When we are exploring holistic ways of healing our mental health issues and addictions, gratitude is one that many people find extremely helpful and therapeutic. It can be easy to find gratitude in the good things, in the things that make us happy, but it can be harder to find gratitude in the difficult things. How often do we hear people say that they are grateful for their depression, or anxiety, or addiction? Not often. This perspective, though, can make a huge difference in how we approach our recovery.
Recovery from addictions and mental health issues means confronting our deepest pain, our darkest secrets, our heaviest shame. It means being willing to look at these things honestly, without trying to run from them or hide from them anymore, without doing the things we once did that perpetuated our addictions and depression. All of this inner emotional work can be overwhelming, and we can feel like we’re drowning in negativity. What if we changed our perspective and chose to have gratitude for the difficult things instead?
Every challenge we rise to, every depression we survive, every time we get back on the wagon, every time we try – again – to win our battle against our inner demons, we are being given a chance. A chance to start again. A chance to love ourselves. A chance to be redeemed. We can be grateful for this. Where we might once have felt defeated and exhausted we can instead start to focus on gratitude, which can uplift and energize us. We can start to think things like, “I am grateful for the opportunity to start anew. I am grateful for everything I’ve learned.” Our mistakes, our lessons learned, they are all things we can choose to be grateful for, because they are a part of our journey, the beautiful journey that will ultimately get us to that point where we can proudly say that we are in recovery. We wouldn’t be the same person without our struggles. We wouldn’t have gotten where we are without our mistakes. We wouldn’t know joy and redemption if we hadn’t suffered. We can choose to be grateful for all of it.
When we grow in self-love and self-acceptance, we start to see ourselves as beautiful beings of strength and light, whose lessons and struggles helped make us who we are. We can be grateful for the people we’ve become and for everything it took for us to become them.
Many of us are in recovery ourselves. Let us help. Call (800) 871-5440.