If you’ve been in recovery for many years, your attitude towards holidays has probably changed a lot since your first years sober. At first maybe you worried about how to just get through the holidays sober. But now, with so many sober turkeys under your belt, you’re the one giving the advice.
Sure, you still have to be careful, but you’ve learned the holiday routine and know how to maneuver your way through dinner parties and crazy relatives. It gets a little easier with each passing holiday, and the more turkeys we place under our belt, the more confident we become.
Confidence isn’t always bad. But when we get to the point where we don’t even think about our sobriety around the holidays, we’ve probably also reached a place where our attitude toward recovery has become dull.
Are you losing the wonder?
The more we have of something, the less we seem to appreciate it. Whether it’s a miracle like sobriety or a move to a new job, our wonder at a great gift or the excitement of change rubs off with time.
Unfortunately, our appreciation of recovery seems to wear off with time as well.
The exuberant, hopeful spirit of a newcomer, the silent awe of hearing a testimony in a meeting, the excitement of getting our first birthday chip—the wonder of these things easily fades as time goes on.
Even around the holidays, our life becomes routine.
Sure we’re still grateful. We appreciate our family. Our house. Our job. Of course we’re still going to celebrate Thanksgiving.
But do we really mean it? Are we genuinely, deeply grateful? Or has Thanksgiving become just another excuse for a big meal?
We—those in recovery—of all people should be last ones to take this holiday for granted.Gratitude is foundational to the A.A. culture and our sobriety, and we should always participate in an opportunity to express thankfulness with warmth and passion.
The success of our sobriety depends on the extent of our gratitude
In recovery, a grateful attitude mean everything. Gratitude must be our attitude if we want to stay sober. Being grateful also keeps us humble, hopeful, and free from self-pity, which is the doorkeeper to relapse.
It’s more than a slogan, it’s our very perspective on life. Because our sobriety was so freely given to us, we truly have so much to be thankful for.
We have more to be thankful for than most people
In recovery, thanksgiving isn’t just a means of staying sober—it’s a duty.
People in recovery have more cause to celebrate Thanksgiving than the majority of Americans. When we stop to think about what our life was before we got sober and compare it with our life now, we realize just how grateful we ought to be.
No matter how loudly or how often we express our thankfulness, the extent of our gratitude can never quite equal the magnitude of what recovery has done for us. We always have a reason to be grateful, and we can never express it enough.
Are you genuinely grateful?
Have you ever wondered why the Dead Sea is called “the Dead Sea”?
Sitting 427 meters below sea level in the deserts of Israel, this salt lake has water inflowing from the Jordan River, but no outlet streams. The inbound rivers give new water to the sea, but there is nowhere for the water to go but up (through evaporation), leaving a stagnant pool of salt and minerals unsuited for any kind of life.
Everything dries everything up and new life is all but impossible.
Gratitude prevents our lives from becoming like the Dead Sea. With so many blessing poured onto us—so much love and help from our sponsors, counselors, family and friends—the natural response of a genuinely grateful heart is to share this joy with others.
A Call to thankfulness
Don’t let the familiarly of 10 years sober sap out the wonder of recovery. Revive your sobriety this Thanksgiving season. Take time to reflect on how much you have and find ways to share your joy with others.