By Barbara Nicholson-Brown


Before my personal journey in recovery,  grateful was never a word I used much, if ever. My mind-set was ‘victim’; and view of the world and everyone in it was distorted. Through continuous alcohol and drug consumption, I was a shell of a person, hiding behind a transparent mask. The reason I say my mask or façade was transparent, is because the real me could not hide the shame guilt, remorse that permeated from my pores. And everyone in my life knew the truth.

I blamed anything on the “outside” for what was going on inside.  With so much of my focus on the negative there wasn’t much room at all for the positive. I’ve heard many times, 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 to be, I do feel and experience gratitude on levels I never knew existed before.

My plan is not the grand plan. Even after all these years clean and sober I still tend to future scape, or wait for the other shoe to drop. I have bouts of “stinking thinking.” On page 9, Ken Wells of PCS writes about being trapped in negative thinking and I think the timing of publishing his article is perfect for me right now and hope it is for you as well.

A big thank you and tons of gratitude to Dr. Tian Dayton for providing her insight on addiction, PTSD and being an adult child of an alcoholic. Tian recently published, “Adult Children of Alcoholics Workbook,” which is available on

While designing this month’s paper and thoroughly reading Tian’s words, I felt like a cosmic 2 x4 bopped me on the head as I realized, I still have plenty of work to do on this topic. I can’t wait to jump in and do the work – it’s calling me to continue to heal.

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, thankful and blessed.