What Does Thanksgiving Have To Do With Sobriety?
By Paula Davies Scimeca, RN, MS
Actually, there are quite a few aspects of Thanksgiving that mirror sobriety. Had the Pilgrims not been the recipients of the utmost kindness, hospitality and tutelage of the Native Americans, they would never have survived the impending winter. That is what essentially precipitated the very first Thanksgiving celebration.
Not unlike Native Americans, individuals familiar with the ins and outs of sobriety take those new to recovery under their wing, showing them the ropes; alerting them to the pitfalls and dangers that may threaten fledgling recovery, and ultimately, life.
Thanksgiving is a non-secular holiday which traditionally welcomes all to the table. The very first Thanksgiving was an all-inclusive, momentous occasion that was held without regard for the ethnic background, political affiliations, social allegiances and other alliances mankind tends to fabricate. While at most gatherings, distinctions among individuals are praised, if not flaunted outright, in recovery circles these differences are “laughed out of countenance,” according to the traditions created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.
More than just a feast for the gut, both Thanksgiving and sobriety have the capability, and underlying intent, of filling up the very soul of those present with heartwarming fare which transcends the physicality of a human being, seeping down into the depth of heart and spirit as well.
Without gratitude for what we have all received, Thanksgiving is just a hollow, empty shell of what might have been and sobriety is but a shadow whose existence is ultimately threatened.
Although both Thanksgiving and sobriety, at their very best, share the profound aspect of giving thanks for blessings and acknowledgement that we have escaped from fatal harm, both processes give rise to a very meaningful cause for celebration: life itself, at its most basic level.
Happy Thanksgiving and uninterrupted recovery to all this holiday season!