By Barbara Nicholson-Brown

Before my recovery began grateful was never a word I used or thought of. My mind-set was ‘victim’; my view of the world was distorted through  my continuous usage of alcohol and drugs. I was a blamer. I blamed everyone and everything for the shame I felt. From feeling shame for being someone who could not handle how much they drank, shame for believing I was not as good as, shame for being who I was. Most of my problems were self-induced and what I asked for. With my focus being on the negative there wasn’t any room the positive. I’ve heard many times, that like attracts like, we are what we think.

Through the years of long term sobriety, while every day is not what I think it should be or how I want it, I feel and experience gratitude on levels I never knew existed before. And I have to remember that my plan is not the grand plan.
It was suggested in early recovery that I write a gratitude list to see if would change my perspective.

It seemed like a daunting task at first, but once the pen hit the paper, the gifts and blessings in my life just flowed.

I still need to write these lists whenever my thinking gets off track. And I can honestly tell you, the longer I am clean and sober the more I need to practice this simple exercise. For when I find myself wrapped in the world between my ears it still can be chaos and confusion. When all the blessings are right in front of my eyes I get grounded and humbled. Fear and Faith don’t mix and neither does Fear and Gratitude. I cant be in both places at once. For some reason, whether it be triggers from the past or fear of the future, when gratitude becomes stronger than any other emotion,  I get to be in the moment. Even for a moment.

During this time of thanksgiving and gratitude, take some “me time”, grab a note pad and jot down all the things you can think of that make you feel grateful.