St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th every year, the celebration of Ireland’s patron saint and its national apostle. Over the centuries, the conflict between Catholics and Protestants among the Irish population in America caused a lot of media attention meant to disparage Irish immigrants. They were shown in newspapers as all the negative stereotypes that exist today, including getting drunk and showing violence. St. Patrick’s Day used to be a show of Irish pride, with symbols and cultural celebrations that display positive attributes of Irish immigrants in America. Reclaim that culture instead of catering to the negative stereotypes and your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations will be happy, can positively showcase culture, and stay sober for St. Patty’s Day.
A Sober Historical Beginning
The man named Patrick who became the saint celebrated today lived during the 4th and 5th century AD. At this time, Patrick was a man of the cloth whose aim was to convert people to Christianity. One of the biggest symbols of St. Patrick’s Day today is the three-leaf clover, more commonly known as the shamrock. During his time alive, Patrick used this plant to teach about the Holy Trinity, with the leaves representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Today, shamrocks decorate every piece of St. Patrick’s Day gear from headbands to sunglasses, t-shirts, party dresses, and even dining ware. But you don’t need shamrock beer coozies to celebrate Irish culture. Gift some clover in a pot or tray to a loved one as a blessing, make a green milkshake donned with a shamrock straw topper, or create a spectacular outfit with all the best shamrock gear you can find.
The Feast of St. Patrick’s Day
For a person with a substance abuse issue, family and friends are extremely important. St. Patrick’s Day was originally a feast day in celebration of a patron saint. The feast day was about letting everyone be “Irish for a day” and come together as a family, whether they share blood or not. You can participate in this part of the cultural celebration by cooking your own feast of Irish foods. Bring your family and loved ones together with the traditional corned beef and cabbage, some Irish soda bread, Shepherd’s pie, and many other recipes. Who knows, you may discover a few new favorites as well.
Avoid the Risk of Crowded Parades
In New York City, over 3 million people march on St. Patrick’s Day. Many other cities have similar shows of Irish pride, but they also let the negative parts of the culture reign free. Those millions of people are passing around alcohol, flyers for pub crawls, and all kinds of other things that can be tempting to someone with a substance abuse issue. If you’re in recovery, struggling with substance abuse, or one of your loved ones is in this position, it would be better just to watch the parade on television instead of participating in person to stay sober for St. Patty’s Day.
Stay Sober for St. Patty’s Day with Friends and Loved Ones
One of the hardest things for a person with substance use disorder is to be alone. It could be Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, or a regular Thursday, but any kind of celebration can be a big trigger for active substance abusers or people in recovery. You might choose to abstain from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day altogether, or you might decide to have a huge feast, complete with green hats and shamrocks everywhere.
If you or someone you love is dealing with substance use issues or is in recovery, spend the day together and ensure that you and they stay safe. Call First Steps Recovery, our Fresno, California treatment center at 844-489-0836 today for more information about getting help with recovery.