Fun Doesn’t Always Equal Alcohol
St. Patrick’s Day is often synonymous with drinking alcohol. Many restaurants host beer gardens and parties, and offer affordable wine, liquor, and mixed drinks. For those who have reached and maintained sobriety – and even for those who just simply don’t like to drink alcohol – this holiday can often cause unnecessary pressure to cave to society’s expectation of what fun is supposed to mean.
But do you know there are plenty entertaining things to do that don’t include alcohol? Whether you want to find a unique way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or just merely want to find other pleasurable things to do, remaining true to your word and your standards is easier than you thought. The most important step in remaining sober is changing your mindset. Because movies, television, music, and social media often tell us that alcohol means excitement, we can subconsciously label ourselves and others as boring if we don’t participate in drinking alcohol. Start off by reminding yourself why you don’t want to drink. In recovery, this is called “playing the tape”). Is it because the sobriety that you worked so hard to achieve is not worth ruining by having one alcoholic beverage? Is it because you don’t want to feel miserable the next day with a hangover? Is it because you don’t remember anything when you drink alcohol? Is it because alcohol alters your behavior and personality? When you really think deeply about the negative effects alcohol has on your body, your mind, and your life (the harsh reality!) – especially if you have struggled with alcohol dependency – remaining sober every day suddenly becomes less terrifying and begins to make more logical sense.
Let’s reinvent our ideas of fun. Do you appreciate quality time with friends and family, participating in a hobby, learning something new, remaining present in your life, and connecting with others? Having fun should make you feel good. Take responsibility for your choices. If you can’t think of pleasurable things to do, create them. Organize a day trip alone or with people close to you. Take a walk and observe nature. Research where you can take exercise or yoga classes, or try out a new sport, to help you stay active. Reach out to a friend and ask to meet up for dinner. Attempt to make something new (a meal, a craft, remodel a room). There are countless things out there that are not only interesting, but also positive. You just have to know where to look. If you find that those in your inner circle don’t agree with or understand your choice, perhaps surrounding yourself with those who encourage your goal is a better option for you.
Rage Against Addiction proudly has two sober houses for women: Daughter’s House and Sister House (launched under our Daughter’s House program). Both places provide a supportive and safe environment so that the residents can focus entirely on their own recovery. The women can participate in wellness meetings, are helped with finding employment, and are given coping methods that encourage them to rebuild life skills. They can also participate in a variety of educational, therapeutic, and enjoyable activities. Among other things, the residents have joined together to attend good, clean fun. They have visited haunted houses, and attended paint nights, yoga classes, crab feasts, soft ball games, and even axe throwing, and have created their own crafts, and aroma therapy scents and candles. And all of this was done (and enjoyed!) in the name of sobriety!
Whether you just don’t want to drink alcohol, or you’ve struggled with alcohol use in the past and are committed to remaining sober, St. Patrick’s Day and all the days that have come before it and will come after it do not have to make you feel like a bore. If someone questions your lack of alcoholic beverages at any get together, proudly explain your reasoning (or not) and remember to have a positive outlook. In a society where most people are conditioned to think that alcohol equals fun, stand up for yourself and others who are making the healthy (and sometimes life-saving) choice to remain sober.
Rage Against Addiction focuses on the importance of a well-rounded recovery. The ladies in our houses work hard on their recovery every day by attending meetings, doing step work and daily chores, going to work, and taking a self-inventory. It can be a lot. One of my favorite things we do is allow them to pick a quarterly outing. The idea is to have fun but it is also so much more than that. Teamwork builds a network, and as we love to say: “they may not have it all together but together they have it all.”
In Other News
H.E.R. Legacy Scholarship
In memory of Hannah Ellen Runge, the H.E.R. Legacy Scholarship is established by Hannah’s mother and brother who wish to support students who have been impacted by the struggles of alcohol and drug addiction. This is a $1,000 annual scholarship. Those who are interested must:
- be enrolled as a credit student at Harford Community College (in Bel Air, MD)
- have a 2.00+ cumulative GPA
- be a Harford County, Maryland resident
- enrolled in any degree program
- have a need for financial aid (though not mandatory)
Pleasevisit the Harford Community College website for more details on this unique opportunity.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Coffee With Rachel
Hey everyone. I’m Rachel B., Program Director and Peer Recovery Coach at Rage Against Addiction. Each week, I’m going to offer you experience-based wisdom that I have learned from my own road to recovery and from others who are on the same path. Whether you’re in active addiction or in recovery, or you’re struggling in other aspects of life (because, let’s face it…life can be hard sometimes), please tune in Monday mornings to receive something that you can brew over, apply to your life, and share with others. So grab a nice cup of coffee and pour in some positivity using the words to live by from those of us who have risen above the difficult times we’ve faced.
