As you go through your journey of becoming sober, you’ll learn that gratitude in recovery is a very important thing to have. When you practice gratitude, you become aware of all of the positive things in your life and how lucky you are. No matter what kind of situation you are in, there is always something positive you can choose to focus on. If you make sure to be consciously aware and grateful, you will be able to celebrate your recovery more and see how far you have truly come.
Practicing Gratitude in Recovery
Gratitude in recovery starts as soon as you become sober. Choosing to live a life without drugs and alcohol is a monumental thing and something that should be celebrated. It is a choice that can very well end up saving your life. Here at Diablo, we have gratitude groups in which our clients reflect on the last time they used. While this can be difficult, it is important to acknowledge that your drug or alcohol use is something that happened, but with the right steps it can stay in the past.
Once you have reflected on your last drug or alcohol experience, we encourage you to write a goodbye letter to your addiction, and here’s why. The struggle with drug addiction is very mental. Addiction treatment is about re-learning behaviors and changing your thought patterns to function without the use of drugs or alcohol. Writing a goodbye letter is just one action you can take to close the door to your past addiction and leave it behind. Mentally, it can really put things into focus and get your true feelings on your addiction on paper so that you can revisit them in the future. It helps to outline why you are choosing to quit and what it is worth to you.
From the beginning of treatment, we try to encourage gratitude in recovery for all of our clients. Our gratitude group is just one of many special ways to practice this.
How You Can Add Gratitude to Your Own Recovery
No matter where you are in your recovery, you can begin a gratitude practice also, and the good news is that it doesn’t take much. Here are some ways you can bring gratitude into your life:
- Start a list. One thing you can start doing immediately is taking the time to write down a number of things you are grateful for each day. You can start with just one thing, and increase from there. And, the things you are grateful for don’t have to be anything fancy. Some examples include being grateful for another day without drugs or alcohol, being grateful for the loving people in your life, or being grateful for the food on your plate and roof over your head.
- Keep a journal. Writing things down has a way of bringing things to life. It’s also something you can reflect back on after a period of time had passed. In your journal, you can talk in detail about things that may have happened to you that day, or week, that you are grateful for and why. It will help you recognize your own patterns and continue to improve on your own best qualities.
- Take part in a ritual. Some people pray before bed. Others go to the beach each morning to gaze at the ocean. Whatever it may be, find something that speaks to your soul and make it a ritual. It will help to keep you grounded and to have faith that something bigger is out there. Your ritual can be a time that you have for yourself to think about what you are grateful for and how you can manifest more things like that.
- Make sure to acknowledge others. Always take the time to acknowledge the people who have helped you on your path. From your best friend who encouraged you to get treatment, to your therapist who gave you valuable insight on what goes on in your own mind, it is important to express thanks in some form to each of these people in your life.
Gratitude in recovery is about being aware. The more you can practice it, the more you will stay on a strong path of sobriety.