Updated: Jul 13, 2019
When I was in the throws of my addiction I did terrible things and exhibited behavior that a normal person would find deplorable. Anything that I did, I pushed it to the limit. I risked everything I had and the well being of everyone I loved on a regular basis. I could have run someone over in my car while being under the influence of drugs & alcohol, I could have been arrested for possession, I could have hurt myself at any point. The ramifications of my actions would have negatively effected every aspect of my life and the lives of everyone around me.
When the dust settled and the charade was over, no of these things happened. Don't get me wrong, the results of my behavior have strained certain relationships and some will never be the same but I somehow avoided the catastrophic consequences. I am one of the lucky ones but I still manage to take that for granted sometimes.
Very early on in recovery as I was coming to terms with my addiction and all the emotional turmoil that was going on in my head, I found myself worrying only about me. I threw pity parties daily for quite a while, it was the same selfish and egotistical thinking I had when I was in active addiction. It took me months of therapy, support groups and a complete shift in my mindset to realize how fortunate I am.
Gratitude is something that I need to practice on a daily basis. I think back to the hell that I was in and the certain realization that I was going to die. Then a series of events happened that saved my life and gave me a 2nd chance to wipe the slate clean. This happened by the grace of God, my Dad watching over me from above, the help of some special people and ultimately my desire to change.
It is easy to get complacent and sink back into a selfish way of thinking, but I need to intentionally understand and show my gratitude. As hard as I work my recovery every day, I need to remember the opportunities that were given to me and never lose sight of the fact that this all could have had a much different result.