We shouldn’t feel afraid of a holiday, we tell ourselves. It’s one dinner, one Turkey, one family gather, one uncomfortable day. We know the family we love will be there. We know the family we may not love quite as much will be there. We know that our family likes to drink, maybe even partake in some more widely accepted drug use. We know we have that one relative that will push our buttons, be intoxicated, and wonder why we aren’t using with them. We might know that our family doesn’t drink and we know this is the first Thanksgiving in many years where we won’t be the only one drunk. There might be memories of Thanksgiving past where we were a happy, present participant. There might be memories of Thanksgiving past where we were an unhappy, intoxicated participant. We might have ruined a Thanksgiving. We might not have even shown up. Thanksgivings might have passed where nobody knew we were addicted to drugs and alcohol, now they will know we are in recovery from drugs and alcohol. Thanksgivings might have passed where everybody knew we were addicted to drugs and alcohol, now they will know we are in recovery from drugs and alcohol.
Our anxious thinking can run a muck when it comes to Thanksgiving. Taking a deep breath, we can set up a program of recovery for ourselves, specific to Thanksgiving in order to get through. One day? We can handle it.
Exercise in the morning
Exercise helps you clear your mind and set your body on track. During busy holiday celebrations when our household might be buzzing full of people or we are somewhere other than home, it is important to take time for ourselves and our self-care where we can. Go for a run through the neighborhood. See if your gym has a location near by. Utilize a community swimming pool. Practice yoga in your room. By connecting with your body early on, you’ll set yourself up for success.
Connect with other men
Throughout the day, call, text, email, or message other men in recovery who are likely experiencing some of the same uncomfortable thoughts and experiences as you are on the holiday. Your recovery peers and brotherhood of men in sobriety support you like nobody else can.
Get to a recovery support meeting
Most 12-step meeting locations hold ‘marathon’ meetings on major holidays like Thanksgiving. They also hold festivities of their own. Grounding into your recovery can give you a break from family.
Plug in your headphones. Close the door. Go outside. Take a walk. Breathe. Meditation is scientifically proven to reduce your symptoms of stress, down to a molecular level. All you need is just five minutes of quiet, focused breathing to gain the effects.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program in Portland, Oregon, offering men the journey of finding freedom from addiction. Creating a sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men revolutionize their life through total transformation of mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474