Thanksgiving of 2018 is upon us and inviting us to reflect upon all of the blessings in our lives. As we gather with our family of origin, our family of choice, our family of friends, or whomever we find ourselves with, or without, on the Thanksgiving holiday, we have a special opportunity to take a look at the abundance our life offers us not just on Thanksgiving, but every single day.
For our first Thanksgiving sober, there is a particularly humbling feeling about giving thanks and finding gratitude. Addiction and alcoholism get in the way of our ability to be thankful and find gratitude in a few ways. First, drugs and alcohol might rob us of our material abundance, leading us into poverty, homelessness, losing our job, or having our homes, cars and other material possessions taken from us. Even if we maintain our material wealth, we are certainly still robbed of our emotional wealth, our wealth of relationships, our wealth of dignity in ourselves, and so much more. We lose out on the many simple luxuries and extravagant luxuries life has to give us. Beyond the idea of abundance, however, and what we do or do not have in our lives when we’re actively using, addiction and alcoholism change our perspective on our lives. Living in active addiction changes the way our brains work, skewing our perceptions on everything we do have in our lives as well as everything we don’t. In active addiction, we’re prone to being especially resentful, envious, jealous, and bitter. We push people away, we self-sabotage the good in our lives, and we create an increasingly dark world for ourselves where gratitude and thanks are hard to find. Our behaviors in active addiction aren’t entirely purposeful or our fault- the way that addiction changes our brain creates a propensity toward negativity in order to seek the false relief of euphoria brought on by substances.
Should there be nothing else we, mistakenly, feel we can be grateful for this holiday season, we can be grateful for our sobriety. Despite our early symptoms of recovery, our possible cravings with the potential stress of the holidays, or any ideas about using which still try to convince us that living high is better than living sober- we can find gratitude that for one day, one Thanksgiving day, we’re making it through without a drink or a drug. Active addiction is at an ever-growing distance behind us and for that we can find tremendous gratitude.
Live your life without limits by participating in transformational addiction treatment. Our innovative and adventure inspired programming at Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California, liberates men from addiction and sets them up for life beyond their wildest dreams. Hear it from a graduate by calling (855) 202-2138 for information today.