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  • Kelly R.

Gratitude: Essential Ingredient in Recovery

As we enter the “Season of Thanksgiving” I felt it appropriate to share my thoughts and feelings on having an “Attitude of Gratitude”. When I first entered the rooms of Al-Anon the last thing I thought was that I should feel gratitude or thankfulness for anything I was experiencing! Before recovery, I certainly didn’t understand the true nature of gratitude. I thought that gratitude had everything to do with being happy, or at least satisfied, if/when others did what I thought they should do. If life presented itself as I thought it should then happiness followed. I lived in the world of “MY will be done”. I can tell you that I was not grateful then and very rarely happy. So what brought happiness and gratitude into my life? One of the simplest things I have learned in Al-Anon is that my thoughts affect my mood. I have learned that when I practice gratitude, I am happy….period! How do I make sure there is gratitude in my everyday life? I try to begin each day by speaking aloud all that I am grateful for. At the beginning of my journey it was very difficult to think of anything I could truly say I was grateful for so I was reminded that my Higher Power gave me a bed to sleep in, food to eat, clothes to wear, a job, a car to drive…the basic essentials of life. When I was able to speak to that (over and over), then I eventually extended my gratefulness to being thankful for the family and friends in my life, my fellow travelers in the program, and the ability to love unconditionally my loved one who still struggles daily with the disease of addiction. Changing my thoughts in a positive direction and not allowing myself to go to the negative has helped me to feel happier and more joyous. I will always be grateful for the disease of addiction that brought me to the Al-Anon program. It is because of this disease, and my continued recovery from it, that I have discovered who I am.

“…and I want to thank my Higher Power for having given me the gift to live with an alcoholic and the opportunity to have arrived at an Al-Anon room” Having Had a Spiritual Awakening ….p 164

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