Woman Refuses To Host A 4th Of July Family BBQ At Her House Because She Doesn't Want Alcohol In Her Home

"I'm trying to protect my peace by avoiding things that trigger me."

4th of July family party. Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

The 4th of July is notoriously a summer party weekend. Barbecues, beer, and fireworks are the standard.

However, for one woman on Reddit, the holiday has become a point of contention in her family. As a recovering alcoholic, she refuses to host a get-together, and being saddled with the event every year, her brother thinks she's just being selfish. 

“[I’ve] been sober for 6 months, and it’s been a struggle,” she wrote in her post. “[I’m] not at all comfortable around alcohol, which has been a little isolating. Beer culture is huge here and every group, meetup, hobby, whatever, revolves around drinking.”


A woman said she refused to host her family’s 4th of July party because she doesn’t want alcohol in her home.

After recently becoming a homeowner, her brother automatically assumed she would host the family's annual 4th of July party, but it was clear to her that they were more concerned with utilizing her backyard and four-bedroom home than respecting her boundaries with alcohol.

family celebrating 4th of July with an outdoor barbecue vgajic /Canva Pro


RELATED: Bride Accused Of Being 'Boring' For Choosing To Only Serve Water To Drink At Her Wedding Reception

As a national “drinking holiday,” the 4th of July has become a day this woman’s been anxiously dreading. Her family typically hosts a big party with alcohol for the entire extended family. Typically, she’d show up for a couple of hours to socialize, then leave when she felt too uncomfortable being around drinking — a tactic her therapist supported her in taking.

However, this year, her family expected that she would host the party as a new homeowner.

“I am not comfortable with having alcohol in my home, and I know better than to try to tell adults not to drink for something like a drinking holiday. I don’t want all that drama, so I have simply declined.”

@lewis 3x #1 NYT Bestselling Author Mark Manson on his decision to stop drinking 🧡 For the full conversation, click below or head to episode 1485 #sobriety #healing #healingjourney #socialanxiety #growth #growthmindset #outgrowingpeople ♬ Soft and minimal instrumental music(1259336) - MaxRecStudio

While she has the option not to drink at social gatherings where alcohol is present she confessed that she’s not yet at a place where it’s “easy” to make that decision. Instead, she’d prefer to avoid it entirely, meaning she wouldn’t host a party with alcohol around, even if it was “just” a family barbeque.

“I talked about this with my therapist, and she has said that it’s perfectly reasonable for me to want to avoid alcohol in my home,” she wrote. “I’m still fresh into sobriety, and it may be a few years before I’m truly comfortable in situations focused around drinking.”

As a recovering alcoholic, she confessed that one of her 'biggest' triggers is holidays.

Of course, as many recovering alcoholics struggle with, sobriety is incredibly isolating — from social gatherings to family BBQs, there’s almost always alcohol present. Not only is it uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing to be around it, especially being newly in recovery, but it’s also a choice that requires support and understanding.


Family 4th of July barbecue. Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

RELATED: Woman Upset After A Guest Brings A Generic Product To A BBQ Instead Of The Name Brand — 'I Asked For One Thing And He Couldn't Deliver'

“One of my biggest drinking triggers is holidays,” she admits, “especially the ones that revolve around drinking. I have done my best to be there with my family, but I tend to have to cut out early and do some self-care after.”


To ensure she remains social with friends and family, she’s crafted several boundaries around alcohol that help her on her recovery journey. Especially because a 4th of July party would leave her “stuck” around alcohol in her space, hosting was a line in the sand she wouldn’t cross.

“I’ve simply declined. But, it’s become an issue now because it’s going to be on my brother’s back to host.”

Choosing not to host has prompted a great deal of animosity from her brother who argued she’s ‘being selfish.’ 

“He thinks I’m being selfish,” she wrote after having an argument with her brother, “and making everyone else accountable for my drinking problem… I said of course they aren’t, but I’m trying to protect my peace by avoiding things I know will trigger me.”

After accusing her of “making excuses” by refusing to host, her brother continued to shame her on her recovery journey — even calling her a “[expletive] sister” and saying that he was exhausted “dealing with her alcohol problem.”


While she said being an alcoholic had strained their relationship in the past, she was under the impression being sober was a celebratory milestone, not a burden to them.

While her family wasn't incredibly supportive, commenters on Reddit were. “You’re under no obligation to assist them in behaviors that you’ve distanced yourself from,” one wrote. Your brother also has the option of not hosting… there are so many options that don’t require you to sabotage your hard-won early-stage recovery.”

Believe it or not, some people are choosing to not even celebrate the 4th of July this year — whether for similar personal reasons or political ones. “I don’t really think there’s anything to celebrate,” a creator named Bonnie on TikTok said. “I don’t want to ignore our country’s history and the problems it has… I’m not patriotic.”

According to a National Retail Federation Survey, Americans are planning to spend less money on the holiday this year, despite the majority reporting they’re “celebrating” in some way — a choice that’s largely representative of financial crises and rising costs that average people are still struggling with.


So, while this woman's circumstances are unique to her family and likely founded in her brother's unresolved issues resulting from when she was in active addiction, you should not feel guilty or forced to celebrate if you don't want to.

Whether you’re trying to distance yourself from alcohol, be an advocate for political change, or simply save money, you have no reason to feel ashamed for opting out of celebrations or celebrating in your own way.

RELATED: A Couple With Kids Stopped Inviting Their Family To Holidays 5 Years Ago And They Have Zero Regrets

Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.