How developing an attitude of gratitude changed everything. It’s exactly what they say, admitting you have a problem is the first step. I just didn’t know I had so many problems…
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‘Addict’ is such an ugly word, and so relevant today. Immediately thoughts of homeless people with clothes that don’t quite fit pop in your head. But we all know now that addicts can hide among us. I knew my husband was trouble the minute I saw him. You just know sometimes. He had recently started working at the local restaurant where I tended bar. And he walked up to me to introduce himself. All tall, handsome, and lean with tattoos and that bad boy vibe, trouble.
He was exactly my type. I wanted to fix him. I wanted to fix everyone. Only he was the one that helped me see just how broken I was. I guess in a sense helping people gave me a sense of purpose. Or a reason not to look too closely at me. Either way, once we got started we never stopped.
Before our recovery, we took a cross country road trip that I credit to our realization that we needed an attitude of gratitude now. Seeing the world, feeling how small we are had put our troubles in perspective.
There would be many moments like that in my recovery journey. In my opinion, addicts have a victim mentality. I didn’t realize so many of my thoughts came from a place of lack. Only seeing the negative in a situation. I wasn’t able to see that I was attracting these bad things to me with my mindset. Gratitude helps with that.
The universe is weird. It’s manifestation meets the power of positivity. I couldn’t tell you which but I can tell you that once I identified the many ways that my brain maintained the negative connections and I slowly found the positive in them my life changed. Not that I haven’t had plenty to complain about at times, but slowly erasing the things themselves, and the complaints thereafter, made a world of a difference.
My life changed in ways outside of my control and inside. Being laid off from a job I hated, I used that as fuel to start my entrepreneurial journey. I stopped criticizing myself for not achieving everything I wanted to that day and started congratulating myself for what I did, and then I got more done.
I stopped feeling inadequate and started reminding myself how awesome I was, and I saw more results.
When I started focusing on gratitude and the effort I was putting out, the positivity, and the love I was aiming to spread to the world I stopped hearing the negative self-talk. Dwelling on why this person didn’t want to talk to me or why that person was being so mean to me had to stop. Thinking that there was something inherently wrong with me was the wrong way to see things.
Sometimes that’s what people don’t realize about addicts and active addiction is that, in my experience myself, and speaking with other addicts is that we all feel like the leftovers. We’re the ones that nobody wants. The ones that don’t get invited to the fun events, the ones not included in pictures, the ones that get ignored or hurt by loved ones.
When I finally found my inner strength (and in many ways I still am) I realized that it was not something wrong with me but something wrong with my boundaries. Gratitude helped me realize it was up to me. I stopped letting people affect my inner peace life got better. Then when I started blogging I felt the fire again. Finally something just for me in a sense. A way to get the thoughts out of my head and onto the page without a care in the world who saw them and what they thought.
Investing in myself was my saving grace.
It’s difficult to feel gratitude for anything if you don’t feel any for yourself! You are awesome and amazing and wonderful and you should treat yourself as such! If you’re only beating yourself up every day for what you haven’t done then how do you expect others to treat you differently?
One book jumps out in particular on how to begin cultivating that habit in yourself and that is Miracle Morning. I was looking around forever for something to fill my cup, that I didn’t realize I already had it all. Starting my day with gratitude for something as big as this universe and as small as running water really put things in perspective.