Attitude Of Gratitude
With Thanksgiving around the corner we asked a few local sober folks why gratitude was important to their recovery.
“I was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Initially it punched me in the gut, but being sober and living in gratitude makes me remember that I’m not the only person in the world living with this and that takes me out of having a pity party. Gratitude helps me to not be a victim. Instead I’m grateful for every breath I take, for having a loving man in my life who inspires me, and for being alive. I may have cancer, but I’m still healthy and I have the means to get treatment.”
—George Harris Jr, sober since September, 2003.
“Sobriety, recovery, my higher power, partner and children are number one for me today. I do my very best to live in gratitude for a new way of life, the tools to live it with, and for all the people before me and after me. I may at times be stubborn and hardheaded, but I have learned not to stay that way. I have learned to hold my head up high and not concern myself with what others think. My side of the street is clean. I practice compassion, kindness, love, tolerance and forgiveness to others and myself. It costs nothing and pays handsomely. And for that, I’m grateful.”
—Loyda Perez, sober since January, 2004.
“Gratitude gives me physical evidence that life has improved. Sometimes I’ll just make a mental list of things that I’m grateful for. I have a lot today that I didn’t have before and it doesn’t have to be a material thing. Sometimes I’m just grateful for feeling fine in the morning and not waking up hung-over and bruised. And then other times I’ll think how I have this job—that I never would have gotten, let alone be able keep—if I wasn’t sober. When I forget to be grateful, I find myself focusing on the negative. And that make me sad.”
—Jesse Granados, sober since December, 2011.
“Gratitude is important to my recovery because I sometimes find myself caught up in the past and feeling shame for some of the things I did during my drinking. It’s important to be grateful for being sober and for turning my life around. I’m not the person I was before thanks to my sobriety. A lot of great things have come into my life. If I stay stuck in the past, I will not be able to enjoy the great things that happen to me. When I’m not grateful, I stay stuck in anger and frustration and my life doesn’t go so well.”
—Les Kurkendaal, sober since September, 2009.
“I was so selfish during my addiction. I had an enormous, and unjustified, sense of entitlement. I now know that everything I have in my life—my health, my husband, my friends, my family, my career—is a direct result of my sobriety and the work of my higher power. I am truly grateful for that because I found a simple solution to a problem that had troubled me for years. And, being in a state of gratitude reminds me how lucky I am to have this life and to remember to remain grateful and to give back.”
—Scott Richard Hall Campbell, sober since May, 2005.