While there are many LGBTQ+ holidays and events throughout the year, the month of June has been designated as Gay Pride Month. Whether it is your first time experiencing Pride Month sober or your tenth, the party atmosphere of Pride Month can be triggering. Keep reading for ways you can safely participate in and celebrate Pride Month while in recovery and stay sober.
Lean On Your Recovery Support System During Pride Month
Even though Pride Month has a different look since the start of COVID-19, there are still many instances where you may need to lean on your support system. Addiction can have many different underlying issues — such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety — all of which are treatable, and having a strong support system is essential while in recovery.
Whether it is attending a virtual event, going to a small get-together, or if bars and restaurants are open in your area, it is always a good idea to take the following precautions with your support system:
- Designate a sober buddy. Make sure you have a fellow sober companion with you throughout Pride Month and for any events you may be attending. You can work together to make sure the other is doing okay, to talk through triggers, or to simply have a great time with.
- Keep attending your meetings. Make sure your regular meetings aren’t falling by the wayside just because it is Pride Month. In fact, you should think about going to a few extra ones just to make sure you’re staying on track.
- Check-in with your loved ones. It is important to check in regularly with your loved ones so that they know you’re doing OK and so that you can have people to speak with should the festivities of Pride Month become too overwhelming for you.
Plan Ahead During Pride Month
If you do end up attending a Pride Month event this year, it is important that you plan ahead. Some tips for doing this include:
- Have an exit strategy ready. Make sure you have a way to excuse yourself from any situation you’re in, such as saying you have another function to attend or that you have an early morning the next day.
- Don’t be a designated driver. It might feel safer for your friends to be in a loved one’s car rather than an Uber or taxi, however, just because you’re sober doesn’t mean you need to be the designated driver. Doing this will force you to stay at the function the entire time and can set you up for a possible relapse.
- Bring your own food and drinks. Don’t rely on the host to have sober-friendly food and drinks at the party. If need be, bring a water bottle or a jug of your favorite lemonade.
Host a Pride Event that You Can Control
If you’re worried about attending events and feeling overwhelmed, host your own! This way, you can be in control of what happens, and you can still participate in all the fun that Pride Month has to offer. Some ways you can host your own Pride Month event include:
- A virtual watch party. There are so many virtual events going on during Pride Month. Gather your friends and host a virtual watch party!
- Brush up on your cooking skills. Whether it is virtual or a small in-person gathering, host a cooking party with your friends and make rainbow-inspired treats!
- Get your game on. Everyone loves a good game night! Head to the HouseParty app to host an LGBTQ+ inspired virtual game night, or put on your rainbow best and have a game night gathering.
Volunteer for Pride Month Instead
LGBTQ+ issues run very deep in the community — they affect many aspects of human life, all the way down to abuse, race, poverty, substance use disorder, homicide, suicide and many more. If you are particularly passionate about any of the issues and are looking for a way to give back, volunteering for Pride Month is the best way to do it.
Pride Month & New Hope Ranch
At New Hope Ranch, we want individuals to enjoying celebrating who they are while staying true to their sobriety. There are many ways to do that; you can have fun and not relapse. But if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we are here to help. Our residential treatment center provides evidence-based and holistic substance use and co-occurring disorder treatment on our beautiful 49-acre ranch just 15 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas. Contact New Hope Ranch to help get you on track and celebrate a healthy life.