Thanksgiving for recovering individuals have a special meaning. Those who have overcome addiction understand better than anyone else that nothing can be taken for granted. The steps taken to reach sobriety may have been endless but they know it was worth it. Even if the progress has not been perfect they take pride on the effort put forth so far.
We all should be appreciative for having the opportunity to celebrate this holiday together with family and friends.
We at Florida Center for Recovery ask families and friends to be open and supportive of your recovering loved one by making the necessary preparations that can protect your loved one’s sobriety beforehand. Family members should be open with each other about their gathering plans and be ready to make special accommodations that are welcoming to those in recovery.
When “recovery friendly” accommodations for the gathering is not a possibility, the individual should consider changing plans to avoid triggers, especially if he/she is in early recovery.
Our recommendation for those in recovery is that their plans for the holidays should include people who understand the situation. Maintaining meetings with your support group is particularly important for those struggling with their recovery. If you choose to be alone, it is perfectly normal, as long it is not due to depression or stress.
Spend the holiday with people who understand the situation. Try to attend support groups— many maintain meetings during the holidays because this season can be difficult. Some people enjoy the peace of being alone, only choosing to socialize when they feel ready.
Whichever way you decide to spend this holiday, don’t forget that thanksgiving is a good time to start reviewing your recovery journey and ask yourself:
- Is there anything else I can do to strengthen my chances for recovery?
- What past things or actions were helpful to my recovery?
- What past things or actions were harmful to my recovery?
By reviewing the past, recovering individuals can look for things that may present a challenge and modify events and behaviors beforehand. Knowing when and where temptations will be luring and the situations that can lead to stress, anger, or sadness can help in preventing relapse.
Hope for the best, plan for the worst and be ready for everything. Being prepared is the best thing a recovering individual can do for his or her sobriety.
Wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings and hope you enjoy this great holiday season!
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.