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Remembering the Holidays

Dec 18, 2019

Bart Ross, Recovery Services Manager

I’m writing this remembering the holidays when I first got sober. My birthday is in October, and then November starts the holiday season. I got sober in June, and when October came around, I started thinking the world owed me something because for so many years while suffering from my alcoholism, I was either using or in an institution.

My first real sober Thanksgiving, some sober friends took me to a restaurant that served pancakes the size of manhole covers.

There was no way anyone could eat all of them. So the guys asked me, “What are you going to do with those leftovers?” And I replied, “Nothing. I don’t want them.” But we all had the waitress box them up, and they took me to look for the homeless to offer them to. Then Christmas came around, and my sober friends took me to the main post office to pick out some Santa letters. We all picked a few, went shopping, and then wrapped and delivered the presents. What a great first sober holiday season that was for me.

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Learning that it’s better to give than receive was one of the first sober lessons for me.

Over the years, I have to admit I haven’t always been as active in doing things like we did in my first year, but when I do, it’s a great feeling. Writing this now is inspiring me to do more of this.

I’m grateful that I’ve recovered from the hopeless state of mind and body, but the spiritual has to be a work in progress. It’s important to listen to the signs like, “Why was I asked to write a holiday blog?” Ahh, so I can remember to be more giving.

One of the many gifts of spiritual living is being awake. God speaks to us in so many ways; we just have to remember to listen and follow through.

So, in what way are you going to be a little extra giving during this holiday season? Remember: “We have recovered and given the power to help others.” Practicing these principles in all our affairs means not just helping alcoholics. Random acts of kindness with family, friends, or even strangers, is definitely the proper use of the will.

Wishing all of you and your family a blessed holiday season!


Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting recovery.

For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1033.

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