The Share

Living In Gratitude

With the holiday season upon us—we asked these three clean and sober individuals how they factor gratitude into their recovery.



“Gratitude smashes my ego. It’s keeps me out of self. I can swim in self-pity. I can swim in ‘I want more’. For me, sobriety has to be enough. If I start to swim into other things, that’s what takes me out. I have a lot to be grateful for. I’m grateful that I’m almost two years sober and I’m also so grateful that I’m more aware of what the cash and prizes are. I used to think the cash and prizes were a car and materialistic things, but now the prize is I get to enjoy friendships, I get to enjoy watching my brother get sober and go through the same journey that I’m going through. I’m able to be of service to my family. I’m also grateful I have a sponsor that I can tell everything to and my best friend Fernando. I’m grateful that people want me around.”

—Mike Costa, sober since December 14, 2016.


“Gratitude was one of the first tools I was told to add to my spiritual toolbox. When I get to thinking of how my life should be or the things that are not going my way, I automatically or at least try to go to being grateful for the things in my life. The life I have now is so much full of depth, love, and understanding. More than I could have ever wanted or asked for. When it comes to gratitude, I know a lot of people get tired of being told to have gratitude, but it is the foundation of the things that can make us restless, irritable and discontent. Not taking people, places or things for granted. ‘Cos my mama always told me tomorrow isn’t promised to anybody. I am now learning the difference between being humble and hiding my gifts. I have been around for a while now. I have been a called a low key legend, but I have noticed that I can show greater gratitude for the things I have done and the people I have touched by putting my art and myself as an artist even more out in the public and share my truth.”

—MJ Brown aka Miss Barbie Q, sober since September 25, 2015.


“Gratitude helps me stay out of my head. When I’m grateful I don’t have resentments. I don’t compare myself to others, and I have contentment, really and truly. When I’m in gratitude, I want what I have. Before gratitude, I wasn’t enough and I was always afraid that I wasn’t going to get what I wanted and if I got it, I’d worry about when I was going to lose it. I was never happy. When I’m grateful, I’m not troubled by those things. I don’t do it perfectly, but I’m really grateful my family, both my blood family and my sober family. They keep me from feeling lonely. I’m really grateful for my job. It’s really satisfying. I work at the LA LGBT Center helping LGBTQ people.  I love coming to my job every day. I’ve never been able to say that in my life.”

—Scott Thomas, sober since October 1, 2008.