By Alexandra Rose
Gratitude is an element that I am fully aware of and use to put myself into a state of contentment. We all go through periods of not being satisfied with our lives or thinking something bad is happening to us when it really is not. I have an ability to create drama in my head and catastrophize that one problem could be the end of the world. That’s because I am an addict, but if I look at a situation with gratitude, the whole situation can change.
My life is amazing compared to when I was drinking alcohol and using drugs. I love the quote that I hear in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings that says, “My worst day sober is better than my best day drinking.” When I was in that life all I cared about was myself. I didn’t understand or couldn’t see that I was hurting anybody else beside myself. People worried about me but I would get angry because I would think, “what do they care for, I’m the one shooting the heroin.” I realized in sobriety that this had been insane thinking. Even when I first got sober I still had some reservations and didn’t understand there were people who cared about me. I had to really take a look outside of myself and stop being selfish to fully grasp that it is not just about me.
I now know that there are people around me that I would hurt if I were to use heroin again. Whether those people are family members or friends in Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t matter. What matters is that I have people who look up to me and I don’t want to let them down. This doesn’t mean that I am sober just for that reason. I am sober because I want to be sober one day at a time and love the person that I am now.
Through the amends process I repaired some of the relationships that were broken by my using heroin. Those people had seen me at my worst, and I had hurt them repeatedly. In sobriety I am able to engage in those relationships again and to be grateful for them.
When I am in my own head, a great way to get out of it is to write a gratitude list.
This immediately grounds me. Every night when I pray to my Higher Power I express my gratitude by saying thank you. I know that everything in my life now, whether it be material possessions or relationships, would not be able to exist if I wasn’t sober. For this, I am so grateful.
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