It's that time of year again, PRIDE, a time when we celebrate our hard-won rights, freedoms, and the beauty of the LGBTQ+ community. It may not be officially Denver Pride, June 24th and 25th, just yet, but we've got a whole month to celebrate! But for sober folks or those with new commitments to drink less, Pride can be a tricky event to navigate. With booze flowing freely, peer pressure high, and emotions running strong, it's easy to feel left out, stressed, or tempted to drink. But worries! There are ways to survive Pride sober and still have a blast! In this blog post, we'll explore some tips on how to drink less during Pride month, so you can enjoy the festivities while keeping your recovery intact.
1. Reach out to sober friends
Just like with any social event, it's helpful to have a support network in place who understands and respects your sobriety. Look for sober groups or individuals within the LGBTQ+ community who you can turn to for encouragement, advice, and camaraderie. Whether it's a sober dance party or a meeting before the parade, being around like-minded folks can help you feel less isolated and more empowered.
2. Set boundaries
As much as you may want to attend every Pride event and party, it's okay to say no and prioritize your sobriety. Consider limiting the number of events you attend, avoiding trigger-happy situations like bars or clubs, or bringing a non-drinking friend or family member with you. Be clear with yourself and others about what makes you feel comfortable and respected, and stick to those boundaries.
3. Come prepared
Whether you're attending a potluck, a picnic, or a parade, it's always helpful to have some non-alcoholic beverages and snacks on hand. Bring your own cooler with sodas, juices, or mocktails. If everyone wants to meet at a taproom, have a list ready of your favorite taprooms with Non-alcoholic, NA, options like, Ratio Beerworks and Lady Justice Brewing (not sponsored). By planning ahead, you'll avoid feeling thirsty and focus on enjoying the moment.
4. Practice self-care
Pride can be overwhelming, emotionally and physically. From the heat to the crowds to the noisy music, it's important to listen to your body and take breaks as needed. Find a quiet spot to meditate, breathe deeply, or journal. Go for a hike, camp overnight, or set up a picnic in the shade at your favorite city park. Take a nap or call a supportive friend. By nurturing yourself, you'll be better able to handle challenges that come your way.
5. Be kind to yourself
Lastly, give yourself the grace to make mistakes and grow. Sobriety isn’t an easy journey, and it’s okay to stumble along the way. You don't have to set unrealistic expectations for yourself; recognize that Pride Month might be tough, but you're tougher. It's important to remember that you're not alone, and there's no one "right way" to celebrate Pride. Find what works for you and enjoy the experience!
Pride month can be a wonderful, uplifting, and inclusive time for all of us in the LGBTQ+ community, regardless of drinking status. By following these tips on how to drink less during Pride month, you can enjoy the festivities while staying true to your sober self. Remember, you're not alone, and you're not missing out on anything by choosing your health and well-being over alcohol. Pride is about being proud of who you are, in all your unique glory, and that includes your decision to stay sober (or drink less). So Happy Pride everyone, and celebrate with all your heart!