Holidays in Early Sobriety: St Patrick’s Day

Hand with watch on blocking green beer bottles

The holidays are supposed to be happy times that are spent with our family and loved ones. The holidays, however, can be difficult for those of us in early sobriety. This can be particular true with holidays like Saint Patrick’s Day, which is notoriously associated with drinking.

While it is perfectly normal to worry or feel uncomfortable about upcoming holidays in sobriety, the good news is that with time we will grow to enjoy the holidays just as much as we have in the past. In the meantime, here are some of our favorite tips for surviving the holiday season in early sobriety.

Marathon Meetings

People gathered for St. Patricks day wearing green and laughing with "Sobriety 101" written in thin white letters over photo

It is no surprise to those of us in sobriety that the holidays can be a difficult time for newcomers, and all of us alike. For this reason, most areas will host marathon recovery meetings on holidays.

Marathon recovery meetings typically run all day long, and usually include food brought by homegroup members for everyone to enjoy. These provide us with a safe haven and a place to retreat to.

We always have the option for online recovery meetings as well if we cannot make it to a marathon meeting.

Spend the Day with Someone in Recovery

Many cities will have festivities such as Saint Patrick’s Day parades. Just because we are in recovery does not mean we also cannot enjoy festivities such as these.


It might, however, be a smart idea to bring along a friend who is also in recovery if we feel uncomfortable. This will often times shield us from temptation and allow us to enjoy the festivities with our fellows, while staying sober!

Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out to Your Support Group

The holidays can actually be a difficult time for anyone, not just those of us in early sobriety. This is perfectly normal. We should therefore never hesitate to reach out to our support group before and during holidays if we have any fears or are feeling uncomfortable.

If we are attending a family gathering, for example, it is a great idea to schedule ahead of time with a friend in our support group to call and check in during the party. This will give us a sense of security and help eliminate any cravings that may arise.

Always Have an Exit

If we are attending a family gathering or festivities such as the Saint Patrick’s Day parade, we should always keep available an exit out of the situation if we need it.

While we deserve to enjoy the holidays as much as anyone, there is no shame if we feel the need to leave early. Therefore, we should always have an exit plan to use just in case. For example, driving our own car to the party.

Avoid Certain Parts of the Holiday Entirely

While those of us in sobriety can enjoy the holidays just as much as anyone else, we need to be realistic on whether certain parts of the holiday would be safe and enjoyable for us.

For example, bar hopping on Saint Patrick’s Day is a tradition we most certainly will want to avoid. We can always replace traditions such as these with new ones, such as going to different restaurants on Saint Patrick’s Day to eat traditional Irish foods from each one, instead of bar hoping.

We not only might end up enjoying a new tradition just as much as the old one- we will actually be able to remember what happened!

Final Note

The Lodges is the premier Orange County sober living and structured living community for men and women who are either in the early stages of recovery or transitioning from primary care.

We understand the need for a structured and safe environment for individuals who need the added encouragement on their journey. If you or a loved one is seeking sober living in beautiful Orange County please call us at (866)-610-4480 or visit us online.

Leave a Comment