Especially for people in early addiction recovery, staying sober on holidays like Memorial Day can be especially challenging. This is mainly due to the cultural traditions tied to the holiday. Memorial Day drinking is quite common, as many people tend to drink alcohol while celebrating the day at the beach or barbecuing with loved ones. However, it is possible to have a fun and sober Memorial Day with loved ones, and our Clearbrook rehab in Pennsylvania is sharing some tips that can help.
Memorial Day 2023: The Meaning Behind the Day
Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed in the United States on the last Monday of May. The purpose of Memorial Day is to honor and mourn the military personnel who have died while serving the U.S. Armed Forces. Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day was first observed after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the war.
Over time, the holiday has become a day to remember all U.S. military active-duty personnel who have died in past wars. The day is typically marked by traditions like parades, remembrance ceremonies, and visits to cemeteries and memorials to honor and remember the country’s fallen soldiers.
Making Sober Plans for Memorial Day Weekend
As much as this holiday is meant to honor and commemorate the men and women who have died serving our country, it has also become a day when families and friends get together to party and drink. While there is nothing wrong with celebrating with loved ones to honor those we have lost, alcohol consumption does not have to rule the day.
On this note, whether you are in addiction recovery or simply want to lay off the drinking, below are some tips for a sober Memorial Day you should try this year.
Focus On Honoring Lost Lives
There are several ways you can celebrate the true meaning behind Memorial Day. These include planting a tree, raising a flag, and visiting the veterans in your life to thank them for their service. If you have a veteran in your family who passed away or you would like to honor them, you can do something that day that they would have enjoyed, such as preparing their favorite meal for your family.
Volunteer or Raise Money
There are many worthy causes you can contribute your time and energy to on Memorial Day that will give back to veterans in need of assistance or families who have lost loved ones in war. For instance, you can run a marathon to help raise money or volunteer at a Veterans Affairs (VA) community center. You can even try and find different families of veterans and give them a small gift as a way of showing your appreciation.
Celebrate With Your Community
Most communities host an annual Memorial Day event, such as a parade or block party. You can also visit your local history or military museum. This is great whether you go on your own or if you go with a large group of family and friends.
Attend an AA Meeting
It is important to stay focused on your recovery no matter how spirited the celebrations are. Another way to enjoy a sober Memorial Day is to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting or event. In addition to 12-step meetings, our Clearbrook rehab hosts a celebration for people in recovery.
We have a gratitude circle with everyone to remember those who came before us, and we talk about the things that we are grateful for. A saying you often hear in recovery is that “a grateful addict/alcoholic will not drink again, so long as they stay that way.” These are the types of things that we like to put into practice here so that when people leave, they can put that gratitude into action in the “real world.”
On Memorial Day, the team at our Northeast addictions treatment center works tirelessly from very early in the morning, getting the grounds ready with tables, barbeque grills, tents, and decorations. Our kitchen staff is also hard at work doing all their prep work for the day ahead. We encourage you to come to celebrate with us this year!
Start Your Recovery at Our Pennsylvania Rehab
If you or someone you care about needs drug or alcohol addiction treatment, our facility is here to help. In addition to substance-specific programs, we also offer medically-assisted detox to help with withdrawal recovery, psychotherapy, and aftercare services. When combined, these modalities create a well-rounded treatment plan to ensure the individual has everything they need for long-term sobriety.
For veterans struggling with addiction, we offer rehab programs specific to your needs. Our Veterans in Recovery program offers substance-specific care, including detox as well as psychotherapy and alumni support designed with your needs in mind.