Every year, friends and family gather across the country to share what they’re most grateful for in their lives. This Thanksgiving tradition serves as a time of reflection on the events the previous year held, with some having both thanks and concerns on their mind. If you’re one of the millions of Americans in recovery this holiday season, you may find it difficult to think of things to be thankful for.
The truth is that being thankful doesn’t mean you’re perfectly happy with where you’re currently at, but rather that you’re able to be there in the first place. Only a small number of those with a substance use disorder receive the treatment they need, but you’ve made the decision to seek change for a better life for you and those you hold closest.
Start With Being Thankful for Those Around You
If you’re preparing for holiday gatherings while in recovery, you’re showing yourself that there are people in your social or familial circles that care about you and want to spend time together. You’ve sought out treatment to grow and heal from your addiction instead of ignoring it and risking losing it all to a fatal overdose as the addiction worsens.
Those you surround yourself with extend even beyond family and friends. Your recovery support and alumni groups that have been with you throughout treatment often hold separate Thanksgiving celebrations to show their thanks to each other. The inspiration and motivation you find within these groups is something to be thankful for, as individuals in recovery need proper support to truly prosper.
Remember To Give Thanks for Your Sobriety
While being in recovery means you’re working towards lifelong sobriety, it’s easy to overlook the fact that you’ve achieved the first step by eliminating substance use. The fact that you’ve hit such a huge milestone in time for the holidays is something to be proud of. Not only does your sobriety improve your own quality of life, but those around you will notice a difference and be excited to celebrate the progress with you too!
Part of this includes taking steps to maintain your sobriety during potentially stressful holiday planning. Check in with yourself throughout each day and lean into your support system whenever you need to. If someone has offered to help, don’t feel bad for leveraging that in order to stay sober. Every day will be different. Some days will come with more impulses and cravings while others may be completely free of thoughts about drugs or alcohol.
Learn Why Those in Recovery Are Thankful
Getting through the holidays in addiction recovery can be a challenge at any step of the process. The key is that those in recovery understand that they’re working towards a brighter future. If you’re currently in recovery, you’ll understand this driving force to complete treatment. It’s about more than simply quitting, it’s about building a sober lifestyle you can enjoy for decades to come.