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St. Patrick’s Day: How to Navigate “Drinking” Holidays

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There is little doubt that the shift from active addiction to recovery is one of the biggest that a person may ever make. Of course, there is also little doubt that it is one of the most important and fulfilling. However, being in recovery does not mean that life is going to be without its challenges. There are going to be new challenges, such as navigating St. Patrick’s Day sober, that will be wholly unique to being in recovery. The good news is that these challenges will be easily met and overcome with the proper tools and guidance.

Adjusting to Life After Treatment

Many people find a healthy rhythm once they start focusing on a recovery plan while in treatment. However, that rhythm can easily be thrown off when it comes time to leave the treatment center. Many people find themselves leaving the treatment center and asking, “Now what?”

This is why it is so crucial to create a post-treatment plan while in recovery, so the nerves about what the next steps are going to be will be significantly tempered. These types of treatment plans also focus on avoiding relapses, which are much more common than many people think.

According to the peer-reviewed journal Current Psychiatry Reports, “It has long been known that addictive disorders are chronic and relapsing in nature. Recent estimates from clinical treatment studies suggest that more than two-thirds of individuals relapse within weeks to months of initiating treatment. For 1-year outcomes across alcohol, nicotine, weight, and illicit drug abuse, studies show that more than 85% of individuals relapse and return to drug use within one year of treatment.” However, this need not be the case, even during St. Patrick’s Day, as long as one takes the proper steps post-treatment.

How to Navigate St. Patrick’s Day

When it comes to “drinking holidays,” it’s hard to argue that St. Patrick’s Day takes the crown. What other Holiday prides itself on how green its beer can become? However, just because drinking is a big part of St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t mean it is the only part.

It is important to remember that St. Patrick’s Day is meant to be a day to celebrate Irish heritage, and anyone who solely links drinking to what Irish heritage is all about is falling victim to stereotyping and doing an entire population a disservice. So, that being the case, how else can St. Patrick’s Day be celebrated? Specifically, how can St. Patrick’s Day best be celebrated sober?

One of the best ways to ensure sobriety over St. Patrick’s Day is to celebrate it with other people who are also sober. For those struggling with situational “triggers,” it may also be wise to avoid bars or drinking events (especially in early sobriety). Some healthy ways to spend the day include attending a St. Patrick’s Day parade, cooking traditional Irish food (like corned beef and cabbage), and throwing a sober party for other people in recovery.

Knowing When Enough Is Enough

Of course, there are also times when one may find oneself in a situation they regret getting into or start to feel uncomfortable engaging in. This is okay. It is important not to get frustrated with a poor decision and just take the next right action.

One of the best things an individual in recovery can do is call another person in recovery when they are feeling like they are being triggered or starting to get uncomfortable. Simply speaking with another person who can relate may be able to calm the nerves and bring clarity to the situation. They may also be a perfect lifeline if the next step is to leave a discomforting situation.

It is important to remember that sobriety must always come first. So, when “enough is enough,” and it is time to leave, there needs to be no reason to explain oneself to others. A simple “I must be going will suffice.” A relapse is never worth worrying that someone will be offended or that there may be an awkward exit. Besides, sober or not, who wants to stay if they are not having a good time? The key is to protect one’s sobriety at all costs.

St. Patrick’s Day and Beyond: Living a Full Life With Lantana Recovery

Here at Lantana Recovery, we understand that navigating life in recovery can be difficult. However, we also know that these difficulties pale in comparison to the hardships, hopelessness, and loneliness that one experiences in active addiction.

It is important to remember that St. Patrick’s Day and other holidays come and go, but recovery is a beautiful journey that one gets to take day after day. All one has to do is take that first step.

It is perhaps an understatement to say that drinking is a big part of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. However, it is just one of the many holidays that have a focus on alcohol and drinking, like New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween, to name but a few. The good news is there are many ways to navigate these types of holidays in sobriety by ensuring access to nonalcoholic beverages, throwing sober parties instead of going to bars, and being open about being in recovery. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with addiction issues, we can help. For more information about staying sober during holidays, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.