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Staying sober on St Paddy’s day

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Searidge Foundation is a not-for-profit drug and alcohol rehab located in Nova Scotia. In addition to providing personalized treatment, we try to create articles and resources that are useful to those suffering directly and indirectly from addiction and substance abuse.

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Can you celebrate and stay sober?

St Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick started out life as a day meant for sober reflection, and one on which those participating in the celebration of the life of St Patrick were focused on the introduction of Christianity to Ireland. In fact, back in the day, pubs were closed and the original celebrations and feasts were dedicated to the Church and Irish traditions of home and hearth.

Right, so, how did this once sober religious holiday become associated with Green beer and whisky-soaked celebrants? Some believe it may have had something to do with the lifting of Lent for the day, and we are pretty sure that the large migration of Irish people to Canada, all missing home on St Paddy’s day, gathered together in Irish pubs to share a pint and sing songs of their home might have had a hand in things. 😉

Whatever it was that shifted this day, one thing is certain this day can be really difficult for Alcoholics in recovery. With all that drinking going on, it may feel like you need to hide and wait it out. But for most of us, hiding is not really an option, which begs the question. How can you survive the day, still be social AND stay sober?

Remember where you are and why you went there.

It is not uncommon for those in recovery to be selective in whom they share their journey of healing. This means that perhaps not everyone in your circle is going to know you are working on staying clean sober, and true to yourself.
That’s cool, and you are under no obligation to divulge anything, but chances are that those who are closest to you are very much aware and most will be actively supportive of your choices to get and stay sober. After all, this has been a load of hard work getting to where you are, so if you are freaking out at the thought of participating in St Patrick’s Day parties and celebrations. Worried about a back slide into behaviours that just don’t serve you, then you should feel good not bad about declining invites to celebrations. You do YOU!

So what should I just sit home and stare at the walls?

Your choice of course, and who knows you might have really awesome walls, but we suspect that would would like to still feel like a member of the human race.
So there are ways you can participate and stay true to your vision.

For instance…many cities offer booze-free events (usually marked as kid-friendly if you go looking), and there is even a sober virtual St Patricks day celebration website

Yep, their motto is:

“To reclaim the true spirit of St. Patrick’s Day by changing the perception ​and experience from an occasion for binge drinking and other misuse of alcohol to a celebration of the richness of Irish culture and the legacy of St. Patrick.”​

Not your thing? No problem, you can always watch Irish Movies, Waking Ned Devine is one of my personal all-time favourites, or binge Derry Girls on Netflix. Actually just Google Irish Movies for a pretty comprehensive list!

And if this day is just really stressful it is always super helpful to attend a meeting, after all, everyone there is also on a journey of healing and each of them can relate to what you are experiencing.  Just remember, that whatever challenges this day poses to you, when you are a graduate of a Searidge Rehab program you have been given a tool kit and a whole team at the ready to help you.

And if you have not made the leap but have made the decision to get sober, just give us a call. We have people here that will listen, can answer your questions about rehab and can help you to make choices that make sense for your personal journey.

Give us a call at 1-888-777-9972 or send us a message, we are here ready whenever you are.

No judgment, just solid help from people who care.

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