In the AA and Al-anon programs, being grateful for things is one of the reconditioning processes that happens over the course of time. As we continue to attend meetings, something happens where we learn to focus on good things rather than always worrying about the awful events we are dealing with. Our relationship with God grows in such a way that we begin to realize that He will never leave us of forsake us.
Being grateful is something that is very difficult to do when we first enter into alcoholism support group meetings. For the alcoholic, focusing on all of the bad things in life is a daily occurrence. For the alcoholic’s friend or family member staying focused on all the things that an alcoholic is doing wrong keeps them from being grateful for the person.
This is the beauty of recovery, learning how to be grateful for things and people in our lives again. There are several methods that will help us get on the right track when we begin to worry about things.
1) Making a gratitude list-This is where we brain storm on paper and begin to write down all of the things that we are grateful or thankful for in our lives. Gratitude is something that will pull people out of a moment of situational depression. As we begin to be thankful for family, friends, work and children, something magical begins to happen, a smile somehow returns to our face. Now for an active alcoholic who is under the influence, it’s almost impossible for this to work because alcohol is a natural depressant. But for the sober person it works every time.
2) Remembering all that God has done-His (God’s) promise is true; He will never or forsake us. No matter how tough things get our helper and friend will always be in the middle of everything saying: “come on you can do this.” If we begin to cry out for help, He is there to help us. When we take time to remember all that He has done, gratitude will rise up on the inside of our spirits and joy will come into our lives setting us free from the chains of worry and doubt.
There are many methods of getting into that space where we are grateful for our lives, but the main way that we get there is just by changing our focus.
Sometimes it may be a friend that we talk to or something that was said at a support group meeting we attended that gets our stinking thinking on the right track.
A powerful way to shake off the blues is by getting on the phone and talking to people in the AA or Al-anon program. This seems to be one of the most effective tools that we have as people who are dealing with thoughts of despair and depression. This is why we are encouraged to get a sponsor when we enter into either of these programs. It really helps us to stop obsessing over an alcoholic.
A sponsor is someone who has learned how to be grateful for their life through participating in the AA or Al-anon program. They are mature in their recovery and have many tools that help them to stay grateful for their life on a daily basis. We could call it mentoring. They are there to teach is how to be successful at living one day at a time in faith rather than despair.
Learning to be grateful for the support group and the program that is helping us comes naturally over the course of time. What things can you be grateful for today?” Is there something good to focus on rather than all of the bad things that are going on in your life? If you have the time, take a moment to write down some of the things that you are grateful for in your life. Being thankful for friends, spouses, children, work and support groups can change our attitudes in a heart beat.
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