Alcohol and Recovery on St Patrick’s Day

St Patrick’s Day is synonymous with alcohol and this can be difficult if you are in early recovery from alcoholism. Even with bars and pubs shut this St Patrick’s Day it is hard to avoid discounts on sales of alcohol in the shops, and news reports say that people will still be meeting in secret to celebrate the big day.

Many people wouldn’t believe it if we said that you can spend a happy and sober St Patrick’s Day, without drinking alcohol. Leaving alcohol behind on a day which is based around Guiness and Bailey’s doesn’t sound like the most festive way to honour the saint and the national day of Ireland for most people. It’s important to remember that there is a loud and well-resourced marketing industry which convinces us that alcohol is an integral part of St Patrick’s Day, and it is hard to avoid those messages. Here at Smarmore Castle we wanted to deliver our own message of hope and encouragement to you.

Keeping safe in recovery – a message

Hello, everybody. My name is Keith Cassidy. I’m the clinic manager at Smarmore Castle Private Clinic. Today, I have made a short video about keeping safe in recovery on St. Patrick’s Day.

Traditionally, St. Patrick’s day has been a difficult day for people in recovery. However, it doesn’t need to be that way. St. Patrick’s Day is just another day. If you are having difficulty, there are many resources out there that can help you. Covid-19 has made this year very difficult for everybody in lockdown, but one of the things it has given us is an availability of meetings at any time of the day or night because we can now jump on Zoom and find one. So, log online, go to your meetings online, and find a meeting wherever you need to. It could be in Australia or America or Alaska. It doesn’t really matter. A meeting is a meeting and there’s support there waiting for you.

The other thing is also to reach out to your established network. You’ve built a network and support mechanism. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you need to. Ask someone to go for a cup of coffee or a walk. By inadvertently doing that, you’re not only helping yourself, you could be helping them. Finally, remember to approach the day with a bit of self-compassion. Look after yourself and have some self-care. And it is only a day and you will get through this.

I would like to wish you a very, very happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of us here at Smarmore Castle and from everybody in Castle Craig in Scotland.

Keith Cassidy’s top tips for keeping safe in recovery on St Patrick’s Day:

  • Go to a meeting (online)
  • Reach out to your network
  • Ask a friend to go on a walk with you
  • Meet someone for a coffee
  • Remember self-compassion
  • Look after yourself: self-care
recovery alcohol isolation infographic (2)

If you’re struggling with alcohol, drugs, or any type of addiction, it could be the best time of year for you to call and enquire about rehab treatment. For more information contact our admissions team at Smarmore Castle.

This article is written by Keith Cassidy, Manager at Smarmore Castle Rehab Clinic, County Louth, Ireland.

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