Thanksgiving in Recovery


Holidays can be hard during early recovery. Many celebrations include drugs or alcohol so keeping away from your temptations and urges is more difficult during the holidays. There are ways to encourage your continued recovery, and each of them can show you that sober fun is possible after detox or addiction treatment.

Set Clear Boundaries With Family and Friends

When going to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving dinner there are a few things that you know will be there. Turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and green beans will likely be available for you to enjoy. At some dinners, however, there will also be the option of alcohol and sometimes even drugs. If you know that your plans will have these options you need to tell those you trust what you do not want to do at the celebration and create boundaries with them.

By letting your friends and family know what your boundaries and limitations are, you can avoid being offered something you need to decline without risking offending your host. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be supportive of your sobriety goals, or they may align with some of the harmful stigmas surrounding addiction and substance abuse. These people may not be who you want to spend your Thanksgiving with because your priority needs to be on early recovery and beyond.

Hosting Can Be The Surest Option

Resisting the urge to use can be made easier when you go to an event that doesn’t include anything you need to resist. Sometimes that means hosting the event rather than attending it. By taking matters into your own hands you can have all the things you want in a Thanksgiving gathering while keeping drugs and alcohol out of it.

When hosting, if you have people bringing things remember to set the expectation that certain things are not welcome. Some people may not like it, but most should understand and be supportive of your decision. You may think that your friends and family will know without a reminder but it never hurts to make sure.

Service to Others Can Be a Fulfilling Alternative

Giving to others is a humbling and uplifting experience. This is a time of year where there seem to be a lot more opportunities to help others. There’s a sense of peace and fulfillment that can come from providing this service that you can’t get anywhere else, and reminds you that you are so much more than your addiction. The holidays may be a time to commit more to service work so that you are not consumed with thoughts of how you are going to attend certain activities like Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving, or any holiday, can be difficult when you’re early in the recovery process. It can even be difficult if you or your loved one have been sober for a long time. By combining support and self-discipline, it doesn’t have to be as much of a risk for relapse. With our evidence-based therapies designed to help our clients reconnect with themselves, their peers, their family, and their higher power, the Detox Center of Colorado is here to help. We are located in the beautiful, peaceful Rocky Mountains just outside of Denver. With such a healing environment, the journey to deep recovery can begin. By enhancing life in mind, body, and spirit, you can reach your recovery goals. Sober life is closer than you might think. Pick a facility that provides a professional and individualized treatment plan, as we do at the Detox Center of Colorado. Call us at (303) 952-5035 to learn more about our compassionate and comprehensive care.


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