Newcomer Tip 10- Gratitude
This is the last post in our Newcomer Tips blog series. You can view all 10 posts by clicking on “newcomer tips” under the categories menu on the blog page. Just a reminder, these tips are not a replacement for going to meetings and working the 12 steps. They are to be used in addition to meetings and steps. The first few months of sobriety are hard. These are some ways to help get you through it.
In the last blog we talked about Doing Service Work to secure your sobriety. The last topic we will cover in this series is gratitude. A grateful heart will never relapse.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
What Do I Have to Be Grateful For?
When we come into recovery typically our life is a train wreck. Somedays it’s hard to be grateful for anything. Let me help you out by giving you a few to work with.
- Being Sober
Did you drink or drug today? No? Good. That’s a huge accomplishment. It’s in an addict’s nature to drink and drug. You defied the odds today. Kudos to you. Be grateful.
If you drank and drugged like I did, you did some pretty messed up things, hurt a lot of people and destroyed trust. The bad news is if you are a newcomer those things haven’t been made right yet. The good news is, if you stay sober and work a program of recovery you will be able to make a majority of those things right again. You’ll rebuild trust, you’ll stop hurting those that love you, you’ll make amends for past harms done, your past will get cleaned up. It’s not going to happen overnight but it will happen.
Will everyone forgive you? I don’t know, but I can tell you this, if you’re willing to try and fix your past, whether they forgive you or not, you’ll forgive yourself.
- Remembering What You Did Last Night
Remember black outs? Remember those angry stares you got the morning after or the friends who wouldn’t talk to you for something you don’t even remember doing? Good times…NOT! You never again have to try and piece together what you did high or drunk the night before as long as you stay sober. Amen to that!!
It’s All a Matter of Perspective
The world can be a mean, cold, harsh place to live in… or is it? The world is full of kind, caring people who are trying to live the best way they know how… or is it? It’s all a matter of perspective. It’s the same world either way. How you view it is the only thing that changes.
Let’s look at it from a person’s point of view who is grateful and one who is not…
Example: Your alarm doesn’t go off and you are late for your morning meeting.
Ungrateful person- “That’s just my luck. I always buy the cheapest electronics because I can’t afford anything nice. Everyone is going to stare at me when I walk in late. I shouldn’t even go. I hate my life!”
Grateful person- “Oh well, I overslept. It was nice to get that extra half hour of snooze time. I’ll skip the shower and throw on a baseball cap. I need time to pray before I leave. I’m going to miss half the meeting but a half a loaf is better then none! Maybe I can grab coffee with someone afterward and have a meeting after the meeting.”
Same situation, two different outlooks on it. Which person do you think is going to have a better day?
The Gratitude Challenge
Sometimes being grateful takes work. I challenge you to write down three things you are grateful for everyday and why you are grateful for them. Do this for a week. At the end of the week reflect on your week and see if your attitude has changed. Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Keep it up after a week. You can never be too grateful!
This was the last tip from our ten tip newcomer series. I hope these tips have been helpful. To read all of the newcomer tips from this series or to see other newcomer tips view the NEWCOMER TIPS category on our blog page.
What are you grateful for today? Share it in the comments section. Start your Gratitude challenge right here!
Peace, Love & Sobriety,