Ever have one of those days when nothing seems to go right, even when given a fresh start? In sobriety, days like this can be even more intense because you’re not getting high or drinking to take the edge off. Now that you’re clean and sober, you have direct access to your feelings, which can be downright uncomfortable at times. Making a gratitude list each day can enhance the quality of your thoughts and the way you feel.
Remembering to be grateful for the little things can lift your spirits and calm the mind. Exercising gratitude is a humbling act. It energizes and transforms our perspective and takes the hurt away. When you look at how far you’ve come in sobriety, this little act of gratitude has the power to diminish depression, frustration or loss of hope. If you need a bit of encouragement or a reminder of why you’re here, these are just eight reasons why you should be grateful.
1. You Have a New Beginning
Today you are sober and granted a new beginning. You aren’t trapped in the cycle of alcohol or drug abuse — you are free. No matter what is going on, you can take pride in the fact that you have been given a new lease on life. No one ever said that being clean and sober meant a life without challenges. Showing up and being present for life’s challenges help us develop wisdom, strength, compassion for others and love.
2. You Get to Invest in Family
Now that you’re sober, you get to be the wife, husband, daughter or son that you’ve always wanted to be. Even if those relationships still need work, you get to be present for the work that needs to be done. Sobriety enables us to be there when our loved ones are sick, dying or facing their own life challenges. Today, you get to be there for yourself and for those you love.
3. You're a Better Co-worker
Being clean and sober gives you the opportunity to be a worker amongst workers. You have tools at your disposal to handle various situations or even climb the corporate ladder. You don’t have to be late or call in sick because you’re hungover or high anymore — you now have options. If something isn’t working, you can address it and seek the appropriate solution.
4. You Can Make Amends for Past Harms
You don’t have to carry the weight of those deep, dark secrets anymore. Now, you can atone for your wrongdoings and learn from your mistakes. No longer does the past have to be a painful memory that haunts you.
5. You Can Make New Friends
Though you may have old friendships that you cherish, you have the opportunity to make new ones too. The friends you make in recovery allow you to exchange new insights and ideals that embolden your life. There’s nothing like sharing challenges and triumphs with someone else who’s been through it too.
6. You Have New Opportunities to Explore
If you hate your job, you can take steps to find a new one. If you have a passion or skill that you’ve always wanted to tap into, now’s your chance. Today, you get to make the most of your life. Drugs and alcohol aren’t there as a barrier to keep you from living life to the fullest.
7. You Have Freedom from Drugs and Alcohol
The fact that you are not using is cause for huge celebration. Even if nothing good ever happens again in your life—an extreme thought, I know — being clean and sober is already enough. When you’re not sober, you forfeit the job, the relationship or anything else you want to achieve. Drugs and alcohol are thieves in the night and can take away everything you’ve ever dreamed of in an instance.
8. You Can Hit the Restart Button
You can restart your day at any moment when you feel frustrated or depressed. If a situation rubs you the wrong way and rocks you emotionally, you can pause, close your eyes and take a deep breath. You can ask for help and choose to take contrary action. So, someone cut you off in traffic? Hit the restart button. If your significant other or ex is rubbing you the wrong way, hit the restart button. And when all else fails, go to a meeting and share your feelings. Today, you can take the power out of any situation.