I was recently invited to a Gratitude dinner for the AA program. I was amazed at how many recovering alcoholics where at the dinner and how grateful so many of them were. As I listened to the speaker, I began to understand, in a greater way, what the things were they were very thankful for. I must include myself in this discussion because I too am a recovered alcoholic who has much to be thankful for.
First, we need to understand that prior to entering a recovering program, problem drinkers have a horrible view on life. One of the techniques or tools that the AA program teaches is how to make a gratitude list. This helps us to change the focus from the negatives to the positive things in our lives. The reason this works is because we then do not feel the need to drink our problems away, but rather bury them by covering them up with good things.
Here’s how it works…The alcoholic is supposed to sit down and list all of the things that they are grateful for. This is such a powerful way to change the focus from the horrible things in life to the more positive things.
As I was listening to he special speaker at the Alcoholics Anonymous dinner, I began to realize that he had much to be grateful for.
His testimony told of how important it was for him to stay focused on being sober one day at a time. One of the things that he continued to reiterate that he was thankful for was all of the help he found in the AA program. As he began to ask for help and many people started to come into his life to teach and mentor him as to how he could stay sober, “one day at a time,” he gradually started to learn how to be grateful. This is one of the most powerful ways a recovering alcoholic stays sober.
As I recalled twelve years ago when I quit drinking alcohol, I was reminded of the most important commitment that I made. That was the very thing that kept me sober then and will also cause me to remain sober today. Simply put, the most important thing in my life today is to stay sober. I must do what ever it takes to make that happen.
Yes, not picking up a drink has to be the number one thing in my life that I maintain as a constant. If I were to fall short in this area, I would have nothing to be grateful for. The reason being, I would be labeled as a drunk again.
For me, the reason why this alcoholic is grateful is because I was given a new life and chance which started with the Alcoholics Anonymous and then was kept in safe keeping through a relationship with God.
Here are a few things alcoholic are grateful for:
1) Being alive
2) Having a semi normal lifestyle again
3) Having some relationships restored which were almost destroyed completely.
4) Being able to function in the workforce and hold a steady job down.
6) Having a roof over their heads
8) AA meetings
9) The Big Book
10) Hope in people and in God
11) A relationship with God
The reason why an alcoholic must remain grateful is because it’s the negative stinking thinking that will bring them to having a drink. If you know how an alcoholic mind works you understand the depth of what I am talking about. By attending gratitude dinners, reading literature, participating in AA meetings and staying connected with a mentor or sponsor, alcoholics are able to stay sober one day at a time.
I can tell you why this recovering alcoholic is so thankful. The main reason is because God has become my best friend and is doing for me what I could not do on my own, “stay away from a drink, one day at a time,”
They call it having an attitude of gratitude and it works. Stinking thinking can be turned around by making a list of all the things that you are grateful for.
Even if you are not a problem drinker or alcoholic, make a list and watch the power of the AA program work in your life.
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