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RECOvering Through Wedding Season

The summer wedding wave is here! With all the excitement and happiness these special events bring, there can also be a sense of fear or dread for those in recovery who don’t want to be tempted to drink or use. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable, and you can make it through a wedding without relapsing. 

How To Be Part of the Wedding Party

If you are part of the wedding party, there are many expectations on the day of the wedding and even before. Bachelor and bachelorette parties are often filled with alcohol or substance use, but you don’t have to participate. If you feel like your sobriety can’t survive a party like that, it’s okay. Have a heart-to-heart with the bride or groom, and let them know that you want to be there on their big day to support them. 

For your own health and safety, you need them to support your decision to do what’s best for you when it comes to the bachelor or bachelorette party. If you feel that you can attend and maintain your sobriety, that’s great! You’re showing yourself that you’re solid in your recovery.

On the day of the wedding, there are always obstacles or little things that go wrong. If you can help, help out. Otherwise, laugh it off, console the bride or groom, and celebrate their day with them. If they’ve asked you to stand up with them on this special day, they obviously care about you and are happy to have you by their side. 

How To Talk Other People

As you walk through the wedding, you’ll undoubtedly see some people that you haven’t seen in a while. Many care about you and are genuinely wanting to see you and celebrate your successes. Others may only approach you due to a desire for gossip or misplaced curiosity. Before the event, set your own boundaries about what you want to tell any people you will see at the wedding. You don’t owe anyone details, and you can be as vague as you please. 

Sometimes it’s hard to have that perfect phrase prepared if you’re asked to answer uncomfortable questions. If you’re not sure what to tell someone who asks you questions, here are a few phrases to help get you through:

  • How are you doing? I’m (good) (okay) (doing great) (working on things) (alright), thanks for asking. How are you?
  • What have you been up to lately? I’m (living the dream) (working on me) (trying new things) and happy to be here today. I’m so excited for (name) and (name)!
  • How’s life these days? I’m doing well and happy to be here today. How are you doing?
  • Where are you working/what are you doing these days? I’m working for (job) and it’s going (well) (okay) (great) (I’m thriving). Or I’m between jobs right now, but I’m looking around. I’m hopeful for the future and just working on myself. 
  • Are events like this hard for you? Sometimes events like this can be hard, but I’ve made it this far. I’ll make it through tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. When they say one day at a time, they’re right. (Laugh here if you can)

For the questions below, honesty is the best policy — whatever you are comfortable with.

  • Are you seeing anybody? Well, are you? You can be honest. Weddings seem to be a place where everyone is wondering who is coupled up.
  • What’s rehab/treatment like? Be as honest or vague with this one as you like. Again, you don’t owe anyone the details of what you went through, and you can set boundaries for any questions that come off as malicious or prying.

If you’ve been in recovery for a long time, questions like these may be pretty simple and less stressful than for someone who’s just come out of treatment. Whatever your situation may be, it’s okay, to be honest. Ultimately, what you choose to tell people is totally up to you.

How To Avoid the Bar

Most weddings have a lot of events going on at once. If you need excuses to avoid the bar, here are a few strategies to help you keep your distance:

  • Find your date, a favorite friend, or a family member who can keep you company throughout the wedding.
  • Ask the bride or groom for a job to do during the wedding. Perhaps you’re videotaping, filling the dessert table, being the DJ, or making sure that everyone dances. Having anything from a minor job to a detail-oriented job is a great way to stay busy throughout the wedding.
  • Find a partner and dance the night away! Get that great-aunt or uncle who never dances out on the floor and have some fun.
  • Bring a sober buddy as a date. You can plan ways to hold each other accountable and still enjoy the wedding.

Wedding season is a fun time for anyone ready to get dressed up and celebrate a happy couple. But for some in recovery, wedding season can be painful, uncomfortable, or cause feelings of jealousy that get in the way of their own happiness. Try not to compare, as your successes are your own and should be celebrated in your own way. If you need advice or support, call us at RECO Intensive. At RECO Intensive, we understand the importance of your health and sobriety and realize that large gatherings like weddings can result in feelings of stress or anxiety. We want to help guide you through your upcoming events and give you the tools to succeed in your RECOvery, one day at a time. At RECO Intensive, our professional staff and experienced alumni can help you find strategies for sobriety this wedding season and beyond. Call RECO Intensive today at (561) 464-6533. Let’s get back to a brighter future. 

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