In my years of being involved in family recovery, I have filled my bucket with the suggested tools needed to unlock the door of happiness, freedom and peace.

Early on, the challenges of daily life seemed so overwhelming and conflicts and disappointments quickly became the norm. Sometimes it seemed to be happening too fast- with new problems surfacing so quickly my head bobbed in the water, barely staying afloat. Having a son addicted to drugs and alcohol was like a hundred-pound anchor pulling me under for good. I simply couldn’t do it anymore…at least not alone.  

When I felt so overwhelmed, it was almost impossible for me to see the blessings that shined like iridescent gems beneath those troubles. However, with time, I slowly began to learn of one simple concept or tool that could always get me through the most stressful times – Gratitude. The daily practice of gratitude turned those problems into blessings and unexpected gifts, that I was simply too blind to see before. I actually began to say “thank you” for the problems I was having – seeing them as an opportunity for growth and change that helped me and my son.

Without my son’s addiction, I would have never experienced true gratitude. Today, I’m thankful for the tool of gratitude as it turned my denial into acceptance, my chaotic life into peace, my problems into gifts and my sense of failure into acceptance. For us and our loved ones, addiction thrives in negative thinking. Using the tool of gratitude wards off those negative thoughts and connects us to the blessings in our lives.

If you’re feeling scared or uncertain- practice gratitude. If you feel like you’re beating your head against a wall- practice gratitude. Gratitude works like magic – but not if you leave it unused in your bucket. In the month of November, I invite you to practice the gift of daily gratitude. With gratitude, you can climb the mountain of serenity. Start the process of turning today’s pain, into tomorrow’s joy.

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