Holidays bring up mixed emotions for a lot of us- while it is nice to reflect on the year and all that we are thankful for while being surrounded by loved ones, sometimes it feels overwhelming and stressful. But I do have a lot to be thankful for this year.
I remember Thanksgiving 2015; I was scheduled to fly out to Arizona for treatment two days after the holiday, so that meant enduring Thanksgiving while withdrawing from heroin while simultaneously blacked out on Xanax and alcohol. I was an absolute terror to all of our guests that year – it was no secret that I had been loaded years before, but now that it was public information that I would be going to rehab later that week, the energy in the room was more so focused on me and the chaos I brought about. It took two years before my family invited me back home for Thanksgiving again, once they knew I was sober and not going to ruin another holiday.
The two years that I missed being with my family, I was so full of gratitude to be taken in by the friends and family I had made through my fellowship. They helped remind me that I could get better and could be a part of. They loved me and supported me when I felt I had nowhere else to go, and they reminded me that I could one day be with my family again, sober and present with them.
With my family living back on the east coast, I was unable to make it home this year. I was invited though, and still got to have a wonderful phone call with all of them before they ate. I missed them a lot and felt sad that I couldn’t be there with them, but I was so beyond thankful to have another wonderful family take me in and treat me as their own. I was still able to experience the love, gratitude, and joy brought about by this holiday.
I am thankful that while I could not spend the day with my immediate family, that I was able to spend it with people I love. I am thankful for the relationships I have today, both back east and here in Arizona. I am thankful for my sobriety and all that it gives me, including the ability to tell those I care about, how much I truly love and appreciate them.
No matter where you spent Thanksgiving this year, I hope you all had a nice time. I hope you were able to separate yourselves from the stress and frustration that can be brought about during the holidays and truly focus on gratitude and love.