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  • Kim

4th of July struggles

The 4th of July is a big holiday with a lot of drinking for a lot of people. It signifies summer BBQs, fireworks, hanging out on the beach and along with all of that - alcohol is almost always involved. For someone who is trying to quit drinking, this holiday is a nightmare. It can feel like absolute torture.

I remember last year was my first sober July 4th, but we were out of town for my sister's wedding. It was a rainy weekend, so it didn't feel like the typical BBQ, sit in the sun all day kind of weather.

This year, I am ready for the holiday. I feel different. Instead, I feel prepared and at ease.

Today, on July 3rd, the Needham fireworks are happening tonight and the parade is taking place tomorrow morning. Traditionally, we would go to a BBQ at our friends house with tons of others, and it always would include a late night of drinking.

The weather this weekend is beautiful. It is sunny and a perfect 85 degrees. My husband and kids are out golfing and swimming, but I am taking a little time to myself this afternoon. I know that in the past I would be knee deep in a long day of drinking, followed by a late night and another long day tomorrow. All of this also would include a whole lot of neglect towards my children, tons of self-loathing and endless hangovers.

I would feel awful inside, constantly searching for that small window of drunkenness that only would last a short 30 minutes here and there out of 72 hours. It was never worth it. Instead, I am content at my house, enjoying the gorgeous weather in my sunroom, sipping an ice coffee. I am not worried about how I will get my next alcoholic beverage in me and how I will not piss off my husband. There is not lying. Zero sneaking around. No deceiving.

There is no need to numb myself into a state of unconsciousness in order to experience this holiday. I will watch the fireworks with my children tonight and rest my sober head down on my pillow, waking tomorrow morning early, content and proud of myself. And I will have zero regrets. The 4th of July can still be a wonderful holiday - full of BBQs, sunny afternoons, beach and pool days, fireworks and all the great stuff that make celebrating our country so much fun. We don't need booze to do it.

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