Recovery Beyond Thanksgiving
November 24, 2017
Just because Thanksgiving is behind us, it doesn’t mean we stop giving thanks, in recovery. If you made it through the first sobriety litmus test of the holiday season, you have much to be thankful for today. Everyone in recovery knows the added stress that comes with end-of-year festivities, traveling and being around individual family members can have a severe impact on one’s serenity. Again, if you were able to utilize your program tools and stay true to your mission of lasting recovery, you’d be wise to take stock of that achievement.
One of the reasons people working program establish a routine is for times like yesterday when things are atypical. We do what we do throughout the year, i.e., going to meetings and step-work, to protect our recovery. As a result of going to regularly scheduled meetings on a daily basis and fostering relationships with others in the Program, a precedent is set for how we’ll handle days like Thanksgiving.
If you made it through the holiday without using, there is a good chance that going to a meeting and corresponding with your support network was a part of your day. It’s likely you treated Thanksgiving like you would’ve any other day of the year. If this was your first National Holiday in recovery, staying sober yesterday provides you a model of how you will manage on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. That doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels, one’s program must be kept in good shape, after all Christmas Eve is just a month from today.
Maintaining Your Recovery Between Holidays
Individuals can learn much from traversing a significant holiday without picking up a drink or drug; particularly those who are in their first year of recovery. If you are like most people, holidays are either an immense joy or severely dreaded; strong emotions accompany either side of the coin. If you fall into the latter group, then you might have experienced many unsettling feelings yesterday; to which you dealt with by going to a meeting, or several meetings, perhaps.
Some of you may not have family back in your life, which meant not going home for Thanksgiving. If you made it through the holiday with your recovery intact, it’s because you stayed close to your support network. On holidays, one’s Program peers become like a family and we should treat them like one. It’s fair to say that no other group of people in your life is invested in your wellbeing and success as much as those who you attend meetings with throughout the week.
There is a good chance that some of you celebrated the holiday at a group member’s home. If that was the case for you, then you probably noticed the camaraderie and love that can exist in the fellowship. It was an opportunity for you to see how a group of people sharing the common thread of recovery can support one another, thus an experience that probably filled you with a sense of gratitude. You’ve got a model to follow in the coming month for the next significant holidays. Remember what helped you stay sober on Thanksgiving and you should have no problem managing Christmas.
Support is Everywhere
At Christians Drug Rehab, we understand that the difficulties posed by the holidays; we know that the risk of relapse is high for a significant number of people. Those who have been slacking on doing the work are particularly susceptible to relapse. It’s possible that you will go to a meeting this evening and learn that some of your peers slipped up yesterday; hopefully, such people will make it back to the rooms sooner rather than later. Pay close attention to those who relapse, what they did or weren’t doing that precipitated the relapse.
We all have something we can learn from one and another, the positives and negatives. Mimic people with strong programs, and learn from those who veer of course. Be grateful for everyone and everything that helps you stay sober, today. Be humble about your successes, and extend your hand to those who struggled yesterday. Supporting our peers is vital.