Known for big festivities including heavy drinking, the 4th of July holiday can create “Slippery Situations” for staying sober. Here are some tips that might help:
1. If you know the event you’re considering going to, whether it is a BBQ, picnic or a day at the beach, is mostly centered around alcohol or most of the guests are big drinkers – just don’t go! Avoid these types of occasions. Putting yourself in these types of situations where you will be constantly tempted to drink or use is a sure way to relapse – especially if you are new to sobriety.
2. Plan your own celebration for the 4th. Planning your own event means you have a lot of control over what happens – who you invite and what you will serve. Invite people that are supportive of your sobriety and/or are sober themselves.
3. Focus on the kids. If you focus on doing what is best for kids you can’t go wrong. Choose kid centered activities for the day to reduce the urge to drink or use.
4. Start the day with a meeting to get your head in the right place.
5. The surest way to not think about your weaknesses is to do some volunteer work for others. Take your mind off how you used to celebrate the 4th of July in the past by volunteering at a sober event or another type of event where the focus is on positive, healthful living.
6. Have a Backup Plan. Make a plan ahead of time to deal with temptations. Have a list of people, starting with your sponsor, that you can call for support. Know about a meeting you can attend if necessary. Drive yourself. You don’t want to get stuck in a dangerous situation if you’re depending on a ride from someone else.
7. Plan something to look forward to. If you know it’s going to be a tough day plan ahead something to do that you’re really going to enjoy.
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