Ready to have a sober, fun-packed St. Patrick’s Day? I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who think that’s not possible. How do you celebrate St. Paddy’s Day without alcohol? Unfortunately, that attitude is not uncommon. I’ll admit, when I first got sober I assumed I would completely skip St. Patrick’s Day.
Why Bother If I Don’t Drink Anymore?
I figured there wasn’t any reason to celebrate if I’m no longer drinking. After the program at FAR, I realized that I was just putting limits on myself. FAR helped me to see things differently. Yes, St. Patrick’s Day is commonly associated with drinking. That’s a big part of it for most people. Does that mean I can’t change the rules for myself? No way. How you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while in recovery is all up to you.
I’ve found several sober St. Patrick’s Day activities that have reinforced this new attitude. The network I made from my recovery program at FAR helped a lot. Yes, you can have fun during this holiday and still stay sober. Sober parties are underrated. When you’re in your right mind, you are more likely to make genuine connections with people.
Almost all of the relationships that developed from my drinking ended in turmoil. Nonstop drama, endless pontification, drunken arguments, the list goes on and on. When I go to a sober party, I don’t have to worry about yelling on top of everyone to say what I want to say.
There is a lot more to the Irish culture than drinking. The stereotype of the drunken Irish continues to perpetuate itself every year around this holiday. I don’t imagine a lot of Irish people are too thrilled about being viewed this way. There are plenty of other elements of the culture that you can celebrate. Just look at all the food! Corned beef, cabbage, soda bread, shepherd pie, the options go on and on!
Host a Virtual Party
With everything going on recently, it might be a bit more difficult to attend in-person meetings and events. We’ve all had to adjust somewhat to this new normal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still reach out and be social. Host a virtual celebration! Get a few friends and loved ones together on video chat and enjoy each other’s company remotely! Play a game of charades, have a dance-off, or just talk it out with your closest peers. This is a great opportunity to have some face time with the people in your support circle if you can’t be together physically.
There are a lot of virtual events that you can attend if you don’t feel like hosting your own. Several organizations and foundations offer online get-togethers where you can meet new people and hear new stories. I’ve also noticed a lot of different online chat services. In this day and age, there is always someone to chat with who is just a click away.
There are plenty of times where we may feel more comfortable chatting with a stranger about what we are going through, and there’s no reason why you can’t utilize this service if you are going solo on this holiday.
One thing I’ve noticed throughout my recovery at FAR is that I still often feel the need to have a drink in my hand. A good amount of the people I’ve met through this process have told me they feel the same way. If you still want to enjoy some good non-alcoholic beverages, there are plenty of different mocktail recipes to seek out. I’ve experimented with these recently and have found a few of them that I love. I’m looking forward to introducing these to a few friends this year during our festivities.
Do What You Have To Do
Some people feel like avoiding the holidays altogether to avoid temptation. My program at FAR taught me that feeling this is normal. If that’s where you are in your recovery, you shouldn’t feel bad about skipping it. If you know anyone who is feeling this way, you need to encourage them to do whatever they need to do.
Often in recovery, we are driven by the encouragement of others. Do your thing and don’t worry about what everyone else has going on. If you truly feel that it would be better to stay in and avoid the festivities, then you are probably right.
People forget that Holidays are an opportunity to be thankful for what you have. The people at FAR stressed to me that I have done something wonderful, and I should cherish every day I am clean. It’s a great accomplishment that unfortunately a lot of people never get to experience.
If you decided to get clean, you’ve already done something to feel proud of. Take a moment or two on this holiday to think about that. Being thankful is key to keeping a positive attitude. That attitude will guide you through whatever challenges lie ahead.
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