When all else fails make a gratitude list. Sometimes we just get bogged down in our lives. We may have too much on our plate at times. We may not know how to prioritize what to do first. The best thing to do at times like these is to pause and take a step back for a minute. Get a glass of water or if available a snack. This may help to clear our minds so we are once again able to prioritize what it is that we need to do. We need to chunk tasks down to manageable levels.
Deciding what needs to be done today or tomorrow can take a lot of stress off of our minds. Before we begin, we recognize all that we have to be grateful for. We can start by being grateful for our sobriety. This goes a long way in settling us down. I know I am grateful for my family and my job. I’m grateful for my health in spite of some minor issues. I am grateful for the good friends I have who love and support me. I’m grateful I woke up in a nice warm bed and not on some sidewalk somewhere out there. I’m grateful I can pay my bills and have a little money left over. Also, for the roof over my head and the car that I drive.
Switching our thinking from negative to positive thinking through the use of gratitude lists should become a “go-to” tool for the recovering addict. Yes, life will become what seems to be complicated at times. The car may break down, a loved one may become ill or we lose a job. This is just part of life. If we use the right tools which hopefully, we learned about while in our recovery program, we will be better able to face what may appear to be seemingly bad situations. In hindsight, we may be able to see how the loss of a job was the catalyst to get us to go back to school. Or it may help us to find another job that is much better than the one we had. We may have been in a rut and now we are able to see the situation clearly.
Life on life’s terms was probably the hardest thing for me to learn to accept in my early sobriety. I had been living in a delusional fog for some time and my thinking was greatly distorted. I became unable, to tell the truth from the false in my waning days of drinking and using. I saw no way out of my self-imposed dilemma; I did not know which way to turn. Due to ending up in a detox unit I became sober and have remained so ever since. At times life unfolds slowly. At other times it appears to come at us at point-blank range. Yes, I had a lot of wreckage which I had created. This had to be dealt with over time. Some things we’re able to be rectified early on. Other things took time to heal and resolve. Throughout all of this, I had learned from those who had gone before me in recovery, to be grateful for what I had and for the opportunities being presented to me. Most of all I am grateful for my sobriety and my relationship with my Higher Power. Without these two things I have no idea where I would be. Alternatives to sobriety are jails, institutions, or death. I did not want anything to do with any of those things.
So, I started to grow in the recovery process and gratitude helped me to get to where I am today. I am grateful for all who have played a part in my recovery. Hopefully, I can give back what was so freely given to me.