It seems we are being hit this week with a double whammy. Spring break and St. Patty’s Day? The young adults of America know these events to be a time of excessive drinking and partying. All across our nation, those with Irish heritage (and many who wished they had Irish heritage) celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th.
Recovering addicts and alcoholics who are used to participating in these celebrations, should not be discouraged that they are unable to partake in the holiday. Partying sober is quite possible. Those in recovery (especially in early recovery) need to be aware that if the temptation to join in is still there, then maybe avoiding the party spots this time of year would be in your best interest. If you can enjoy yourself sober, and temptation is not an issue, then this may be a great day of people watching. There is a certain sense of accomplishment associated with watching everyone around you act like a fool, and being able to stand there level minded while enjoying yourself.
So how exactly did St. Patty’s day become the binge drinking celebration it is associated with today? Well, that is America for you. The origin behind the holiday, is that March 17th marks the anniversary of the death of the Ireland’s beloved saint, St. Patrick. He was responsible for preaching the Christian ministry throughout all of Ireland and has since been honored as a saint.
Along with most days of celebration, alcohol is often involved. In Irish-Catholic traditions, during the Lenten season, the consumption of alcohol is discouraged all throughout the 40-day period. However, alcohol is permitted on this day of celebration in honor of St. Patrick. The Irish-Catholics have always used this day as a “break” in their sober holiday season leading up to Easter.
The American tradition of St. Patty’s Day has warped the holiday into a binge drinking day into night festival, which includes numerous parades and city-wide events, most of which celebrated in pubs or bars. A stereotype is that the Irish, are traditionally known for having alcohol abuse issues, being a rowdy crowd, and having temperamental outbursts. St. Patrick’s Day nationwide has reported numerous alcohol related crimes and even deaths. The holiday has turned into a day of debauchery and shenanigans nationwide.
The time to turn this holiday around is now! For those in recovery, this does not mean you need to miss out on all the fun. Banyan’s Alumni Coordinator, Kristen, came up with some awesome ideas she shared in the Banyan Alumni Newsletter this month, here is our favorite.
We all get the Sunday blues, you know that feeling of disappointment when the weekend is over and another busy, stressful week is about to begin. Well, stop stressing and start relaxing, because now you can spend Sunday night at Sunset Beach Yoga with JAI Healing Arts in Delray Beach. Bring your mats and get ready for 90 minutes of vinyasa flow, combining deep breathing and holding of postures that stretch, lengthen, and liberate physical, mental, and emotional tension. Don’t don’t forget swimsuits and towels for an after-class swim. All ages are welcome to get their “om” on at 5:30 p.m. every Sunday at the northern end of Delray Beach, north of Atlantic Avenue.
A $10 to $15 class donation is suggested. Don’t forget quarters for parking meters. Call 561-789-2205, or visit jaihealingarts.com.
Another great option would be find a sober St. Patrick’s Day party to attend. Since 2012, in a number of cities nationwide, there is a new movement going around. This new movement is titled Sober St. Patrick’s Day, the founder was inspired to create a sober atmosphere to celebrate the day for those who do not participate in the debauchery of this holiday. St. Patrick's Day doesn't have to be a booze-filled binge in order to be fun. In fact, St. Patrick's Day can be just as much, if not more, fun when it is alcohol-free. Visit http://www.soberstpatricksday.org/ in order to find a city participating near you, and if you ever want to host your own Sober St. Patrick’s Day there are instructions on the website so you can get involved in this movement.
With the holiday this week, be strong in your recovery. Do not put yourself around temptation and utilize your sober supports as much as needed. Keep in mind, there is a better way to celebrate Ireland's patron saint than binge drinking. Celebrate with good food, good people, and for the right reasons. If you or someone you know may be struggling with alcohol abuse or dependence, we at Banyan Treatment Center are here to help. You can call us anytime, day or night: (888) 280-4763, and may the luck of the Irish be with you!