Thanksgiving is an interesting time in America. It has become synonymous with football, turkey, and shopping. Many foreigners actually have no idea what Thanksgiving is really about, or why we celebrate it. Here is a reflection back on Thanksgiving, what a sober Thanksgiving means to someone in recovery, and why it’s good to be grateful
Thanksgiving in America is really all about setting aside one day of the year where we all gather with family or friends, be grateful for what we have, and do our best to show appreciation for everything and everyone. After all, many people around the world don’t have the same luxuries that we do in America. One example is our supermarkets. We can drive or walk a short distance to buy anything we wish to eat, with the reasonable assurance that we are getting good, clean food or water.
After we express this day of gratitude and thanks for what we already have, retailers promote their biggest sales of the year the following day, now known as Black Friday. Thousands of people around the country then go crazy in a free-for-all grab to get more stuff, to the point of where some people get trampled, beaten, or even ran over! The irony of these 2 side-by-side days isn’t lost on me.
Thanksgiving is certainly a big part of American culture. It has become one of the largest holidays we celebrate. It means so much to so many. Yet not everyone has an easy time of it. For the elderly, it may be a lonely time. For the impoverished, it may mean they cannot afford a decent meal, or food for their kids. Veterans, too, may have a hard time of this holiday if they have lost family and friends, and don’t have the comradery of their service buddies to lean on either.
Sober Thanksgiving- Issues for Recovering People
When a person is celebrating their first sober Thanksgiving, it may often be lonely. They may have pushed all family and friends away, or else their family may have finally gotten tired of dealing with them. They may be used to numbing their feelings and thoughts with substances, but now they don’t have the substances to turn to. Instead, they may wallow in depression, and wonder how they messed their life up.
Another temptation may be the heavy drinking that often goes along with the Thanksgiving weekend. After all, it is one of the heaviest drinking days of the year, and also the worst for drunken driving accidents. The reason being that many people have Wed-Sun off, and they will use it as an excuse to get inebriated. Also, the traffic on the road is so heavy that the odds for an accident go up exponentially.
Happily to say, this period will not last. Many former drinkers will recover their families, or forge new, better friendships with which they can experience a life they had never thought possible before. There are sober activities even on Thanksgiving, and the support network for AA that many former drinkers use is a 24/7 option, if they choose to exercise it.
Sober Thanksgiving – Final Thoughts
If there is one thing I have learned about Thanksgiving, it is that it changes, like everything else. Sometimes relatives move or die, or families may get into fights with each other and not want to see each other for a while (the election this year actually caused a lot of that, from what I read). Not every Thanksgiving is a huge happy fest. Nor does it have to be. It really is what you make of it: family or no family, friends or no friends.