The holidays are a time to show the people we love that we’re thinking of them. It’s traditionally celebrated as a time for gift-giving, and while some family members may be particularly easy to shop for, there are others that may benefit from something more than just a gift card or something similar. Addiction and mental illness recovery are such vulnerable, courageous ventures that deserve to be recognized as signs of strength and humility – because the truth is, it’s not easy. If you have any friends or family members who have been working hard in their journey to recovery, the holidays are a great way to let them know how proud of them you are – and what better way to communicate this than to give them something with direct meaning?
1) Treat them to the ultimate experience.
Is there something they’ve been talking about wanting to do? Hot air balloon rides, helicopter tours, plays and more give your loved one not only an experience, but quality time with you – and as long as it’s an environment that won’t trigger them, you’ve hit the holiday gift-giving lottery.
2) Give them something inspirational.
There are so many books out there that can help inspire your loved one to continue working hard. Here are some great reads:
God Grant Me the Laughter: A Treasury of Twelve Step Humor
Author: Ed F.
Description: These hearty cartoons and humorous anecdotes reflect with humor and powerful clarity how our drinking or drug-using days contrast with our lives today.
Easy Does It
Author: Mary Faulkner
Description: Identifying relationship challenges specific to couples in recovery, and offering advice rooted in recovery principles, the Easy Does It Relationship Guide gently nudges readers to move beyond conflict and create healthier, happier, more intimate relationships.
Drop the rock…the ripple effect
Author: Fred H.
Description: Drop the Rock—The Ripple Effect provides multiple perspectives from people successfully working a Twelve Step Program, showing Step 10 as a key to a sober life free of fear and resentment and filled with serenity and gratitude.
The Four Agreements
Author: Don Miguel Ruiz
Description: In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness and love.
The Craving Brain
Author: Dr. W. Anderson Spickard Jr.
Description: Combining firsthand accounts and simplified medical insights, The Craving Brain addresses how adolescent binge drinking plays a role in the development of alcohol addiction, explains why addicts don’t need to hit rock bottom before they can recover and responds to some of the most compelling mysteries of addiction.
3) Write them a letter.
This may sound a bit traditional, but the key here is that your loved one is going to have something tangible to read in times of despair. Write a letter expressing how much you love them and how proud of them you are. This way, they can hold onto the letter and read it when they need a gentle reminder that they’re strong enough to get through this.
There’s nothing wrong with being sentimental, and the holidays are a great time to connect with the people you love by showing them you understand – and respect – who they are and how far they’ve come. Recovery of any kind is filled with ups and downs, and the holidays are a great time to really uplift that process by recognizing the fact that your loved one is a warrior.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.
Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.