I’ve written before about the power of gratitude in recovery, today I wanted to share my experience in how gratitude helps me get better perspective around and overcome my fears.
I find that fear-driven thinking can easily start to overwhelm me in recovery. When my character defects start to surface, when things like my pride, ego, anger, selfishness and dishonesty start to come out and take over, it’s because there’s a fear that’s starting to run my thinking.
For me personally It’s usually a financial fear, not having enough money for the things I think I need or want in life. It could be a self-centered fear, jealousy or envy in not having what others have. It could be a fear around not feeling like ‘I am enough’. This last one is a big one for me and also links to loneliness, relationships and low-self esteem which have all been big issues for me in the past. All of this fear-driven thinking is dangerous for me as an addict and alcoholic, by letting the fears take over my thinking I’m starting to wander down the path towards using again…
So how does gratitude help me?
Taking the time each day to think and write down all the things which I’m grateful for in life helps me to re-frame my thinking. It helps me re-wire my brain and remind myself of all the things I have in life to be thankful for, it reminds me that actually I’m ok today, I have my health, my sobriety, a home, some financial security and meaningful relationships with people. I’m becoming a better versions of myself each day that I am in recovery and I have everything that I need in life today.
All of this gives me perspective and helps me to realise that actually my fears are largely bullshit.
My fears are just my addiction trying to take over and run the show. My addiction wants me to feel low, it wants me to feel like I’m alone, isolated and scared so that I become overwhelmed and pick up a drink or drug to cope.
That’s not going to happen today because I have my recovery programme and the twelve steps.
It’s not going to happen today because I’m able to get perspective of things in life and separate the facts (that I’m ok today) from the fiction my addiction tells me (that I should be scared and fearful).
Gratitude has been a big part of my recovery journey, and I’m grateful for that today!