Thursday, November 1, 2012

Things I Love Thursday - Part 57

Hey!  Did you know that November is Gratitude Month?  Well, it makes sense since Thanksgiving falls in November that folks get reflective, right?  I'm all about gratitude as you well know, AND IT'S NOT FOR A DAY OR A WEEK OR A MONTH OF THE YEAR, BUT EVERY DAY ALL THE DAMN TIME.

I found this great passage relating to A.A. and gratitude - and I love this part -
"Gratitude. It's a weighty, high-dignity word, but in truth its close companions are humor and joy. As Bill W. observed early on in the Big Book (p. 132), "Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into merriment over a seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn't we laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others." What greater cause can there be for rejoicing than this?"
LAUGHTER.  People are sometimes horrified that we joke about these awful terrible things we did or what happened, but if we didn't laugh about it, we would constantly be in the fetal position crying and terrified.  So I say, let's LAUGH!  I just want to give back what was so freely given to me by so many who walked this path before I did.  And laughter and humor are a huge part of helping people who are trying to get better.  I laugh so much harder and more genuinely since I got sober, than I ever did when I was drinking or even before I ever drank.  Being a drunk has led me to happiness.  True happiness. 

Honestly, I am so grateful to be a drunk who is not drinking because I never would have known about gratitude if not for that whole LOSING EVERYTHING thing. 

I talk about gratitude lists a lot. Because they are critical to my sobriety and my keeping everything in perspective. I can be so grateful because I have been so hopeless. I haven't been hopeless for a long time, and for that, I have sobriety to thank.

On Facebook the last few years, I've seen people list something they are thankful for every day of November.  Which is all fine and good, but I say, why not do it every damn day of the year,  not just for one month.  Do you want a challenge?  I dare you to start making gratitude lists every day.  I do mine at night before I go to bed when I do what is called a 10th Step in the program.  It's taking a daily inventory of what you think you handled well, and what you could have done better in handling.  Honestly, it's a great way to end the day before putting it to bed, as we only have 24 hours. 

You've seen my standard gratitude lists before -
  1. sobriety
  2. roof over my head
  3. my dear sweet husband
  4. my job
  5. kitties
  6. nutritious food and clean water
  7. friends and family
  8. these two babes in my belly
That is just the base. It builds from there and can go into as much detail as you like. All I know is, being grateful for what I have and laughing about just about everything helps me to stay sober and help others every day. You certainly don't need to be sober or working a 12 Step program to do gratitude. It happens when you are thankful and open to the little things that make this life so great. It's all around us.

We don't have a lot.  But we have so much.  Instead of whining and complaining, for the most part, I choose gratitude and hope.  Even for the shitty parts.  I have my moments, OF COURSE, every human does.  But I accept every part of what has been my life and try to learn and grow from it.  Sometimes it doesn't happen for years that I understand what things meant or why they happened and there are many things I will just never understand and that is OK.  I don't need to understand everything. 

Here's what I do know, as I posted last night -  
I'm pretty sure the stinky boozey homeless dude sits next to me on the train because I've been the stinky boozey homeless dudette. And I look him in the eye. Compassion doesn't take time off.
and then -
I always ask "where you headed?" And say oh I've been to a good AA meeting around there. We try. That's the best we can do. Some are more open to chatting than others. Ill happily share my experience strength and hope with someone who wants to hear it.

I have compassion, but it had to be learned.  I had to go through what I did in order to feel compassion for those who are suffering and less than in society's eyes.  I can't force people to listen, and I don't want to.  People who want change will be open to it and those who aren't ready, won't.  There is nothing we can do to help except for try without being forceful.  Nobody wants that forceful preaching, including me.  I'm grateful for compassion.  I'm grateful for what I've been through and knowing that others are going through it right now and much worse and I am here to help if I can. 

So, the Thing I Love this Thursday is gratitude.  Gratitude lists if you will.   Try it.  What have you got to lose?  I should add that I am grateful for all you readers out there.  I bet there are amazing gratitude lists out there.  From truly amazing people.   Let's be truly truly grateful.  Not just this month.  But for every day. 


  1. You are an inspiration to so many people, and I am lucky to call you a friend. xoxo

  2. You are beautiful. Not just the outside you, but the inside soul. That is all.

  3. I love this.....with thanksgiving and the Christmas season coming up I always wonder why the gratitude and holiday spirit has to limited to just a couple months. My mom always said ppl are hungry year have bdays with no presents. The love has to keep going :)

  4. Love me some Kitkatkootie ;) Keep doin' what you do sweetiepie!

  5. "I can be so grateful because I have been so hopeless."

