Not Thankful During Thanksgiving, Thank You Very Much

18 November 2016 Written by 

Sometimes holidays are tough. This year, instead of being comforted by happy memories of family meals, I find myself with anger and resentment. How do I process my hurt when everyone else is so darn thankful?

How Did I Get Here?

For years, when someone asked me “How are you?” I answered, “I’m fine.” even though I was far from fine. I did this to protect myself from feelings too difficult to face. Tired of being ignored, my feelings eventually left. As a result, I’m more emotionally frozen than a Butterball turkey. But instead of taking a few days to thaw out in the refrigerator, I’ve taken 18 months so far. Recovery teaches me to feel my feelings, and I feel like other people's thankfulness is sometimes fake. Not something I want to put on my status update. Even worse, I feel pressured to post my own separate, but equally fake gratitude list.

How Do I Get Out Of Here? 

Caregiver Coach, Cindy Laverty explains, "When we ignore our feelings – particularly people who are in stressful situations like caregivers – eventually our bodies scream at us." Recovery holds the answer for me, but it is a long process, not a magic wand. I won't be able to clean up all the dirty emotions I shoved under a rug before Christmas.  

I’ll start by being thankful for any nudge of anger, sadness, or rage. They might not be pretty, Facebook worthy feelings, but they are feelings nonetheless and welcome guests in my life. I’ll focus on the little things that make me genuinely smile; I'll stop running from my past, which is unmanageble, and hand it over to my Higher Power. Finally, I'll remember to live one day at a time, and Thanksgiving's really just another square on the calendar.  

A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: Pam Carver

Read 1163 times Last modified on Tuesday, 29 November 2016 16:49
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Pam Carver

In my family of origin, three of us are in treatment for codependency, drugs, and/or alcohol abuse. Two of us are in denial about the devastating effects codependency, drugs, and alcohol have had on our family. None of us are talking about it. I’m the codependent one on a quest for healthy living through love and boundaries. My journey started in Celebrate Recovery. I have much to learn and practice. I live with my wonderful husband, amazing son, and pseudo-therapy beagle, Spot. I enjoy long walks on the beach and writing about the life-changing principles I’m learning in the rooms of recovery.
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