To a recovering addict, gratitude is an important emotion that signifies furthering recovery, empowerment, and motivation to strive for and protect sobriety. Many people who find themselves in a rehabilitation program have gotten help from at least one person to escape a dangerous or painful lifestyle. The discomfort and misery of addiction are often not realized by an afflicted individual in full until they have achieved sobriety and begun to cultivate it as their normal standard. This time is typically when an individual has been sobering for a month or more and has begun receiving help, therapy, and support from others. The people who have been involved in providing help can range from the therapists and mentors in the program to important people such as a parent, sibling, or partner. Regardless of who or what, the sensation of gratitude toward those that spent time, effort, and love to help is a powerful sensation for addicts in recovering, and it should be expressed.
Aside from expressing gratitude, feeling it is an important step in recovery. That is the point at which an individual is considering others fully and have reached a level of reception to others that demonstrates their growth and advancement. Gratitude, however, like most perceptional emotions, is something that grows with practice. A good way to cultivate gratitude is to keep a journal. By writing in the journal each day about things that you are grateful for, over time, you may begin to realize how many things you appreciate. It can help to broaden the perception of things to be grateful for and thus broaden appreciation for life in general. This practice becomes especially effective when an individual learns to focus on things that are truly important. These are things such as friendships, bonds, and good doing in others, not material possessions. When recovering addict begins to absorb the appreciation of the actions and connections of others, they can more easily learn to reciprocate the positivity.
Learning to appreciate the actions and bonds with others, a recovering addict slowly begins to notice the small things that make their gratitude specific and meaningful. At this point, it is often obvious how to express gratitude to others. Simply saying thank you and acknowledging the things you love about these individuals can be more than enough to express appreciation.
Some people may choose to go beyond the simpler forms of expressing gratitude. It is actually very common amongst recovered addicts who have sustained sobriety for months and years. For those who are familiar with rehabilitation programs and how they run, you may know several people or have heard of people who act as sponsors. A sponsor is a recovered addict who has maintained sobriety for a long time and chooses to volunteer their time and support to addicts who are new to sobriety or are working to establish their hold in it.
These admirable individuals who volunteer themselves for a greater cause are those who want to express their gratitude to the fullest by helping others. The capacity to give to others in important ways, like those who may have helped them in the past is the best way to complete the circle of appreciation, gratitude, and good karma, and many do it simply because they want to.
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