Attitude of Gratitude

One of the sayings that flies around the rooms is this notion of gratitude. “Why would I even care?” would have been my first thought if I were in my addiction.
Thank God I’m not. For today, and just for today, I can have an attitude of
gratitude. That special spark of wonderment for all the things that keep my
life in check. It is said that a grateful addict doesn’t act out. I truly
believe in this theory. My sponsor is forever stressing this quote and I can’t
thank him enough for reminding me just how important it is to be mindful of our
gifts. I’m truly grateful for his words. What I get most out of being grateful
for my gifts is the love I feel as I recite my gratitude list on a daily basis,
at night, before I fall asleep. I recommend this process because it sends you
off to bed with positive thoughts, a great big smile and a warm heart full of
love. Try this process for thirty days and see if you can’t shift your recovery
to one of an attitude of gratitude.

25 thoughts on “Attitude of Gratitude

  1. What happens when we are at the place when we are so low we can’t even “fake it till we make it”? Let alone feel and have gratitude. This disease is utterly cunning and baffling, I am in a cycle of relapse that no matter what tools I attempt to pick up I still act out rather than reach for help.

    Willing to go to any length, sure when I am feeling pretty good and pretty stable but in the middle of the night when I am blindsided, my willingness to go to any length is tossed right out the window. A fellow has been asking me these last two months of relapse, “Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?” And each time very genuinely I reply, “Yes, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired…. heavy sigh” hopeless demoralization and I act out yet again. So far I keep coming back but now I have a new, different kind of shame, before my shame was hidden and eating me inside this time it is out in the wide open for my fellows in recovery to see…. She is not really sick and tired of being sick and tired… I am sick and I am very tired….. Ally

  2. Today was a day of serious gratitude. We had a birthday party for my oldest son and over 50 people came. This a huge amount of love and support. All the kids splashed around in the pool having a blast and all the parents and friends reconnected with each other that we hadn’t seen since this time last year. With everyone’s lives being so busy, it is time to slow down and celebrate with friends and family. I am so amazed and grateful I still have my family. Days like today are really great tools in the tool box why recovery is a much better way of life than the pain and misery of acting out. Whatever pain I am covering up by acting out can NOT be any greater than the pain of a relapse. And the joy of days like today and being sober is not worth losing just to act out. Thank you so much to my fellows in recovery and for this blog. Today I feel blessed and I recognize I do not always count my blessings. Ally

  3. I figured this was a good topic for me today because I have been frustrated all day. I need to stop and look at what I have to be grateful for. I have been frustrated with some of the constraints that I have on me. But I need to look at the fact that I have things that I did not have before. That as a result of my progress in my recovery I am able to do more today than I was able to do a year ago and for that I am grateful. I need to be patient and work through whatever hiccups are going to come along in this process. I know that my sponsor wants me to be successful in my program and in my objectives so all I need to do is work with him. I am grateful for his support and I am grateful for everything that I have today as a result of working with my sponsor, with my higher power and with others. I am also grateful for having my dog Lobo back from day care all weekend. I miss her when she is not here and she is my best friend, my support.

    • There are so many many things during the course of the day that if I allow them, can put me into an emotional nose dive. And often, I relapse into old habits by temporarily letting them do just that. I’m really good at finding things to be frustrated about, overwhelmed by, and depressed about. But the difference now, is that usually by the end of the day, I’m feeling more grateful. Instead of spiraling down into a long term funk, I write down the things I’m grateful for and I begin to pull out. Sometimes it takes going to a meeting. If nothing else works, that does it. Last night, I needed to be there – in the fellowship – so badly. Just thinking about it gave me hope. I can never predict how exactly its going to help because of course I never know exactly what I’m going to hear. But it works. Last night was no different. Just hearing others share where there at, wakes me up. If there having a rough time, it puts my problems in perspective and reminds me that at the very least, I’m not unique in my problems. I’m reminded – I’m not alone. And those that are doing well – they give me hope and inspire me. And I find myself feeling incredibly grateful just for the brief time of companionship and comraderie. A community and the closest thing I’ve go to family down here. And then I find myself thinking of many other things to feel grateful for. It does work. I just have to not give into the negative and the sadness. I’ve got to pray the “Serenity Prayer, and do my gratitude list – every single day. And right now – I feeling really grateful for this site and the shares which all in different ways – help me feel more grateful and hopeful.

