Every so often I start to feel selfish in my recovery again, and time again. Selfishness is something that I cannot afford with the price I’ve paid to get to this point in my recovery. One of the keys to reminding ourselves where we have come from is reminding ourselves of the trials and tribulations addiction has put us through, and why we are here today is humility. Through the process of becoming humble and realizing the stages of humility we are able to gain a true grateful point of view on lifestyle and recovery.
I’ve learned many techniques of therapy and self-help among my time in recovery from people who have much more experience in recovery than I, and one of the greatest tools I’ve learned to use to teach—and reteach—myself humility is a gratitude list.
I don’t need to put a number on the amount of things that I’m grateful for as the list could go on forever today. But, at first when I got into recovery I told my sponsor, “I can’t even think of ten!” when he asked me to write things that I can count as blessings at that juncture in my life. He told me just to start writing, and the key was just to start and simply write anything that made me feel a sense of wholesomeness. My sponsor said that pretty soon, after only five or so on the list that I would start writing and not be able to stop at up to even fifty or one-hundred things that I'm grateful for.
The stages of becoming humble can be retaught to ourselves over and over again as life is an ever-changing battle with different paths and different roadblock in our way. We don’t know what our future will hold for us, and we can’t go and redo the past, it’s simply impossible and is incomprehensible to dwell on. What we as humans and beings in a constant state of flux can do is stay humble and grateful for where we are currently, what we do have, and not worry about the have-nots and things that are uncontrollable to us and around us. Why? Because we can only control very few things to the fullest extent, but we can make a greater path for us in recovery through these techniques.
I am humble to be me today and I keep that task close at hand while writing this gratitude list. I may not have everything I want, but who does? Through my serenity was granted by remaining humble and grateful to the life I’ve been given is not a way to just “get by,” but a way to get better!
“God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.”
This is my humbling gratitude list as I demonstrate how I do mine so next time you can do yours!
1. My true Recovery
2. A clear Serenity
3. Peace of Mind
4. My mom’s unconditional love
5. My father’s undying support
6. Being able to talk to my brother again
7. A clear thought process
8. A body that self-regulates it’s own physical state
9. Not relying on self medication
10. Not feeling dope sick when I don’t self medicate
11. Waking to a cup of coffee instead a cup of liquor
12. Chronic coughing is gone from quitting smoking
13. Exercise without dropping weights on me from too many sedatives
14. Playing my musical instruments without missing a note
15. Being on time to appointments
16. Showing up to commitments and not ditching my schedule
17. Holding a job
18. Being able to drug test clean (if I ever have to now!)
19. Not having to hide my stash
20. Not worrying when a police car drives behind me
21. Be able to go on a trip overseas or out of state and not worry about airports
22. Go on a trip and not have to worry about finding drugs on the trip!
23. Learning proper protected sex with someone I love
24. Finding love in a true way
25. Finding a sponsor who isn’t a sponsor but a life mentor
26. Learning I’m not alone
27. Being able to share my story
28. Grateful for every single person who read this
29. Grateful for anyone who tries this!
30. Already feeling better at #30
31. Not having to lie where I was
32. A functioning liver
33. Being able to think abstractly again
34. No hangover
35. No drinking and driving
36. Getting sleep every single night
37. I’m finally able to and learned to take a nap once in a while!
38. Seeing things without squinting
39. Anger management wasn’t needed I just needed to quit drugs!
40. Being allowed back in my own home
41. Having a home
42. Having a car
43. Gaining sober friends back (new or old)
44. No temptation to have promiscuous sex
45. Not feeling urges to go to a strip club or buy a hooker
46. Remembering my time and the small things too
47. Eating and keeping food down
48. Feeling pain (letting me know life is real)
49. Being an addict to come to these realizations
50. Not pawning my life belongings
51. No debt and unpaid credit cards
52. The struggle helping me earn my place in a serene spot
53. Sharing the message
54. Not worrying if I’ll see someone I know somewhere
55. Feeling the true good parts of life
58. To not have overdosed and died
59. Not to have been arrested
60. Not contracting an HIV
61. Not contracting an STD
62. Not contracting AIDs
63. Feeling happier longer rather than an instantaneous false sense of hope
64. Be able to take care of someone else
65. Be able to take care of myself
66. Noticing when someone is wrong
67. Noticing when something is right!
69. Being Trusted
70. To not always be scared
71. To feel safe within my own thoughts
72. To feel safe with hearing others thoughts
74. Being loved
75. I’m just grateful to have something to be grateful for!
Ps. It’s okay to repeat some things, as you see I have! That just means that you’re extremely grateful for these things!
At the end you will feel refreshed with a new outlook on your days for the future, but it’s good to take advantage of this method up to 3-4 times a week. Humans have what we call a reset mode in our brains and life maintenance. Sometimes it’s spurred by exercise and other times it’s given to us to use in an emotional or psychological way. Whatever the way you need to reset yourself and find your grounding again, do it, just don’t use!
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