Thanksgiving in Recovery: Embracing Gratitude and Dealing With Addiction Triggers

Thanksgiving in Recovery: Embracing Gratitude and Dealing With Addiction Triggers

By Jennifer McDougall

Thanksgiving, a time for gratitude and family gatherings, can be a complex period for those in recovery from addiction. At Passages Malibu, where we champion a holistic, non-12-step approach to addiction treatment, we understand the nuances of navigating this season. This article aims to guide you in embracing gratitude while effectively dealing with potential addiction triggers during Thanksgiving.

Understanding Thanksgiving Triggers

The holiday season, especially Thanksgiving, can inadvertently introduce triggers associated with past substance use. Factors like familial expectations, the presence of alcohol, and even certain foods can evoke memories or emotions linked to addiction. Recognizing these triggers is the first step toward managing them. It’s essential to approach this awareness with self-compassion and understand that identifying triggers is a sign of strength, not weakness.

The Power of Gratitude in Recovery

Gratitude is more than a theme of Thanksgiving; it’s a powerful tool in recovery. Focusing on gratitude can shift perspectives, enhance mental well-being, and reinforce sobriety. Integrating daily gratitude practices, such as journaling or sharing what you’re thankful for, can create a positive mindset that strengthens your recovery journey.

Preparing for a Sober Thanksgiving

Preparation is crucial for a successful, sober Thanksgiving. This includes having a plan to navigate challenging situations and conversations. Communicating your needs and boundaries to family and friends beforehand can help create a supportive environment. At Passages Malibu, we encourage planning activities that align with your recovery goals, such as hosting a sober Thanksgiving dinner or participating in a community event.

Building and Relying on Your Support Network

A strong support network is invaluable during the holidays. This includes supportive family members, friends, support groups, or your therapy team. Staying connected and reaching out when you need help can provide the strength and encouragement to stay on your recovery path.

Mindful Celebration Strategies

Mindful celebration involves being present and engaged in the moment while acknowledging your feelings and experiences. Activities like mindful eating, participating in group activities, and taking time for reflection can enhance your holiday experience while supporting your recovery.

Dealing with Difficult Emotions and Memories

It’s natural to encounter difficult emotions and memories during Thanksgiving. Addressing these feelings directly through journaling, talking with a trusted person, or using relaxation techniques can help you process and move through them.

Thanksgiving in recovery is an opportunity to celebrate your progress and the strength of your commitment to sobriety. At Passages Malibu, we believe in the power of holistic healing and the importance of personal growth. You can enjoy a meaningful and sober Thanksgiving by embracing gratitude and preparing for potential triggers.

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