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Recovery: Working A Program On Thanksgiving

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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and for those in recovery it is a good opportunity to put the tools you have acquired to work. It is no secret, the holidays can be especially difficult for people working a program, often requiring one to be extra vigilant when it comes to their recovery. Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone, together we can make it through the day without picking up a drink or drug. There are several things you can do make it your life easier on a day typified by feelings and emotions.

Get To A Meeting

Holidays can become quite hectic, going to multiple gatherings throughout the day – some of which will have alcohol present. If you are new to the program, finding the time to get to meetings is crucial. Over the course of the day, meetings will be held at the top of every hour in your area. It is not uncommon to attend multiple meetings throughout the day.

Even if you are traveling you should make a strong effort to attend the local 12-step meetings. Recovering addicts and alcoholics depend on each other over the holidays; if you are struggling, there is a good chance that someone will share something that will help you with what you are dealing with. Holidays are not vacations from recovery, staying clean and sober is a year round occupation – one that requires eternal vigilance.


It is not uncommon for people in recovery to have lost their relationship with certain family members. You may not be invited to join in the family gatherings, which can be a hard to accept. Be grateful for the people that you do have in your life today; chances are you have come a long way since your last drink or drug, and you have a lot to be proud of and thankful for. Failing to find things to be grateful for can be poisonous, leading to the development of resentments. There is a reason that resentments are referred to as the number one offender – being the leading cause of relapse.

Being grateful for what you have, will keep you from dwelling on what you think you have lost. Take some time in your day to create a gratitude inventory. Write them down, even if it is a short list, it is still important and will help you get through the day.

Be of Service for Recovery

If you are staying in town during Thanksgiving, there is a good chance that some of the local meeting houses are hosting events. Volunteering your time can be beneficial, helping others often helps you more than anyone else. Recovery events can be a lot of fun and perfect opportunities to meet people in the program outside of your immediate support network. You never know who you might meet!

At Design for Change, we hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving, one that does not include picking up a drink.

If you are or a loved one is struggling with prescription drug abuse, please contact Design for Change to begin the journey of recovery.

Dr. at drug rehab