By Steps to Recovery on November 22, 2012 – Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thanksgiving is upon us, and everyone in recovery knows just how difficult staying sober can be during the holidays. So many feelings come up, many recovering addicts are far from their families and loved ones and are incapable, for one reason or another, of traveling to visit for the holidays. Loneliness, resentment for the situation,  sadness for lost relationship, and on an on. Then there are the holiday gatherings, where other people may be drinking or using. Especially for someone in early recovery, these times can be very difficult. Remember, you are not alone. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your holiday and stay clean and sober.

1. 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.

2. When the going gets tough, get to a meeting. Check the internet or your local newspaper, there are always special holiday meetings for people who are struggling or who just want to connect with like minded individuals in recovery. In it’s own way, this type of meeting is a special celebration in itself.

3. Instead of caving into the desire to go hang out at old places where you might find trouble, start a new tradition. Go for a family walk, play cards or board games, do crafts with the kids. There are countless opportunities to start something new and keep it going for years to come.

4. 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.

5. Avoid getting too hungry, anxious, lonely or tired. Make sure to nourish your body with healthy food and your soul with connection to others you care for, who also care for you. Get plenty of rest and make sure to do self care. Relapse is much more likely if you become any of these things so make sure to take good care of yourself!

Remember to stay in and appreciate the present moment. Connect with people who care. Take care of yourself. If you keep these 5 suggestions in mind and use them when necessary, you will make it through the holiday just like it’s any other day. Remember to have gratitude, especially on this Thanksgiving. You are in recovery, you are successful, you have a lot to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to the recovery community, with lots of love and gratitude.