Summer Recovery Series: 8 Tips for a Sober 4th of July

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First things first.

Here’s a message from the entire Pinnacle Treatment Family:

We wish you a safe and happy 4th of July!

When we say family, we mean a big one. Every single person in our alumni network, every doctor, nurse, therapist and counselor are part of our family. If you’re in treatment at Pinnacle or have ever been in treatment at Pinnacle, please know that we’re all here for you.

Congratulations on your sobriety – whether it’s been three days, three years, or three decades, your deserve recognition.

You rock!

Now, to the topic at hand: 4th of July. It’s coming up quickly. We know you want to join in all the fun. We also know that on this holiday, the most common way to have fun involves drinking alcohol. Typically beginning in the afternoon and continuing on into the night.

That’s not what you’re going to do this year.

If you don’t already have plans to keep your Independence Day a sober one, here’s a list of ideas to get you started.

8 Tips for a Sober 4th of July

  1. Go to Meetings. Whether you’re AA, NA, Smart Recovery, or Refuge Recovery, we suggest starting the day off with a morning meeting. If you know holidays like this are dangerous triggers for you, don’t stop there: go to a lunchtime meeting and an evening meeting. The barbecues will be there when you get back.
  2. Have a Phone Number Ready. Keep the phone number of a sponsor or recovery peer on speed dial. Triggers – especially on holidays – have a tendency to ambush you. While you can’t see an ambush coming, you can be ready to deal with it if it does – with the phone number of someone who can talk you through your tough moment.
  3. Find Sober Events. Get online, go to your local support group website, and find recovery parties sponsored by organizations that prioritize sobriety.
  4. Throw a Sober Party. If you can’t find any sober events that looking appealing to you, then take initiative, gather your recovery peers, and start a sober 4th of July tradition of your own.
  5. Do Something Active. Plan a day rafting trip. Hit a water park. Go to an amusement park. Do something that keeps you so busy and involved you won’t have time to think about anything but the awesome activity you’re doing.
  6. Say No to the Old Crew. 4th of July parties may be part of your drinking mythology – you know, those days you look back on and once called epic, but now show you how deep in addiction you were. If you get invited to parties hosted by that old peer group – say no. Don’t go. It’s not worth the risk.
  7. Family Matters. You may come from a family that hosts annual parties on the 4th. Only you know if this is a good place for you to be. If it is, get all your coping skills ready, because you know what they say about family: they know how to push your buttons, because they’re the ones who installed them.
  8. Fast Break. Whatever you plan on doing, it’s best to be independently mobile. If you have a car, drive yourself. If you get a ride, make sure you know how to find public transportation nearby, or be ready to spring for a cab or an Uber. Sometimes parties take a turn in the wrong direction. You realize you should not be there, and need to leave as soon as possible. If that happnes this year, listen to that voice. If it tells you to go, then go.

You can stay safe and sober on the 4th of July.

Start with these tips, build on them, and before you know it, you’ll have all these summer parties dialed in, and you’ll be an expert at having clean, sober, wholesome summertime fun.