How To Celebrate Independence Day With A Loved One In Recovery
Loved ones of people in addiction recovery can make them feel at ease by asking what they’re comfortable with, attending a 12-step meeting with them, and having a plan in place if any urges to use arise.
Staying sober during any holiday is difficult. With the drinking atmosphere that accompanies Independence Day, those in recovery may find the holiday especially tough.
If you have a loved one in recovery, you may be unsure of what you should or shouldn’t do with them on the Fourth of July, especially if they’re in early recovery.
How addiction and relationships work together can play a vital role in recovery, so it’s important to be supportive while also allowing the sober person to have their own journey.
Below we’ll go over five ways you can have a fun and safe Independence Day with a loved one in recovery.
5 Tips To Celebrate Independence Day With A Loved One In Recovery
Celebrating any holiday with a family member or friend in recovery can present unique challenges.
Relapse is high during the holidays, but the possibility doesn’t have to create a tense day. There are many ways to make the day enjoyable for your sober loved one.
Here are five tips to consider for your loved one in recovery during Independence Day:
- Practice healthy communication
- Set up fun activities and tasks for them
- Have food and non-alcoholic drinks available
- Have a discreet plan in case they need to step away
- Attend a 12-step meeting with them
Let’s explore each of these tips and how to best apply them.
1. Practice Healthy Communication
The first step in making your loved one comfortable is opening a dialogue with them about how they feel about the upcoming holiday.
If they are early in recovery, it may be hard for them to clearly express their desires or fears. Give them time to figure it out, and if you need to ask more than once, then allow that.
By being a patient and open listener, you will already start to make them feel more assured they have someone in their corner.
In some cases, a person in recovery won’t want to feel like a burden or have any attention on themselves. This can prevent them from voicing anything. By creating a conversation, you can better hear them out.
Some questions to ask your loved one:
- “Would you feel comfortable if there was alcohol at the gathering, or do you feel you’re not ready to be around it yet?”
- “What are some non-alcoholic beverages and favorite foods I can get you?”
- “Do you feel comfortable attending the gathering? Would you like to do something else?”
- “Would you like to attend some 12-step meetings together?”
- “Maybe you would like to invite some of your sober friends over?”
- “What sort of plan do you want to have in place, just in case you need to step away?”
2. Set Up Activities And Tasks For Them
Independence Day means for many a day of indulging in substances, but there are many sober things to do, both fun and practical.
A great way to prevent relapse is to get someone in recovery busy. By manning the grill, baking cookies, or setting up chairs, they’ll feel they add something to the party.
You can also make sure there are fun activities to engage in.
These can include:
- corn hole
- board games
- sports games
- allowing them to choose the music
3. Provide Non-Alcoholic Beverages And Favorite Foods
There are other beverages to indulge in besides alcohol. Having a wide array of different sodas, juices, and teas can help curb the desire to drink alcohol.
Cooking a favorite dish of theirs or ordering from a cherished restaurant can make them excited and is a great holiday relapse prevention tip.
4. Have An Exit Strategy
One of the five rules of recovery is that the person in treatment has enough courage to ask for help. This is made easier when they have a solid support system around them.
This can start with having a plan in place if they begin to feel uncomfortable or tempted to use. The plan should only involve one or two trustworthy people.
A plan can look like:
- having your loved one text then meet you in a secluded area of the gathering to talk or have time away from others
- setting times when you’ll check in on your loved one and ask how they’re doing
- having your loved one call or text a fellow sober friend at designated times
- planning a specific time to leave or end the party
5. Attend A 12-Step Meeting
12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, have meetings all day, especially during the holidays. Holiday meetings are usually packed with sweets and special speakers.
It may be beneficial to attend some of these meetings with your loved one leading up to and after a party where alcohol abuse is present.
This can help them feel secure in their sobriety, and also reflect on their success. If they happen to slip, a 12-step meeting is a healthy way to deal with relapse.
Treatment For Substance Abuse In Massachusetts
Finding help for a substance use disorder is possible through several Massachusetts alcohol and drug rehab centers.
You can empower yourself or your loved one to stay sober over holidays like the Fourth of July. Reach out to one of our specialists today to learn how.
Written by Spring Hill Editorial Team
©2022 Spring Hill Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved
This page does not provide medical advice.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Preventing Relapse https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/pdf/postcurriculum_session11.pdf
- National Library Of Medicine — Relapse Prevention And Five Rules Of Recovery https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4553654/
- Office Of National Drug Control Policy — Celebrating The Holidays With Recovering Family Members And Friends https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/realitycheck/blog/2012/12/21/celebrating-holidays-recovering-family-members-and-friends