When we drink addictively we are not in it for the taste. Trust me, I know this. I was in it for the buzz, the escape, the numbing, the blurring, you name it. To be clear though, it was not for the taste. Therein lies the biggest struggle of quitting an addiction, in this case, alcohol but you can apply it to anything else you struggle with.
The problem is that when we put down our glass we start looking for a replacement. Sugar is a biggie, guilty!
Sorry to not be delivering a Christmas miracle here but there isn’t one. At least not one you can purchase.
However, there are a ton of coping skills that you can rely on if you are patient with yourself that really do work.
Today I am focusing on just one of them.
The most popular sober tool you can pick up when you are struggling.
Gratitude is a positive emotion that when you experience it or seek it you are blessed with feelings of kindness, warmth, and other forms of generosity. Positive Vibes anyone?
I advised someone this morning who was struggling, to use this practice to get through the tough day of cravings she was having. I said, ” Get a piece of paper and start a list so that every time the thought of a drink comes to mind, it’s right there waiting for you to write down every reason you are grateful to be sober at that moment.” Being grateful even when you don’t feel like it is powerful, your mind will think about these things and your heart will follow. What that all means is that you will feel better for a while. When the craving hits again, start writing again. Along with my voice, thanks to the beauty of our community, she had about eight others quickly supporting her as well.
It is especially helpful as we kick off the holiday season to find gratitude, but ties in well with Thanksgiving being tomorrow. That being said I asked if some of the ladies from Joyful Surrender would share some gratitude with you.
Specifically, what are they grateful to God for in sobriety
Cue the Kleenex.
I thank God for never giving up on me…. I thank Him for pursuing me even when I was unfaithful. I thank Him for being merciful and kind every morning that I ran back to His throne of grace to confess again and again even though everything in me wanted to hide in shame and condemnation. I am thankful for the women who are brave enough to share their stories. I thank God for Joyful Surrender. This month is my 3rd month of victory from the bondage of numbing, escaping, and bypassing. Replaced with total dependence on God who has proven Himself to be faithful and true over and over again. It feels like a lifetime, honestly, because the torment of the internal struggle is gone. Replaced by the knowledge that His way truly is better.
,A-member of the Joyful Surrender Community
I am grateful for my faith and my sobriety because the possibilities are endless. Because I am not putting evil spirits (alcohol) into my body, the Holy Spirit is able to grow and thrive. Every day I wake up sober I cannot wait to see the goodness that the Lord has in store for me today ❤️
J-member of the Joyful Surrender Community
Psalm 13: 5-6 But I trust in your unfailing love, I will rejoice because you have rescued me, I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.
I am so grateful to God to celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday sober. For the past twelve years, I have gone deeper and deeper into the prison pit of alcoholism. What started out as one or two drinks on the weekend to “relax” had now taken over my life. I prayed repeatedly for the Lord to take my desire for alcohol away, please heal me instantly, do a miracle (my way please) surely this must be your will? I had tried to quit but I just couldn’t. When he didn’t take my addiction away instantly, I got mad, I doubted if he even existed and I withdrew from him because of my shame, guilt, and my anger. I felt like a fake Christian. I kept drinking and things went from bad to worse. I was becoming someone I no longer recognized and would previously have been disgusted with. On August 17, 2022, God gave me a severe wake-up call!! I realized if I did not quit drinking I was going to hurt myself, or someone else or end up in jail. Who have I become? I was shaken and humbled and knew I needed to make a drastic change! I stopped the continuous insanity of trying to quit on my own this time without getting help or letting anyone know. This time I did the exact opposite. I told others, I got into professional counseling and I joined Joyful Surrender to help with weekly accountability, which God providentially led me to. (I have been gifted with more than just a once-a-week accountability group – it’s an encouraging share life with group.) I can say that I have only been sober for 90+ days but I will rejoice in every single one of those days! God in his unfailing love continued to pursue me while I was drinking until I finally surrendered to his way for my healing, not mine. My desire for alcohol has not been instantaneously removed and the rest of my life’s troubles have not changed BUT I am changing. I am being healed from more than just alcohol. I am not sure if I would have been willing before to confront, admit and address a lot of hurts, fears, and pain that I am now working on. Once I finally surrendered my life and drinking to God on his terms and gave up my expectations of how it should go, I was able to step out of my self-made prison and into freedom. It is ironic that I am now in a group called Joyful Surrender even though I was not initially joyful when I surrendered to God…I was scared of the unknown! But, the longer I am free from alcohol though the more joyful I am!! When I turned away from him, he still pursued me with his unfailing love. He rescued me from my prison of shame, fear, and isolation and now I will sing to the Lord because he has been so good to me!
S-member of the Joyful Surrender Community
I am very grateful to be a part of the Joyful Surrender community! Through this group, I have learned that just showing up is a big win in the battle of addiction. When I first started, the group was very small, and I always dreaded a small turnout where I would be ‘forced’ to talk and let others in on my ‘dark secrets. I lived a life of great shame and guilt and was never comfortable talking about my disappointing life. Every week I showed up, God showed up too! He very gently led me in opening up and sharing with others the pain of my addiction. It is never easy or fun to talk about such painful things, BUT, with the support of a faith-based community and the right hand of God himself leading us, together we are able to conquer our giants. I love and thank all of these ladies for every effort they put into this community and they have all touched my life in one way or another! When life seems unmanageable, God makes sure others notice and carries us through what we cannot do alone!
T-member of the Joyful Surrender Community
I am grateful for this sober life I live in more ways than I could ever get on paper. The three words
“I get to” are on a constant reel in my mind. It’s a choice I make every day. I am grateful for these women that have changed my life and my view of what sober life looks like. It is rich and full of friendship, tears, and laughter. I thank God for showing me how to find them and giving me the courage to ask where they were. He is so good and i could not have done any piece of my recovery without him leading me through.
Tomorrow, count your blessings, and if you run out of blessings to count, look again. I am going to leave you with my favorite Thanksgiving snapshot of all time. This is three years ago and 2-year-old Levi fell asleep at dinner. True definition of Turkey Coma!
Happy Thanksgiving from our tIable to yours❤️