The Celebrity Therapist

Recovering addicts often find that it is a daily struggle to avoid the triggers that can lead them back into an addiction. This can sometimes seem like an overwhelming situation since you literally have to change everything about your life including some of the people that you associated with. The good news is that this change allows you to focus on being successful and staying in recovery. The bad news is that it can lead you feelings of being deprived, isolated and on what may seem like an impossible mission for sobriety.

The best way to prevent these feelings and to keep your mind focused on your positive goals and sober lifestyle is to look for things that are currently in your life and give thanks for their presence. If you are a religious person it can be thanks to God, Allah or a Supreme Being. For those that are more spiritual it can be an expression of gratitude to the Universe as a whole.

Developing what I call an attitude of gratitude in “The Law of Sobriety” is a concentrated, focused part of your day. It is not time consuming and it will quickly become a way to get your day started off on a positive note and end your day with the promise of a new and better tomorrow.

The things that you focus on in your message of gratitude to a Higher Power or the Universe are really  personal for you. They are not something that anyone else can give you since what is important and of value to each person will be different and unique. Just remember that what you are grateful for in your life today and that you express in a daily statement or prayer is what you will receive in return.

A good way to get started in a structured approach to gratitude in addiction recovery is to:

  1. Look for things in your life to be grateful for – this means keeping a notebook or jotting notes about things that bring you pleasure, joy, comfort and warm feelings in your life. They can be as simple as a beautiful sunset to as life changing as a loving, supportive partner.
  2. Review your list on a daily basis – this could be in the form of a prayer at the morning or evening or simply sending a positive message to the universe. Start with the words ” I give thanks for .. ” or “I am grateful for…” as a way to structure the message.
  3. Share your feelings of gratitude with others – when you are grateful for a person in your life share it with them. Send them a thank you email or card, make a phone call or tell them in person. While this may seem a bit awkward at first it is so appreciated and a way to positively and specifically express your gratitude to those that are important in your life and recovery.
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