With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own.

Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.

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Post by Ronni » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:46 am

At my f2f meeting week before last there was a lot of sharing about the upcoming holidays, the stress, the issues surrounding our addicted loved ones and the turmoil and upset and general confusion that they tend to bring to otherwise joyous occasions.

Last night's meeting was about Gratitude. It's sometimes hard to feel gratitude when we have addicted loved ones, to feel grateful in spite of the addiction issues we all struggle with. There was a lot of sharing about the subject, both positive and negative ;)

I struggled with feeling gratitude too, when my AS was deep into his addiction, circling the drain, homeless, in jail, running from the law, dodging warrants and fines and arrests. How could I possibly feel such an uplifting, positive feeling when mired down in the complications and wretchedness of addiction?

Program has taught me many, many things, two of which became standouts when pondering gratitude. My take on it is a bit different than some, but it works for me. While many gave thanks for the other things in their lives in spite of their loved one's addiction, I chose differently. I decided to be grateful for every incident or issue or problem or situation that my son struggled with, choosing to believe that no matter how awful it was, it was benefiting someone else, or saving him from something worse, or both!

So when he got stopped by the police, I chose to be grateful that he didn't continue further down the road and possibly have an accident. When he was jailed, my gratitude was for the roof over his head and three hots and a cot. When he lost his job, I gave thanks that there was now an opening for someone more needy to get that work. When he lost his apartment, I chose to believe that it meant he'd find a better situation for himself. When his GF dumped him I was grateful that she would no longer be calling me about him. Even when he OD'd, I was grateful that he didn't die and could continue to work through his addiction to a hopefully better place.

Too, even as bizarre as it might sound, I am grateful for my son's addiction. Why? Becuase through my very focused program work, I am learning to be a better person and I don’t believe I would have worked as hard or at all on myself if not for his drug use and my subsequent involvement with naranon. I started out learning how to navigate the churning waters of addiction, but over time it became less and less to do with addiction, and more and more about how to improve myself, better myself, find my humility, accept my shortcomings and work to change them. While I will always be a work in progress, I am grateful beyond measure that I have been afforded the opportunity to grow and learn and become stronger and wiser, deeply grateful to my son for opening that door for me, and giving me the opportunity to walk through it.

Thank you sweet boy. I am grateful for you, and grateful that you are celebrating three years sober this Thanksgiving.

And thanks to all of you for being my soft place to fall, shoring me up, helping me walk the path. I am grateful for each and every one of you. <3
Last edited by Ronni on Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My son's addiction is something that happened TO HIM. It is NOT something he did TO ME.

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Re: Gratitude

Post by DianeB » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:12 am

Gratitude is essential for healing.

I, too, learned that early on. There is always something to be grateful for even
during the darkest times.

I will say that I have never ever been grateful for my son's addiction. Never, Never.

I am grateful that in the midst of his addiction, when all seemed to be the darkest,
I was led to Nar-Anon and chose to stick with changing the one
thing I

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Re: Gratitude

Post by DeanW » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:39 am

There is always something to be grateful for in your darkest times. I actually had that as the screensaver on my computer for several years. I didn't believe that and I wanted to believe it. I was so scared of what might happen and the fallout from that imaginary "what if" -

That was before I had truly accepted that someone else's behavior is OUT of my control. I am powerless over anyone's decisions but my own. (how I pray my grandsons learn this quickly)....

The reaction to addiction did cause me to open my eyes to nature again. I love just the awesome beauty of this world we live in and I had closed my eyes to it for a long time. I started walking in order to stay focused on myself - the "do something for yourself" tool...and slowly re-gained that appreciation. However, BEFORE addiction in my life I appreciated nature and the wonder of the world. It was addiction that caused me to lose that appreciation in the first place. Very grateful that people telling me on this site "SELF CARE" pushed me to really look at all I was missing. God bless.

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Re: Gratitude

Post by Marianne » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:55 pm

I am forever grateful that my HP (God) lead me here five years ago when I was in one of the darkest points in my life. I continue to be grateful everyday for the strength and tools I have gathered over the years that help in all aspects of my life.

I will never ever ever say and have never said that I am grateful for my Son's addiction. I would have been quite happy to have never ever had addiction enter my life.
"Acceptance of what is does not mean liking it as it is." ~ Iyanla Van Zant

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Re: Gratitude

Post by lbogie » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:37 am

Hi Ronni,
Wow, just wow...... Great self awareness and recovery, for both you and your Son.
Gratitude is a Foundation block for my recovery too.
I can usually and do try to find the bright side of most things. It doesn't always happen. But most times I can. I'm not sure I am "Grateful" for my Sons' addiction/s or my Husband's illness, BUT, I do know that HP (God for me) works in Mysterious Ways
(((HUGS))) Lois
“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

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Re: Gratitude

Post by endoftheroad » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:27 am

Gratitude and thankfulness are the cornerstones of my spiritual program. They resonate in every culture of the world. The Dalai Lama teaches us that in gratitude we receive the bounty of life force and love. Enough said for me.

I will never be grateful for my son's addictions. And I don't think the he would be either in his recovery. I think we can be led to gratitude in a much kinder and gentler way. But it is a gift of this program if people chose to embrace it.

Today I am grateful that I have a deeper connection with the spirit of the Universe and pray that my son will find his recovery and learn to be humble and grateful for his time on Earth. Only time will tell!
This is the easier softer way.....

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Re: Gratitude

Post by flash » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:09 am

Amen to all you said.
How this program has changed me and all that I do and say is amazing.
I know that I would never have worked on changing myself.
Didn't need to - as an adult - why would I want to change?
TYFS Ronni
As always so much to think about.
Love ya,

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Re: Gratitude

Post by MarieW » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:54 pm

I am also grateful that my son's addiction brought me to Nar-Anon. I have learned so much about myself and can honestly say I am happier now than before this whole exhausting journey started. I am especially grateful for how the program has reintroduced me to my higher power. And the idea that I am powerless over any other adult human being except myself is so liberating! The tools and friends I have gained through participation in this program will make the rest of my life better.

I am sorry for the pain and struggle that my son has had to go through, but am very grateful that both he and I have programs and fellowships to support us.

Keep coming back.
The only wrong way to work this program is to not work it.

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Re: Gratitude

Post by SDIN2T » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:55 am

Gratitude changes Attitude

And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life - JK Rowling

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