Sunday, November 20, 2011



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.


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