When I tell people I meet that I am grateful to be an addict, they look at me like I have three heads. And I get that. If someone told me that during my early sobriety, I would have thought they were nuts.
When I first realized that I was addicted to heroin, I was devastated. I was only 29 years old when the car accident I was in, which was not my fault, by the way, had led to my opiate addiction. By the time the medication train stopped, I didn’t think I could live without it. I mean, it wasn’t even about the pain anymore. I just wanted to feel normal.
So I did what so many other addicts have done before me, and I found my way to the street with a needle and a spoon.
My early sobriety was filled with anger and resentment. The driver of the other car, the doctors, the drug manufacturers, it was all their fault I was in this situation.
So what brought me to this feeling of gratitude?
It started with the whole struggle to function in the “normal” world. I wanted to be back in rehab, where it was so much easier to deal with my addiction, but that was not possible unless I relapsed, and I certainly didn’t want to do that again.
However, I was able to volunteer in our local community center a few nights a week. Among its myriad of services, was a referral service, hooking addicts up with treatment centers. It was where I took my first step towards sobriety.
One day, a young woman walked in who reminded me of me. That was the turning point in my own recovery.
For the first time I began to realize just how lucky I really am, and feelings of gratitude slowly started to seep in.
Here are seven reasons why I feel that way:
1. I Don’t Have to Do This Anymore
I no longer wake up every morning jonesing for a fix. And I don’t spend my day chasing it. It was like being on a treadmill all day long. I took a million steps, but I never went anywhere.
2. I Learn Something New Every Day
I see now how vast this world really is that we live in. I could live to be a 100 years old, experiencing something new each day, and still not run out of opportunities.
3. I am an Active Part Of The World I Live In
No longer am I anxious about having to interact with other people. I have nothing to hide anymore. It is comforting to know that I am part of something bigger than myself.
4. I Am Free to Love People
As an addict, all I did was disappoint them. I couldn’t be counted on to show up for anything. I worried them and I was never able to support them. Now, I am present in their lives.
5. People Trust Me Now
It always made me feel dirty when people didn’t feel comfortable with me being in their homes or around their children. Now, I feel clean.
6. I Know How to Cope
There is a great sense of freedom in knowing that I can understand and deal with my feelings without having to get high.
7. Joy Surrounds Me
No longer am I searching for a utopia that doesn’t exist. I am grounded in reality and content.
Gratitude has shown me that life is a precious gift. And when I awake in the morning, I can’t wait to open it.
If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, you can talk to us about addiction treatment programs at our affordable drug and alcohol rehab that fit your needs, call us today at (844) 494-4939. The Anaheim Lighthouse is a modern and effective addiction treatment center in Southern California.