With most holidays that come and go, I am reminded that the idea of spending a Christmas, Memorial Day, or Fourth of July without alcohol used to cause a good amount of stress and confusion. But why, I used to think, would you barbecue without beer? Thanks to my local recovery community, those questions have been replaced with excitement and with a handful of hilariously unforgettable sober holidays.
Here are a number of social, affordable ways that I have enjoyed spending the 4th of July since being in recovery:
Convene Your Crew
As previous posts have mentioned, staying surrounded by friends in recovery can be a key to enjoying holidays like these. If distance is a barrier, at least get a group text going so that you can virtually spend the day together! At the very least, you will be in the midst of people who are also looking to spend the day having sober fun.
Get Your Grub On
Naturally, the quintessential 4th of July barbecue comes to mind. My favorite way to do these is by turning them into a potluck. If everyone is responsible for one or two items, it relieves the host of the entire financial burden and makes it easier to have a little bit of everything on the table. This holiday is as perfect a chance as any to load up on quirky dishes or classic comfort food. We need to fuel up if we’re going to spend all day celebrating America’s independence!
Catch A Local Baseball Game
Here in Maine, we are home to the Portland Sea Dogs; the Boston Red Sox minor league affiliate. Seats are relatively affordable ($10), the stadium catches a refreshing ocean breeze from time to time, and the fried dough is plentiful. For anyone who doesn’t live near Maine (my main advice is to come visit immediately!), hop online to find your local minor – or major! – league sports team. (Added bonus if it’s baseball because you can get your tan on during the game.)
Find A Nearby Fireworks Show
Of course! What is an Independence Day without a classic fireworks show? Some are longer and louder than others, but they are all celebratory nonetheless. In Portland, we pack the Eastern Prom (a large grassy area overlooking the ocean) with hundreds – maybe thousands! – of people. Portland’s fireworks are perfectly visible from there, as are those done by a number of nearby islands. A quick online search will tell you the location and starting time of nearby fireworks. Grab your blanket, pick up an ice cream cone somewhere along the way, and enjoy!
Whether you do all of the above or pick four completely different activities, there are countless ways to enjoy this upcoming 4th of July in recovery. My best advice is to surround yourself with your sober squad and go from there! Have fun!
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