Tomorrow millions of Americans will sit down to dinner with their loved ones and discuss, among other topics, the things in their lives for which they’re most thankful. For those in recovery, the term “thankful” tends to take on a deeper meaning and Thanksgiving represents an ideal time to reflect on how far we’ve come since getting clean, including what we’ve been given and what we’ve managed to accomplish. Whether it’s getting our careers back on track, repairing our relationships with our families or simply surviving the physical perils that can accompany active substance abuse, those of us in the recovery community have a lot for which to be thankful.
While the upcoming holiday is a perfect opportunity to reflect on how much we have, it’s also an opportunity to consider the plight of others who are still going through what we went through. It can be easy to forget that there are still people struggling with addiction who have not yet found their way to recovery. Perhaps if we’re inclined to think of others, those thoughts may even translate into action of some kind during the days following thanksgiving and compel us to become more involved in our recovery community. Whether we start volunteering at events, offering rides to meetings or mentoring someone who is new to the process, we can get a great deal more out of our own involvement by doing more.
Thankfulness leads to awareness; awareness leads to action; and action leads to empowerment. No matter how we choose to spend our Thanksgiving holiday, and who we choose to spend it with, we can be grateful for the reality that we are thriving in recovery, and we can use this realization to further strengthen our confidence and our subsequent ability to help others.