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Thanksgiving Dishes of Sobriety


Sobriety ThanksgivingThanksgiving provides us with a reason to celebrate with family and friends as we count our blessings for our sobriety and our courage in our decision to face our drug and alcohol problems.¬† Whether newly sober or a long-time abstainer from drugs and alcohol, we recovering addicts have many reasons to be thankful for our new, healthy lives.¬† The depths of depravity we experienced while using pale in comparison to the happiness brought by our sobriety.¬† We face our demons every day and continue to take positive steps to better our understanding of our sobriety and what is means to live a truly sober life.¬† Thanksgiving give us the opportunity to give thanks for the road we’ve embarked upon to actively participate in staying sober.¬† Below, we suggest a breakdown of the typical Thanksgiving dinner dishes and we give each a “sobriety meaning” that we hope empowers you to either get or stay sober.¬† Gobble Gobble!

Turkey: the main ingredient and most widely accepted belief about sobriety.

Physical sobriety: Don’t drink and use no matter what!¬† Making the decision to not pick up the bottle or buy a bag of meth can seem incredibly difficult and daunting.¬† Yet, by making this simple choice not to give in to your urges to use or drink is incredibly liberating and rewarding.¬† Just like the turkey on the dinner table, it is the center piece of the whole program.¬† Without abstaining from drinking and using we would not be sober and have the chance at a better life.

Stuffing:  The Big Book and Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Once you have achived physical sobriety, it can feel empty and miserable and then send you right back into drinking. ¬†If you fill up your physically sober life with the Big Book and the 12 Steps you will have much more delicious life that you would not want to ruin by¬†drinking¬†and using again. ¬†The Big Book and 12 Steps “Go to 12 Step Meetings.”¬† Getting the nerve to not suffer alone can be eliminated by going to a meetings and either sharing or just listening to others just like you bare their souls.¬† Yes, meetings help.¬† Are they the end-all-and-be-all of our sobriety?¬† Of course not.¬† But I’ve never once gone to a meeting and regretted my decision to be an active participant in my sobriety‚Ķeven by sitting silently and listening to the wisdom and stories of others.¬† Observing others share their step-work builds confidence in our own sobriety and gives us the wisdom to pursue a better understanding of our sobriety.

Cranberry Sauce: that stuff we slather on to make turkey taste better.¬† I.E. what do we “spread onto” our sobriety to make the turkey taste that much better.

“Do an act of Service.”¬† Giving back to your community immerses one in your surrounding environment and empowers you do help others.¬† I’m sure somewhere along the road to recovery you all remember certain people that have gone out of their way to help you.¬† Those people and experiences stick with us forever.¬† Doing an act of service allows us to be part of something greater than ourselves while also allowing us to better understand gratitude and the idea of community.

Ham:  That salty and succulent addition to the main course of turkey.  I.E. that thing about sobriety that we may sometimes feel guilty about doing but is (almost) as the turkey/sobriety relationship.

“Share your story.”¬† Now, there is no parallel to suggest that sharing your story is “unhealthy” for us when compared to ingesting ham.¬† But us recovering addicts simply like sharing our stories with other addicts. ¬†Not just those stories of the stupid stuff we did when on drugs‚Ķbut those stories of our sobriety and what we’ve learned in our new life that we’d like to share with other individuals.¬† Sobriety is great because you’re always learning new tips and techniques to strengthen your resolve to stay sober while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of a sober lifestyle.

Potatoes:¬† Never healthy but SO DAMN good!¬† We often eat too much of them and feel immediately full.¬† What in regards to sobriety do we “consume too much of” or “imbue in too often” in our recovery?

Potatoes, like ham, are not necessarily healthy if we eat too many of them (especially with salt and gravy!) but we eat them in mass nonetheless.  In sobriety, one can never do enough to continue to add positive people to our life.  Role models, employers, friends, lovers…any individual that can bring an upbeat and positive vibe to your life is someone worth keeping.  However, it is important to note that there is always a more healthy variety of potato.  We can substitute sweet potatoes or purple potatoes for mashed potatoes and enjoy more health benefits.  Likewise, in sobriety, we can always make more informed, healthier choices to increase the likelihood we stay sober.  Fellowship in recovery is like eating potatoes: one can never have too much support and outlets to help understand and progress in sobriety.

Apple Pie With Ice Cream:¬† The “dessert” of recovery.¬† What is it that we “make room for” in our sobriety that is a sweet reward for staying clean and sober.

“The Promises.”¬† Just look in the mirror!¬† Do you see a hyper drug-addled person (hung-over, disoriented, suicidal, or alone) or do you see a sober face reflecting your new life?¬† Your clothes are clean, your smile more authentic that it has been in a long while and you feel considerably better than you did when you were using.¬† The best part about the “dessert” of sobriety is that you can do countless things to continue growing and expanding your sobriety without doing anything detrimental to your mind and body.¬† Since when did eating more dessert suddenly become good for you?¬† Only in sobriety!

Green Beans/Squash:  This really is the only healthy part of my Thanksgiving, and in sobriety It is exercise for maintaining our physical and mental health.

“Exercise.”¬† I personally try everything in my power not to think about all the exercise I’m going to have to do after gorging myself at Thanksgiving dinner.¬† That aside, exercise is an incredibly potent tool to better your health and release the¬†endorphin’s¬†that make us feel good and therefore help our sobriety.¬† Sobriety is as much a mental battle as it is a physical quest and committing to an exercise regimen is incredibly beneficial to ensuring to maintaining one’s sobriety.¬† The thing about these veggies is when done right and eaten in good company, they don’t taste that bad!

Corn Bread: The easiest part of Thanksgiving dinner to cook up (staying sober) that we often overlook.  I.E. stopping to take a breath/pause and realize our good fortune in a sober life away from drugs and alcohol.

“Recognize your progress.”¬† Often, in our quest to stay sober, we often overlook how far we’ve come since our days of drug addiction and alcohol abuse.¬† Pat yourself on the back once in a while and bask in the light of the credit you so readily deserve for getting and staying sober.¬† The true spirit of Thanksgiving is to recognize how you are reaping the fruits of our labor and to see that which you are to be grateful for in your life.

We suggest you go easy on the Thanksgiving food so you don’t feel bad later, but when it comes to your sobriety go ahead and be gluttonous with these tasty dishes!¬† Take in as much as you can about learning how to better your sobriety and your convictions to never touch drugs and alcohol again in your life.¬† Surround yourself with good people and develop a thorough and dependable plan of action to maintain your sobriety.¬† Happy Thanksgiving and count your blessings in your sober life!

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Filed under: Holidays, Recovery · Tags: higher power, recovery tips, sobriety, sponsorship, Thanksgiving dinner, the 12 steps, The promises, tips to stay sober

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