Just as Hope is hard to uncover in the midst of the chaos of addiction,reasons to be Grateful can be equally elusive. We always try to think and talk about Gratitude at this time of year. After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is about
We really do have much to be grateful for. I know that the addiction tends to preoccupy so much of our thinking;yet we must to look at the bigger world beyond the addict. The addict is not the only thing we should be thinking about. I realize in the beginning of the process of recovery,it is very hard to concentrate on anything else. However by attending meetings and gaining some insight,we can begin to move the addict from the front burner to the back burner and find room for thoughts of of other things,other people and why we should be grateful. If we can focus on the other members of our family who are doing well despite the addict(the enablers are always the last to see the truth and detach)we must be grateful for them and learn to listen to them and enjoy them. I realize that our preoccupation cause us to consider our other children and spouses as less “into” the problems- but it's always as we see them. We the enablers are too aware and too involved, and we tend to brush everyone and everything else aside. However at this time of year in particular we need to be grateful for everyone else. We need to find comfort in the beauty that surrounds us - the sunrise,the sunset, the night sky,and all the natural phenomena that move through their cycles despite by our addict. Yes,it is true ,that there is a big world outside the addict. We simply have to learn how to find it. I know that this is very hard, especially in the early months after the realization that we have an addict in the family. But we need to push past our preoccupation with the one person and see the many ,who are a source of pleasure and Gratitude-and Hope.
I said in an earlier piece that part of our problem is mind clutter. We have opened the gates and permitted the addict to flood our heads, pushing everything else into dark corners. When we start to get better we clear out the mess and throw much of it away. That is a large part of recovery. The sickness we have is the constant absorption in the addict’s issues. There really is a gigantic,often wonderful world outside the addict and that reasons for Gratitude are not hard to find. We wear very secure blinders for years. We will find Hope and Gratitude by throwing off the blinders and begin seeing that there is joy everywhere. And it isn’t impacted one bit by our preoccupation with the addict.
Yes, there is so much to be grateful for,if we learn how to look, and we are ready to see what is obvious. So much of our issue is our inability to accept this reality :there is wonderful life for us outside the addict.
As we approach Thanksgiving and, hopefully, every good event in our lives, we must throw off the shackles and blinders that we placed on ourselves. This is what prevents us from seeing everything that is right in our lives .When we progress with our recovery,we will find reasons for Gratitude everywhere. Our cup will truly run over as we move from the darkness to the light. Recovery is a wonderful blessing! And for many of us it is the primary reason for our Gratitude.