Faces of Gratitude
There are an infinite number of reasons to be grateful for your sobriety. Whether it’s because you’ve re-built trust with your family, or you found a great job that you enjoy going to; gratitude isn’t a one-size-fits-all feeling, and there is certainly no right or wrong answer as to what you should be grateful for in your sobriety. The important thing is to just be grateful in general, knowing that you took the necessary steps in order to not die; because while you didn’t do it all on your own, YOU ultimately made the choice to get help rather than continuing to kill yourself.
You Are Not Alone
One major thing that’s important for everyone who is currently struggling with addiction to understand is that you’re not alone. You are not the first person to go through this, and, unfortunately, you won’t be the last. There is a whole community of people who have survived this disease and want you to know that you can survive, too. This is the goal of the Faces of Gratitude campaign that Lakeview Health has started. They’re encouraging their alumni, along with alumni from Stepping Stone Center for Recovery to share their story of how they survived addiction, to help inspire people who are on the fence about getting help.
One of Lakeview Health’s intake specialists, Jessica, shared her story on Halloween, the anniversary of her sobriety date. With five years of sobriety under her belt, she wanted to show people that recovery IS possible; all you have to do is reach out.
“We, addicts and alcoholics tend to complicate this program with thinking everything outside of us that makes us appear well will actually keep us farther away from staying clean and sober because this is an inside job,” Jessica explains. “Once healed on the inside, we then can be comfortable with ourselves, love ourselves, and love others the way they deserve to be loved. We are seeking love; period. We seek validation and when we validate ourselves and accept ourselves, how others view us in times of heartache won’t feel like to sky is falling. We are able to show up for our loved ones in ways we never imagined. We are no longer selfish, self-seeking, or in fear.”
Going to treatment is the first step to healing yourself from the inside out. “In times of stress or sadness caused by anything outside of ourselves, we learn that this is- ‘Not my circus, and not my monkeys.’ We are able to take it a day at a time without transferring others’ problems and making them our own,” says Jessica. “We relax and take it easy. Finally, we are able to stay clean and sober, one day at a time, and truly heal from our past. Then, we are able to celebrate the day after month after year; a happy, joyous, free life.”
So what keeps her on track every day? One word: Continue.
“It’s definitely motivational for those who have come through Lakeview and Stepping Stone to keep on the right track and Continue,” Jessica states. “I suppose ‘Continue’ would be my most motivating inspirational quote. A lot of addicts and alcoholics go through treatment and then return home forgetting to Continue. Continue with going to meetings and taking seriously all that was accomplished by going to treatment in the first place. In the first year of staying clean and sober by going to meetings; that first year is where you learn everything you need to know about staying clean and sober.”
While Jessica is just one voice from the recovery community, it only takes one voice for someone to hear and relate to; giving them the push they needed to take that first step. If just one person can have that impact, imagine what the voices of 10, 20, 100 people can do for those who are struggling and need something, someone, to tell them they’re not alone. Every person that participates in the Faces of Gratitude campaign is an extended hand to those who are suffering; that break in the black clouds where the sun starts to shine through, letting you know there is hope – and it’s waiting. If you or a loved one are interested in seeking treatment we are available 24/7, please call 1-866-812-8231.