Sober Living: Express Your Gratitude to New Connections and Sober Support in Recovery
Gratitude opens the door to…the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude. — Deepak Chopra
Thanksgiving is 3 days away.
The thought of celebrating with family, friends, and new connections made in sober living and recovery is exciting, but as the holiday rolls closer additional stress might be experienced.
Feelings of fear and anticipation are turning your thoughts from calm and serene into an emotional train wreck.
In the past, holidays were celebrated with booze, drugs, and total inebriation.
Some stressors for the upcoming holiday can include:
The availability of alcohol or drugs during holiday celebrations
Seeing old associations you previously abused alcohol or drugs with
Loneliness because you haven't reunited or reconciled the damage your drinking or drugging behavior caused, so you will not be with family during the holidays
There is hope for you to make it through the big three holidays marking the end of 2018 and the many more holidays without fear of relapse.
Why is Thanksgiving such a special holiday?
Because it is a day when you thoughtfully express your gratitude.
Gratitude is the key to making it through the holidays.
Gratitude is key to living a positive life in recovery.
Cicero famously said, “Gratitude is the mother of all virtues.”
Why gratitude is the mother of all virtues
To express gratitude means to be present in the ‘here and now’. When you are grateful you are also displaying other characteristics of living with good moral character. These characteristics form the basis of healthy relationships, especially the new connections forged in sober living and recovery.
Recent research findings indicate “people who feel more gratitude are much more likely to have higher levels of happiness, and lower levels of depression and stress that the amount of gratitude felt and expressed by an individual is linked to happiness.”
According to Alex Wood, gratitude in regards to healthy relationships, connections, and society at large,
People who feel more gratitude in life should be more likely to notice they have been helped, to respond appropriately, and to return the help at some future point. If the grateful person reciprocates the favor, then the other person is more likely to reciprocate the new favourite, causing an upward spiral of helping and mutual support.
Learning to live life in sober living jumpstarts your life of gratitude and service. Each day is a new beginning and offers you the ability to experience the powers of being grateful for the new connections, friends, and support forged in sober living.
Recovery and holidays
Sometimes in recovery, you fail to see the day-to-day progress you’ve made. You are your worse critic. Self-doubt, sabotage, and self-destructive behaviors have been part of your life in addiction. It's much easier to spot your failures, mistakes, and shortcomings.
The more secure you become on your path in recovery the more you understand how nothing can be taken for granted. The easier it will be to see the positive changes you have made. You’ll be able to accept compliments and compliment yourself. All of your daily efforts to become a better person, to live sober, and help others maintain sobriety continually move you towards long-term sustained recovery.
Holidays grace you with perfect opportunities to spend some extra time contemplating upon your accomplishments over the past year. During the next couple of days make some time to reflect on all you have to be grateful for.
Here is a way to help relieve the stress which might be a result from the upcoming holiday. Put your recovery first, Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 22, 2018-
Express gratitude, thankfulness, and celebrate:
1- Your sobriety
Going to be sober and being able to wake up and enjoy Thanksgiving with family, friends, the recovery community or sober living home where you reside. Take time on Thanksgiving to put together a list of the accomplishments and goals you’ve achieved in recovery. You have so much to be grateful for today and every day in recovery. Take time and acknowledge it.
2- Your health
Getting sober has put you at an advantage or living a healthy life in recovery. You're able to access the damage to your drinking and drugging caused your health. Your new path of sobriety allows you to take the time to seek and follow medical advice.
3- Reunited with family and friends
The Thanksgiving holiday is the perfect celebration to express your gratitude for the support, care, and love your family, friends, and support network have shown you through your process of recovery.
4- Your Recovery Coach
Spend several minutes with your coach today to let him know how much you appreciate the patience and support extended towards you. Review the time you’ve spent under his or her care and support. Express and feel the positive changes you’ve experienced along your path in recovery.
5- Your Sober Living Home
Wake up early and share your gratitude with the staff and other residents in the sober living home. Let them all know how you appreciate their guidance and support, their words of comfort, their willingness to hold you accountable for your behavior, their friendship, camaraderie, and care. Do something nice for them. It’ll make you feel good.
6- The recovery community
Express your gratitude to the recovery community. Reach out and thank all the friends in your support network. Your clinician, counselor, therapist, 12-step groups, teachers, co-workers, friends, and all other networks of support you have found in your ever-growing community of recovery.
7- By helping another today
Be present to provide another with help today. You can bring someone to a meeting, share your story at an inpatient treatment program, provide a meal, a coat, or just an ear to listen. Let others know how much you appreciate the support which helped you become the person you are today. Offer your time at a homeless shelter, a community meal, a different sober living home, or a home for the aged. Let the gratitude of others fuel your passion to serve.
Your Thanksgiving change
Changing your life requires changing your thoughts. It is true wherever your thoughts go your body will follow. This Thanksgiving let your thoughts of gratitude enrich your recovery and the recovery of those you reside within sober living. Keep your list of gratitude close at hand give thanks, support others, and serve.
Be mindful of how you are feeling and change your state from one of stress, depression, or fear for the upcoming holiday and focus on the beauty that is all around you. Appreciate the life you have and create the ultimate version of yourself.
Our lives are what our thoughts make them — Marcus Aurelius
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at The Lighthouse Sober Living and Recovery 365
If you or a loved one is dealing with addiction to alcohol or drugs there is hope. The Lighthouse can help you transition into sober living and recovery coaching. Or admissions staff will assist you in finding the resources you should connect with so you can begin your journey of recovery. Reach out to us and get started today.