As the holiday season officially kicks off with Thanksgiving Day, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to celebrating this holiday. With food and gratefulness being the focal point of this special family day, you would seem to have everything you would need for a wonderful time. Everyone is eating delicious food. Everyone is laughing and having a grand time. Everyone is so thankful to be together to tell each other about their gratitude. Then you add some human nature into the mix and things could go south rapidly – real talk.
Thanksgiving can still be the best day over if you can understand the family dynamics and bring your recovery principles to the table. The only thing you can change is yourself and if you do just that, you will have an amazing time even if others do not seem to be. Here are some of the best tips to stay on sober on Thanksgiving and how to implement them for your own serenity on this holiday.
Your reaction is everything.
When one of your family members or friends start talking about something that you may find unsuitable for Thanksgiving dinner or they start bringing up your past transgressions as a topic of conversation, you get a chance to watch your reaction. Instead of getting defensive or blowing up Thanksgiving altogether, you can pause when agitated and pensively react to the situation. People in your family may not understand the damage they are imparting with their “small talk” and, thankfully, you have recovery tools at your fingertips to use to combat them. Text your sponsor when you are feeling uncomfortable during the meal. Pray for them in your head. Keep your chin up knowing the person you have become in your sobriety. By not reacting, you will not have anything to clean up except the dishes after Thanksgiving dinner.
Your sobriety is everything.
Being around family can be distressing at times, to say the least. This is when you may start thinking that drinking or using with them to take the edge will make everything much better. Well, you know that if you were to drink or use that you would pick up right where you left off meaning that you will become that drunk and high person who cannot stop after the first drink or drug. Play the tape through so that you can remember that picking up today may be one step towards instant gratification, but will also be many more steps towards losing everything once again and probably blacking out Thanksgiving altogether in the process.
Your example is everything.
Trying to change others is nearly impossible, so you must focus on the change in yourself. Most likely, you are already changing tremendously with the help of your recovery measures and the majority of your loved ones will notice your transformation. To those around you, you are being a good example of a person who practices tolerance and kindliness within their emotional sobriety. Instead of being a complete distraction during Thanksgiving by exhibiting drunk and loaded behaviors, you are a shining illustration of someone who is showing dignity and grace for their recovery and their family on an important day such as Thanksgiving.
Your service is everything.
You get to show up for Thanksgiving this year full of sobriety and full of willingness to be of service to your loved ones. Helping to clean up, assisting the older folk to get around, and more importantly, keeping your attitude in check, are all ways that you can show your servant’s heart. If you do not feel like being around your family or friends because you will feel awkward, one of the best excuses to miss Thanksgiving is doing volunteer work. You can go help feed the homeless or less fortunate as there are many philanthropic opportunities to put your hand out to someone else.
Your gratitude is everything.
The reason for the Fall season is gratitude. Everyone knows that, although getting sober can sometimes keep someone from their full potential of feeling grateful. They could be questioning why they still feel so bad or why negative situations keep happening to them when they thought everything would turn around if they got sober? A holiday like Thanksgiving can put things into perspective for you. Going around the dinner table while everyone says what they are thankful may seem cheesy but that is the name of the game and can give you some ideas on what you can be thankful for yourself this year.
If this your first Thanksgiving in sobriety, you are already making some huge strides in your life. You get a redo this year by creating a different experience that will start new precedence for your sober life. Make this year’s turkey day a wonderful memory by making your sobriety everything it was meant to be.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463