I’ve worked at Turning Point of Tampa for 16 years as a behavioral health tech. I have spent probably ten or more holidays with our clients. It truly is amazing to be around people who not only are newly clean and sober, but grateful to be where they are. We normally have a big Thanksgiving dinner for all the clients and their families and to just see the smiling faces on the loved ones knowing that their children, husbands, and wives are in a safe environment and in recovery. It is awesome for me to see and great to be a part of helping people in early recovery get through the holidays and their new daily activities.
For myself, being away from family during the holidays is hard, but them knowing that I’m doing the next right thing, staying sober and being of service is truly gratifying. My first couple years of sobriety were a little difficult, I was away from home and living in a Florida where I really didn’t have any family. I relied mainly on my friends from the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous to help me through the difficult times. I heard of Alcathon meetings, which took place at many club houses and were doing 12- step meetings throughout the day. A lot of the meetings were eating meetings. People made and/or brought food for everyone. For me, the fellowship and gratitude I had for old timers and people newly sober helped me tremendously through the holidays. I have come to realize that I didn’t need alcohol to have a good time and better yet to enjoy the blessings of the holidays. You do not have to be alone during the holidays. Reach out to your 12-step network and be part of the recovery community. I am Grateful for my recovery!