12-Step programs such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous stress the importance of having an “attitude of gratitude” for all “blessings received.” It doesn’t matter where you might be on your own personal journey of recovery – whether you are just starting out or whether you are looking back on how far you have come – there are any number of reasons why you can and should be thankful for your continued recovery.
As the holiday season begins, now is the perfect time to express sincere gratitude for:
Another Chance to Live Your Best Life
When you regain your sobriety and your serenity, you free yourself to make your own healthier and happier choices. You no longer have to let alcohol and drugs rule (and ruin) your life.
An Opportunity to See Things More Clearly
Many people in early recovery say to their surprise that sobriety feels like they are coming out of a dense fog. Without the distraction and obstruction of addiction, you are now able to see things as they truly are, and then practice acceptance of reality. With that clarity and knowledge, you can then appropriately respond in positive ways that are best for you.
True sobriety and recovery means a chance to finally enjoy life and everything it has to offer. Now, you can go out and have a good time with friends and family without having to worry about waking up the next day feeling hung-over, sick, guilty, and ashamed.
Memories to Cherish
Active alcoholism or drug abuse robs you of experiences and steals your memories – not only do you miss out on good times and wonderful opportunities, you also are often too “out of it” to clearly remember anything that happened. Now, sober and in recovery, you can fully participate in happy experiences and create memories that will last your entire lifetime.
Chronic substance abuse can result in hundreds of adverse health conditions, including:
- Heart problems
- Brain damage
- Skin conditions
- Tooth decay
- Increased risk of stroke
- Liver damage
- Bone disease
- Mental illness
Here’s the good news — prolonged sobriety greatly reduces the risk of developing many of these health problems. The therapies included in the best recovery programs are also aimed at returning you to optimal health.
Giving Back Instead of Taking
A life controlled by addiction results in complete self-absorption, where you selfishly only worry about satisfying your own wants, no matter the problems it causes for the people around you.
Now that you are in recovery, sober and stronger, you are in a better position to help others who are still where you once were. You can volunteer, serve at 12-Step meetings, or perhaps eventually become a sponsor for someone else. This is actually the idea behind the 12th Step of Recovery:
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
Here’s the best part – when you give of yourself, you are likewise rewarded. Studies have shown that service to others strongly supports your successful recovery.
Reconciling with Your Loved Ones
Substance Use Disorder is an isolating and lonely disease that also affects those closest to you, negatively impacting every relationship you have — partners, children, family, friends, and even the people you work with. As you continue to make progress in your recovery, you will have chances to reconnect, make amends, and rebuild bridges you may have burned.
Do you remember how terribly lonely active addiction truly was? When you were out chasing your next drink or your next fix, you probably had plenty of people who were willing to sell you drugs or do them with you, but how many of them REALLY had your best interests at heart?
In recovery, you make friends who like you as a PERSON, not who are just looking for someone to get drunk and high with.
Even better, you will have friends who have stuck with you through your battle with addiction, never giving up hope that you could recover.
You are Alive
If you can read this, it is only because you are still here. Every year, tens of thousands of people lose their battle with addiction. In 2018 alone, drug overdoses killed 68,557 Americans, an average of 188 per day. Many, many more lost their lives to accidents, injuries, or health conditions caused by alcohol or drug abuse.
It doesn’t matter if this is your second chance…or your third…or your tenth…you can still make the most of it. Some people never make it this far.
Since 1978, Chapman House Behavioral Health Centers has been the top rehab program in Orange County, California, by using a combination of evidence-based treatment strategies to create a unique and effective approach to recovery. If you or someone you care about are ready to begin your own sober journey, Chapman House can help.
For more information or to schedule an assessment, contact Chapman House TODAY.