A New Take on Life | Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
May your days be many, and your troubles be few.
May all God’s blessings descend upon you.
May peace be within you, may your heart be strong.
May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.
May the strength of God pilot us, may the wisdom of God instruct us.
May the hand of God protect us, may the word of God direct us.
May thy Salvation, O Lord, be always ours this day and for evermore.
I LOVE the month of March. March is full of things that I adore: the first day of Spring, things turning back to green, its Women’s History Month, daylight savings begins, it’s the end of winter, AND…. it’s my birthday month, which happens to fall on my favorite holiday of the year, St. Patrick’s Day! And yes, I am also Irish!
Confession: I am a real birthday princess!
Everyone who knows me knows that I LOVE my birthday and that I claim the entire month as mine! Don’t judge me. I used to love March for another reason, which encompasses my birthday and the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, as well as my Irish heritage. Drinking. In my very young and immature days I thought it was so cool that my birthday fell on one the biggest drinking holidays of the year, and I had so many excuses to drink beyond what would be considered normal. In my early years of sobriety I did not look forward to my birthday for these exact reasons. March 17th can be a challenging day if you’re early in recovery from alcohol abuse, or trying to avoid alcohol for any other reason.
Brief History Lesson:
Why do we drink on St. Patrick’s Day? Saint Patrick was born in the fifth century in Roman Britain. When he was 16 he was captured and brought to Ireland, where he was enslaved for six year. Eventually, he escaped back to Britain, where he became a priest and years later, he went back to Ireland and brought Christianity to the region with him. He passed away on March 17th , 461, and Voila!, the date became St. Patrick’s Day. Legend says that Saint Patrick liked to have a drink from time to time- but funnily enough, that’s not the reason people drink on this holiday. Instead, it’s because the celebration falls in the middle of Lent, a 40-day period when Christians focus on charity, fasting, and prayer. Lent’s restrictions are suspended for St. Patrick’s Day, so people have historically eaten (and drank) to their heart’s content to celebrate the holiday.
You might be wondering: How can you have a sober St. Patrick’s Day when everyone is drinking?
It can be challenging but like any other month that has a drinking holiday, it can go smoothly with the right action plan. It’s best to prepare yourself for triggers and cravings on St. Patrick’s Day. Keeping a nonalcoholic drink in your hand, planning how you’ll say no to the social pressures, and having an accountability partner are all tried and true ways of managing triggers.
It’s also a great idea to remember some reasons why it’s a good idea to stay sober on this day. Celebrate that sobriety is lucky!
1. You’re safer, and so is everyone else.
You don’t have to fear alcohol poisoning, or other injuries that so commonly surround the festivities. You don’t even have to fear a hangover! Because this is also a notoriously high drunk driving day, thank you for not contributing to it! Three cheers to you for saving lives!
2. You don’t have to be embarrassed tomorrow.
You’ve likely seen some cringe-worthy shenanigans go down on past St. Patrick’s days, whether you’ve participated (guilty) in the festivities or not. Your sobriety is the awesome lucky charm that will allow you to wake up tomorrow with a clear and peaceful conscience.
3. In the sober person’s pot of gold: a full sized, functioning brain.
The science that makes headlines tend to overblow the benefits of moderate drinking or overly focus on the damages we do by heavy drinking. But, what about the benefits of sobriety? These are often overlooked and never talked about but, there are a ton, especially for the brain. Here’s a golden nugget finding to get you started: in just 2 weeks of detoxing from alcohol, your brain actually gets bigger! But most sober people don’t need science to tell them that going booze-free is better for their brain; they live with the benefits every day.
4. Getting drunk is not the lucky part of being Irish!
Anyone who has themselves gone through the hell and back that is addiction, or had a loved one go through it (and sometimes not come back) knows that alcoholism is a grave and often tragic issue. “Do I drink because I’m Irish, or am I Irish because I drink” sounds a little less funny after alcoholism kills someone we love. And, heavy drinking is actually not something that Ireland is super psyched about owning, with the World Health Organization reporting it ramps up healthcare costs and fatalities.
5. You’re helping others stay sober:
That includes people who have had or have alcohol problems, and the young people in your life. Parental modeling and behavior toward alcohol are key predictors to how children will drink during adolescence and into adulthood. Say it with me: “Kiss me, I’m sober! (And maybe Irish too!) You are the stuff of Irish blessings so, “May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.”
Have a safe, fun, and lucky St. Patrick’s Day Holiday!!!
Non Alcoholic St. Patrick’s Day Punch
– 2 pkg. Lemon-Lime Flavor Unsweetened Drink Mix Like KOOL-AID
– 2 qt. pineapple juice chilled
– 1 liter Sprite chilled
– Simple syrup
– Gold Sanding Sugar
– Large pitcher
– St. Patrick’s Day straws
Jessica holds a Master of Arts degree in Christian Counseling of Substance Abuse and Addictive Disorders as well as a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is also a certified alcohol and drug counselor. Jessica is currently accepting new patients; please use the contact form if you would like to schedule a session with her.
Jessica is passionate about working through codependency issues, guilt and shame, and spiritual issues and allows God and Scripture to empower clients to see their potential and to find their identity in Christ. Jessica is authentic and builds rapport quickly with her clients by being personable, compassionate, and Christ-centered. She has a passion to help people develop a deeper re