When an individual suffers from addiction to alcohol or drugs, the disease has a profound impact on virtually every aspect of his or her life. Oftentimes we think of the physical and health effects of addiction, but it’s frequently those that are readily visible that can be the worst. For instance, chemical dependency causes an individual’s behavior to change dramatically. An addict’s day is driven by desperation as they must sustain their continual substance abuse in order to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay and continue functioning. This often results in damaged or ruined relationships with one’s loved ones, causing additional emotional distress as the addict continues on this path of devastation and suffering.
Fortunately, recovery is both possible and attainable. Those who suffer from addiction have a number of options available that will allow them to rehabilitate and overcome their alcohol, drug, and even behavioral dependency. Each available treatment is designed to address specific effects of addiction as individuals progress to a state of lasting recovery. When one has progressed to the point of sustaining abstinence, an individual might feel as if he or she has many things for which he or she should be thankful. Especially during the holidays when individuals are spending time with family members and friends, many will be looking for ways to express gratitude to others. Since one’s family and friends often play a crucial part in supporting and encouraging an addict’s recovery, it’s a good idea to express appreciation for those who have stood by one’s side during his or her darkest days as well as through recovery. Therefore, the following offers six ways that individuals can show gratitude to family, friends, and other loved ones over the holiday season.
Showing Appreciation with Hugs
While in the throes of active addiction, many addicts become very unexpressive when it comes to their feelings. Since substance abuse is the driving force of such individuals’ lives, showing affection and being intimate with others becomes significantly less important. However, the recovery process can be quite intense as individuals are flooded with emotions that have been numbed or suppressed by alcohol and drugs. As such, these individuals are often more inclined to express their emotions once they have achieved sobriety. This makes it easier for individuals to express feelings like affection, appreciation, gratitude, sympathy, concern, and so on, by giving a loved one a long hug. Although often underrated, hugs are a great way for individuals to show their loved ones that they have prominent, important roles in their lives.
A Kind, Well-Meaning Gesture
In this day and age, it’s increasingly rare for individuals to perform random acts of kindness while receiving nothing in return for no other reason than because they can and because they want to. However, this is a very effective way of expressing gratitude to others. Gratitude implies being grateful for someone, whether it’s something they’ve done directly or indirectly, something they’ve said, something they provided, and so on. As such, returning an individual’s gesture with a gesture of one’s own balances the scales. By performing a kind, well-meaning gesture as an act of gratitude, one is showing his or her loved one that the individual is appreciated. The reciprocal nature of offering gratitude with a kind gesture will also likely inspire one’s loved ones to offer their assistance again in the future as they will remember one’s gratitude.
Expressing Gratitude with Words
It’s often said that a single picture can be worth a thousand words, which seems to devalue verbal expression. However, one can make words much more meaning depending on the content of one’s message and the route of delivery. Words can just as easily fall short of their intended purpose as they can inspire the warm-and-fuzzies, making them a viable means of expressing gratitude. One possible way to use words as an effective means of showing gratitude is to give a speech at a family gathering, reference what or who it is for which one is grateful and explaining why. This public declaration is a grand gesture and is proof of one’s overt gratitude.
Offer Support in Return
When one has received immense support from someone, it’s hard not to feel indebted to them in some way unless the sense of balance and reciprocity can be restored. Although most who offer their support don’t expect anything in return, offering one’s support — whether it’s physical or emotional — is an effective way of expressing gratitude. There are few emotions as powerful as how one feels when an individual pledges unwavering support to him or her, expressing determination to help whenever and however possible. This is reassuring while also validating and strengthening the relationship.
Compliments Go A Very Long Way
Despite being frequently underutilized, complimenting others is a great way of showing affection and appreciation. It also shows an individual attentiveness, indicating that one has noticed something about him or her that is worthy of special attention and admiration. Compliments help individuals to feel important or appealing in some way, which is why they’re often an important element in the communication of individuals in intimate relationships; however, compliments mustn’t be relegated to only romantic relationships. In a sense, expressing gratitude with compliments is like offering someone a verbal hug.
A Meaningful “Thank You”
Last yet certainly not least, one could simply say, “Thank you.” This concise expression is a staple of language and epitomizes the expression of gratitude. In fact, gratitude is the whole point of this expression’s existence. While it might seem an ineffective way of expressing gratitude due to it being such a commonplace expression, “Thank you” can also be used to great effect. When said in a straightforward, meaningful way, an individual will feel that it’s really, truly meant.
Kick Your Alcohol or Drug Habit at the Palm Beach Institute
There’s not a one-size-fits-all treatment that will allow every addict to achieve long-lasting sobriety and abstinence. However, the programming offered through the Palm Beach Institute can be customized to address each individual’s specific recovery needs. If you or someone you love would like a free consultation and assessment, call the Palm Beach Institute today. Our recovery specialists are on standby, waiting to change the lives of those in need.