Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sober Fourth of July

Fireworks on the beach on the Fourth of July. ...
Fireworks on the beach on the Fourth of July. There were a ton of fireworks lighting up the sky this year. Taken with a 30 sec. exposure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Fourth of July is coming up, and this holiday can be particularly challenging for people in recovery. Going into the Fourth of July with a clear head will reduce the chances of relapsing. This holiday may be more difficult because many associate it with drinking and partying. If you are one of the millions of people struggling with addiction, it’s a good idea to come up with a game plan to protect your sobriety.

The first thing to do is be aware of possible trigger situations. If you know that certain family members or friends will pressure you into drinking, or make you uncomfortable, it’s a good idea to avoid that situation completely. It’s okay to miss a party in order to protect yourself and your recovery.

Plan your visit and exit strategy before you go to a gathering. Decide on a set time you want to leave the party, and stick to it. A sponsor can help you create an exit strategy that will be comfortable for you. He or she can also help mentally prepare you for the event. Relapse is less likely to happen when you have a strong plan to stick to.

Another good idea is to make sure you have a support system in place. Bring a sober friend to the party if you can, or hang out with a person who knows you’re in recovery. If you can’t bring a friend, bring your cell phone so you can call someone if needed.

Showing up with a Starbuck’s already in your hand is another excellent choice. If you already have a drink in your hand, no one will need to ask you if you want something else. If you can’t get to a Starbuck’s, head to the non-alcoholic drinks at the party, and get a cup in your hand as soon as possible.

Most people won’t be worried about if you’re drinking an alcoholic beverage, they won’t notice either way. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and safe. When you feel relaxed, it’s easier to avoid triggers and possible relapse.

If you think you have a problem with alcohol dependency, there are many reputable addiction treatment centers that will help you lead a life free from addiction.

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