    Best words I've read in days - maybe weeks. Thank you for spreading your message of gratitude every day. It makes a difference in my life, and I'm sure others.

  6. "I can be so grateful because I have been so hopeless."

    Those are the best words I've read in days - maybe weeks. Thank you for spreading your message of gratitude every day. It makes a difference in my life, and I'm sure many others.

    1. Being the daughter of a second time around recovering alcoholic... you really have given me a different perspective. I find myself a lot less bitter towards my father. Thank you for that.

  7. You have taught me more about gratitude than I ever knew. In MY program (which is never as good as THE program), gratitude was always just a word. I would say I'm grateful for things (and I meant it), but there was no emotion tied to it. It was just a word. Then I stumbled upon you and your fb page and this blog and gratitude started to mean something more than just a definition. I can truly say I am grateful for something and FEEL grateful. Sometimes I feel it to the point of tears, which annoys me because I hate to cry.

    Humor and laughter. There's just nothing funnier than a group of sober drunks sitting around talking. Well, maybe it's a little bit funnier if there's 1 normie in the group. The look on their face usually goes from amused to horrified pretty quickly. AA is the only place where we can "reminisce in a room full of stranger". I love that saying. I experience it every I go to a new meeting.

    Thank you for carrying the message...even when you don't feel like it and even when you're not sure anyone's listening. Like you said, "compassion doesn't take time off", and neither do you. I am so grateful that I have you in my life.

  8. Gratitude is very humbling to me....I have so much to be grateful for and yet know so many others struggle and have things very hard, and they too find things for which they are grateful. Humbling. Truly humbling. I am grateful for being humbled and awed by others....amongst so many other things.

  9. I. Love. You.
    Keep doing what you do.
    You are doing fabulously & I'm so proud of you.
    I am so grateful to have found you.
    You brighten my day, every day.
    I. Love. You.

  10. This rocks, my friend, and so do you! Much love!!

  11. "...we aren't a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn't want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life." I was just reading this this morning!

  12. I was just thinking yesterday about restarting a practice I'd once had to list 20 things I'm grateful for daily. Thanks for giving me that extra nudge!!! <3

  13. So I was going to do the month of gratitude status updates but I couldn't think of anything that was super deep or meaningful. All I had today was my toddler making me giggle even tho we're both feeling ill today. Then I read this post, so I'm going to share today's tilt, it will be my gratitude post to start November. And tomorrow I'll be thankful for whatever pops into my head, even if everyday is my babe not crying lol thanks mama

  14. I love you. You totally rock my world and even though we may as well be a million miles away I have a mental locket I keep my Katy picture in. Always.

  15. Love, love. Your simple list of things to be grateful for. I always say to people when they think their life sucks so much, "hey, think about the people in the world who have to walk miles for water, or look at their children wondering how they will feed them today?" Yes, it always puts things in perspective, I think we ALL, at times, take the little things for granted! Per usual, wonderful post!

  16. I made 4 years in October, and I have a daughter...old enough to know I'm better than I was but too young to really understand. anyways, we sit down and eat dinner EVERY night together...I'm greatul that I can. we say grace together and we each "list" what we are thankful/grateful for, for that day. we too have a base list...thank you for this food, for our family, for the hands that cooked this meal (mine or the take-out people's, either way)...and then we list things specific to the day, like thank you for a good check up at the doctor or being grateful for a night with no homework! And so on... I'm grateful that I have her and a good support system. I'm very grateful that I found your blog and FB page! And I really enjoy following you. I'm grateful for another thing to smile about.

  17. You kick life's ass everyday & you inspire me. I will keep fighting every single day. Love you big.

  18. I really needed this today. Thank you. <3

  19. It is so true your words. To be truly grateful I had to experience loss in my life and now I really appreciate what I have.

  20. I had to call my cellphone company, and the lady heard my son in the background and asked how old he was. Turns out her son is also 3. She kept saying aren't kids beautiful and how they bring so much joy in our was a quick conversation I normally would have brushed off, but I read your blog earlier that day and I found myself thankful for that lady for reminding me that they are pretty beautiful. Also I have to say I'm grateful for finding your blog. I don't think I've been a really bad person, but after reading your stories I have really taken a look at myself and I think improved for the better...I hope! :)

  21. I've got so many things I want to say to you, but am nowhere near ready. I've got a long hard battle to fight to get where you are now in your sobriety, but I so look forward to it. I want so much to be truly happy. And while I am grateful (mostly for my 2 beautiful daughters), I'm not as grateful as I should be.. But damnit I'm trying! Thank you for proudly telling your story; people like me need to hear it. XoXo- Val