Attitude of Gratitude

I have enjoyed an attitude of gratitude for a while now. I catch myself feeling grateful many times throughout my day. Most of the rough edges of my life seem to be smoothed out. Painful experiences are not quite as painful, and the joyous experiences are more joyful. My perception has changed. Today I see the glass half full instead of half empty. An attitude of gratitude makes it virtually impossible for me to pick up a drink. Why would I kill myself if I am feeling optimistic? It makes no sense at all.

It took every single experience to bring me to the place I am in this moment—the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. I appreciate how good my life is today, but I’m also grateful for all the pain and suffering it took to get me here. I’m grateful for the job losses, the relationship hurts, the financial fear, the drunk driving arrests, the disappointments, and for all the times I beat myself with the whip of self-hate.  I could not have made it with one less of anything. Certainly not one less drink. No experience is wasted in God’s world.

My life is nothing I do and everything God does. I practice an attitude of gratitude by slowly letting go of my attachment to getting what I want, by suiting up and showing up for life and by trying to be helpful where ever I can. I show appreciation for others in my life. I try not to complain. The willingness to do these things doesn’t come from me. It’s all grace.

I’m grateful to be alcoholic. There is no way I could have traveled from where I was twenty-four years ago to where I am today without having a disease that was going to kill me unless I treated it spiritually.


My first sponsor said AA meetings are like sex. All meetings are good, but some are better than others. Last Sunday's meeting was great! We had five newcomers out of 12 people. Two of them were returnees, both of whom had recently celebrated their 90 days by going out and getting drunk. I no longer worry about people going out for more research, but I am always thrilled to see them come back. 

One of the other newcomers, a young man with 52 days, shared a beautiful story about fighting off his demons when he was feeling overwhelmed by a craving. He shared how he prayed, read the book, and even cried for two-hours until the craving lifted. As he described what he felt when the craving finally dissolved, I sensed something of great importance had occurred, not only for him, but for all of us. 

I have come to believe the universe is so divinely ordered that nothing happens by accident. I trust every single experience is intended for our highest and best good. Even the ones that hurt. Perhaps especially the ones that hurt. Those who go out and drink again are supposed to go out and drink again. I welcome the ones who return with open arms and grieve for those who don't.