Think back to a time when you were left out as a kid. Maybe you were sick or you just weren’t seen as good enough to participate in the game or activity. No matter what the circumstance was, it probably didn’t feel good to be left behind.
You probably felt envious of the other kids and wondered what sort of fun you were missing out on. Unfortunately, feelings like that don’t always go away as an adult. After all, everyone wants to feel included! But this sort of isolation is what you may encounter if you’re trying to stay sober on St. Patrick’s Day.
March 17th is a day filled with parades, corned beef, alcohol and parties. But when you’re in recovery, it’s a time when you watch your friends and family have fun and celebrate with alcohol, knowing you can’t join them. St. Patrick’s Day parties can be a strong temptation for relapse. So, how are you supposed to avoid drinking without feeling like you’re missing out on something fun?
You’re not alone in feeling this way. This is why we’re here to give you advice on how to avoid parties and stay sober this St. Patrick’s Day.
Why is Drinking Part of St. Patrick’s Day?
St. Patrick’s Day has actually always been viewed as a day to indulge in food and drink, even dating back to the original feast day. St. Patrick is one of the most famous Irish Saints, but he wasn’t actually Irish. Originally born in England, St. Patrick was enslaved in Ireland and escaped years later to return home.
But he didn’t stay in England. Instead, he returned to Ireland after becoming a cleric to spread Christianity. He was so loved by the Irish people that when he passed away, Christians held a giant feast in his honor.
Today, alcohol and other indulgences are seen as a staple of St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, this type of celebration can be difficult if you’re in addiction recovery.
5 Tips for Avoiding St. Patrick’s Day Drinking and Parties
1. Keep Things in Perspective
If you’re in recovery and invited to a St. Patrick’s Day party, it can feel like you’re missing out if you don’t go or don’t drink. An invitation can get you thinking about alcohol and the pain it caused you and your loved ones. It’s important to remind yourself that even though it feels like a big occasion, this is only one day of the year.
You’ll have the opportunity to make new and meaningful memories with your friends and family in less tempting situations. Think about all the hard work you put in to get sober and remember how that means more to you than a single day of drinking.
2. Go Off the Grid
We’re not talking about going camping in the middle of the woods. Instead, to avoid being tempted into going to St. Patrick’s Day parties, avoid using social media for the entire day. The last thing you need is to see all the pictures your friends are posting as they bar hop and day drink.
If you need to reach out and have some social connection, there are plenty of recovery and AA forums. Think of it as a safe place where you can connect with others in recovery and share your thoughts and feelings without being judged.
3. Use Your Support System
Whether you spend the whole day inside watching Netflix or getting active outside, it’s important to check in with your support system on St. Patrick’s Day. And it’s always good to have a backup during a holiday like this. If you feel the urge to drink, your friends and family could be unavailable.
Before St. Patrick’s Day rolls around, find a nearby sober meeting or event you could attend just in case. Having a support system lets you express your negative feelings in a safe space, while building healthy coping skills.
4. Throw Your Own Party
If you’re wondering how not to drink on St. Patrick’s Day, the answer might be to throw your own party. After all, there’s no better way to avoid another party than by having your own. The benefit is that you’ll have complete control over the atmosphere, who’s invited and the types of beverages you serve.
There’s plenty of ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day without alcohol. Use green decorations and cook authentic Irish food. And by throwing your own party, you’re helping other people who are looking for a way to stay sober on St. Patrick’s Day.
5. Decide How to Decline Party Invitations in Advance
If you’re expecting to be invited to St. Patrick’s Day parties, it’s a good idea to think about your answer in advance. Start by making a list of reasons why you won’t be going to the parties. Be sure to include facts about your recovery (if you’re comfortable sharing them) and answer in a way that doesn’t hurt people’s feelings.
Why is this important? The last thing you want is to be caught off guard by a party invitation and feel guilty about your recovery. If that happens, you might find yourself feeling ashamed, which can leave you wondering if you should give in and drink to appease your friends.
In Order to Heal, You Have to Quit
If you’re currently suffering from an alcohol addiction or have recently relapsed, Footprints Beachside Recovery can help. Our gender specific alcohol addiction treatment gives you the opportunity to start making choices that support the intention for a healthy and sober life.
Footprints Beachside Recovery is a family-run addiction treatment center in Treasure Island, FL. Our luxury rehab accommodations give you a safe and comfortable place to heal. Find hope that feels possible at Footprints Beachside Recovery. Contact our expert staff today to get started.