Valentine’s Day can be challenging for some people, especially if you’re early in recovery. It’s a time for wine and champagne with your significant other, which means an avalanche of posts on social media by friends and family who want everyone to know how happy they are to be in such a wonderful relationship. That can be triggering, alienating, or both. If you’re facing down your first Valentine’s Day sober, here’s how to celebrate.
If you’re single.
Most experts recommend you don’t start a new romantic relationship for the first year of recovery. This seems like a long time, but there are good reasons for taking it slow. For one, people who struggle with addiction often have negative relationship patterns, such as codependency, or using romantic hookups as a sort of coping mechanism. A waiting period helps break these reflexive patterns. Another issue is that relationships can introduce extra stress and turbulence into your life. A new relationship is great at first, but it can also distract from working on your recovery. Heated arguments or a breakup might be a major trigger for relapse. All this is to say that if you’re newly sober, being single on Valentine’s Day is probably for the best. There’s no law that all humans must be paired up at all times. Be grateful that you have the space to make some healthy changes in your life and, as always, avoid comparing yourself to others. If you feel the need to mark the occasion, get together with some sober friends for dinner and support one another that way.
If you’re in a relationship.
While it’s not recommended to start a new relationship for the first year of recovery, if you’re already in a long-term relationship, taking a break from it often doesn’t make much sense. A supportive partner can be a major asset in recovery. If you feel inclined to celebrate, then celebrate. You may prefer a nice dinner at home or somewhere that doesn’t serve alcohol, since nicer restaurants tend to push wine, especially on Valentine’s day. You may prefer to do something less conventional, like go camping or skiing. Any sort of travel is a great way to spend time together and get closer. Whatever you decide to do to celebrate Valentine’s Day, be sure to use the occasion as an opportunity to practice gratitude. Many people lose their partners, their jobs, their families, and even their lives to addiction. If your partner has stayed with you through hard times, use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to show your gratitude and reaffirm your commitment to recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.