Being sober on St. Patrick’s Day is no doubt odd to many revelers who come to Savannah to party and drink hard. Does the recovered alcoholic have to hide from the festivities? No, not if they’re firmly grounded in recovery. This is what a lot of people don’t understand. It’s not uncommon to think of recovering alcoholics as always on the verge of drinking again, ready to pounce on a bottle of liquor if the opportunity is presented. The idea that a person prefers to be sober is a strange concept to the dedicated drinker.
I don’t know of any recovered alcoholics who would enjoy bumping shoulders with thousands of stumbling drinkers on River Street, but, if they wanted to view the spectacle, it wouldn’t be a problem. There are some alcoholics in the early stage of recovery who should avoid River Street because they aren’t grounded in recovery — to their minds, the drunkenness would most likely look appealing. That’s the difference between being grounded in long term recovery and still being at risk in early recovery.
The recovered alcoholic can do anything anyone else does except drink alcohol. The recovered alcoholic loses the desire for alcohol — they don’t want to drink. Being sober on St. Patrick’s Day is perfectly normal. It’s a sad statement that human beings have to have an artificial stimulus in their system to “party” and have a good time. It’s an untrue statement, actually. Sobriety is a valid choice. Sobriety allows one to fully experience life, to remember what happened, and to not pay dearly (and painfully) for drunkenness the next day with a hangover.
The brain learns in sobriety how to have fun without alcohol — there are natural feel-good brain chemicals that the sober mind learns to activate. It takes time though. It takes practice. The recovered alcoholic who practices Recovery Management will develop alternative ways to capture the good feeling alcohol once gave them but stopped providing. To the recovered alcoholic, being sober on St. Patrick’s Day is infinitely preferable, thank you.