We asked these clean and sober individuals with various lengths of recovery time how they stayed thankful through a year that gave us a pandemic, a quarantine, high unemployment rate and a nail-biting election
“I’m grateful I kept my sanity and peace of mind during the pandemic. I have to say I’m grateful for my family and I’m grateful I’ve been a good influence to the newcomer that is trying to get clean. I just came out of COVID a week ago. I’m in a sober living and the whole house got it. Thirteen of us got sick. My mom’s husband got it, not through me, but someone else, and I lost family members to COVID, but I’m grateful to be alive and that my mom or my grandparents didn’t get it because they’re diabetic. I’m grateful I was able to work. I’m grateful I didn’t get sicker. Yes, I was scared, but I had faith that I was going to be okay. It’s been a crazy year, but I’m grateful to be alive today.”
—Foro Palacios, sober since August 18, 2018.
“One of the gifts of sobriety is learning how to be patient and how to understand. I think what gave me the ability to go through the pandemic in 2020 is being patient and understanding the world around me and just knowing that if I stay centered and focused I could get through it. I’m grateful I have a group of friends that I could go through this with and talk to on a regular basis. I kept in touch with my core of friend via ZOOM, three times a week. I found these people on the men’s 50 Plus program at the LA LGBT Center. The people that I gravitated to were, low and behold, sober, some with over 30 years of recovery time. I look forward to when we’ll be able to gather again. The year was challenging, but I’m in a good place. My attitude is good. I retired five years ago and I’m OK. “
—Robert Perkins, sober since July 5, 2015.
“2020 had its challenges but I’m grateful for the life that has been given to me. I tested positive for COVID and I survived. I’m grateful for my family and my friends. I was able to value every single moment we spent together. I have two daughters and a granddaughter. I didn’t work for seven months and my employer kept me on the payroll. I came back to work and I got COVID. The second week was hard. I had really bad cough. I went to the emergency room, but it wasn’t major. I had a lot of fear, but I had faith in God. They told me my body had to fight the virus. I had to wait. I learned that it takes ten days for your body to fight the virus or die. It depends on how you live your life. My immune system is good, I’m sober, I don’t smoke and I try to eat healthy, so I’m grateful for a lot in 2020. I used my gratitude tool to not live in fear or guilt. It was life on life’s terms and everything fell into place. It is important to stay grateful.”
—Cayetano Del Angel, sober since November 19, 2001.
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