If we can do it, so can you! Our first release will be on Monday, March 21st.
You can find these insightful tidbits here:
Memory Walk / Recovery Run 2022
We have a little less than one month to go! Have you registered? Are you collecting donations? Have you formed a team? Lace-up those comfortable tennis shoes and join us on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at Cedar Lane Regional Park (1100 Cedar Lane – Bel Air, MD 21015) for a morning of refreshing exercise and good company as we celebrate those in recovery, remember the lives lost to addiction, encourage those still struggling, and heal the families impacted by this devastating disease. At this event, you can…
- listen to our guest speakers
- purchase Rage gear
- visit resource tables
- grab a tasty cup of coffee donated by Coffee Coffee
- try some delicious menu items from Old Line Grill
- receive goodies from Rita’s, Ice World, and Texas Roadhouse
There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place runners as well as the individual who raises the most money by collecting donations via their fundraiser.
If you can’t participate with us in person, you can join us virtually all through the month of April, similar to what we had in 2021. We will have a predetermined virtual route, and you will be able to log your miles, collect donations, and share your photos with us. There will be a prize for the person who reaches 100 miles first. We will contact you with details.
Registration details can be found on the Charm City Run Signup page: https://runsignup.com/rageagainstaddiction
Thank you to our event sponsors! We can’t do this without your generous support! We know that you are concerned, just like us, about the devastation that addiction is causing our families around our area. We know that you want to help us make a positive difference in our communities. We know we aren’t alone in spreading awareness and hope. Every dollar counts because every life matters.
Addiction Connections Resource: A non-profit organization that assists with providing resources and support for addiction treatment and that educates the community about substance abuse disorder. Located in Fallston, MD. Please visit here or call 443-417-7810 for more information.
Ashley Addiction Treatment: An inpatient treatment center that personalizes clinical programs based on individual need. Located in Havre De Grace, MD. Please visit here or call 800-799-4673 for information about online and in-person meeting services.
Celebrate Recovery: A local support group for those with addictive behaviors. Located in Bel Air, MD and Joppa, MD.
-Mountain Christian Church (New Life Center 1802 Mountain Road, Joppa, MD 21085) – every Friday at 6:00pm. Please visit here for more details.
GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing): A local support group for those who have lost someone to addiction.
-7:00pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.
-Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church – 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015
The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center: A clinic that provides immediate care for mental health and addiction. Located in Bel Air, MD. Please visit here or call 410-874-0711 for information about services.
Loving An Addict: A local support group for family and friends of those in active addiction.
-7:00 pm every Saturday.
-Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church – 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015
-Contact email@example.com for more information.
Rage Against Addiction Programs
Daughter’s House: Designed to assist women who are transitioning from substance abuse treatment to recovery; includes two sober living houses (Daughter’s House and Sister House) located in the suburbs of Harford County, MD. Click here to visit the Facebook page.
Rage Club:Designed specifically for children affected by addiction to help them process their feelings and learn about the disease by offering counselor-led activities, such as equine and art therapy, nature walks, and more. The group meets several times a year. Click here for more information
HALO (How to Live Without Our Addicted Loved One):An online grief support group specifically for those that lost loved ones to substance abuse. Click hereto ask to join the private Facebook page. *Please read and answer the membership questions prior to joining.*
RAA ABC (After Baby Care): Provides post-partum care packages to new mothers in early recovery.
Rage Against Addiction Team Members
Wendy Beck Messner: Founder and Executive Director
Rachel Bongiorno: Recovery Coach and Daughter’s House Program Director
Mia Ellis: Newsletter Writer and Administrator
Amanda Buddenbohn: RAA’S ABC (After Baby Care) Coordinator
Tara Kuzma: Chairman of the Board of Directors
Sarah Hoover: Rage Club Event Coordinator and Volunteer
Michael Nesline: Rage Club Mascot