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A Season of Gratitude

Our journey through life brings many ups and downs – many moments of excitement, fun, and fortune. Almost equally we have moments of suffering and adversity. In the past two years of my journey through life, I found a formula to help me cherish both the ups and downs of life. At the heart of this formula is gratitude.

Looking back on my life, I realized I never understood the power of having gratitude. As good things came my way, I celebrated my success without ever truly expressing or understanding how to be grateful for things in my life. As adversity and struggles were introduced in my life, the feelings of resentment and hatred became my fuel and motivation to act against people or things standing in my way of achieving my will.

The disease of addiction, which is so common in our society, grew especially strong in my life. I expressed my disease in many forms including binge drinking alcohol, substance use, food, and possession of material things.

As I found my myself in constant suffering, my successes dwindling, and the everyday struggle to be happy and healthy becoming a burden in my life, I realized I needed a change. I wanted more for myself and my life, but I did not know how to escape my growing addiction and gloom.

An intervention with those closest to me and my desire to turn my life around ultimately led me to find the NCCDP. Treatment, sponsors, meetings, fellow addicts, and the 12-step program became a new way of life, the life in which I now live in recovery.

This journey taught me so much about myself and how to acknowledge my feeling of resentments and hatred and truly understand how to be grateful for all fortunes and obstacles life brings.

Every fall, in November, gratitude comes back in style. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, many of us share what we are grateful for in life. I have expressed verbally in years past during this time what I am grateful for without truly understanding what it means to be grateful. I am proud to realize now that my recovery has helped me understand what true gratefulness is and that I can express this throughout the year with my friends, family and loved ones. This has brought me to a place in which I can feel happy and be positively motivated for anything that happens to me in life.

I am grateful for my parents. I am grateful for my loved ones, my family, my friends, and all those whose lives have crossed paths with mine. I am grateful for being a dentist, a passion which I fulfill every day. I am grateful for music. I am grateful for my struggles and those which have brought me to the life I live today. I am grateful for the recovering addicts and alcoholics who have shared their experience, strength and hope with me which has brought me to understand what gratefulness really means.

My practice of recovery involves acknowledging my struggles and successes everyday through the lens of gratefulness. For this and my recovery, I am extremely grateful.

A Grateful Recovering Addict