Last Updated on January 17, 2023 by Website Committee
Thriving During the
This time of year can be very challenging for many of us. Expectations and disappointments can wreak havoc with our well-being and recovery. Busyness can numb us to our inner reality. Is it possible through the grace of God and our fellowship that we can not just survive but thrive?
A Member’s Experience on How to be Thrive-ful During the Holidays:
“Having expectations about the holidays will sabotage my emotional stability. Thinking that my Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. will only be good if I get certain things, see certain people, or have specific experiences sets me up to be a victim, to develop resentments, and to be self-centered in general. Whatever happens on any day, including a holiday, is not under my control. I will be much more grounded and peaceful if I’m willing to surrender my expectations.
Focusing on the spiritual side of the holidays, whatever they mean to you, is helpful. I like to spend time in nature, appreciating the restful energy of winter weather and darkness. It’s a great time of year for spending more time in spiritual contemplation or reflection.”
Seeing Options…a gift for ourselves!
“As an addict, I feel like I get two options when going through life. Checking in or checking out. Check in with God, myself, and others, or check out from this reality through a variety of means.
This holiday season where there is the opportunity for quiet and going inward and also holidays and cheer – I get to be mindful of how, when, and why I am being present or not being present in a given situation.
How can I be checked in -ie tuned in to the flow of the universe, the will of my higher power, with my body and my recovery?
If I am at a gathering or visiting family and I start to feel overwhelmed or like my head is feeling full, I can step away for 5-10 min of quiet time. I can take that time to breathe and settle back down into my body. I can use that time to reflect. How are conversations going? Am I speaking and acting in a way that promotes integrity and peace? Am I trying to get my way or control a situation? Or have I been granted the ability to go with the flow and practice harmony in this moment?
I can also check in on friends in ABA, call a newcomer or someone who might be having a hard time, and see how they are doing. This is practicing Unity and helps strengthen bonds. It helps me to understand others better and to feel understood in return. It’s a way of giving service, practicing selflessness, and brings me satisfaction. I almost always come away feeling very grateful I made the call.
Sometimes I also need to check out ie step away from heated conversations, gossip, or diet talk. I can use these opportunities to let my mind wander, step outside for fresh air, or go to another room and lie down.
I used to feel guilty and anxious when I stepped away from family functions or parties for a break. Now I see how much I need it and how much more present, calm, and kind I am when I allow myself – or push myself to have some midday quiet time to ground myself.
If you find yourself in gatherings this holiday season, I invite you to give yourself the gift of a quiet time break and the opportunity to check in with your higher power and yourself.
A tip: Bring a board game! My extended family is not particularly close, many of us are pretty socially awkward (myself included), intimacy is not really present, we have very different views on politics and culture, and we don’t have much to talk about. We gather on Christmas and Thanksgiving because it’s important to our grandmother. What we discovered many years ago is that most of us like silly rousing games that get us laughing. So after our meal, we always bust out different board games that we love. It’s a good opportunity to laugh and be creative and for me when I was in early sobriety it was something to think about besides myself.”
We are fortunate to be able to rely on our 12-step program to help us maintain our sobriety at all levels. The tools are our most precious attribute.
Meetings a wonderful tool….
This year the Holiday
Abathon will be as follows:
Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve
Christmas Day & New Year’s
Day 9am–9pm EST.
*Odd numbered hours are meeting times and even numbered hours are fellowship times.
**We are still recruiting for people to lead the meetings and fellowship times. People interested can call or text
Lynne at 908.463.2701 for available times.
Recap on the Meal support workshop
The workshop was a resounding success. Thank you to everyone who participated in the latest workshop. We went overtime again with our Q&A, with 47 participants signed up we raised a total of $803.00.
“The meal support workshop was so powerful! I truly loved it and enjoyed it.
It was amazing to hear Joan speak about her experience as a physician working with patients with eating disorders. I learned things I didn’t know about the refeeding process. Hearing the shares of a member of ABA and her husband was incredible. I was so moved by the husband’s share and his appreciation for what ABA has been able to do for his wife. It woke me up to the unique power of ABA. I was already aware of it but his share really solidified it for me. The workshop was informative, inspiring, and just what someone like me, still on meal support, needed. Thank you! “
No worries if you missed the workshop. It will be available on the website by donation as soon as peacefully possible.
And talking about meal support …….
It’s never too late…..
A Note From the Editor
“I remember my first holiday on full meal support. I was both terrified and relieved. Relieved I was no longer bingeing and purging. Terrified of all the potential meals that I thought would be too large etc.. One item I had hoped for was a peppermint candy cane. I went to many buffets and meals where they were on display and yet none of my meal support helpers chose those little holiday candies. I had first felt sad and then eventually accepted that I wasn’t going to get one this year. However, Godde knew better. In January my former roommate dropped off an unexpected gift. Tears came to my eyes when I saw that she had taped a candy cane as part of the wrapping. I called my sponsor and she told me to enjoy it. So this may sound strange to some but by receiving that candy cane I felt so loved and heard by my higher power.”
Another way to acknowledge our gratitude for our new way of living is by hosting a Candlelight Gratitude meeting. All you need are focused readings on Gratitude and a grateful heart. More information is available on the ABA website or contact Jessa at firstname.lastname@example.org
No matter where you live on this earth, we wish you a joyful holiday with a lot of loving support from the members of the SCC.
Prayers For the Holidays
I have not been in recovery for very long.
But long enough to know that I am changing as a person.
I am softening, my cold heart slowly melting…
I am not the same person I was seven, or eight months ago …
This holiday season will be my first ever as a sober person.
It will be my first as a softer, more considerate human being.
Not an angel, by any means!
But a truer, more understanding, less conceited version of myself.
Instead of trying to dominate every conversation,
Instead of trying to keep all eyes on me,
I will be praying for humility, gentleness, patience, and calm.
I will be praying mini prayers, moment to moment, throughout this festive season.
Before arriving at my father’s house for a big holiday meal,
And throughout the evening at a New Year’s Eve party,
I will be praying to my Higher Power:
Please help me be good.
Please help me be love.
Please help me be gentle, soft, patient, and understanding.
When a judgemental, self-righteous thought rises up within me,
Please help me surrender this to you.
Please help me feel your love.
Please help me feel your hands holding me,
Please show me the way,
Thy will be done.
Happy Holidays my precious ABA family!! Thank you all for all that you give!!
May we feel thankful
For food in a world where many walk in hungry. For faith in a world where
many walk in fear. For love in a world where many walk in hate, and for friends in a world where many walk alone, I give you thanks. Dawn A
Blessings one and all and we want to thank all those who contribute and read this newsletter. The end of the year is fast approaching and this can be a time of meaningful reflection and connection. If you would like to hear about our upcoming themes and ways to contribute to this newsletter pls email Jessa at kefferjudy @ gmail.com