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Thanksgiving marks the kickoff of the holiday season for many. Usually a gathering of friends and family, the intent of Thanksgiving events are to help us to reconnect with all the people we love most in a day and age where there is rarely time to stop and spend time with one another.
While this is a noble goal, it is not always the reality of the situation. Many people in recovery find family gatherings for events like Thanksgiving dinner to be extremely stressful and, as a result, a trigger for relapse. Family dynamics, long-term disputes, and issues that occurred during active addiction can all make Thanksgiving dinner extremely uncomfortable – or it can be a wonderful and supportive experience for the person in recovery.
Because you can never know until you try, many individuals in recovery go in as “armed” as they can be with positive coping mechanisms and tools to manage any difficult situations if they arise, and others opt out. Both are perfectly fine. Your recovery comes first, and you need to make the decision that is right for you.
Many people in recovery spend Thanksgiving at the home of a family member or friend. Not sure if your uncle is going to get blitzed and knock over the dessert table again, or if your cousin is going to offer to get you high in the basement? Here are a few things you can do if you are attending a family event or going to a friend’s house this year for Thanksgiving:
If you are open to trying something new this Thanksgiving, you can:
How will you navigate the holiday season without relapse?