Getting Married and Staying Sober

Getting married is one of your life's most marvelous yet stressful times. There are so many decisions you have to make. If one or both of you is in recovery, this might pose an additional challenge in decisions. You should have these conversations with your partner to decide the best option for you.

Dry Wedding

Whether or not to serve alcohol may be one of the more complex decisions to make when planning a wedding. For example, should you have a dry wedding or host a bar for guests? You may want to try to accommodate other people while still being safe yourself.

The best advice for this is to know what your triggers are. If being around alcohol and guests who partake is a trigger, you should probably have a dry wedding. The other thing you must remember is not only the alcohol itself but the effects it will have on your guest. 

Weddings are notorious for causing people to overindulge in alcohol. Remember that while alcohol may not bother you, a room full of intoxicated people may be triggering. So, again, it is best to avoid these triggers.

There is nothing wrong with having a dry wedding. Some people may be frustrated by this choice, and there is a stigma that dry weddings are boring, but that is not the case. Do what's best for you and your sobriety. 

Talking With Your Family

If you decide to have a dry wedding, let the people in your family and your guests know this ahead of time. This is primarily so that you have the chance to explain your situation. Explain that you must keep your sobriety in mind and do what is best for you. 

This can be a challenging conversation if you come from a family that is still suffering from substance use disorder (SUD). Having a dry wedding may cause a backlash. However, there are things that you can do in this situation.

The first thing is to try to have a rational conversation with them and explain the importance of your sobriety. You can even go as far as explaining what addiction is. Explain that it is a dysfunction in the brain and that your brain is essentially wired to crave substances, and being around that is too dangerous for you.

If your family members are not receptive, you may have to make a difficult choice: ask that they either respect your sobriety or not attend your wedding. Though it may seem harsh, it may be necessary for your continued recovery. They should understand and comply if they respect you and want to do what's best for you.

Coping With the Stress

Planning a wedding can get stressful. So many stressors can come up, from financial stress to the anxiety of planning such a big event. Below are a few things to keep in mind to help reduce stress.

Walking Away

One of the most important things you can do for your mental health is to walk away from a problem when it gets too overwhelming. A quick 10-minute walk can do wonders for your mental health. Then you can come back to the situation with a clearer head.

Take Things Step by Step

With weddings, the list of things that need to be taken care of can be overwhelming. There can be a lot of stress involved with each decision you have to make. That is why you must take things one step at a time.

Try making a list of all that needs to be done. This way, you can see all that needs to be done in a way that can be broken down into incremental, individual steps. You may be familiar with this way of managing tasks and goals as part of your sobriety maintenance. 

Remembering What Is Important

This is the most critical of all the things we have talked about. A wedding should be one of the best days of your life. Your happiness should be the priority. Ensure that you take measures that allow you and your future the freedom to enjoy yourself. That may look like a dry bar or eliminating problematic family members from the guest list. It may be stressful leading up to that day, but the day itself should be joyous.

Your sobriety is a part of your life and should be considered. It is the thing that has allowed you to have this type of successful relationship. That dedication should be respected.

Weddings are ultimately about celebrating your love with your significant other. Therefore, it's your love that is important. So when things seem to get overwhelming or stressful, try to have the perspective that the most important thing is your love for your partner.

Getting married can be a stressful event. There is so much to do and plan for that it can be challenging to manage. This is especially true if you are in recovery. Once stress starts to hit, so do the intrusive thoughts about relapse. We want to avoid stress as much as possible. If you are struggling with your recovery during this stressful time, the last thing you want is a relapse. NorthStar Transitions can help. We can help you manage these complicated feelings and give you ways to cope with the challenges that can present themselves during recovery. Take the first step at improving your life by calling (303) 558-6400.

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