Thanks and Gratitude.
Okay, as some of you may know I am married to a Canadian woman and we spend part of our year up in Ontario, Canada, close to her family and friends. We are what is affectionately, or sometimes sarcastically known as “Snow Birds.” Summer in Canada, winter in Florida. It works.
And, this weekend, as I record this podcast, is Canadian Thanksgiving. Yep, our cousins to the north celebrate Thanksgiving too, and more than a month earlier than the rest of us. With that in mind, I’m going to talk about “Thanks and Gratitude.”
I think it is important for those of us in recovery to remember the things we have, the people in our lives, and the time we now can enjoy as happy, sober people. Looking back at our drinking days, and comparing them to now, I bet we can all take a moment and be grateful that we chose to change our lives for the better.
In my case, the list of things for which I am grateful is miles long. Or, if in Canada, maybe I should measure my gratitude in kilometers. Either way, I am so thankful for my sobriety, and the people who helped me get sorted out and on the path to a happy, clean life. Everyone from family, friends, sponsors, therapists, clergy, a few ex-wives, and some strangers who may never know the influence and inspiration they lent me – for all of you, I am grateful.
These days, I am a long way from my last hit of cocaine and drink. I quit coke in 1983 and stopped drinking in 1989. Yes, I am a dinosaur. But unlike your friendly neighborhood Brontosaurus, I am not extinct and a mere fossil. I am more alive today, more capable, more successful, and happy than I ever imagined in my wildest dreams. For this, I am grateful.
More than anyone else, I have to acknowledge my amazing wife, