Life would be considerably easier if our feelings, emotions, thoughts, pasts, futures, and any other potentially disruptive issues in our minds adhered to a schedule of our own dictation. Unfortunately, life doesn’t take holiday breaks, even though holiday breaks are a big part of our lives. Though we get the day off from work, school, and other outside obligations, we don’t get the day off from our internal obligations to our sanity, serenity, and recovery. Living in recovery can mean that our internal obligations make particular demands which arise in the form of particular challenges, even on holidays.
Through recovery, we gain an ever growing set of skills to help us prepare to cope with our feelings by identifying, understanding, and learning how to cope with all kinds of triggers. For a variety of reasons, the holidays at the end of the year can be especially triggering, starting with Thanksgiving.
On the surface, there “shouldn’t” be anything triggering about a holiday which is supposed to celebrate coming together, family, gratitude, and thankfulness. However, the traditions of Thanksgiving have been usurped overtime by a “Hallmark” perception- that everything should look perfect, taste perfect, be perfect, and go perfectly. Everyone in attendance to a Thanksgiving dinner should act perfect. Every conversation among Thanksgiving attendees should go perfectly- like a picture perfect “Hallmark” card.
Perfection, as we come to understand through recovery, is a delusional ideal which tends to cause little but pain, suffering, and grave disappointment. When our expectations are set too high on ourselves and on others, we can take every little threat to perfection as a grave disaster, causing ourselves tremendous tension and anxiety, even depression or cravings to engage in harmful behaviors to cope with the pressure.
The hope of a perfect, uneventful Thanksgiving dinner is just one of many triggers which come with the holiday. Depending on who we are, what we have been through, and what exactly we are in recovery from, Thanksgiving can be triggering to our:
Living in recovery gives us the tools we need to take care of ourselves in all situations. We might think that having to “survive” Thanksgiving sounds a bit drastic, but when our “fight or flight” response is being activated because someone or something is triggering us, survival mode is exactly where we find ourselves.
Humility is one of our greatest lessons in recovery because it teaches to remember that we’re only human and we can’t do it all on our own. More importantly, we’re reminded to be teachable- meaning, that the guidance and support of someone else can help us get through. A Thanksgiving season might be too much for us in too many different ways, that’s okay for us to admit. If we think we might be at risk for relapsing, acting out, or harming our recovery in any way, we can turn to professionals like the dynamic team at Hired Power who offer recovery services designed to support us and ensure that we never stand alone in the face of life’s challenges.
Hired Power knows what it takes to stay sober and maintain recovery. Our recovery services are designed with two key goals in mind: to help you stay on the path of recovery and make sure that you can bring recovery home. With a team of experienced professionals with unmatched passions, you can feel secure knowing you’re never alone. We’re here to stand by you.
“I have worked with Hired Power extensively in collaboration with Clearview Treatment Programs’ individualized outpatient program. I am always impressed with their effectiveness and professionalism.”
“Thanks again for being there for us and guiding us through some rough waters. Your kindness and genuine concern deeply touched my soul and we are all grateful our paths crossed when they did. You are a truly gifted professional, keep on doing what you do so well.”
“I just want to thank Hired Power for the PRA. He was a perfect match and I can’t say enough…. He was intensely committed. This is the first time I have been clean in over 30 years. Thank you again.”
“I don’t look at you (Hired Power) as hiring a service, I look at you as saving my life.” (referring to his ability to stay sober after returning home).