Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving To Our Alumni And Staff!

Sunrise Detox is about people, so we'd like to mention a few that we're thankful for this holiday season.

We're thankful for our dedicated people at Sunrise Detox in Lake Worth and New Jersey.  We're thankful for the professionals who worked to get Sunrise Detox Ft. Lauderdale up and running, and who helped us successfully pass our Joint Commission inspection last week.  We're thankful for our marketers and the folks who are busy preparing for our planned facilities elsewhere, especially the leaders who work so hard to help Sunrise grow and maintain its professional standards.  We're thankful for our housekeepers, maintenance, techs, nursing staff, therapists and office support personnel.  Sunrise wouldn't exist without you.

And  we're thankful for our clients.  You are not only our reason for being, you are the measure of our success.  We operate an unusual business, measured by the customers who don't return.  Each of you who walks out our doors carries our heartfelt wish that you succeed.  Some of you go on to treatment and the 12-step rooms, and others choose different paths.  Our hopes go with you all.  We're thankful, too, for those who do return to us — thankful that you made it back, that the disease of addiction was cheated one more time, and that you'll have another chance.

So this holiday season, and especially on Thanksgiving, we have a lot to be grateful for.  If we did a gratitude list, it would be far too long, so we simply say to all of you…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Some Brief Thoughts About Gratitude

It's sort of customary this time of year for folks who write about recovery to do an article on gratitude. You can relax, though. This one will be short and sweet.

I like the the definition of gratitude in Psychology Today's “Psych Basics” series best:

“…an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has — as opposed to, say, a consumer-oriented emphasis on what one wants or needs.”

We don't get recovery by osmosis. I'm thankful that I worked hard on my sobriety, and grateful that I'm still sober. I'm thankful for the folks who encouraged and guided me, and grateful that many of them are still part of my life. I had a lot of help — but I did the work.

That's the point. Recovery is work, and if we don't put in the effort, it doesn't stick very well. So when we make our gratitude list, let's look at the present.  And if we don't have that much to be grateful for in our lives today, then maybe we need to work a little harder.

Newly-Recovering People Need TLC At Holiday Time

During the Thanksgiving holidays, families come together and appreciate each other while giving thanks for the blessings of the past year.  They are loaded with emotion, and can be particularly stressful for families with members who are attending clean and sober for the first time.  There may be old wounds that have not healed, others in the family may still be drinking or using other drugs, and the emotions and memories of other holidays may make it difficult for everyone to remain calm.

Family gatherings are not the time to discuss old hurts, examine old scars, or hold people accountable for their past.  This is equally true of the non-addict members.  It is difficult to be thankful for your blessings if someone is starting an argument — or worse — at the dinner table.

We need to look at these things ahead of time.  Certainly the one thing that no one wants is for their addict to relapse, and everyone needs to remember that stress is a primary cause of relapse.  It is good if all family members are aware of this, and determine to keep the gathering calm and under control.  Also, be aware that some members may have hidden agendas with regard to the newly-sober person.  They may miss their drinking or drugging buddy, and put pressure on him or her to join them in one last fling.  Try to intervene without being obvious, changing the subject and removing the addict from the line of fire if possible.

As far as the recovering person goes, make them aware that you know they may be ill at ease, but that they should remember that they are loved.  Encourage them to bring a sober friend who can offer support.  Be sure that they have a beverage that does not contain alcohol.  If they have empty hands, someone is likely to offer them something to drink that may not be good for them.  Make sure that they have transportation, if they are not staying at home, and that they can be assured privacy if they are.  Let them know that you understand that they may have to step away from the party for a few minutes, or even leave early, and that it is fine if they do so.

Thanksgiving means homecoming.  In many ways, this will be your addict or alcoholic’s first homecoming in years.  If there are to be others, it is a good idea to make this one as pleasant as possible.