Gratitude… Make it Part of Your Daily Recovery

This blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s, Amy Margolis, Registered MSW.

They say in 12 Step Programs that people can and do recover if they are willing to take certain steps. Gratitude is not officially a step, but for me it has been an indispensable tool of recovery! I grew up in an alcoholic family system. While my parents were very good people, the unspoken messages I internalized were pretty negative. As a result, I developed what I call an “alcoholic personality.” I am not addicted to a substance like an alcoholic, but I am susceptible to being addicted to negative thinking. The best antidote I have found for this “dis-ease” is gratitude and I practice it every day.

When we work a 12 step program, we are given a daily reprieve of recovery based on fit spiritual condition. It is suggested we do a daily 10th step (Continued to take personal inventory and and when we were wrong promptly admitted it). Gratitude is part of my 10th step. Left to my own devices when I wake up in the morning, my head is filled with… “I have so much to do today. Whoa is me! I am not good enough. I wish my husband were different. I still don’t have everything I want. God forgot about me. Where are my cash and prizes?!”… you get the point. So I have made it my practice before I even get out of bed to shut off that noise with gratitude. I mentally list 5 things I am grateful for from the day before and 5 things I did well, then I set a spiritual intention for the day ahead.

This practice continues to change my thinking on a daily basis. The key word here is daily. When you are prone to negative thinking because of your upbringing, it feels like your natural state. It is not. It really is a choice, but you must make you make this choice daily. It is said 90% of our brain is developed by age 5, so our programming is pretty much set. We have 10% to work with. That is why recovery is a daily reprieve. When you start practicing gratitude daily it becomes more habitual. You will begin to see the world with more hopeful eyes and moments will jump out in neon to be put on your grateful list. You will become more attractive to others. People love to be around positive people and you will start attracting more good in your life. I challenge you to make a gratitude list part of your daily recovery. It’s risk free, doesn’t cost a cent and takes less than five minutes a day. And the results can be priceless!

Elana Clark-Faler
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