Saint Patrick's Day is not just about drinking. There is an entire history and story that is the backdrop to everything green on this day. Saint Patrick's Day originated as a celebration in honor of Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was a fifth-century missionary who is credited with bringing Christianity to parts of Ireland. He is also known for standing against the mistreatment of Irish Catholics by the British government.
The celebration of Saint Patrick's day was brought to America by Irish immigrants, where the holiday evolved into a celebration of Irish Culture. The day was also a day for Irish immigrants to celebrate their heritage. Today, it has become known as a day of pub crawls and beer, so it might seem like something to be avoided if you're newly sober. However, there's much more to celebrate, and different ways to celebrate if you still want to get in the spirit.
Gather your friends and have an everything Irish culture gathering. Ask each person to make an Irish dish. You might be surprised at how many versions of shepherd's pie, Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and a few surprise dishes can come of this.
If you and your friends are of the movie-watching crowd, watch an Irish movie. You can Google Irish actors, films, or directors and choose from a long list within these parameters. You could even look up a list of the best Irish movies to watch on Saint Patrick's Day.
If reading is more to your liking, have a book party featuring Irish authors. Storytelling is as much a part of traditional Irish culture as the green stripe on the national flag. There are many authors from many genres to choose from, like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and Molly Keane, just to name a few.
Ireland and the Irish people have contributed many things to society and the world we live in today. If you have young people or small children in your home, you can make Saint Patrick's Day an educational holiday. Ask them to look up one or two Irish people and create a poster or other project highlighting their contributions. If you homeschool your children, you can count the project as extra credit work.
Staying sober on a day where it seems like everyone is drinking can be a challenge. Remind yourself that this is one day, whereas your sobriety took days, months, and years to create. Don't undo all that hard work in one night. Like all uncomfortable situations, this day, too, shall pass. If you feel yourself being tempted, check up on your motivation to stay sober.
If you feel that Saint Patrick's Day will be a struggle for you, have a sober plan in place so that you will not be tempted back down a dangerous path. Surround yourself with friends, family, and other individuals who are in recovery to hold you accountable.
Having a plan in place before the big day will give you a sense of grounding and reduce anxiety. Provide yourself with several options because life happens, and the best-laid plans can have hiccups. If you end up at an event where people are drinking, have an exit strategy. Even if you're nervous or feel rude telling someone you have to leave, doing so is better than putting your hard-earned sobriety in danger.
Telling yourself that you can have “just one drink” never stays “just one drink” for long. Veterans in recovery will tell you that one drink is always too much and not enough all at the same time. If you have difficulty being alone and staying sober, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Opt for a soft drink or stick to water if you're in an environment that offers alcoholic drinks.
The Alcoholics Anonymous website has a list of in-person and virtual meetings for you. Some groups may be throwing sober activities for the AA community as a way to have fun while staying sober during Saint Patrick's Day. If there's nothing there that interests you, gather tips and ideas and throw your own gathering.
If you are in recovery, a holiday like Saint Patrick's Day can lead to dangerous triggers. Finding alternate ways to celebrate a day that has been promoted as a drinking holiday can be difficult. Not everyone will understand the struggle you experience, which is okay, and there is an entire community that does and is willing to help you. All you have to do is ask.
Holidays like Saint Patrick's Day can be a huge trigger for those in recovery. There is a drinking establishment on every corner with advertisements for parties and Irish-inspired beverages. You are not alone. Millions of people struggle with their sobriety every day. Days like Saint Patrick's day can create anxiety over staying sober. You can create your own version of this holiday by hosting your own gatherings with non-alcoholic beverages or taking a different route to celebrate Irish culture. If this day causes cravings and urges to use so intense that no activity can distract you, reach out for help to stay sober. Not everyone will understand your struggle, and that is okay. SokyaHealth understands what you are experiencing. Our compassionate and well-trained staff can offer the support and therapies that will help you maintain and continue in your journey of sobriety. Call us today at 866-932-1767.