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Giving Thanks in Recovery From Addiction

Alcohol-Related Deaths in 2020 - Resurgence - A group at an inpatient alcohol rehab center hugs each other in a circle to show support for one another's recovery journeys as they finish discussing the number of alcohol-related deaths in 2020.


What to Know About Recovery From Addiction

Even when you have a severe, long-term addiction to drugs or alcohol, recovery from addiction is possible.

For most people, recovery from addiction does require participation in a treatment program.

Recovery is not a one-time event.

Instead, recovery from addiction is a process of change.

During recovery, you improve your health and well-being.

You can set long-term goals, reach your potential, and have the life you want.

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What Happens After Addiction Treatment?

For most people in recovery, they attended an addiction treatment program.

Addiction is a complex chronic disease.

For the best outcomes, professional treatment can address the challenges of getting sober.

Deciding to receive treatment is critical, but there is still work once you finish your treatment.

That work is why recovery is considered an ongoing process.

It is something you work on throughout your life.

Recovery is a period of remission from the chronic disease that is addiction.

When you are in recovery, the values and positive changes you have focused on implementing become a voluntary part of your lifestyle.

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Challenges in Recovery From Addiction

People need to realize that nothing will be perfect when they are in recovery from addiction. There will be challenges.

Recognizing those challenges and having proactive coping mechanisms will help you weather them without relapsing.

The following are some of the significant challenges to prepare for in recovery from addiction.

Lifestyle Changes

When you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, your lifestyle is very different from what it will look like in recovery.

You will have to change your habits and even the people with whom you spend time.

Some people mourn the loss of their old lifestyle in their early days of recovery from addiction.

You may worry about not enjoying your life like you once did. You might not be able to imagine what sobriety looks like for you.

It can feel like a significant loss. However, as your recovery progresses, you will find joy in the new things and build positive routines in your life. 

Negative Emotions

After rehab or when someone gets sober, they tend to have negative emotions. You might feel trauma, shame, guilt, and stress.

It is normal to feel these emotions, and you have to work through them with a clear mind.

Do not try to hide your negative emotions or pretend they are not happening.

Instead, talk about them and deal with them openly and honestly.

Damaged Relationships

You have likely damaged your relationship with your partner, friends, and family due to your addiction.

You may have pushed people away or lashed out at them when you were in active addiction.

You may have hurt people, and you have to rebuild relationships and trust with the people close to you.

It can feel challenging, like a mountain to climb, so some people struggle even after addiction treatment.


Relapse is incredibly scary to think about when you are in recovery.

It is one of the primary challenges you will face.

With that in mind, you have to face the possibility that it will occur to take proactive steps to avoid it.

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The Importance of Gratitude in Recovery From Addiction

One way to cope with challenges like the one above is to practice gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful motivator and protector in recovery.

Gratitude is simply being thankful, showing appreciation, and returning kindness.

12-step programs incorporate gratitude in their teachings.

Practicing gratitude can help you change your entire mindset. You can think less selfishly when you focus on practicing gratitude. You can start thinking less about your own needs and more about what the people around you have done to help you.

It can help you cultivate a positive mindset.

There are scientific studies that show how powerful gratitude can be. For example, grateful people tend to be more optimistic and more resilient when dealing with challenges.

Grateful people have more energy, think more clearly, and experience less stress.

When you make active gratitude part of your life, you will feel more in control and may even live longer.

Gratitude: Key Points

A few key points about gratitude in recovery:

  • It helps you remember that even if things are not going your way, you have much to be thankful for in life. For example, if you are in recovery and relapse, gratitude can help you see it as an opportunity for improvement.
  • When you practice gratitude, it helps you appreciate and love, not just other people but also yourself.
  • Gratitude, like everything else in your recovery, is a process. You have to start the healing process, and then you can begin to experience true gratitude.


Ways to Practice Gratitude

A few ways to practice gratitude include:

  • Every morning wake up and write down a few things you are grateful for. Writing it down makes it more real. If you start your day by thinking about what you have versus what you do not have, it can eliminate negative emotions.
  • Think about something negative that has happened to you lately and transform it into a learning opportunity. Give yourself time to reflect on life lessons.
  • Be generous and give to someone else every day. A small act of kindness every day can be invaluable to your sustained recovery.
  • Do not focus on the worst qualities of people. Focus on their best qualities, and hope they do the same with you.
  • Make your recovery something you are grateful for every day to stay engaged and motivated.
  • Use visual reminders of your gratitude.
  • Be careful about your word choice. If you are a grateful person, you will use words differently, and your word choice will be more positive rather than negative.

Even if you do not necessarily feel gratitude at this moment in your life, pretend you do. You are training your brain to experience gratitude.



Mindfulness is a necessary component of practicing gratitude.

For example, think about your senses and what you are experiencing at the moment. What do you appreciate about the sights or sounds around you?

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Contact Resurgence

If you are struggling with addiction or have a loved one struggling, treatment options are available.

Addiction is treatable.

With the right type of rehab program, you can work on your recovery and all the joy that process can bring.

We encourage you to contact Resurgence.

We offer different types of treatment programs to help you with recovery from addiction.

Treatment options are available on an inpatient and outpatient basis.

All treatment programs are tailored to the individual and evolve as your needs evolve.

Contact us today.

We are available to answer your questions and provide you with the information.

We have the resources that can change the course of your life or your loved one’s life.

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