This Thursday, November 23rd, marks Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This is a day many Americans use to celebrate the good things in their lives.
One of those good things could be recovery from alcohol and drug abuse. After all, substance abuse is difficult. Recovery is difficult. We should celebrate the achievement of such a hard-fought goal. Not everyone accomplishes this kind of achievement.
But HOW should we celebrate sobriety? That might be tricky. In the past, former alcohol and drug users may have used those substances to celebrate good times just as they used those same substances to help them during bad times. Instead, former users have to find ways to spend time and mark occasions that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. So, they could
- Sponsor or help other people with their sobriety. Sponsoring other recovering people is a central component of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other support programs.
- Volunteer. Volunteering requires people to commit time and energy, time and energy people may have used drinking or abusing drugs in the past. Volunteering also makes people feel good about themselves and this boost in self-esteem can help prevent depression and substance abuse.
- Reconnect with family members and friends. Substance abuse sometimes damages relationships with loved ones. People proud of their recoveries and actively working on them might want to show others how their recoveries have helped them and can help them in their relationships.
Did you notice a common link in these suggestions? All involve connecting to people in some way. Positive social interaction is a great way for people to recover and stay sober. It helps us stay accountable to others and lets us know that we care about others. Hopefully, we know people for whom we can be thankful and people who are thankful for us.