Independence Day

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A Clean and Sober – and Happy 4th of July

Doing it SoberHere in the United States we celebrate our Independence Day on the 4th of July each year.  For many Americans, that means stuffing yourself with fattening foods, drinking yourself silly and ending the evening with exploding fireworks.  For pot smokers, it’s just another reason to smoke more marijuana than usual – while eating and drinking too much.

Last year on the 4th of July, I did make it home from California to celebrate with my girlfriend (now my fiance), her son and my daughter.  My daughter and I have celebrated every 4th of July together since she was born and it’s been quite a tradition.  Last year I had quit smoking weed, but did feel the need to carry with me a small flask of vodka to help enjoy the days events.  This year I am in training for our photo shoot in Hawaii on October 2nd, and despite being at a party with lots of drinking going on, I resisted temptation and did not even have one drink.  Even when I walked into part of the house where someone had obviously been burning some weed – I wasn’t tempted at all.  I was very proud of myself (he said patting himself on the back).

Instead of feeling anxious and wanting to leave the party because of feeling uncomfortable, I stayed engaged and attempted to start and participate in conversations with a bunch of people I didn’t know very well.  They had the ‘advantage’ of having their inhibitions down due to the alcohol consumption, but I had the advantage this morning when I was able to still wake up at 2am to head to the gym.  Even after my long workout, I’m very positive that I was feeling better than anyone else at the party (I’m not counting the kids, cause I’m pretty sure that they were still sleeping).

Now it is true that most of the people at the party were nearly 20 years younger than I, and at their age, I was probably partying A LOT harder than they were.  Still the same, I wondered to myself, what they might be able to accomplish if they were to learn some of the things that I have in my ‘advanced’ age.  What if instead of gourging on cheeseburgers and beers, we all were drinking green smoothies and eating clean?  What if instead of sharing a joint and numbing their minds, we all sat around and told stories of inspiration or taught each other some valuable skill or information?  What if?

Now don’t get me wrong, I fully believe there is a time and a place to celebrate – and that here in America July 4th is one of the best days for that.  But this past 4th of July, I can definitely say that I was proud to celebrate clean AND sober – and enjoyed my family and friends and the day’s events as much as ever.  It’s sad to say that until recently, I didn’t even know it was possible to celebrate without drinking and pot.  To me they always went hand in hand …

How do you celebrate?  Is it possible for you to enjoy yourself and ‘party’ without drugs and alcohol?  I want to hear from YOU!

BTW – It’s too late for this year, but here’s an interesting article with 8 tips to a sober 4th of July from the Pat Moore Foundation.  It reads like it is geared to those in recovery, but I fully agree with the tips – especially the part about not getting tired or hungry – and #5 too.

Thanks for reading.


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