Why is it a Good Idea to Seek Addiction Treatment During Thanksgiving
The Thanksgiving holiday is a time for gratitude – for family, friends, health, and wellness. While we also give thanks for the green bean casserole, turkey, and stuffing, Thanksgiving is also a time for reflection and observance. It’s a holiday that encourages us to be thankful for our lives, regardless of any trying times, and to observe all of life’s beauty and blessings.
For many, however, Thanksgiving may be a time of loneliness, despair, regret, and shame. Addiction commonly strains relationships within families. For many in addiction, it may’ve been years since someone in active addiction has felt (or actually been) welcomed to family holidays such as Thanksgiving. With that said, to seek addiction treatment during Thanksgiving may be a good move for your long-term recovery.
The Importance of Gratitude in Recovery
During the Thanksgiving holiday, we take the time to appreciate the people and things in our lives. In recovery, gratitude is also a central theme in living sober. In active addiction, we tend to blame our addictive behaviors on surrounding circumstances to protect our addiction. This victim mentality helps us rationalize our addictive behaviors. “My circumstance is different. My life is different. If you knew about my problems, you’d understand why substances help me cope.” This mindset allows us to continue using, no matter how our behaviors affect others. After all, others just don’t understand us.
Incorporating gratitude into our daily lives adds a powerful perspective that combats this cynical and selfish thinking pattern. When we’re grateful, our mental health tends to dramatically improve. This isn’t just an opinion. Numerous scientific studies have proven the immense benefits of practicing gratitude. One study, which asked over 1,000 people to keep a gratitude journal for three weeks, revealed that people who participated in gratitude practices were more optimistic and outgoing, found more joy and pleasure in everyday life, and felt less lonely.
When we’re in active addiction, we tend to invite toxic thinking while minimizing any positive outlook in our lives. However, in recovery, we’re asked to be grateful for being sober, even when it’s a struggle to do so. In this way, gratitude helps to mold the basic mindset necessary to be successful in recovery. Gratitude helps us to better deal with the negative emotions and challenges that may put recovery at risk. Hence, to seek addiction treatment during Thanksgiving, a holiday that revolves around the idea of gratitude, can be a great way to commit or recommit to sobriety.
Why This Thanksgiving May Be the Ideal Time to Seek Treatment
Needless to say, Thanksgiving in the year 2020 will be different in many ways. This year has been marked by a global pandemic, an increase in anxiety and depression, social unrest, and political division. Additionally, medical professionals are urging Americans to stay home to celebrate Thanksgiving with only immediate family or friends within the household. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one million new cases of Covid-19 were reported last week, so traveling this week for Thanksgiving celebrations could create another major spike in America. Not to mention traveling for Thanksgiving may endanger family members.
With so much political division and unrest in America, skipping this Thanksgiving may also help to reduce friction with friends and family who have different opinions than ourselves. If your substance use has increased in 2020 or you’re struggling with depression and anxiety, arguing with family members at this year’s Thanksgiving table may not be the best idea for your mental health.
While it may seem that seeking treatment during a holiday would be problematic, reaching out for help may the best way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. It would prove to yourself and others that you’re grateful for your own life. If you’ve experienced strain with friends and family because of an addiction, seeking help will also show that you’re grateful for your loved ones as well. It may be the most meaningful way to celebrate your gratitude this year.