Valentine’s Day is a special event for many people, but if you or your loved is in early recovery, celebrating this special event may not seem an option for you. Below are some suggested approaches for those who want to celebrate this day with their loved ones.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Although Valentine’s Day is usually a private celebration that is easy to have control over, there might be invitations to parties where alcohol is involved. The advice will be to keep it simple. It is not necessary to go out and spend money to be happy, and it is not any fun to be around friends and family members who do not understand your situation. If this day has been particularly stressful in the past, keep it simple with a nice greeting card or a favorite homemade dessert enjoyed just by you and your loved one. Also, preparing a quiet, intimate dinner will give you the opportunity to concentrate on the essence of what Valentine’s Day is, and what it means to you.
AVOID KNOWN TRIGGERS
If you as a couple do need to attend a social Valentine’s Day event, make sure to have the same planning in place that you’d have for any other holidays to minimize unexpected triggers.
Understand where your loved one is at his or her stage of recovery and don’t push. If he or she does not seem to be comfortable or ready to attend a particular event be supportive and opt for an intimate private celebration, if possible. Just being there for your loved one can be a great V-day that he or she will remember for years.
MAKE PLANS TO DO SOMETHING YOU BOTH ENJOY
Although your loved one’s recovery must take priority, he or she can be the active planner who helps you with the Valentine’s Day celebration ideas. Finding an activity, hobby or place to visit that you both enjoy can be a terrific way to celebrate the V-Day with your recovering loved one. The unique moments you share together can help rebuild, enrich, and solidify your relationship.
For your loved one in recovery, there’s no better way to enjoy this Valentine’s Day than knowing he or she has a partner in recovery with you. So, don’t stress if you are both busy and can’t plan something in advance. A sincere way to celebrate this day is to express your affection for your recovering loved one in words and actions. Many normal and routine displays of affection like a hug, a kiss, or a gentle touch to show how much you care can take on a new meaning on this day. A simple “I love you” in words, text messages, or emojis, can show your affection, reinforcing not only your love but also your commitment to your partner’s recovery goals.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.