Gratitude in Recovery
While in active addiction, I found that I happened to have my hand out, a lot. I have always held to the ideal that closed mouths don’t get fed, which is true. As an addict, I exploited that saying to the point it was like beating that dead horse.
In my addict mindset, I found that I was always asking for something. Not only did I ask for it, I expected it. When my request was denied, my brain would take several different routes in order to obtain what I was asking for.
Sometimes I would continue talking about what I was asking for, in the hopes that I would wear the other person down to the point I would hear yes. Other times, I would wait, change my story and approach from my request from a different angle. If there was no way in Hell that I was going to get my way, I would get down right pissed off.
Not only would I get upset, but I would go out of my way to make it known that I was angry. I would make Facebook statuses, do live videos on my Facebook, complain to anyone that would be around me (whether or not they were listening, didn’t matter), and I would go off in a message of my choosing.
Yes, I have a temper. This is something else that I need to work on. But back to the subject at hand.
Now, in the instances that I would get my way, I would be as happy as a clam. Not only that, nine times out of ten, I would disappear until the time came that I would need something else again. Then, I would reappear with my hand out.
This, dear reader, was not an act of gratitude. In fact, I was being COMPLETELY selfish.
I was never one who would not show gratitude. Honestly, I was raised to make sure that I always said please and thank you and to be grateful for what I had. Being an addict, I ended up blocking that part of my brain. I stopped being grateful for the things I had and would receive, and in turn became greedy and somewhat of a monster.
Now for the brighter side of life.
Since I have been in recovery, I can honestly say that I am so very grateful for anything that I have. Over the summer, while on the run, I lost everything that I had accumulated. This happened at least twenty times over.
When I got out of jail, I literally had the clothes on my back. Add to that, those clothes weren’t even mine. They belonged to a friend of mine whose house I was at when I was arrested. I was given the clothes because when the police came I was in leggings and a t-shirt. Definitely not appropriate attire for going to jail in St. Louis.
Over the course of the past month, I have slowly been accumulating things again. Not only am I accumulating things again, but I am keeping them. Let’s add one more ‘not only’ to this. Not only am I keeping them, I AM TOTALLY GRATEFUL FOR ALL THAT I HAVE.
I find that I appreciate so many things so much more now than I ever did before. You could give me a piece of gum, and I will probably tell you thank you two weeks later. I have people actually offer to do things for me now, and I will try to decline it, but I don’t really have that option anymore. Then, when I try to say thank you, I am told that I don’t need to thank whomever it is.
No, yes I do. I don’t say thank you out of need. I say thank you out of gratitude.
You see, losing friends, my freedom, pretty much everything, really makes me see things differently now. If I cannot take it with me when I die, then there is no point in stressing over it. If I am blessed to obtain something that I need and/or want, then I am so thankful for it. I see the sincerity in the actions done for me. I see the generosity in those small gifts given to me. I am thankful for the time spent with me.
All in all, I am so incredibly blessed at this point in my life, and it took me living in the sub-basement of rock bottom to actually see this.
I am just thankful that I am able to see this now, and even more so, I’m able to truly appreciate it in my recovery.