step toward a life free from alcohol and other drugs. To learn more about our researched-based Seabrook Model® of treatment, call today: 800-761-7575.