Thanksgiving Dinner for OneThanks Giving Dinner

Many of us grew up in homes where we would travel to Grandma’s house or Uncle John’s for Thanksgiving dinner and play with other siblings.
Stephen Kavalkovich

SFYB Certified Coach

Many other families had different annual November traditions that would include food, football and family. I grew up in one where we would always go to my dads side, with cousins who were my age. These events began before I was born and to this day continue, however, one major change. I am not invited to the event. Ever since my long battle with substance abuse and dereliction, the shunning came in short order.

Mind you, these people were those relative that you see once or twice a year but never became close. Mind you, the booze was always flowing for some of the attendees, but cousin Steve the addict was too much for a welcome.

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Does anyone else relate? I believe it is true that people always fear what they don’t understand. Fear causes people to close the door and lock the deadbolt to their homes and hearts. Regardless of the active changes one takes in their lives, some just don’t accept or care. Blood unfortunately just equals shared DNA, not family. Honestly, some of my closest “family” members have been complete strangers.


Sometimes those that have been cast down to the table for 1 have a better way of accepting those of their own kind.

While I do not believe that recovery has one formula for success, the universal support of 12 step fellowships always has an open door and empty chair for everyone. These are the most welcoming places on this big rock that revolves suspended around that big bright ball of heat.

They do not care where you have been or what you have done. For the most part, removing the human element, the door is always open. My maladaptive ways of coping or not coping with life causes me to go from being the center of attention at the party to the isolated child in the corner. When our blood related “families” learn of our struggles and sometimes seemingly successful recovery journeys, the hurdle to believe or accept springs up and locks us out.

We are left, at times, to look into the window at the holiday dinner table from the street. We who have been there have let what others did and thought control our lives for so long making the temptation to allow this to motivate our behavior presently.

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The good news is that the peace that comes from surrendering form the daily fight allows us to rise above.

A dirty look or sarcastic comment that once led us to the street corner for a bag or pill now can lead us within to the place that nothing external can hurt us. Nothing external could never really hurt us anyway. If you find yourself alone, remember that you have your best friend and supporter with you regardless of the circumstance, you. We are the lucky ones that get to go deep within and ask questions of ourselves that everyone should ask but don’t.

They don’t even know that these things will free them too because they don’t know they are slaves. Slaves to control, food, sex, work, money, or whatever their chains are made of. We all forge chains, just some are more subtle. We get to break free of them and not be concerned about loneliness on Thanksgiving anymore. If you find yourself at a table for one, invite someone else, most importantly your wonderful self.




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