Fourth of July like other days of festivities is a challenging day for recovering individuals, especially those in early recovery from alcohol addiction. It’s easy to see that the abundance of alcohol in most celebrations can easily bring about the dreaded relapse. If you find yourself vulnerable during this holiday, do not fret as here we suggest three things that can help you stay on track with your recovery.
1- Don’t attend activities where alcohol is being served, especially if you are in your early days of recovery. It is unrealistic to say, “You can battle it through.” Remember the lesson from Step One of the Twelve Steps: You don’t have the power.
2- If you are celebrating this day with your loved ones, most likely they already understand your challenges, but make sure you communicate your feelings clearly so that they will be mindful of your situation when planning the activities.
3- If you think you are going to be alone and that’s not what you want, contact your sponsor. If your sponsor is not available contact someone in your support list and let that person know you need his or her help. Be specific, let him know you are concerned about being on your own and what troubles you. There are also numerous AA-related events that take place in most cities during the fourth of July that you can find them to be fun and engaging. The benefit of attending such events is that you will be surrounded by like-minded people who are in various stages of the recovery process including some in long term recovery with valuable experience, if not great stories to tell.
One of the joys of recovery is to experience life, sober. It is a great feeling to know that you are participating in life again. Focus on that. You have achieved sobriety despite all the challenges you have faced so far. Follow your belief that you are on the path to success. Your success, based on your standards and what you have set out to achieve.
Remind yourself that little by little things are getting better. The sun in your skin feels warmer, the beach is more beautiful, the food tastes better, and the fireworks are now memorable. Isn’t the most exciting thing about being sober the fact that you remember the events you experience, and you remember them without any shame?
Remember the Serenity Prayer that regardless of your spiritual beliefs, it clearly exhibits the necessity of distinction between the things you can change and the things you can’t. You can’t change the fact that you were an alcoholic, but you can change the perception that you will have a life of an alcoholic. You can’t control what you did and who you associated with, but you can change who you will call “friend” and hang out with going forward.
So, on this Fourth of July, we at Florida Center for Recovery, salute all of you recovering individuals, and your friends and families who work hard to support you through the difficult and challenging journey of your sober life.
Have a Happy 4th from all of us at Florida Center for Recovery.
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.