I love to cook and I’m really good at it.  Cooking is one way that I express love so Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite festivity of the year. I plan for days what our dinner will look like – family, friends, food, and tradition.  But holidays are also a time of tremendous stress for a lot of families who have addiction as a guest at the table.

Will he show up? Will she show up high? Will the grandparents freak out? Am I being judged by my perfect siblings with their perfect children?

If you’ve been dealing with addiction for a while you know the odds of the Norman Rockwell dinner are pretty low and it’ll probably look more like The Simpsons. Several years ago a friend decided to make new memories rather than dwell on past holidays gone awry.  He now looks forward to making peanut brittle and takes joy in delivering it to friends.

Spend time early Thursday morning doing something for yourself – breathe deeply, read the paper with a latte, pray, walk, run, yoga. Whatever it is, make it just for you.

Let go of your expectations of others and fill your mind with Thanksgiving for the ones you love.