When I first got sober, I truly resented the fact that I was an alcoholic. I envied those who could drink normally, and thought it was both unfair and illogical that I had been afflicted with such an unfortunate and tumultuous disease. I sat perched upon the pity pot for several months before things began to shift both externally and internally. My life was improving greatly – I had friends, a good job, and an ideal living situation everything seemed to fall into place perfectly as long as I continued to do the next right thing and stay involved in the program. I began to view my alcoholism in a different light. I saw my disease as a blessing rather than a curse, for if I had not been through what I had been there was no way I would have ended up where I am today. Here are several gifts that I am blessed with and grateful for every day – gifts you may find you have received after any extended period of sobriety.
The Gifts of Addiction Recovery
- The gift of humility.
I did not know the meaning of humility before I was broken down to nothing but a quivering heap of self-loathing and desperation. Not only was sobering up initially an extremely humbling experience (living in a halfway house with limited privileges, literally learning how to function in society for essentially the first time) – but it has continued to humble me on a daily basis. I no longer take what I have for granted, knowing that I am one bad decision away from homelessness and bitter despair.
- The gift of acceptance.
This is one of the largest gifts being clean has given me. Not only does acceptance aid my peace of mind more so than anything I have learned, but truly accepting things as they are has given me an unlimited amount of serenity and happiness. We learn in the program that acceptance is the answer to all of our problems – and in my personal experience, this is nothing short of wholly true.
- The gift of coping mechanisms.
Because I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to face my addiction head-on, I was given the opportunity to learn how to best tackle every future issue that I may be presented with. I was given an invaluable toolbox filled with the past experiences of other likeminded human beings, free for me to utilize whenever I see fit.
- The gift of passion and following through with dreams and goals.
I’ve always known what I was passionate about, but the cloud of suffocating chemical dependency I spent my days cocooned inside suffocated my desire and extinguished any remaining flames of fervor. Once the fog had been lifted in its entirety, I was able to reconvene with ambition and follow through with personal goals. I knew that if I could overcome addiction, I could overcome adversity – and ultimately mold my own future in the way I saw fit.