Many people look forward to St. Patrick’s Day because of the parties, parades and food. For a recovering addict, however, this holiday can be a trigger because it’s often associated with indulging in alcohol. If you are a newly recovering addict, there are some steps you can take to protect your sobriety and celebrate a sober St. Patrick's Day.
Host a Booze-Free Party
Just because you are abstaining from drugs and alcohol doesn’t mean that you have to abstain from fun. In fact, if you hold yourself back from celebrating St. Patty's Day, you could end up feeling resentful, and this isn’t helpful for recovery. As long as you participate in sober St. Patrick's Day festivities, you can enjoy a fun and relaxing holiday.
To avoid being in an uncomfortable situation, throw a high-vibe, alcohol-free party of your own. Invite friends and family who support your recovery or extend the invitation to members in your 12-step group. Cook your favorite foods, serve non-alcoholic drinks, play games and listen to music.
Create New Traditions
If you always went out to the bars on St. Patrick’s Day, it’s time to change your traditions. There are many things you can do to participate in this holiday, such as visiting a local museum, preparing corned beef and cabbage or taking Irish dance lessons.
If you feel that many of your friends and family will be out celebrating, consider donating your time instead. This will distract you from the festivities while contributing to something greater. It will also change your perspective that not "everyone" is going out and drinking.
Avoid Going to Parties and Parades
Irish bars, parties and parades are not places where you want to be in early recovery. Alcohol will probably be served at most of them, and you don’t need these temptations around you. If you are invited to a party or Irish pub, politely decline. It can be hard to say no at times, but remember that your sobriety must come first.
Go to a 12-step Meeting
Some people go to an extra meeting on days like St. Patrick’s Day because they know they’re more vulnerable. Attending a meeting connects you with others who are probably sharing similar feelings as you. The time spent in a meeting also prevents you from feeling resentful on missing out on festive activities.
Mindfulness is important because it helps you regulate your emotions and decrease stress and anxiety. Since the holidays can be stressful, it’s important to give your mind some time to relax and reset. Practice mindfulness by taking a peaceful walk, doing breathing exercises or taking a yoga class.
The holidays can be a stressful time for recovering addicts and alcoholics, and St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. Even though it only lasts a day, a lot of people spend the first couple of weeks of March participating in St. Patty’s Day activities. Follow our tips above to help reduce triggers and stick to a sober St. Patrick's Day. If you feel that you need extra help to boost your recovery, contact Drug Help Line.