4. The Holidays Are Ideal Time To Rekindle Your Faith
Maintaining steady faith in a higher power in our world is complex. It can be harder still if you struggle with addiction.
Many people struggling with addiction feel like failures whenever they give in to their impulses. Addiction may make you feel dirty and unworthy of Judaism.
You might even wonder if any higher power would want you to participate in a tradition steeped in holiness and miracles like Hanukkah.
However, the holidays offer you the ideal opportunity to connect with your faith. Lighting the eternal oil of the menorah can remind you of the Jewish people’s past and current story and help you place your struggle in the larger context of Jewish struggling.
The holidays can be the miracle you need to find your way back to Judaism and strengthen your resolve to attain addiction recovery.
5. The Festival of Lights and Reflective Insights
Mental health issues plague 40% of Americans and contribute to problems like addiction. Fighting drug or alcohol addiction can be more challenging than usual if you have a dual diagnosis.
Lighting the candles on the menorah lets you reflect on your life and how you can live it well. You can light a mental health menorah during Hanukkah to show your commitment to facing your mental health problems. Pray to a higher power to grant you the strength to successfully go through the hard journey of dealing with your mental health and addiction issues.
6. Learn the Joys of Getting Sober While Celebrating
“All Jewish communities kind of create a normalizing view of drinking on the holidays, which can be very problematic. It’s so embedded in our tradition that people are supposed to drink to excess on Purim,” said Rabbi Michael Perice, Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Cinnaminson, New Jersey, who has documented his own struggle with opiate addiction. “For people who are alcoholics or have substance abuse issues, that excess can lead to a lot of problems.”
What is festive to some can be a nightmare for others — especially those in the early stages of recovery, which can be triggered by easy access to alcohol.
Look for every opportunity to be of service — serve a meal at a homeless shelter, reach out to a newcomer at a meeting or spend time with an elderly loved one or neighbor.
When you take the opportunity to connect with others — to see, value and honor their experience — you exercise empathy. You exist outside yourself and begin to notice all the blessings your life already contains. It doesn’t get more human or more recovery than that.
7. Light Shines Through Darkness
While addiction may be the darkest period of one’s life, there is always hope. The menorah is lit at night as darkness descends.
Working with those in addiction recovery, RACNJ continually experiences the impact that one spark of light in the darkness can make.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe famously encouraged Netanyahu before entering a difficult political challenge with words he held in mind until today, “Remember that in a hall of perfect darkness, if you light one small candle, its precious light will be seen from afar, by everyone.”
Overcoming the darkness and seeking addiction treatment is paramount for living in God’s name and the true testament of Hanukkah.
Recovery at the Crossroads is a team wholly focused on finding the roots of addiction so you don’t have to live in the darkness anymore.
8. Hanukkah Is a Time for Miracles
Jewish history notes that just like the olive oil that kept the menorah lit for eight days, you can take part in your miracle this holiday season.
With the right attitude, love for God and love for yourself and your family, you can move the smallest light to promote self-care and leave the burden of addiction behind you.
The first step on the journey to recovery is admitting you have a problem. From this point, working hard to achieve your goal and accepting professional help will enable you to get better for good.