A dear friend of mine is experiencing trouble in her marriage, and my heart breaks for her. While I am not at will to declare whether or not her husband is an alcoholic, I can say that alcohol is at the root of their troubles. Fifteen months into recovery myself, this subject hits way too close to home.
I entered the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous to save a seven-month marriage. But what I didn’t know then is that I would be saved along the way. My drinking had spiraled out of control to the point of unmanageability, but my denial ran too deep to claim powerlessness over alcohol. It took a relapse to understand that I am not in control—and haven’t been for quite some time.
I have learned so much about myself these last 15 months, but I have also had to ‘unlearn’ attitudes, behaviors and ways of thinking. My marriage has experienced great joys in recovery, but my husband and I are still as human as we were before I got sober. The point is that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines daily, surrendering to God’s will, fulfilling His purpose and taking responsibility for our part in everything.
Today I am more than sober—I am in recovery. I am thankful for the gift of gratitude, because when I am thankful, I am at peace. The 12 Steps teach me how to live each day to its fullest; when I stumble, I rely on God to bring me to my feet once again. I can look at life through clear lenses, and I can enjoy things as they are—not as I wished they would be.
I believe every prayer should be a little bit of please, a touch of thank you, a splash of forgive me, and a handful of requests for others. When my prayers are filled with far more pleading that God’s will bend to my own, I re-boot and focus solely on the things for which I am grateful. Recovery has allowed me to look deep within myself, as well as wait patiently for my Creator to respond in all things.
I am thankful God awakened this morning. I am thankful for my precious life just as it is—for my wonderful husband who supports and loves me for who I am, and for my children who remind me how to laugh. I am thankful that the breath of God is all around me, and I am thankful for this very moment. I am thankful for sobriety, freedom and new life. But most of all, I am thankful for the opportunity to be thankful.
Life is truly a gift—that’s why it’s called the present.