grilling foods for Labor Day exit strategy

Recovery Comes First! Good Exit Strategies for Labor Day Weekend

Remember, your recovery comes first! So you should never feel like you need to stick around and explain yourself during Labor Day weekend. You’ve probably got grilling, relaxation and sunshine on your mind! If you plan to venture out this weekend with friends and family, make sure you refresh your exit strategy.

Even if you’ve been in recovery for a long time, it’s still important to know how you plan to leave a situation if it gets uncomfortable. Delaying your departure can worsen things, by getting you into more uncomfortable conversations. 

To help you prepare for Labor Day parties and barbecues, here are some of the best exit plans to follow. 

Quietly Sneak Out 

For some people, the best exit strategy is to quietly slip out. If you feel comfortable leaving this way, make sure you drive your own car or ride with someone who will leave when you want. Subtly sneaking out works well in large crowds when you don’t want to hunt down the host. You can always send a text later thanking them for the fun. 

Have a Reason to Leave Early 

Some people feel better identifying their reason to leave early at the start of the gathering. If you don’t feel comfortable sneaking out without saying anything, talk to the host about how you’re only going to stay a short time. You can then leave when you want, without having the pressure of explaining yourself. 

Blame Your Ride 

If you plan to go to a Labor Day party with a sober friend, you can use them as your excuse to leave early. Maybe they have to work the next day or have another party to attend. Our only word of caution is to discuss this with them ahead of time. No one likes to feel used, so make sure they’re okay taking the blame. 

Move to a Safe Space 

What happens if you are feeling uncomfortable, but you’re not sure what to do? Maybe your ride has disappeared or you can’t get a hold of your sponsor. The best solution is to move to a safe and quiet space. This will allow you to think clearly and sort out your feelings. If you believe returning to the gathering is not in your best interest, call a trusted friend or Uber to pick you up. 

Practice Your Responses

It’s also important to practice your responses to some comments you may hear. This will give you the confidence you need to answer tough questions about your recovery. For example, if someone asks why you’re not drinking, you might say, “I have to get up early for work and need to feel my best.” 

It’s important to have an escape plan when venturing out into the real world. You can’t control what people say and do – you can only control yourself and your responses. Start slow, choose your gatherings wisely, and limit your time out. Eventually, celebrating sober events and holidays will come much more naturally.