      • The shift from self-pity to gratitude is important for my recovery. When I am in depression and self-pity my perception of the outside is skewed. I remember attending an SAA meeting that was located in a garage type room. I had been on an acting out binge and was trying to find hope. As I sat in the meeting and looked around, I remember thinking, “you have to be kidding me, this is my only hope. These people look weird, this room is creepy, and the shares are not answering my questions.” Then as the meeting ended everyone shared something they were are grateful for. I remember thinking “you have to be kidding me”. I said, “I pass”

        A couple of weeks later I began working with a sponsor and went back to that room. I was amazed at the power of the meeting. I remember thinking this can’t be the same meeting. But it was. The room nor the people had changed. What changed was my attitude. With a little bit of willingness and an open mind, my HP was able to come in and the shift from self-pity to gratitude took place.

    • Its easy to be grateful when you have good days like today. Beautiful, warm, no where to be or have to be. I have a light week work wise next week and then a week off. So I’m grateful right now. I’m also very grateful today for SAA. I was reminded again last night. Just being there. To be able to simply be who I am. I’m very grateful as well for hearing another 1st step. I needed that. I have yet to do mine and I was truly motivated last night to really make some significant progress and have this thing ready to show to my sponsor. I’m very grateful that my wife – although 11 hours away – still is willing to give us a shot. Every time I’m reminded of my history with us, I’m more amazed. I’m grateful for my kids and that they’ll talk to me, though things are strained. I’m grateful for my sponsor and the accountability he brings me. And I’m grateful for hope. I remember when I had very little hope. I knew that if I descended much further, I’d surely take my life. I needed hope in the worst way. Maybe it was my higher power guiding me to this point, because at my lowest point, I had a tiny glimmer of hope that somehow, I would come out on the other end better. And I’m very grateful for that…that I’m at this place which is where I believe I’m supposed to be right now. Every day I’m realizing – on the worse days, there is always something to be grateful – at the very least – simply life. A life that though very difficult at times, is still incredibly wonderful and worth living. At least – it is now.

  4. An attitude of gratitude is more than a cliché. It is a way of life and living. I once saw a woman who was in a wheel chair come into a room with a glow and cheer on her face. I thought “Wow, despite being in that chair she is so happy.” I spoke to her and explained what I noticed about her. She said to me, you should have seen me after I had my accident. I hated the world, God, and more than anyone, the drunk who put me here. But in time I came to understand that I had much to be grateful for, especially a supportive family and friends who helped me through this.
    This is a small part of my own story. I am not in a wheelchair, I can do many things including walk. My slip is a reminder from God that my wife is a supportive friend and family. She is an angel that has forgiven me and trusts me to post this here while she is not with me. I am grateful for this trust and put it in the hands of my higher power that I will show gratitude for this trust.

  5. Today I am grateful to be where I am in my recovery and to have the people in my life supporting me that I have. I have a lot going on around me and I need to stay grounded in my recovery. I am grateful that I can see how far I have come in these past four years. I am grateful that my life does not have to be the way that it was, that I do not have to do what I used to do. Today I know who I am, and I know what I am doing is good and is right. As a result I do not have to answer to anyone except my Higher Power and my sponsor and others in the program who can give me feedback about what they see in my behaviors. I am grateful for the progress that I have made and the continued progress that I hope to make. I am grateful for the fact that this program “is” a program. That it exists and is a way of life. That there is something against which I can measure myself and know how I am doing and when I need to slow down or speed up or calm down or whatever…. I have a mirror into which I can reflect myself and see what I need to see and from which I can take what I need to take. And from that I can grow spiritually and emotionally and move forward on my journey towards continued sobriety and recovery. I am grateful for all of this. Thank you.

    • I am thankful for so many tihgns my relationship with Jesus Christ comes first, husband and children come in a close second my life would be so incomplete without Jesus or my family. My life in general, the people I met, my activity, my health, the sunrise, the sunset and everything in between etc I count my blessings every day. I must add I am thankful after tomorrow no more political ads!! Thank you for reminding us of what we have to be thankful for.

  6. It is very difficult for me to list the things that I am grateful for right now. My slip and fall was very recent, and I feel a lot of pain right now as I type this. My sponsor spoke to me last night about making a list of the things I am grateful for. I don’t think I have the clarity of mind to know what all those things are right now, but I am sure as my recovery progresses, I will come to see and feel them.

