The Holiday Season in Recovery

Feb 13, 2024

The Holiday Season In Recovery Thrive Li Ny

I heard something awhile back from someone I admire in my recovery. He said, “pain is the fertilizer for spiritual growth.”

Think about that for a second and let it sink in.

What that means to me is, no matter how hard things get, how hopeless it seems or how dire the circumstances, there will be a time down the road that I can use that experience to navigate future challenges and help others.

I was thinking about this as the holidays approach.

For most people, the holidays are about gathering and rejoicing with friends and family. It’s about making memories filled with laughter and love. It’s about carrying out old traditions as well as making new ones.

But not everyone has fond memories come holiday time.

For some, it brings back feelings of despair, guilt, and disappointment. It can be a time that triggers old behaviors or even past trauma.

As a person in long term recovery, I can identify with the despair, guilt, and disappointment. During my active addiction, my behavior and demeanor around the holidays was unpredictable at best. My wife used to tell me she never knew which version of me would be walking through the door.

Substance use disorder doesn’t just affect the person living with it, it also affects the family and all those around them.

So, when the holidays approach, I try to remind myself to be extra sensitive and empathetic, not only to myself and my family but to all of those around me that might be struggling, whether in active addiction, early recovery or even someone in long term recovery.

This is where my pain can help. This is when I witness my growth. This is when the darkest days of my past, become my greatest assets in my recovery.

To anyone out there that is uneasy, scared or in pain right now, reach out to someone for help and please know that you are loved, and recovery is possible.

During this holiday season, I am so grateful for my past, good times and bad. Because of it, I can spread light and love and offer hope for those that need it most.

Wishing everyone a Holiday filled with love and laughter.