12 Step Planet - Grateful People
 - Helping Families with Addictions
Stories about addiction and recovery, Clean and Sober life styles
written by "Mark G."https://www.facebook.com/mark.guckel  

I was at a meeting a few days ago, and the topic was gratitude. Just about everyone would have the chance to share, so my mind began to wander. I thought about all the gifts that I'd been given in my own recovery and all of the little things that make life worthwhile. In fact, I could have probably started out with my recovery and the next breath that I'd take. There were many, many times that I prayed for death to come. I only wanted the suffering to stop and to not cause others as much pain, but that was hard when my Higher Power at the time was cocaine. I was enslaved and would have done anything, just to get "one more."  

As the chairperson called on people around the room, one person that shared had just come out of detox. I sensed the heartbreak, absolute honesty, complete humility and total willingness. Then, it all came back to me in a flash...   I'm a re-tread. I've been in and out of the rooms for years. I never thought that I could make it, and I always seemed to find someone or something else to blame for why I couldn't clean up my act. I tried switching my substance of choice. I moved. I even tried anti-depressants. Every time, I knew that it would be different, but it never was. In fact, it only got worse for me. During those years, I continued to go to meetings. I was never turned away, but was always made to feel welcome. I rarely felt judged, with many people opening their hearts and baring their souls to me. My family in the rooms always loved me until I could begin to love myself. Above all, they told me to keep coming back - no matter what.  

Finally, I was able to see things differently. Only I was to blame for where I was at. While I might not have been responsible for my addiction, I was was responsible for my recovery. These days, I am at a much different point than I’ve ever been at. I never lost the knowledge or experience that I gained along the way, but what did change was my attitude and the date of my anniversary. Attitude is everything, and I became a little more honest, open-minded and willing to do whatever it took to live the life that I always dreamed without mood and mind-altering substances. To me, that’s a miracle. I always believed that I’d be another statistic. By all rights, I should be dead or doing a life sentence in prison. I am glad that I was given grace, not what I deserved.  

Today, I am grateful for people that never gave up on me, even when I gave up on myself. I will never forget their encouragement or open arms. I was finally around people that understood where I was at and they were willing to show me how to get to where they were, without judgment… but with their unconditional love and acceptance. I will never forget those who chose not to give up on me. I would not be here had it not been for their undying faith in me on my road to recovery