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Finding Pride in Sober Spaces

by Paige Blanchard

Finding Pride in Sober Spaces

Generally, if I wasn't on the sidelines high and drunk, I didn't even make it to Pride because my comedowns were so bad, or I was catching up on sleep after multiple nights without. At best, I'd be found blacked out on the beach somewhere, smelling like liquor, pupils dilated and sweating because of all the drugs I had in my system. I was a mess.

I would always plan to check out the festivities, but never make it to most of them. Finding and getting drugs meant more to me than following throughout with the commitments I had made with my friends. Really, it just took away from my own experiences. It is really sad to me that that's how it was. I never really got a chance to enjoy what was going on around me because I was just lost. Pride wasn't what it could have been - it was just a blur.

Last year I made it to Pride, clean and sober, and had the time of my life. I remember every detail and every feeling I had, and it really is a blessing to have been able to have the experience that I did. I was a volunteer with The Last Door and Clean Sober Proud, celebrated Pride in multiple cities, and got to be on the Clean Sober Proud float for my first time ever. I made amazing memories with many different people. This will be my second year in a row celebrating without substances, and I have so many things to look forward to again. I get to enjoy myself and be a part of the day rather than fixating on what drugs and alcohol to use next. I am forever grateful for everyone who has helped me see how much fun being clean can be.

This will be my second annual year volunteering with Clean Sober Proud, and I am beyond ecstatic. I am super fortunate to be part of a community which connects one another in clean and sober events. When I was given the opportunity to volunteer with the Clean Sober Proud team, I knew I had to be a part of it. Volunteering has given me a huge sense of purpose; helping others to find a safer way to celebrate Pride, making new connections, and looking at Pride a little differently.

What we are doing is so important for the people out there who feel isolated because they don't want to partake in partying with substances. We are able to provide a safe space, where everyone feels welcome and loved. People are able to have a kick ass time during Vancouver Pride at Untoxicated, the substance-free party where everyone can let go, dance, and watch an amazing show of local and international performers.

I am proud and grateful to be a part of such an amazing movement.

Check out Clean, Sober, Proud on the internet.

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