November 5

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 5: “From the moment you open your eyes each morning, and until you close them at night, let there be GRATITUDE” ― Maria Koszler

Oh…YES!! All day, every day…I sing it and say it and want to always be mindful of encouraging others and lifting people up and lifting myself up by doing this stuff.

Life is so terribly short, and time is so very precious. I want to spend all of it that I can in being mindful and positive and happy. There are things to address, issues to work through, but these can all be done with an attitude that we are the SOLE beneficiaries of this work.

Although our changed outlooks and attitudes may reflect in healthier relationships with family, friends and others we interface with; the benefit of our new attitudes and outlooks always impacts US first and foremost.

This is important to know and understand, because we are so focused on SELF. If you are not going to benefit directly from actions you are taking, you are not likely to continue them. Being as immediate-minded with our gratification is going to cause enough problems.

We drink and use because we are both self-serving and lazy. If it doesn’t give us instant relief, we are soon bored with seeking solutions outside drugs, alcohol, food, sex, shopping, etc. These give us an instant feeling or shift in mood.

Sadly, it only lasts a few moments. Then we have to keep doing it to keep getting that shift. Rather than sit still with our feelings, we keep running from one thing to another for that “fix.” This goes on for a long time, with or without drugs and alcohol.

These are not solutions, just temporary band-aids that keep us from addressing the REAL problems. This can become a way of life for SO many addicts…in fact for most addicts.

What can (and does!) happen next is that there is a big health issue that makes it all impossible to run from. Some of us are actually stricken with something that keeps us incapacitated physically. NOW we are captive to our addicted thinking and beliefs. These are SO much more uncomfortable when we cannot run from them into our favorite fixes.

Shit! Now what? The stuff piles up over the course of time until we cannot bear the weight. Now we either have to drink or use or kill ourselves. Uh-oh!

Sadly, this is relapse time. It can (and does) wait until 20 days, 20 minutes, or 20 years after that last drink or drug. Time does not matter, except to trick us into believing we are “happy, joyous and free.” Some will even claim to be “recovered,” which I find terrifying.

What is missed is that, at no point in time in ALL of those years and days and hours and minutes, did that person actually achieve anything even close to happiness. They were not loaded, but they sure as hell are not happy. They are plagued (even more so!) by the same demons that chased them into the bottle and the pills in the first place. This is so apparent when you really listen to the shit people talk about in meetings, especially those with a long time away from their last cocktail! Ugh!

So, gratitude, all day, every day, every minute, is the antidote I have found for this horrible disease. It is NOT a disease of drinking…it IS a disease of thinking and thinking and thinking…listening to the biggest liar I know…the human EGO. Yikes!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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