Gratitude is awesome. It can reset your entire being like nothing else. You don’t need a partner, or a bottle, or anything, really. I’m an humanist/atheist/freethinker, so I am grateful without a god, too. But you can be grateful with god. I don’t mind. Just no bottles, ok? Unless it’s bottles of water. Or OJ.
A journal can be helpful, but is definitely not necessary.
Right now I’m grateful for: Diet soda. Pajamas. Netflix. My family. Modern medicine. Telephones. Earbuds. Conditioner. Rainstorms. Coloring books.
That’s 10 things just quickly off the top of my head, because today has been busy and crazy in a *good* way. My eldest son turned 16 today. We chilled. We swam at the gym. We libraried. We had ice cream and chocolate silk pie, pulled pork *and* steak and potatoes and salads and homemade rolls because if we’re heating the house up with all this cooking, I want leftovers so I don’t have to do it tomorrow, too.
He got everything he asked for for his birthday. He got to talk to his older sisters, his nieces and nephew, his living grandparents, and his uncle. He spent the day with his younger siblings, and me, the mom, and his evening with his dad, too. (They are vegging out at the other end of the kitchen table, watching old Burn Notice together–Little One is on the pantry floor watching Thomas the Tank Engine.)
I have room for gratitude in my life because I am not busy regretting or being angry about my sobriety. I have room for my sobriety because I am busy being grateful. It’s all a wonderful circle of goofy happiness.
I had some serious thoughts about sneaking last night. About how I *could* if I wanted to. Those thoughts are probably going to be around for years. Until my sober years match my drinking years in number, nothing should surprise me. I can love my sobriety and still be blindsided by random urges that my sober mind would never want to act upon. (Pardon my dangling participles.)
So…what to do with those sneaking thoughts? How do I maintain my desire to stay sober if my own brain is trying to trip me up?
I journal. I read sobriety blogs. I inhale sober memoirs. I read and reread the uplifting parts of everything on which I can get my hot little hands. I write here. I meditate and try to pick apart those drinking thoughts. I don’t think I’d be handling this half as well as I am if I couldn’t meditate. So on that note, I have to give a shout-out to two apps that I really love for beginners: Headspace (LOVE IT) and Insight Timer. If you don’t think you can meditate or have never tried it or think it won’t help or if it doesn’t make sense to you, please try Headspace. 10 days, 10 tries, with a little video help. Meditation has also helped my anxiety and panic issues a great deal. That’s such a huge plus.
It’s amazing, the connection technology has given us. I am grateful today for the ability to learn from and be inspired by the folks out there who have come before me, and after me, and alongside me in this recovery journey. That inspiration is enough to keep me making it to midnight one more time. And one more time is as far in the future as I should be thinking. Because telescoping out and trying to visualize next week or next year is asking for failure. Today is enough. I can do this today.
Thank you, every single one of you that reads, or comments, or emails, or likes these posts. It all helps so very much.
Keep kicking addiction’s ass!