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How to Have a Sober Independence Day

The Fourth of July can be tough day to stay sober. There are parties, cookouts, and fireworks. It’s a day when a lot of people are drinking cold beer. If it’s your first Fourth in recovery, here are some tips for staying sober.

Bring your own drinks.

If you’re going to a barbecue and you’re not sure whether there will be anything for you to drink, bring something of your own. This ensures there will be something available and you can have a drink in your hand right away to prevent five different people from offering you a beer. Bring enough to share and you’ll probably find you aren’t the only one not drinking.

Bring backup.

If you’re going to a barbecue or party it helps to have a sober friend to lend some moral support. You can keep each other in check. Just having another sober presence often makes it easier not to drink. Also, be willing to back someone else up too.

Choose your activities carefully.

There is usually no shortage of parties and get togethers on Independence Day. Try to find one that’s compatible with your goals. That might mean choosing a more family-oriented gathering or even a gathering organized by your 12-step group. Stay away from situations where you might feel tempted or pressured into drinking.

Throw your own party.

You can always have your own party where you invite supportive people and don’t serve alcohol. Your sober friends will appreciate it and you’ll have more control over the situation.

Have your excuses ready.

If you go to a gathering where people are drinking, someone will probably offer you a drink even if you have a La Croix in each hand. Have an excuse ready so you don’t have do decide on the spot what you want to say. “I’m driving” usually works, or “I have an early morning.” Most people won’t press you after a firm refusal.

Have a plan.

Think of what problems may arise and have a plan for dealing with them. It might be the people you’re with want to go to a bar later and you’d rather go home. It could be you start experiencing bad cravings or irritability in the middle of lunch. Know who you will call if you need support or a ride home.

Enjoy the other parts of the holiday.

Yes, there’s typically drinking on the Fourth of July, but that’s only a small part of it. You also get together with friends and family, have some good food, go to the pool, do other fun summer stuff, and watch fireworks. When you were a kid you probably enjoyed the holiday without alcohol. Focus on all the fun stuff you can still do.

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