In the world full of nostalgia and family gatherings this holiday season we are asked one question, “what are you thankful for?” Many people respond that they are thankful for their families, children or loved ones. A possible thanks for a job promotion or a deed done to help them along the way. There are many different things we are thankful for, I am no different. Yes I am thankful for all those things mentioned, and you may be too, but one thing we may forget is to be thankful for ourselves.
Gratitude goes along way when it comes to showing thanks and more often than not we forget to give thanks for the person who might actually mean the most in our lives. Giving thanks to ourselves and nurturing who we are gives us an opportunity to honor ourselves while reflecting on the personal growths that we have made. This is especially true for those in recovery.
I’ve spent much of my life feeling desperate to be liked. I tried to make myself be something that I wasn’t, all to be accepted. But accepted to be what? I didn’t know either. I lied to myself to make myself believe that I was in charge of my own life, when in reality I never really knew who I was and nothing ever worked – I was just too consumed with trying to be something, anything, to realize that. Sobriety awakened my sense of reality. I finally saw that I’m okay just as I am. I learned I don’t need to change myself for others to like me. As long as I’m true to myself and confident being that person, people will either like me or they won’t – and that’s no reflection of my self-worth. I am worthy without the validation of others and that is why I am thankful for myself.
I have noticed that you have a right to choose your own path and can choose to live in addictive behaviors even if you’re sober – fear, anger, isolation, trying to escape your own reality – or you can choose recovery and deal with the issues you’re trying to avoid or escape. Choosing recovery goes way beyond attending a meeting or picking up a key tag or coin. It goes far beyond the realms of a 12 step program, it becomes a new way of living and ultimately you find yourself. Invariably, the problems are usually never as big as they feel and they’re infinitely easier to deal with when you’re present in your own life. I am thankful for being present in my own life, as easy or as hard as things may be. I am thankful for me.