Sometimes when people find out that I’m a recovering alcoholic or I tell them that I don’t drink, they say, “Oh, I’m sorry.”
My usual response is a genuine smile and a simple reply, “Don’t be.”
I remember when I first started going to AA meetings many years ago and I would hear some people saying that they were ‘grateful recovering alcoholics’ or addicts.
This was really annoying to me at the time because I thought, ‘Why the heck are they grateful about this!?!?’
For most alcoholics or addicts, we have a relationship with our drug of choice. It is similar to a love affair.
It is an obsession of the mind in which you are always thinking about how to get more of it.
My whole day around the time that I hit ‘rock bottom’ was obsessed with when and how I was getting to get more alcohol.
It became difficult to function without it, let alone, with it.
The obsession in my mind, the physical effects of alcoholism and the social destruction that my disease was causing forced me to make a decision to break-up with my drug of choice.
Even though making that decision would ultimately save my life, literally and figuratively speaking, it felt like heartbreak similar to ending a relationship.
The gratitude part slowly but surely came to me as I began to see my life improve.
The longer I stayed sober, the easier it got and miracles began to happen.
The biggest benefit was regaining respect from family and friends.
Over a period of a year post my sobriety date of September 24th, 2007, I realized that my obsession to drink had been lifted and my heart felt light but full.
That realization led me to think about the fact that I had never felt so good in my life. It’s funny to think that I was actually pretty miserable before I even started drinking which is part of the reason I was led down that path in the first place.
Then, just then, I began to tell people from my own words and my own understanding that I am a grateful, recovering alcoholic.
I feel so good about this fact. It has fueled me to not only enjoy my life but also continue to help others in whichever way I can.
It has kept gratitude by my side rather than the alcohol (or drug, as it relates to some).
“Gratitude is not about what people have or do not have. … The tendency to feel grateful is a mental attitude that can be developed. It is particularly important that people recovering from an addiction try to cultivate this positive outlook, because it can help to ensure their success in the future.” – alcoholrehab.com
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Be well always!