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What Are You Thanking?

First off, there’s this addition to the GlosAAry

Gratitude

Blessings In Disguise

Gratitude = Great + Attitude.

Taking a break from living to appreciate life. Gratitude for an addict means recognizing and appreciating the gifts recovery has brought–things the disease had promised but never delivered.

A common suggestion for alcoholics in recovery is to keep and regularly update a Gratitude List of all the things that sobriety has given them which drinking took away.

__________

When i first started my recovery, my sponsor told me to keep a Gratitude List. Simply put, it was supposed to be a list of all the things i was grateful for, so i put things down like, “My Family”, “My Apartment”, My Job”…

It took a little while, but then i clued into the fact that the idea isn’t to write a “Rainbow Pony” list of all the things i appreciate and like, but rather a concrete enumeration of all the things i have because of Recovery and wouldn’t have without it.

My list changed to:

  • i’m less angry
  • i’m less depressed
  • i now have the courage to continue trying
  • i’m better at extracting myself from unpleasant situations
  • i enjoy good times more completely
  • i appreciate music more
  • i need fewer breaks from my day
  • i panic less
  • i see my defaults more clearly and in their proper perspective
  • i’m a better example for my children
  • i’m better at prioritizing
  • i’m more honest about admitting my mistakes
  • i get more done

The list goes on and on…

Now, if i ever face a situation where i’m tempted to drink, i’ll be able to look back on this list and see all of the things i’ll be giving up. Or, even more likely, if i get too confident and start thinking i’ve got my addiction under control, i can reread these items and see all the things recovery gave me that i could never get for myself.

Powerful tool, that.

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About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home. http://about.me/AlKHall

Posted on August 29, 2012, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery, Toolbox and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. great post. bloody good. might workshop that question myself. Cheers, xx

  2. Great take on the gratitude list! I am going to d
    Ponder on this and do one myself! Good stuff. Thanks!

  3. “Rainbow Pony” list-love it! Another fine post dude. It is with gratitude that I count you as one of my inspirations on this recovery trip.

    Completely unrelated-about the ads that appear on your site. Did you ask to receive them? Apparently someone read a post on my site, and there was an ad for vodka!!! (and not Grey Goose) It wasn’t there when I went back to it later that day. I’m wondering if it’s because I haven’t paid for the site, and am wondering if I should start considering it. It’s kind of like a basket at home I can contribute to perhaps.

    • Hi Dudette!

      Glad you appreciated my little post and i’m honored to be walking down this path with you. As for the ads, WordPress puts them up. i’m not sure how it works, but i think they put them up whether you ask them to or not (although if you ask them to, you get paid a little when people visit). It is possible to pay to have the ads removed, though.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  4. I really like how you described the shift — it’s so true that we get insights and revelations in a shift of perspective, usually in a kind of flash of insight like you write about here, and boom, we’re off on another growth spurt. I like it when that happens to me. Along with nnkato, I liked the expression “Rainbow Pony List” — lol.

    Keep on listing. Or, rather, making lists, lol. 😉
    xoxo
    Celeste

    • Hi Babe,

      Those flashes are a sign of progress…i just need to keep reminding myself there’s no “end” and no destination. It’s all about the growing up as i go along.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

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