On every second Monday of October, we here in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving. Just like our neighbours to the south, these are the days we spend with our family and friends eating, laughing and celebrating. We are forced to stop and step out of our busy routines, we are made to reflect and give thanks for life’s many blessings. If you are in addiction recovery you are thankful for your rock bottom, because without it you would never have sought to get clean. This in recovery is called the “attitude for gratitude”, in general those who struggle with addiction feel they don’t have much to be thankful for – not true. In recovery patients are told to be grateful for the “gift of desperation” because if not for this gift the possibility of recovery would not be possible. Good things in your life will not happen if you are not looking for them. We at the Oasis Movement have always advocated that a positive attitude is one of the corner stones for sustained sobriety. If you enter this holiday season with the “attitude for gratitude” not only will minimize the risk of relapse, but you may even enjoy your time with your family and friends. We have a few tips you could use to ensure that Thanksgiving and this Holiday Season be a joyful one:
- Spend your holiday time with people who are supportive of your recovery. Avoid putting yourself in any situation where you may feel triggered and not have any support. This can be hard, but stick to the people who understand and honor what you are going through as a recovering addict or alcoholic.
- When the going gets tough, get to a meeting. Stay in touch with your sponsor, even if you have to get away to a quiet place during your Thanksgiving dinner and call them—DO IT
- Start a new tradition. If your old family traditions centre around eating and drinking start a new tradition of going for a walk, or playing a game, involve the whole family young and old. Who knows they may even be grateful to you for this new tradition.
- Reach out to people who are happy to listen to you and help. Keep a list of numbers, talk to family members or friends who are supportive. In recovery you meet so many people who just get it and are more than happy to help. Utilize these relationships. NEVER ISOLATE YOURSELF DURING THIS SEASON.
- Avoid getting too hungry, anxious, lonely or tired. These extreme physical and emotional states make relapse a greater possibility.
While we believe a positive attitude is critical to your well being, so is staying in the moment. Don’t forget to keep practising mindfulness and stay in and appreciate the present moment. If you keep our suggestions in mind not only will you make it through Thanksgiving but the coming Holiday Season as well!
We at the Oasis Movement would like to take this moment to say we are Thankful TO YOU our followers for your continued support. We wouldn’t be here without you!