Today is the day that Americans descend upon relatives to eat a huge meal and watch football. The day moms bake pies for and kids clean up their rooms under threat……..yea, that’s what I grew up with anyway. The day that Daddy would drive to a neighboring town to pick up his mother, who would spend the day with “family”. The day Mother would go ballistic in a second and everyone feared the explosion we all knew would come.
The day we were not allowed to go to a neighbors home to play with friends. A day we had to wear our Sunday church clothes and stay clean. A day when kids were relegated to a “kid’s table” and the grownups would sit at the dining room table, complete with tablecloth used once per year and the silver candlesticks given upon marriage by a relative no one could stand.
That’s what I remember from Thanksgivings past…long past.
Now, I have better memories of Thanksgiving, and I hope for wonderful memories of thanksgiving for all of you.
It changed on Nov 23rd, 1974. That was the day I stopped drinking. It took a few years to be “sober”…oh I didn’t drink. I wasn’t in recovery until 1980.
Sobriety is a lifestyle. For those who are capable of drinking without becoming addicted, sobriety is something they just do not understand. Sobriety is a buzzword to them for never drinking and going to meetings. It is so much more.
It is an attitude of without someone or something much stronger than me I would be a drunken sot. I would give up family, friends, jobs, cars, homes, everything for that drink. It is depending upon that someone or something to provide strength….so we CAN go through one day, and then another day…without taking a drink..or fifteen.
God as we understand him…or her.
Sobriety gives us a relationship with God. Some see it as a relationship with Jesus..some use a shoe box…some use a group…God is whomever we feel connected to, whomever we feel protected by. It is all religions and no religions. It is something people without addictions do not understand. It is spiritual and spirit filled.
In working the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, we learn to trust again. We learn to feel again. We learn to be THANKFUL again. Thanksgiving is not just another day anymore. It is, like our anniversary of sobriety, full of meaning. Full of spirituality.
The things I am now thankful for are, in no particular order (except number 1):
- Sobriety..without that I have nothing
- Friends and family
- a home of my own
- heat in the winter and cool in the summer
- enough food
- my children
- books, most especially my kindle with its back light and adjustable font (Thanks Aidan J Reid!)
- Music…well everything except rap.
- blogging and the friends it has brought me
- a free clinic
- my veggie garden and enough canning jars
- enough fabric scraps to make a quilt.
- A computer that works (probably because I haven’t messed with this one)
- PBS, National Geographic, BBC and Judge Judy!
That isn’t everything, but it gives a good idea of the things that make me happy and I am thankful for this year.
What are you thankful for?