    Today I am grateful that I am still living in my house with my family. My wife is very angry, yet here I am. I am grateful for the fellows who look at me in group and offer their support. I am grateful that I have a sponsor who is willing to take time out of his day to help me with my disease, even though he has his own issues to handle. I am grateful for my therapists who have helped me along this path with many twists and turns. Without these I would not even be able to differentiate the addict from my true self.

    As I look out the window, it is a beautiful sunny and cool day. I am grateful for the day. One day at a time.

  7. It has been amazing to me how so many people that I have never met have wanted to help me through the hell that I created for myself and my girlfriend. It seems that most professionals in the field have had the same problem and are eager to go the extra step to help. The same goes for my sponsor, the other professionals I have met during this drama. I am so very grateful to all of them for their openhearted acceptance and caring helpfulness. I am grateful to my higher power for presenting me with this painful lesson, even though it has been very very hard. I am grateful to my wonderful girlfriend who has stayed with me, in spite of all I have done, and has kept me honest – exposing the lies and secrets that for so long has been my life. I’m grateful to God for the opportunity to live a decent normal life, for the rest of my life. I pray that my H.P. gives me the strength and endurance to remember this lesson forever.

  8. Gratitude is something I really need to work on. I seem to “forget” so often, and focus on the negatives, the things I don’t like or the things I wish were different.

    I like the idea of a gratitude list. I know I have so much to be grateful for and the truth is, I’m really blessed, despite all my so-called “problems”.

    Being new in the program, one thing I’m having trouble with is remembering to use all the tools, of which gratitude is a big one.

    Today I will be thankful for all the good things in my life.

  9. An attitude of gratitude turns “what we have” into “enough”. As I observe the photo’s streaming out of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, highlighting a new generation of amputees dreaming about America, I really create a mountain of gratitude for my life.

    How grateful I am for my food and home, my family and friends, my job and paycheck, my recovery and fellowships, my higher power that gives me this healthy and peaceful day.

    Today, as I exited I-95, a Iraq war vet with a prosthetic leg was panhandling. His sign said “Please help me, the Veterans Administration won’t”! I opened my window and handed him some money and felt an overwhelming attitude of gratitude. I am really blessed and need to keep in perspective “my problems”. If I take them all (my problems), turn them into tennis balls and through them up in the air, I want to catch my own.

  10. Gratitude – always something to think about. There are times that I get caught up in what I don’t have and don’t think about what I do have. I think about wanting more friends or wanting a relationship, wanting a job or wanting to live somewhere else, anything, you name it. But then I stop and think about the fact that I am healthy, I am sober, I am smart, I am capable, I am alive, I am not acting out on a daily basis, I am able to support myself, I am able to take care of myself, I am able to love myself and able to be myself and not be afraid of who I am. I am grateful for so many things that I was unable to have or be or realize before coming into this program and I owe that all to my Higher Power, my sponsor, the people around me and to working my program. I don’t always get it right, but when I do what I need to do, things just seem to work out and for that I am grateful.

    • Yes…I can relate to…focusing on the things I don’t have, or the things I had but that I no longer have because of the decisions I made in my addiction. But dwelling on could haves, would haves, and should haves, are not only futile but for me, send me into a tail spin. And I’m in dangerous territory when I’m in an emotional funk. I start thinking about things that will relieve the sadness for a while, and its an easy step for me back into the pit. One bad decision it all it takes. So I’m really focusing on staying positive and choosing to think of things around me that are good, and beautiful, and give me hope. Yea…I’ve lost a lot, but I haven’t lost everything. And the difficulties I’ve been through and am going through have made me tougher and stronger. I’m finding that I’m grateful for much more than even a few months ago. Its making an effort to look for things to be grateful. Sometimes I have to force myself to think of things, but when I do, I find some things. And staying grateful, and hopeful, changes your entire outlook and psyche. Its really amazing. Some days I do better than others, but I’m intent on finding things to be grateful for ever single day. Three different things every single day for 90 days. That’s been a challenge, but what I intend to do is continue to look for things after the 90 days. I know as long as I exercise the self discipline to continue to do so, I will continue to grow and change. Today was an easy day to be grateful for. Long day but relatively easy and fairly low stress wise. The first one in a while. But I’ve got to stay grateful – finding those three things – even on the crazy days from hell. Every single day, there are things to be grateful for. One day at a time, I’m going to be grateful.

