June is LGBTQ Pride Month (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer), and it’s a time for celebrating the LGBTQ community and members of the community who have changed history. The premise of Pride Month is to uplift the voices and culture of the (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) LGBT community, recognize the impact, historically and currently, and support human rights.
The month of June is relevant because it coincides with the Gay Liberation Movement that was the Stonewall Uprising. On June 28, 1969, police raided The Stonewall Inn, which was a gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York City. The bar patrons fought back, leading to the Stonewall Riots, lasting for days. The Stonewall Inn is now a historic landmark and national monument.
In the United States, There are typically parades, performances, protests, memorials, and celebrations held during this month. The key symbol that represents Pride is the rainbow, and each color has its meaning. You’ll often see the rainbow flag throughout Pride events. This year’s Pride celebrations may be especially lively in many parts of the country because there weren’t opportunities for the major events last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With that being said, there is often a party atmosphere at many Pride events, and if you’re sober, you may find yourself wondering how you can go about celebrating Pride in a way that works for you.
Addiction In the LGBTQ Community
Addiction is, unfortunately, something that disproportionately affects the LGBTQ community. Many factors likely have to lead to this, including social stigma and discrimination. Members of the LGBTQ community are also at a higher risk of being victims of violence and harassment. These are all factors that can be risk factors for behavioral health issues like drug or alcohol abuse or addiction. Many sexual minorities use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate because of what they face in society and their daily lives. They may also have co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety.
According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, patterns of substance abuse reported by sexual minorities are higher than what’s reported by heterosexual adults. There are treatment programs that specialize in the needs of the LGBTQ community. When someone with a substance use disorder receives specialized treatment, outcomes tend to be better for them. These treatment programs can address the issues specific to this population, including violence, social isolation, problems with their families, and homophobia and transphobia.
Tips for Celebrating Pride If You’re Sober
If you are sober, whether because you’ve gone to treatment for a substance use disorder or it’s just something you choose for yourself, luckily, there are great ways to celebrate. The following are some ideas for celebrating Pride month if you’re sober but want a memorable experience.
Host a Sober Event
Pride doesn’t just have to be about going to other events; you can have your own with a circle of people you trust and feel comfortable with and make it a sober event. You can have fun with it—have a contest to see who makes the best mocktails. Remember that what you’re doing is creating memories that you won’t forget.
Have a Support System
No matter where you are in your sobriety journey, having a support system is critical. This is also important for your overall mental health. If you’re sober while celebrating Pride month, don’t be afraid to open up to your support system and tell them how you’re feeling. It’s okay to feel like you’re struggling a bit. If possible, bringing a friend with you who is also sober to different events is a great way to stay accountable. When you bring a sober friend, it can help you work through the situations where you might feel most vulnerable or triggered.
Avoid Your Triggers When Possible
It may be that you participate in some Pride month events, but maybe not all of them if you feel like they could be triggering for you. That’s okay, and your boundaries are essential to maintain no matter what. If you’re in a situation and feel like you’re facing triggers, have an exit strategy. Be ready to get away from a situation if you don’t feel comfortable, and go somewhere that you feel safer.
Go To Meetings
If you usually attend AA or NA meetings during Pride month, make sure that you keep up with those. You might be distracted by other things, but that’s often the most critical time to go to meetings. If you’re not in a 12-step program, maybe you check in with your counselor or do anything that’s going to help you stay on track, even when it’s challenging.
Take Pride in your Sobriety
Pop culture tends to paint Pride mostly about the party, and that’s not the reality. It’s a necessary time to celebrate who you are and the history of the LGBTQ community.
Addiction does not discriminate, and neither does Anchored Tides Recovery we believe everybody deserves to be loved and to live a happy life free of substance abuse, no matter what. Our aftercare programs and services create a safe environment for women to heal, call today and come build up your support system.