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Thankful for Sobriety on Thanksgiving!

For most, Thanksgiving is a time of intense reflection about the past and introspection on how far they might have come in the last year. This type of thought can often be a joyous event that a person celebrates with friends and family. However, it’s no secret that the holidays are known for being a difficult time for many people addicted to drugs and alcohol. With the copious amounts of opportunities to drink or use, the financial, familial, and traveling stress, and the general pressures that come at the end of the year, the chances for relapse seem endless. Not to mention the fact that many people addicted to drugs often feel stuck in a place where they might only be seeing the things they’ve done wrong, or view another year as a failure as they attempt to get clean. It can sometimes seem like having a year filled with active drug addiction and feelings of happiness, gratitude and peace at Thanksgiving are mutually exclusive. 

Holidays are difficult for many who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Celebrating sobriety this Thanksgiving!

Celebrating sobriety this Thanksgiving season in spite of whatever else they might have gone through this year. You’ve made amends? Then you deserve a fresh start so stay away as much as you can from judgemental friends and family if possible! You’re here today, and sober…you can plan your own remix version of Thanksgiving! Do dinner with friends from the program? Volunteer? 

Especially if you’re new in recovery…it’s ok to think of your recovery first triggers are there, make sure you have a sponsor or avoid it! Just remember what you’ve accomplished and keep your head up! 

It’s Thanksgiving and I Have a Few Sober, Thankful Things to Say…

There was a tradition in my house on Thanksgiving – we’d go around the table and tell the gathered kinfolk what we were thankful for. When I was young, I’d get nervous, trying to think of all the things I should say. All the people I should thank. I didn’t want to miss anything – or be considered ungrateful. I didn’t want to sound silly or have anyone laugh at me. That’s the kind of neurotic kid I was. Instead of enjoying myself and listening to everyone else, I was rehearsing in my head what I was going to say.

I’ve Changed…

I’ve changed a bit. I still don’t like to share much. But, I try to be in the present and count my blessings regularly (not just at sit-down turkey dinners). I’ve learned that the things one is thankful for, can change over time. God is always has gotten us this far… And that there is no “right answer” to the question, “What are you thankful for?” I’ve also learned, the needs that sit low on and shelter, for example, are not givens. I have added “a roof over my head” to the list of things I am thankful for, every day. Thankful for EVERYTHING! So my grace could be a bit long;-)

 Short Story;  Here are some of my top daily things I took for granted and I’m most thankful for!

Rise & Shine – Morning 

There is a reason this is top of the list. Mornings are my favorite part of being sober. The sun comes up, I open my eyes and I am ready for the day. Oftentimes with a surplus of energy and an idea (just like a lit bulb) popping into my mind. There is no anguish. No scrambling for my phone or purse to put the pieces of the previous night together with receipts and text messages (WHERE ARE YOU???!!??). I do not have a headache, my heart is not pounding in my throat and I don’t feel like throwing up. I call that winning! My eyes are open and my heart is beating, during the height of addiction is was just pure luck!  

No Lies!

Okay, I still falter sometimes. I had a lot of practice covering for myself and it’s a hard habit to break… But for the most part, I am sanguine about answering the “W” questions. What happened to the case of red wine in the garage? Where were you? When did you get home last night? There is something incredibly refreshing about boldfaced honesty. About having nothing to hide (except the occasional binge-watching ).

I’m the Designated Driver! 

When I was drinking and or drugging, police lights made my heart jump and my palms sweat. I still don’t like getting pulled over, but I do not FEAR getting pulled over. Bring on the breathalyzer, tell me to walk a straight line and say the alphabet backward!! Also, when I was drinking I was unable to be spontaneous. If it happened after five at night, I had to make an excuse to not go, because by five I was drunk. I was never, ever the designated driver!

Healthy Relationships – ZERO DRAMA! (Unless it’s Football Related…that’s kind of unavoidable 😉

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – those screaming fights where car tires squeal, ashtrays sail through the air and people shout, “I never loved you!” only happen when drinking & drugging is involved. After living a life that was all drama, I relish my sober peace and quiet. And my relationships are deeper and more meaningful now that I am sober. Addiction was my own prison (Creed Reference). Now, we disagree on football fowls!

Make New Memories…that you can now remember!

Last, but certainly not least, I love that I now have a memory at all!  If you said it, I remember it. I. I was like a scam fortune-teller, looking at the faces of loved ones for a clue as to what had occurred. Yes. Dancing – of course, I remember dancing. Not on tables, though… Tables. Yes, there was that one table… Oh sure, two tables and my local bar…right… and falling… I meant to do that… I have begun to read for pleasure again. My brain is back in full force.

The fact is, I have changed. I can’t say it has all been for the better, but most of it sure has. I’m not the little girl I once was and I’m not the alcoholic I was either. I am new and improved. And everything, every last sober, thankful thing is because I put down the wine and picked myself up. By the bootstraps. By the back of the neck… And this year, if someone asks what I am thankful for, and my mouth is not full of Fried Turkey, I’ll know what to say…

Happy “SOBER” Thanksgiving!