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Celebrating Sober Pride

If you are sober or choosing to limit your consumption, it can be difficult to navigate situations and events where there is an increased pressure to consume alcohol and other substances.

For decades, alcohol and substance use have been challenges in LGBTQIAA+ community spaces due to frequent stigmatization individuals face that can lead to substance use as a coping mechanism. As the presence of the community and Pride events become more accepted, substance use is a common part of celebration. There are several organizations on a local and national level, such as Gay and Sober, who not only host meetings for members in their community, but promote fun, social events that are not based solely around substances. 

During June, you may want to celebrate with your friends and peers without substances. Here are 6 ways to support yourself and celebrate LGBTQIAA+ Pride Month sober!

1) Remember your recovery supports

It is important to remember your support routine, even during a busy, celebratory time. Whether it is attending recovery meetings, therapy, or simply maintaining your morning routine, don’t forget to prioritize yourself in the midst of many events! Your health and safety is more important than anything else.

2) Throw a sober Pride Party

If you are not ready to attend events with alcohol, your city doesn’t have a pride celebration, or you just love to host- throw a fun, themed party for all of your friends! Inform all partygoers ahead of time that it is a dry event. Break the ice playing “Most likely to…” trivia, and fun board games. You can also try making yummy mocktails!

3) Bring friends

If you are going to a public event, having people around that you are already comfortable with and are supportive of your journey can help you feel more confident! Your friends will be familiar with your stressors and be able to check-in throughout the day. Having a game-plan and someone to lean on will be beneficial.

4) Bring your own beverages

Bringing your own non-alcoholic drinks means you won’t have to rely on the venue not having your favorite flavor of soda or sparkling water! Having something to hold that you enjoy along with everyone else can help to avoid the question- “Why aren’t you drinking?” Check in advance to see if the venue permits outside beverages at their event.

5) Check out a dry bar

As numbers trend down in consuming alcohol socially, dry bars have become a more popular social gathering space. There are dozens of incredible dry bar options in the Chicagoland area; “The Other Side” in Crystal Lake is a closer option for those in Lake County looking to try out a dry bar for the first time. Many restaurants have now started to offer well-rounded mocktail menus in addition to their typical non-alcoholic options as well.

6) Find the sober booths

Many Pride festivals have sober booths with resources specific to LGBTQIAA+ individuals, such as community-specific recovery meetings. Here, you’ll likely find some sober peers to celebrate with! Volunteering at these booths is a great option to participate in Pride and find camaraderie in the sober community too.

Nicasa supports the LGBTQIAA+ community and provides evaluations, care plans, and treatment that support individuals in all communities throughout  Lake County. Nicasa also connects clients directly to services that may be able to offer additional support during their healing journey.

Remember that it is okay to leave events or not go until you are in a more comfortable spot in your recovery. Have fun and be proud celebrating LGBTQIAA+ Pride Month your way!

If you, or a loved one, are having mental health, substance use, and/or problem gambling concerns, please contact Nicasa Behavioral Health Services at 847-546-6450 or email us at info@nicasa.org.