Thanksgiving is fast approaching! 2017 is coming to an end, and everyone is excited to gather with their family and friends. For those in recovery, however, this holiday may lead to worry, stress, and anxiety. For some, it may be feeling obligated to travel to those close relatives you haven’t seen all year. Or for others, feeling tempted to have “just one,” in seeing alcohol everywhere you may go.
So, what is the true meaning of Thanksgiving? A time to embrace your homemade cooking skills, enter a food coma, watch exciting sports like basketball and football (or the Macy’s Parade), and shop ‘til you drop? Or to feel down and worried, knowing this time can lead to an unclear mindset that could possibly disassemble your recovery progress you have been working so hard on. We have left out the essential meaning by addressing the influential things that often take over. The true meaning of Thanksgiving is to be thankful and appreciative. So what does it mean to be truly thankful? It’s simple.
First, everyone should recognize that just because it isn’t Thanksgiving Day doesn’t mean you can’t be thankful. The moment November hits, everyone can reflect on what they are thankful for. Their family, friends, pets, food, sobriety, recovery, etc. What about the other moments during the year? I ask you during this time to think of five things to be thankful for, but not just because it is Thanksgiving. For instance, feeling thankful for the upcoming New Year, a fresh start to achieve anything you believe. It may be the life-long relationships you have built along the way through your recovery.
However, the most important is feeling thankful for the small things in life. Once you appreciate the small things in life, such as waking up in a bed every morning, or knowing you made it another sober day, the outlook on your life and your worldview will begin to change. Once you appreciate the little things every morning, the Holiday season will become just the way it should. It does not matter how much food is on your table, or how much you can buy on Black Friday; simply reflect on the person you have become, the people that have helped along the way, and for this life and second chance at success that we have been given, throughout any ups and downs.