Having an attitude of gratitude can really shift your perspective into a positive light. Being grateful for what you have instead of looking at what you don’t have can help you restart your day. Instead of comparing myself to what others have I try on a daily basis to be grateful for what I do have which helps me not to take those things for granted. When I practice gratitude I find myself much happier and grateful for the little things.
In my early sobriety, it was easy to see the things that I was grateful for, mostly because before I was in hell drinking and using. I was definitely grateful for the help South Orange County Detox and Treatment (SOCD) and Salina provided for me as that was a no brainer. It was my resentments that was blocking me off from having gratitude for the others that stuck by my side. I was horrible to my family and I made them out to be there worst people in the world when really it was me who was completely destructive and antisocial. It took me a long time to finally start realizing that my family really did stick by my side and fought for me when I needed help this time. They helped me get here to SOCD and now with two years of sobriety under my belt, they have completely transformed me into a better man. I say that it is easier to know what I was grateful for when I was in early sobriety because I was in a state of surrender. When I started getting more time under my belt and at times even being complacent, I have been selfish in my thoughts overlooking the big picture of what I now have in my life. Although I have these fleeting thoughts I have people here at SOCD that have been with me since day one that are able to pull me out of that “Stinking Thinking” and help me grow from my mistakes. I am forever grateful for the friends I have made here and my family who still believes in me.
To me gratitude means showing your appreciation for something. Being pleased or happy with someone or a certain situation or outcome. Today, I have many things to be grateful for, but a lot of the times its easy for me to forget how much I have to be grateful for and I only focus on the negative aspects in my life. Being in treatment has definitely opened my eyes to this and made being grateful for all the good in my life so much easier.
There’s been a question I’ve been asking myself repeatedly since getting sober - How many times have I taken all of life gifts for granted? Being able to reflect on this, I’ve realized I’ve taken almost everything for granted in a careless manner throughout life. I was raised in Southern Orange County and never had to ask for much - I was given everything and was thankful to an extent but never sincerely grateful. I was never mindful of just how truly lucky I am.
I was raised in an alcoholic household where it was hard to be grateful for anything. The only thing I was grateful for were the times when I could escape the chaos and suffering of living at home. I found solace in my friends, my music and the determination to not be like my family. However, I was led awry. I eventually became what I despised - a drug addict and one for many years. I let my dreams and aspirations slip away. It wasn’t until I checked in to South Orange County Detox and Treatment (SOCD) when I was able to slowly tether myself back to my foundation, the core of who I truly am.
Working with Salina has lifted the veil of uncertainty and doubt in which I was shrouded in for so long. I’ve learned to be grateful for every act of kindness, every lesson, every experience and just everything around me. I’ve learned that every experience, good or bad, gives me a gift in wisdom and growth, if I so choose to see the meaning behind it all. This shift is allowing me to approach life from a different angle, to view everything from a different perspective. I’m trying to be grateful for everything which I had taken for granted the past. I have my health, my mind, a newly regained sense of self, people who love and support me … I have life again. And for that, I'm grateful beyond words can describe.
The act of being grateful is important to me in sobriety for several reasons. During my addiction I spent so much time in pity and self-loathing that being in a good state of mind requires looking at the amazing things I do have instead of looking at the things I don’t have. It is like the analogy that we need to look at the glass half full instead of half empty. Optimism instead of pessimism is crucial because in sobriety we can start to lose sight of just how bad that things have been in the past when we were in active addiction. For me, I need to constantly stay focused on what amazing gifts that sobriety has given me because I don’t ever want to lose sight of where my addiction takes me. I am so grateful for the life that I have today and even though I have so much room for growth, I can already see such a transformation on my life and today the glass is half full.