Today I am filled with gratitude. In fact, it’s my theme for today. In the rooms it’s said that you cannot be in fear and gratitude at the same time, so today I choose gratitude. I really have to be mindful though, because there is a lot going on in my life right now that scares me. Staying in gratitude isn’t something that comes easily to me, I’m naturally a worrier. But I have found that if I focus on the good things in my life, then my fears subside somewhat, and having them lurking around the corner is better than having them stare me in the face.
One of the first times that I used gratitude to combat fear was at the suggestion of my sponsor. I was dealing with some of the wreckage of my past, in a situation that I found scary because I didn’t know what was going to happen. As I sat in a waiting room, I was filled with anxiety and worry and remorse. In the middle of the shit storm of panic and fear, I called my sponsor. As I poured out all of my worries and woes, I expected a little bit of sympathy and reassurance. Instead, she told me to stop what I was doing and write down three things about the situation that I was grateful for. What!?! I wasn’t grateful for any of it! It was a crappy situation, caused by a crappy alcoholic (me), and I couldn’t see anything good in it. But being the direction-following sponsee that I am, I said okay. I sat there, while waiting to meet my fate, and thought about what I could possibly be thankful for. It took a while but then it hit me – things could’ve been a whole lot worse. That’s something to be grateful for, right? More thinking. I was facing something that, in my drinking past, I would’ve avoided and hid from for as long as I could. Two!! The last thing on my gratitude list was easy: I was grateful that I was sober that day. As I sat there thinking about those three simple things, I felt better. And the meeting that I was so dreading turned out alright. Imagine that.
Today, when I make a gratitude list, the things I’m thankful for are much more evident to me. I try to find something good even in the worst moments. I’m not always successful at the time that I want to be, like last Friday, but in the end I’m sure to find something worth thanking God for. Right now, amidst all of the upheaval I’m dealing with I am so very grateful for my friends. I don’t have a lot of them, but the ones I have are exceptional. I’m grateful that I have a job, even if I’m super stressed out with work. I’m grateful that the days in which I experience joy outnumber the ones that I don’t. And I’m grateful that on the bad days, I’m able to muddle through…sober.