Sober St. Patrick’s Day
For millions of Americans, St. Patrick’s day is a time of merriment, and for some, perhaps an excuse to go a bit overboard when it comes to alcohol. But the day has serious risks; during St. Patrick’s Day holidays from 2006-2010, more than 700 people were killed in crashes involving drunk drivers. However, St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t just present serious risks for drivers. For millions of recovering alcoholics, St. Patrick’s day can also be a potential minefield, and with opportunities and invitations to drink nearly everywhere, how can someone in recovery stay sober? Celebrate with a Sober St. Patrick’s Day!
1. Surround Yourself with Friends and Family Who Support Your Sobriety
For individuals in recovery from alcohol and drugs, it’s essential to create and maintain a strong support system of individuals who won’t judge you if you don’t drink, and who will actively warn you if they see you slipping back into harmful behaviors. Recovering alcoholics should make full use of their support system during Sober St. Patrick’s Day, and whether that system includes children, spouses, parents, or friends, individuals who know they have a real risk of relapsing shouldn’t go anywhere with alcohol without bringing along at least one person who they know will actively stop them if they try to drink.
2. If You Can’t Take the Heat, Get Out (or Stay Out) of the Fire
While it can be tempting to live the way you use to when you drank alcohol, that isn’t always realistic or healthy. If you know going to all the same bars, pubs, clubs, and parties might seriously tempt you to drink, especially if you planning to go alone or with people who might not support your sobriety, it might just be better to stay home. St. Patrick’s Day is undoubtedly a fun celebration, but you can also have fun at home with friends or family by cooking up some corned beef and cabbage, a potato stew with Irish cheese, and other tasty St. Patty’s day delicacies. That way, you can still have a memorable and relaxing holiday, without the stress of forcing yourself to maximize your willpower simply to avoid drinking.
3. Plan to Leave Any Situations Where You Feel Especially Tempted to Drink
If you have decided to go to an event, celebration or location where you know alcohol will be flowing freely, you need an exit plan. If you’re going with friends or family, they should be ready at any time to go, or at the very least, to be okay with you leaving at any time if you seriously feel the temptation to drink. If you’re uncomfortable sharing your sobriety with others, such as an acquaintance or work colleague who is hosting a party or get-together, you may want to create a ready-made excuse to leave at any time. This way, you can avoid having a drawn out, personal, and potentially awkward conversation with someone you don’t know well, while at the same time, appearing to be caring and polite about leaving the host’s event early.
4, Say No to Problematic Events and Situations in Advance
When you’ve been invited personally, you may have to decline an invitation in advance. Much like creating an excuse to leave a party or event at any time, if you don’t want to share your sobriety with an event’s host, you may want to tell them that you have a family or business commitment that you need to take care of. This, too, can lessen the awkwardness of sharing personal information with an acquaintance, while still being respectful and thankful for their invitation.
5. Keep a Positive Attitude and Have Fun!
No matter what you do for St. Patty’s day, you should understand that you don’t need alcohol to have a ton of fun. As long as you go into the day with a positive attitude and create a bit your own fun with the people you care about the most, you’ll surely have a Sober St. Patrick’s Day that won’t easily be forgotten. Sober living can be tough, but in the end, most individuals in addiction recovery realize that even the worst day sober is better than the best day suffering from alcoholism.
Get Help for Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
At Changing Tides Treatment, we understand that getting sober doesn’t mean giving up your life. That’s why our comprehensive alcohol treatment programs help patients develop the strength and skills they need to maintain their sobriety in a world filled with temptations. No one can change the fact that ongoing recovery is a challenge for those who have suffered from alcoholism, but with the right tools and the correct attitude, life in recovery can be incredibly satisfying.
At Changing Tides Treatment (Malibu and Ventura), we support patients through every stage of the rehabilitation process, from detox and therapeutic interventions, all the way through aftercare services and beyond.