Support and Self-care for those in recovery during this day of independence

For those who need extra support today, I woke up to a great quote from a friend. “On this day of your life, I believe that God wants you to know…that morning comes everyday; the sunrise does not fail, nor the sunset. Give it time. That is all that may be required. Do not try to push the river. The cycle of life present themselves, play themselves out, amd make smooth every passage and terrain. Try not to get caught up in your story of the moment. Loo, rather, to the Long Story. Therein will be found your peace. The cycles will redeem this moment, if you let them, and even this shall pass.”~Neal Donald Walsch


In the checkout line at the market this morning, I saw shopping carts filled with food for the grill and drinks to cheer on this day of independence. Holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, but perhaps more so for those in recovery and their loved ones. Last night, a friend told me she doesn’t know who she is anymore without alcohol. Newly sober, he is in a lot of pain and hurting. “If you told me I was going on a trip to the bahamas tomorrow, it would mean nothing to me. I don’t know what I would do with myself with a drink poolside.”

Today, here are some tips to support yourself and your loved one:

-Be choosy about your party plans today and have a back-up plan. Chances are, you will be invited to gatherings where there is alcohol around. Ask yourself what are you comfortable with? Lots of people? More of an intimate crowd? Give yourself a back-up plan if you show up and feel out of place. If you think you may be tempted as the party gets roaring, plan to go early and leave early. Give yourself a buffer. Or if you are simply not ready to put yourself out there, that’s ok too.

-Take care of YOU. What will bring you comfort today? Being with friends, a movie from Redbox? Chinese takeout? A movie? Make a list of things that will soothe your soul.

-Distract yourself. If you are without plans and feeling blue or anxious, allow yourself to be in your “stuff”. Make a list of things you have to do. Sometimes, Home Depot is the best place to go on holidays. Go seek out a meeting, a close sober friend, cook a yummy meal, or if you are tempted, call your sponsor.

-If you are a family member whose loved one is having a hard time today, try to remind yourself to love him/her without wanting to “fix”. Don’t try to think you know what he/she is thinking or feeling. We really don’t know what it is like to walk a mile in another’s shoe. Practice focusing the attention back on you, on what you can do to support yourself, and indirectly, this supports them. Know that there is an entire village of support out there…one day at a time.


10 thoughts on “Support and Self-care for those in recovery during this day of independence”

  1. Thank you for this post. For me, the issue is food, not alcohol. Nevertheless everything you said applies. And these are great reminders not only for the 4th but for every day of the year. Self care, self care, self care. Thanks!

    • Hi Debra,
      I so hear you. And everyone seems to have even more of an opinion around food than alcohol. One of the things I’ve found helpful for dealing with any loss (what I mean is loss of power, that we give to whatever is taking the focus of our attention) is to create a treasure map of how our relationship with (food, alcohol, etc) maps to the losses we’ve experienced over our lifetime.
      I would be happy to share it with you if you like.

  2. Very well said. Each year I celebrate the 4th of July differently and it always depends on what state of mind I’m in. Sometimes I’m totally ready for a friends BBQ and other times just relaxing at home. Being true to oneself and doing what feels right, is usually the best choice.

  3. Such a great reminder to be “present”…we do so much on autopilot…and when we do, we forget to consider why…and whether we might benefit from choosing another path.

    • It is so for most of us–to go on autopilot everyday and not give thanks for thought to our many steps. I too have to remind myself everyday. 🙂

    • Thanks Elizabeth for the great link. We can all benefit from having more information about making healthier choices.

  4. This is a great reminder that sometimes the holidays are difficult for some, and we can’t judge that or try to make everyone cheery. How do you deal with those big get-togethers where the overzealous host wants everyone to be all smiles?

    • I hear you! This is a good opportunity to set yourself up before you leave the house. How can you honor yourself by setting boundaries that honors your soul? Just because your host may be seeking forced smiles doesn’t mean you have to comply:) give yourself permission to exit the back door, find another person to connect with, etc. Remember that you can honor someone else’s wishes by allowing them to be them but not make it your own.


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