  11. I cannot remember if I already posted on this topic this week or not but it can’t hurt to share on gratitude again because I am sober one more day. And I had a great night last night. I explored new territory in a safe way. Or you could say I explored old territory in a safe way. The point I am making is that I went out with a friend and had fun but I book ended the entire night with my sponsor and communicated during the night as well. He did not ask me to do it, I did it because I wanted to do it. And it made me feel safe. It made me feel like a person in recovery. It helped me realize what I want in life vs what I don’t want anymore. I am testing waters around me and finding what works and does not work and last night I think I did that in a safe and healthy way. And for that I am grateful. And I am grateful that nothing triggered me. That at the end of the night I did not want to act out. Because that is what often happens, I get to the end of the night and then I want to act out. But I knew that going into the night which is why I wanted to bookend to hold myself accountable for getting home safe. And it worked. And for that I am grateful. The program works if I work it and last night I worked it. Thank you program and thank you sponsor and thank you Higher Power. Now I need to get to bed – busy day tomorrow. And today 2/1 Happy Birthday Dad. I am grateful for everything that you have done for me all of my life and even still.

  12. “Attitude of gratitude” Very good topic for what I endured today. I had a long day of hurting & pain & eventually venting about so many things. Not only am I working on my recovery. Every so often my wife “vomits” & reminds me of how I have fallen short in our marriage. I am in a new season of learning to not carry other’s burden but my own, so this is new for me & very difficult. I reverse all of this by ending my night with an attitude of gratitude. I am grateful that I have my wife! I am grateful that I have a second chance! I am grateful that I have others that want to help me! I am grateful for my brothers in the group! I am grateful that it’s ok for me to seek help! I am grateful that I am grateful that I don’t have to do life alone! These are a few of the many things that I am grateful for!!!

  13. Today is day 1,038 of sobriety. It’s been one day at a time and, at times, one moment at a time.
    As I read some of my old posts, I’m grateful that I’m still on this Journey of discovery and recovery. The tremendous pain I was in was overwhelming at times, and I’m very grateful to my HP and my friends in SAA for helping me when I was in danger of relapse early in program.
    The thoughts are there once in a while, but the urges and compulsions are gone. There’s still more work for me to do, I can’t take my sobriety for granted because I know this disease will bite me in the ass the first opportunity I give it.
    The benefits of working with all the tools SAA provides is that I have put in place a wonderful support system that I know I can count on and, in turn, can count on me.
    It works if you work it and I’m grateful to still be alive.

  14. I am very thankful for the subject of this post. I am 57 days sober today and reading this post confronted me with how little gratitude I’ve expressed during this time of recovery and healing.
    My first sponsor in S recovery told me that part of my daily recovery work would be to write out a Grateful/Fearful list at the end of each day for 30 days. I had to list at least 5 things I was grateful for each day…however, I could list all the fears I was feeling no matter how many there might be. The only rule was that I could not repeat anything on the Grateful list during the whole 30 day period. It was ok to repeat fears if I was having a fear over and over again on successive days. The catch with my Fears list was that for each fear listed I had to write in a column next to it whether it was a fear that was immediate or something I feared in the future.
    I found two wonderful things as I completed this list each night: 1) How easy it was to find 5 things to be grateful for each day without repeating any of them throughout the 30 days, and 2) How 98% of my fears were of things that “might” happen in the future. As my sponsor would gently remind me, the future hasn’t happened yet so fear of anything that might happen in the future was a fear of something that literally didn’t exist. I laughed then as I am laughing now as I write this at the absurdity of fearing something that hasn’t even happened yet.
    I am grateful today that I am not driven by the obsession to act out. I am grateful today for the short moments of conscious contact I have throughout my day with my Higher Power. I am grateful today for a loving, accepting, supportive fellowship of other sex addicts ready at a moments notice to help me through a difficult time of temptation or “longing” for my old way of life. I am thankful for the encouragement I received from a friend in the fellowship on a phone call this morning. I am thankful that just 57 days removed from a period of 18 months of steadily progressing deeper and deeper into a crushing isolation and loneliness, I can actually write that I have a friend in recovery who encourages me – something I couldn’t have dreamed of 60 days ago.
    Just writing out those 5 things I’m grateful for has me smiling and happy right now.

