As our time of thanks nears, I am recalling the many Thanksgiving meals I have attended.
Generally, the group that I’m with will pause before indulging, and share the things they are grateful for. Health, having a job, and being with loved ones’ seem to prevail as standard statements.
Everyone that I am close to knows I’m a sober alcoholic, and I always mention my sobriety when it’s my turn. Of course, I don’t get into a lengthy dialogue about what my sobriety entails while everyone drools over their food. But, if I did, it would go something like this:
- I am able to function, which entails caring properly for myself and being a competent member of society.
- I am financially secure as I don’t go into debt buying obscene amounts of alcohol and pills.
- My body no longer vehemently objects to the damage those chemicals cause.
- I remain upright most of the day.
- I can hold a conversation as my mind is not frazzled.
- I can safely drive a car.
- I enjoy leisure time reading, texting and crafting.
- I can be a good friend to many.
- I am able to be of service at the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings that I attend.
- Being a mother is a pleasure.
- My pets are well cared for.
- My family no longer must suffer with me.
My Higher Power has given me the greatest of gifts, sobriety. It truly is a Godsend—a second chance to feel good about who I am. Of course, being sober doesn’t make me a saint, but the difference between a life of addiction and a life of sobriety is . . . well, huge. The pendulum has definitely swung 180 degrees!
Let us spend some time each day meditating on our sobriety and considering all the care that it has brought us. And as you do that, remember what we’ve been promised:
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”
–the Big Book, pp. 83–84
May your day of thanks be blessed.
And, by the way, Happy Thanksgiving!
Author: Katie H. is a writer, recovering addict, and mother based in Connecticut.