Like many holidays in the United States, Fourth of July is synonymous with alcohol — usually, a lot of it. If you are in recovery, the idea of being the only sober person around while everyone else day-drinks themselves into oblivion can seem like a nightmare. Skipping out on parties can make sobriety feel isolating. And while throwing your own sober get-together is a great idea, it is impossible to completely ignore that many people will be drinking. For many, the fear of missing out on that experience can be triggering enough to cause a relapse.
While it may be tempting to have a drink, these are just some of the reasons why you should skip alcohol this holiday:
1. Alcohol leads to dangerous decision-making
It’s safe to say that alcohol has never led to any great ideas. Instead, it can cause you to text your toxic ex, send your boss an angry email, or start a fight with a family member. But alcohol doesn’t just put your relationships at risk. It can also put your safety on the line. Because alcohol affects your critical thinking and reduces your inhibitions, you are more likely to get injured doing something careless, such as playing with fireworks or being involved in a swimming accident. And of course, intoxication can cause you to make the often-deadly choice to drive drunk.
2. You will make lasting, sober memories with family and friends
Social media and commercials can make it easy to forget, but 4th of July is not about who can chug more beer or make the most patriotic-looking cocktail drinks. So, skipping out on alcohol doesn’t mean that you’re missing out on the celebration. In fact, it allows you to be present and enjoy the company of your friends and family. And the best part is that you will be able to remember it all the next day, and for many more to come.
3. Skip the awful morning hangovers
Do you remember that horrible feeling the morning after binge drinking — the spinning room, the stomach pains, the pounding headache, the nausea, the inability to get up for hours (or days)? You don’t want to experience that ever again, and you know that if you have one drink, it will most likely turn into “just one more” until you wake up on the floor, filled with pain and regret.
4. Maintaining sobriety is more important than a few hours of “fun”
Whether you went to rehab or got sober with the help of AA, the journey to recovery is not easy for anyone. And you don’t want to throw it all away for a few hours of “fun.” If you are honest with yourself, you know that if you have one drink, you will most likely not stop. So, don’t risk everything sobriety has given you. It is never worth it.
5. Don’t regress back to who you were before recovery
Ask yourself, are you a better parent, partner, sibling, or friend now than when you were drinking? Are you kinder and more compassionate? Are you a better listener? Getting sober has given you the opportunity to dramatically change your life, rebuild strained relationships, gain the trust and respect of your loved ones, and start becoming the best version of yourself that you can be. Alcohol can easily take it all away and turn you into the person you swore you would never be again.
6. Drinking will impact everyone in your life
You know that your addiction doesn’t just affect you. Your decision to pick up the bottle again will impact everyone in your life. Not only will your relapse disappoint everyone who has been by your side supporting you throughout your recovery, but it will send them back to the pain and suffering that they endured while you were in active addiction.
7. Addiction controls your life
Right now, your life is yours. You make the choices you want to make — you choose to make breakfast, go to work, check in with loved ones, go to the movies, relax, have fun, take a nap. But let’s be honest, addiction is a prison. It takes away all your freedom and chains you to a bottle. Once alcohol takes over your life, it becomes all you ever think about. And after how hard you fought to reclaim your life, you don’t want to find yourself trapped once again.
If your loved one is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, we are here to help. Reach out to Mountainside by calling 888 200 5802.