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Updated: November 16, 2021

Celebrating Thanksgiving In Recovery

Many people in recovery feel nervous when the holidays approach. This is especially true if they are estranged from their family or have triggers related to those in their life. Holidays are an emotional time for people from all walks of life! Whether you’re worried about family trauma or want to avoid triggers like your Uncle John passing the wine, your feelings are valid. Thanksgiving can be a tricky day for emotional health, so having a plan is important.

Celebrate Thanksgiving With Whoever You Choose

Celebrating Thanksgiving in recovery means whatever you want it to mean! If your family is estranged or substance users, you can begin building your “chosen family” now. Ask around to see if there is an open celebration among 12-step members. Often, there will be at least one person who has a gathering where everyone is welcome.

You may want to stop by your family gathering, then head over to a 12-step meeting. For some holidays, AA meetings and NA meetings host marathons that go for 24 hours – so you can stop by whenever you choose! Check your local meetings online to see what holiday events are listed.

Have An Exit Plan If You Celebrate With Family

Thanksgiving can be a trigger for many people. After all, we often think about the past (and get reminded of it) when we see relatives or celebrate with family. Sometimes these memories are raw and painful. As a result, you may feel unprepared to cope with your feelings.

If you plan on spending time with family, make sure you have an emergency exit plan! This can be texting your sponsor, calling your best sober friend, or letting people know you’ll be leaving to go to a meeting.

If you feel uncomfortable, acknowledge your feelings. Take some time to gather your thoughts if you feel triggered – you can always go to the restroom for some privacy. If you didn’t drive, make sure you have the Uber or Lyft app as well as the address to the closest 12-step meeting.

If you feel like using, please give yourself a minute at a time! Just stay sober until your ride comes. Then stay sober until you get to the 12-step meeting. Then stay inside with others in recovery until the feeling passes.

Consider Sober Living

If you’re looking for a supportive, safe environment to get back on your feet, sober living may be the right arrangement for you. We offer community, structure, and recovery in a fantastic location for making a new sober life! Give us a call to learn more about your options at 760-216-2077.


If you or a loved one is looking for a safe and sober home in North County San Diego, call 760-216-2077. One of our caring members is ready to answer all of your questions.

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