Gratitude can nurture a good attitude.

I was the moderator for an on-line meeting this morning and the topic was the above statement.  I do know that when I am in a cranky mood, I need to take stock of all the good in my life.  And were I to list it, I’d fill more than one page for sure.  To begin with, I am so grateful to have a terrific husband to share my recovery  journey.  And for 39 years clean and sober, I am grateful beyond measure.  May 24th, 1976, didn’t seem like a particularly eventful day.  But it marked the turning point in my life.

I walked into my first AA meeting that evening, not expecting anything meaningful to happen, and my world shifted.  By the time I got home, I knew that nothing would ever be the same again.  I was desperate for a relationship and I assumed that I’d get one going in no time with all the good looking men at that meeting.  And wouldn’t you know, a man approached me at the end of the meeting and said, “You be sure and come back next week.”  I floated home. Indeed, my hope for a relationship was already being realized!

I laugh at the craziness of that thought today.  And no relationship was begun.  Fortunately two women grabbed me at the second meeting and informed me that they would “show me the ropes of how recovery worked over dinner.”  The first words they said, “You are not to be in a relationship with anyone for the entire first year.”  I was stunned.  I couldn’t imagine why not. They were quick to say that I needed to make friends with women and men and that dating would take me away from working the program the way it needed to be worked.

I didn’t argue.  But I didn’t like their rules.  I wasn’t a kid.  I was 36 and a graduate student.  I had been married and divorced and had survived many relationships, none of which were healthy unfortunately.  I decided that perhaps their way would introduce me to some new ideas, and I became willing to “do this program” their way.

How grateful I am that they entered my life at that second meeting.  And  I am grateful that they are still in my life.  I am still sober.  I finished graduate school and began my career as a writer, all because I followed “their rules.”

Funny how life turns out.  I could never have guessed that May evening was my introduction to a world that would change every thought I had previously cherished, every friend I had, every dream I had earlier dreamed.  And today I’d have to say that I know no one happier than me.  Or more grateful than me either.

Following a suggestion from two women who were actually strangers at the time was all it took to redirect a life that was on the edge.  Now I’m comfortably in the middle of the road and destined to stay there.  How blissful it is right here, right now.

What are you grateful for now?

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