While addiction recovery is a very personal journey, there can be great benefits from embracing the presence of others. Working on one’s coping strategies and establishing a new, sober lifestyle is complicated. Using the power of gift-giving can help further one’s goals by providing a way to deepen relationships, redefine holidays, or begin to ingratiate a sense of agency into one’s life.
Giving gifts is a powerful tool and a potent practice that can be used throughout the year. There is no need for it to be any grand gesture of an expensive gift to accomplish its purpose. Rather, gift-giving can be a show of effort, care, and symbol of someone readily looking to the future rather than the past.
What Is the Act of Giving?
Giving gifts can take a number of forms. While the first things that may come to mind may be birthday presents, gifts can encapsulate much more than this. Presenting a friend, loved one, or support with a tangible gift can be a great way to show the meaning of a relationship. It can also acknowledge that a support’s actions and effort during recovery have not gone unnoticed.
However, gifts can also take the form of acts of service or experiences. For some, this can mean cooking a special family meal. In this way, a person is providing an essential service and displaying life skills that have been made possible as a result of one’s recovery and dedication to their sober future.
The practice of exchanging gifts can be a great way to begin to redefine holidays. For many in recovery from an addictive substance, holidays can be an incredibly difficult time of year. Not only can they carry close associations with one’s past use, but there can also be a lot of stress surrounding the large familial gatherings or parties.
As a result, gift-giving can be a way to distance oneself from their old way of celebrating and instead begin to create a new context for the holiday. Making an event out of the gifts or using them to scaffold other new experiences, such as game nights, can all help an individual reclaim the meaning of a holiday in their newfound sobriety.
The Effects of Gift Giving
Giving gifts, while an act that can have a positive effect on the recipient, also carries a number of personal benefits. Providing gifts can become a very powerful personal tool in addiction recovery. In order to give a gift, an individual has to think of a certain person in their lives, delve into the unique relationship, and make a choice of how to thank them or celebrate the relationship. The ability to dissect all of these aspects carries a great deal of importance and adds meaning to the gift.
Being able to analyze one’s unique relationship with any number of individuals, family members, friends, and supports, means having a deep understanding of the relationship dynamic, expectations, and levels of trust between individuals. Picking this apart means continuously being aware of new developments in a relationship, the changing of goals, the deepening of trust, and the evaluation of one’s progress. This can open the way for greater methods of meaningful communication.
Gift-giving is also an exercise in reestablishing one’s agency. Giving a meaningful gift that another will treasure is a powerful act that an individual in recovery was able to accomplish in their sobriety. It is an act of deliberate change where one directly and positively impacts another’s day, week, or even life with such sentiment.
Recognizing and harnessing this kind of deliberate change is a major testament to one’s agency in sobriety. Making the series of decisions that lead up to a meaningful present is wholly one’s own doing, and should be celebrated for the triumph in the effort to develop one’s relationships for the better.
Giving gifts is also a way to keep a dialogue open and moving forward. The daily stresses of life can be overwhelming and exhausting for anyone. However, especially for those in recovery. Keeping an open line of communication with supports and developing relationships can be a great way to maintain a strong level of support and safety.
Offering gifts, even small, simple gestures such as providing a snack tray and inviting someone to a movie night, is a way to keep the important people in one’s life close. It also helps keep communications open with potential new relationships and supports. Setting this precedent and atmosphere further develops the kind of community and social circle in which one frames their sober lives.
Giving gifts is a great tool to manage relationships and continue to deepen one’s understanding of others and themselves. At Everlast Recovery, we champion this selfless mentality and essence of community to promote these relationships. We are prepared to help you continue to develop similar life skills, coping strategies, and therapeutic practices on your recovery journey. Your time with us throughout our detox or residential programs can be customized to your needs and goals. You can have the opportunity to receive personalized approaches, including art therapy, yoga, writing, 12-Step programs, anger management, psychoeducation, and much more. Your needs for a healthy and supportive community start here and we at Everlast Recovery Centers are ready to invite you to establish yourself as a treasured member of our community. To learn more about how we can help or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (866) 338-6925.