Blessings are with us every day, yet it is quite common for those of us in recovery to pay them little heed. Indeed, we’re so focused on doing what we have on our daily schedules, ticking off items on our recovery to-do list, that we may seldom even think about how good we really have it.
Honestly, we do have a lot to be grateful for, no matter how recent our introduction to recovery. Even though we may have been clean and sober for many years, there are still so many blessings that we can list. That is, if we take the time to do so. And shouldn’t we take some time now and then to do just that?
When trying to ascertain just what is in our life today that could be considered a blessing, why not start with the fact that we are alive to appreciate being here. That’s an excellent reminder of both the fragility and the brevity of life on this earth. It could just as easily have been otherwise, given our past obsession in the pursuit of our drug or drugs of choice.
What about family members and loved ones who have stuck by us through all those dark days, during the times when we ourselves wondered if we’d make it through rehab or have the strength to overcome persistent cravings and urges? Are we appreciative of the gift of these of our allies who are steadfast in their support and encouragement of our sobriety efforts and goals? Maybe a thank-you or some words of appreciation would be a nice gesture. It will at least let them know that we value what they have provided and continue do offer.
Another blessing is clarity of mind, the ability to think more clearly, to better approach decision-making, even our willingness to tackle tough issues, unexpected challenges or seemingly-impossible hurdles. We didn’t get here overnight, of course, and we will continue to experience difficulties as well as opportunities going forward, but taking just a moment to acknowledge our blessings in where we are now and how much we’ve been able to accomplish toward our recovery goals is certainly something we should do.
From time to time we may find that our past intrudes, bringing with it unpleasant or disturbing memories of all the bad things that we’ve said and done during our addiction. While we cannot and should not ignore our past, since we will need to eventually make amends when and where we can for the harm that we have caused others, we don’t need to dwell on the past. We should also know that beating ourselves up over our mistakes and misfortunes does us no good whatsoever. It’s better to learn from our mistakes than continue to obsess over them.
Speaking of learning from our mistakes, this is another blessing that we can put on our list of things to be grateful for. Undoubtedly, we have figured out a number of effective and workable solutions to various issues and problems we face in sobriety. To the extent that we have kept a list of what works well and make use of those techniques and tips the next time we are confronted with something similar, we have added to our recovery toolkit and we are adapting and revising our approach to solving problems accordingly.
How about goals? Have we broadened our horizon to include goals that we truly want to achieve? If we have been in recovery for a while, we likely have a growing list of accomplishments that we once thought were impossible, at least for us. Now that we have some successes to our name, we can look at them and be both grateful and fulfilled for having done so. This should also serve to motivate us to take up the next goal that we find appealing or worthwhile.
Come to think of it, counting our blessings may very well mean that we have more opportunities each day to be thankful for our gift of life in recovery. We’ve made it this far and we have much more ahead of us to do. We are blessed indeed.