Staying Thankful Through The Struggle
Have you ever set down and tried to write ten things for which you are grateful? I can remember being in early recovery and this being difficult. If I’m honest, it still is on certain days. I struggled to get to ten the first time I set out to make my first gratitude list. It was as if I had forgotten the beauty around me, forgotten what made me get up in the mornings. Not only did I struggle with substances but I also battle depression. Just taking my mind to a place where I was considering the number of ways to be thankful was a challenge. I challenged myself to not only come up with ten but also ten more the next day, trying not to repeat ones I had already written down. What I found was that my depression became less debilitating. My perspective on things changed. I once again saw the beautiful things in life start to regain their color in my eyes.
Life is hard. Anyone that tells you any different probably hasn’t lived very long. People go through things that are unimaginable. Hurt, heartache, and unfairness surround much of the media we consume and some of the experiences we that we bravely live through. It’s been my experience that in these times, the times that seem impossible, there remain reasons to be grateful. So much so that these moments have defined the rest of my life and my belief system. In times of struggle, these occurrences are harder to see and sometimes only become apparent in hindsight, but they are still the light that penetrates the darkness.
I find myself now being able to identify things I’m thankful for in most any situation. It doesn’t necessarily come easy. It’s taken some practice being intentional about gratitude. Now it’s the seemingly small things in which I find joy. The laugh of my son, the beauty of the variegating landscapes, random acts of kindness, love and mercy, living in America, being able to write this article, the music that plays in my earbuds as I write, it all makes me overwhelmingly thankful. I haven’t done anything particular to “deserve” this life, but I thank God every day that I have it, by most accounts I shouldn’t have made it out of what I went through in my addiction. It’s easy to lose this perspective though; it needs to be protected.
No matter what you’re going through right now, there is something for which to be grateful. I’m in no way minimizing what you might be experiencing. Life is hard. I do, however, challenge you to gratefulness. Take the next week during Thanksgiving to write ten things that you’re thankful for each day. Don’t repeat. I’m going to do this with you. Even if it’s difficult at first, it gets easier. There are so many things in our lives to be thankful for, and there is no better time of the year to call these wondrous things to our attention. Life is beautiful. Sometimes we just have to remind ourselves of this truth.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction contact addiction specialist at (606) 638-0938, 24 hours a day seven days a week, or use our private and discrete chat function online at www.addictionrecoverycare.com.
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