  15. I am grateful for making it to the rooms of SAA. I had feelings of hopelessness, frustration, despair, and darkness before I mad it to recovery. When I joined the program I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew that I felt like I’ve tried just about everything and had failed. I began to work the steps and take the suggestions. It was also suggested to me that I write 5 things that I am gratefule for 30 days along with fears. After the 30 days were up, I continued and began journaling after my gratitude list. I still use this tool today. And even thoe I may not have the feelings of being gratefule I can acknowledge all of my HP’s gifts and blessings. I begin to feel the feelings of gratefulness as I “act as if”. Thank God for recovery and all its blessings.

  16. Gratitude 01-05-13
    Oh gosh I think the last thing I wanted to read about tonight was what everyone is grateful for, especially when I’m so pissed off. Now I won’t admit that your gratitude has helped me feel better, but what I will admit, is that this disease sucks. You see, my disease preys on crappy feelings like I’m having now. I realize that, and believe it or not I’m grateful for that awareness. That awareness can help me turn that crappy feeling over to my higher power. By recognizing this I can ask that he please lift this from me, Thanks higher power I’m glad I found you.

  17. The notion of a gratitude list is a new one, and I think I will do one. There has been a lot of tasks just recently taken on as I have just started the program, so I may not do one each day, but I will stop down once a week to create one.

    There are many things I am grateful for.
    1) this program. I’m grateful my GF found this program on the internet, and suggested it. Until I started reading the SAA book, I didn’t consider myself an addict. Did I do things I wasn’t proud of? yes, but I thought through my strong will power I would stop. Then as I became involved in the program, the patterns of sex addicts were laid out, and I realized I fit most of them. I now freely admit I am an addict, and need recover. I wouldnt’ have taken that step, had it not been for SAA program and literature. I am grateful for it as I am confident I am on the road to recovery.
    2) The love of my God and his willingness and ability to forgive me for my transgressions and having turned my back on him. My God does not want me to act out. He wants me to have a good life, and knows acting out does not lead to a good life.
    3) My GF who suggested SAA; who loves me, and has stuck with me.
    4) My sponsor. Before I had a sponsor I was just floundering with attending meetings, and some reading. Now I have structure, tasks, a plan and someone to go to that words of wise counsel.
    Before I conclude, I want to also share some comments from a powerful book by Dale Carnegie; “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Carnegie writes: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated” One example he uses to illustrate this, is Charles Scwab, who in the early 1900’s was the first person ever to be paid a base salary of $1million. He did so to head up US Steel. Scwab had no experience or knowledge of the steel industry. Why was he even selected much less paid so mch? Because he knew how get the most out of people. Scwab said: ” The way to develop the best in a person is by appreciation and encouragement”.
    Why do I mention this? 1) By having my own gratitude list, I am showing myself appreciation and it leads to encouragement. Perhaps that will lead to the getting the best out of myself 2) I will be lavish in my appreciation to those in my list. They deserve it.

  18. Monday night I hit my bottom I told my wife that had acted out. With the help of my sponsor and my therapist who stood by me I was able to tell my wife. I am so grateful for their support without them she would have found out from the woman who I acted out with. Once she found out I knew she would tell me she wanted a divorce. Yet here it is a week later and we are still together I know that she has not yet decided what she is going to do but I am grateful that she is still here and we are still talking. I cannot control what she will do so I turn that over to God and let him take care of it for me. In the meantime I give gratitude to my wife for her strength and love and to my hp for taking care of me in this most difficult time. I am grateful every day for life and I list every morning in my journal and every night all that I am grateful for and it’s helping in this time I am one moment at a time and grateful for life thank you God.

  19. For me gratitude does not seem to just jump out at me and it should ,I am grateful when there is a direct cause and effect that i profit from .This is not the gratitude the i need and seek ,being grateful for each day of recovery is something that i need to value more each day .i will try to ritualize something i am grateful for each night and see if this will keep me in my outer circle .I am grateful that each day my higher power and I have conversations that allow me the share at anytime .I see the value in being grateful as a way of changing the me first or me only conversation to the i appreciate all that is good and all that i have already .

  20. Gratitude. That is a very special emotion to embody. As someone suffering from an addiction, it is hard to find gratitude in most of the daily activities. Right now I feel some gratitude for the group, understanding that I’m not alone in this fight. However, I find the things I find gratitude for are overshadowed by other feelings like guilt, anger, confusion. I find myself revisiting “acting out” events. And those events are still present in my memory. The conundrum is that it is interfering in my recovery. I want those feelings mentioned before to be taken away from me. I want to find and embrace the original feelings that I had when I met my spouse. So in the long run, I find gratitude, however it is in constant battle with the ulterior negative feelings.

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