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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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