Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

My sponsor and members from my English-speaking home group suggested to me to list the things I am grateful for in my SA sobriety. They probably couldn't bear my complaining any longer, which might be why they suggested it—in an intention to shut me up a bit. My sponsor asked me to cultivate gratitude because by nature, I am so sarcastic, fault-finding, sticking in the victim-role etc. People who are grateful don't have to cultivate gratitude. It's exactly those who don't have it by nature, like me, who have to cultivate and train themselves by hard work.

Thank you for almost four years of SA sobriety (and six years of SA recovery, in particular for:

- contacts with people, a sense of belonging, so dear to me.

- patience with my strong emotions, with my resentments, with my very strong victim attitude-unfortunately long-present in recovery, and probably very tiring for other people (believe me, you can switch the telephone off, and disconnect, I have to be with myself 24/7, it can be hard…)

- enduring my being late without comments (generally)

- accompanying me in difficult situations in life (disability, death of my father, my cancer and difficult treatment, loss of ability to work, periodic severe pain, periodic waves of depression, moving out of the house and separately from my parents with whom I was co-addicted). People were there for me during my hard time. I was not alone.

- for the man from SA who held my hand while I awoke from a tumor surgery and he brought me flowers. Thank you especially for the homosexuals in the community. A heterosexual man might not be able to accompany me then.

- for the men of our community (of any orientation) who were with me when I found out that my cancer was malignant and that there was a high risk that I would die quickly. In this hour in the pub for tea and for their presence for me. I wasn't able to talk, I was shocked, but they were there. I was not alone with the death experience.

- for a quick-coming-death experience on the program in sobriety. It turned out that I would rather survive and stay alive, which was not the most probable version at the beginning. Quick death was most probable. Thanks to this experience, I stopped procrastinating. It's a colossal change, I was a master of procrastination. I don't put my life off until later, or don’t do it so often.

- thanks for courage for leaving my job and profession, which completely did not match my psyche, abilities and sensitivity, and which damaged me. People usually do not understand this decision, but I understand it. I am deeply happy to have such a possibility of changing my professional life.

- Thanks for the money from the inheritance, especially for the fact that it came so late in my life and recovery. I was able to use it wisely. If I had gotten them earlier, I would have used them in a completely different way and I would probably hurt myself. I got them when I grew up on the program and knew how to use them to support me, not to hurt me.

- Thank you for the whole package of love and patience for myself, before that I treated myself cruelly and with discipline. Now I can often be my own best friend. I can be more patient and gentle with myself. And consequently – I can be more gentle with others.

- Thank you for my English-language meeting "Bozo on the bus", there is a lot of love in practice, and thank you for the meetings of the Polish community, especially for "Zbawiciel", "Rakowiecka" and "Narutowicza", where I had companions and understanding in the pain of early sobriety, and in the discipline of recovery (discipline is necessary at the beginning). I wouldn't be able to do it without you.

- for men and women from the community, who moved and transported my belongings when I moved, who did shopping with me or for me, who moved my furniture in the apartment, who drilled holes in the walls for hammocks, who cleaned my basement, who clean my carpets, who delivered a 3-metre (3-yard) ) tree trunk to my flat on the 8th floor (it was too long to travel by elevator), who brought me a pulse oximeter during covid, and crutches when I sprained my leg, who borrowed books for me, or just come to me sometime for a cup of tea and chat or invited me their houses.

- for phone calls, social contact, conscious contact and praying

- for the English translators (interpreters)

- for translation for fellowship, English-Polish, for the Polish version of the White Book, Step into action and other books in Polish, and announcements about conventions, and so on. They did a great job usually for free.

- for the Polish-English translators (interpreters) from fellowship, translating especially for me when I needed to communicate.

- for English- English translators who do not know Polish but translate difficult English into easy English. This is a very difficult version of the translation, and there are at least 5 people who systematically do something like this for me. I am extremely grateful for them, it gives me the feeling of being part of the group. You can not imagine how hurtful it is to lack the ability to communicate because I lack fluency in the language, how much it excludes me. Our disease already separates me from people, and it is harmful enough, I definitely do not need another reason to be separated and excluded.

- For people who organised workshops, especially Mariusz, Arek and Krzysiek. Workshops which they organised were crucial (very important) for my recovery and changed my life.

- New understanding of HP. And being so close (we even can have a quarrel!). And my God is so much present in my life.

- For me the most favourite prayers: Set aside prayer, and 11 step prayers.

- for 14 meetings a week in my city (yes, we have a "face to face" meeting twice a day in Warsaw)

- for 7 "face to face" meetings available by walking by foot from the flat where I live – and remember that Warsaw is a big city. I am lucky to live in a good place.

- For an incredibly beautiful view and marvellous sunsets visible from my apartment.

- For supportive neighbours and a quiet neighbourhood.

- For my cat's purring love. And his good health.

- For ability to see and hear, for two lags and being able to walk. For having both hands working properly. For the fact that doctors did not cut out much of my body while treating cancer and I did not have to be severely damaged during treatment. It didn't look like that in the beginning of treatment. The most probable version was massive, distractive surgery. It was not necessary, thank God.

- For public health care in Poland. For a invalidity pension. It is small, but better than nothing.

- For a very good delivery system for food and stuff. I do not need to go to the store, I don't like big stores.

- For the book The Artist's Way. For working with blockages inside me, maybe it will be possible to live without it? It is so hard to live with blockages, so many fears!

- For the opportunity to be an artist - so far I am not very successful, but I mean that I can try it, I have time, I have conditions for it.

- For the fact that God usually builds on my weakness, not my achievements. That I don't have to deserve His cooperation and love. It's just enough to be present and open. It is enough.

Lilian T., Warsaw, Poland

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