What Are You Thankful For?
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love to consume mass quantities of all my favorite foods: Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, string bean casserole and sweet mashed potatoes. While this time is usually filled with family, food and fun, for some this holiday kicks off a period of depression. Whether you are still using or in active recovery, you have lost loved ones and have unwanted memories of using and unresolved anger, all of which contribute to depression. It is important to recognize your vulnerability during the holidays rather than risk a relapse or worse, overdosing and death.
Addiction snatches gratitude from you, leading you to think that drugs and alcohol are a possible alternative (if you are not already using). Addiction loves to make you focus on guilt and shame about your present and past choices, especially during the holidays. This distraction is the perfect way to keep you isolated. Your disease doesn’t care if you are doing well or if you are in the midst of substance abuse. It just wants to make you suffer. Being ungrateful helps you stay in a funk that allows you to feel justified for your poor attitude and addiction.
Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to challenge the ‘stinking thinking’ that characterizes addiction. Make a list of five things that you are thankful for. Look at them daily. Thanksgiving doesn’t just have to be about this one day in November. It can be every day. Gratitude helps me stay grounded in this fast-paced world where I sometimes feel left behind.
I am thankful that today I am sober and that I have a relationship with my family. What are you thankful for? Share your comments with us below or at our Facebook page. We would love to hear from you!