If there is a silver lining to be found in addiction recovery it is surely gratitude. We are often directed to make written gratitude lists by our sponsors. By looking at what we are grateful for on paper helps to change our mindset about what is going on in our lives. We can be grateful for something such as “I woke up sober today.” When you read that statement, you are able to see that waking up sober is certainly a big deal for the addict. We woke up; we did not “come to”
Certainly, when we are going through some adversity, we do not discount it. As addicts we tend to dramatize things at times. A talk with a friend or our sponsor may help to chunk down the adversity we are feeling to a manageable size. This helps us to deal with the adversity in a manageable way. We may use some deep breathing techniques at this point. The bottom line is that we do not have to go through this alone.
Surely illness, loss of a job, death of a loved one or a car accident are serious issues. Our intent here is not to belittle anyone’s pain. But finding one thing to be grateful for while going through these types of issues may help to ease the pain even in a minuscule amount. I personally have been through all of the aforementioned items in sobriety. I lost my beloved grandfather at three years sober. I was diagnosed with an illness at 11 years sober. My beloved husband passed away when I was 12 years sober. My car was totaled on the freeway when I was twenty-seven years sober, by a drunk driver at 7:00 AM in the morning! (He must have been on his way home from his night of drinking). Throughout all these things I leaned on help from my Higher Power and my friends in Alcoholics Anonymous. Yes, these were very emotionally painful things to go through. I needed all the tools I had learned from the program including making a gratitude list. I can look back today and see the positive things that came out of these events. Number one is that I stayed sober no matter what when these things occurred. My AA friendships deepened and I realized how many friends I had. I was able to get treatment and survive my illness. My husband was no longer in pain as he had transitioned from this world to the next. Sure, I was devastated by the loss of him. But I got to see how many people loved he and our family and rallied around us when the going got tough. I still miss him today. But I am grateful like I said that he is no longer in pain. And I have stayed sober all of these twenty-five years without him by my side.
Today I am grateful for so many things. I am grateful that my daughter is healthy and doing well. I am grateful that I went to college which enables me to work in my chosen field. I’m grateful for my silly little cat who kept me company throughout the pandemic. I am grateful for friends who love and accept me just the way I am. I am ever grateful for my sobriety. Most of all I believe that I am grateful for the love and mercy of my Higher Power.