Assert Your Independence: Say No to Alcohol This July 4th
This post originally appeared on Arrowhead Lodge Recovery
It is ironic that July 4th – a day that celebrates American Independence – has for many become for many Americans an obsession to drink alcohol to excess.
Let’s Begin a New July 4th Tradition:
Due to drunk driving, July 4 is the deadliest day of the year on our roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the July 4th holiday ranks No. 1 nationally for alcohol-related fatal crashes. Many states have enacted “No Refusal” traffic stop policies during the July 4th weekend. “No Refusal” means that motorists suspected of driving while intoxicated must provide a breath or blood sample to law enforcement.
It is Possible to Enjoy July 4 Without Alcohol or Drugs
For recovering alcoholics and those in addiction recovery, losing sobriety on July 4th is something that need not happen. It is very challenging to stay sober when surrounded by those who drink; or drink to excess. But it is possible to stay sober; see below for practical suggestions on staying sober this July 4th.
Being drunk on July 4th is hyped in media as ‘being fun.’ In reality, getting drunk on holidays often leads to losing friends in drunken arguments – and losing liberty if stopped while driving drunk.
July 4th Alcohol Consumption – Popular Misconceptions
- Being drunk does not make you a fireworks expert.
- Drinking alcohol to excess does not make you ‘cool’.
- Drinking alcohol to excess, or drinking any alcohol, is not required to have a good time.
- Drinking alcohol to excess does not make guys ‘more of a man’.
- Being drunk does not make you irresistible to potential intimate partners.
- Drinking alcohol to excess does not lead to increased positive social interactions.
. Falling asleep in a stupor is a social downer that stops all interaction.
. Vomiting in the grass in a corner of the yard is – let’s face it – just gross.
. Discussing Politics with an opinionated and belligerent relative or neighbor while drunk is not a winning move.
. It will not end well to discuss Religion with an opinionated and belligerent relative or neighbor while drunk.
Sober July 4th Fun
Being surrounded with individuals heavily drinking or drugging on July 4 can be oppressive to those in early recovery. In early recovery – it can be a winning strategy to skip holiday celebrations with non-sober friends and family.
Once confidence in sobriety is strong, it is possible to comfortably spend time around friends/family who are drinking.
Warning: Sobriety often means re-assessing what was previously experienced as ‘fun.’ That can be very positive.
Two Top Tips for Staying Sober on Drinking Holidays
- Strong INTENT to stay sober.
- Assertive and on-going MINDFULNESS.
Intent to Stay Sober
Doing deep personal work using the 12 Steps, attending 12 Step Meetings and receiving coaching during working the steps gives those recovering from addiction a firm basis to understand and recover from their disease.
Mindfulness Training for Recovery
Mindfulness training has proven effective in relapse prevention and chronic pain relief.
With Mindfulness, individuals become more aware of – and accepting of – their own emotional reactions and current emotional state. With Awareness, individuals can be aware of their own reactions; including anger, hurt feelings, resentment and more.
With mindfulness, individuals create the space to more objectively view their own internal emotions. This gives freedom from knee-jerk reactions and habitual behaviors.
What does this mean to you?
With mindfulness training, Uncle Harry’s obnoxious political views will still be irritating – but will not contribute to relapse. And that is a major win.
Have Fun on the 4th!
Walk on the beach, visit a park, drive sober without fear of traffic stops, grill burgers to perfection, boat or jet ski with confidence, spend time with friends and family.
And enjoy life – thinking clearly, calmly and sober!
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery – Rehab for Men, Prescott, AZ
At Arrowhead Lodge Recovery (a rehab for men in Prescott, AZ) mindfulness training and meditation training is incorporated into our addiction recovery treatment. Meditation has been used as an effective tool in our addiction recovery programs for years, but benefits of meditation were intangible. Now, there is objective proof to support what people who practice meditation have believed all along.
Meditation Produces Tangible Changes the Brain and Changes Lives for the Better
Men in this age group were taught to ‘stuff’ or suppress most emotions. Emotional awareness was considered to be a ‘sissy’ activity. As a result, boomer men experience higher rates of stress-related illness, including addiction.
Meditation and Mindfulness training starts with breathing exercises and builds from there. Meditation can done be in a group or solo. It may include music or not; and is practiced indoors and out.
Some of the benefits of meditation include:
- Relapse prevention
- Better coping skills
- Decreased anxiety
- Quicker recovery of brain functions
- Improved sleep
- Improved physiological functions
- Better concentration
- Decrease in symptoms of depression
- Reduction in anxiety symptoms
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery clients learn how to meditate in a style that works for each individual. Meditation brings a deep sense of calm and serenity.
Meditation Anxiety Relief in Addiction Recovery
Meditation also gives relief from the anxiety that plagues addiction recovery. When mindfulness meditation is incorporated into everyday activities, it provides a lasting and effective solution for life stresses.
The 11th step of twelve step programs specifically refers to “prayer and meditation” as a way to improve one’s awareness of the Divine (or personal spiritual experience). The benefits are many for 5 minutes or more of mindfulness practice each day.
We incorporate psychosocial elements in our recovery program; as well as assisting men in finding their spiritual core.
At our mountain retreat facility near Prescott, Arizona – men find and strengthen inner peace, and experience tranquility. Men can also begin to discover their unique and authentic personal spiritual experience.
We equip our clients with the depth and stability to handle all the curves and disappointments – as well as joys – in their regular lives once they leave Arrowhead Lodge Recovery.
For a confidential conversation to discuss your situation, please call 888-654-3500.
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