For people that are still in early sobriety, a drinking holiday can be a big nuisance, especially if day-drinking is involved. The biggest drinking days of the year are 1) New Year’s Eve, 2) Christmas Day, 3) the 4th of July, and 4) St. Patrick’s Day. This year, St. Patrick’s Day will be even bigger in scope because it falls on a Saturday. According to recent stats, 60% of Americans plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and 152.5% more beer will be drank than usual. Here are some tips to help you survive the drinking holiday:
Call people. By now, you should have at least a small support system in place. Call your AA friends, call your sponsor, call your therapist, call your life coach, call your outside friends (if you can), call anyone that you can talk it out with. Allow the people on Team You to help get you through this annoying day, and you help do the same for them. Whatever concerns you have, get them out in the open with trustworthy individuals.
Say no to parties. It may sound way too simple, but if you’re in early recovery, you may not yet be accustomed to the word “no” when it comes to parties. Unless you’re more experienced with sobriety, just know that parties are no fun. Even if you were to attend one and somehow not get triggered, your friends will become quite annoying about three drinks in. You won’t really feel a part of, and you won’t be “in” on whatever they find entertaining at the time. Not to mention, a good number of friends will most likely hit you up for a free sober ride home, and that’s no fun either at the end of a long drinking night.
Stay active. There are plenty of times when it’s perfectly fine to make plans with a blend of drinking and sober friends. Your first St. Patrick’s Day in recovery is not one of those times. Call your sober friends in advance and make plans before the day even hits. Some typical events that normally find their way onto your calendar may also need to be avoided. Concerts and sporting events will be cranking out holiday drinking specials to the max, so maybe stick to other activities guaranteed not to involve alcohol. Movies, ice skating, zoos, aquariums, museums, and amusement parks are your best bet. And if you’re really struggling with cravings or find yourself alone with no plans, go to some meetings.
Flip the script and make some money. St. Patrick’s Day is the second busiest night of the year for rideshare drivers, just under New Years Eve. If driving all day, some could make up to $1,000 in major cities when all is said and done. Price rates go up 500% in the major metropolitan areas, so if you feel like making some extra cash off your city’s drunkenness, some rideshare companies will approve of you within hours.
Throw your own shindig. When going back to the true meaning of St Patrick’s Day, aka the Feast of St. Patrick, food is as much a part of the holiday as drinking. Invite your friends over for a potluck, or host a movie night or game night to accompany the dinner. The best thing you could do for yourself is to get proactive and take control of your own environment.
And most importantly, be safe if you’re going out. You may be sober, but everybody else isn’t.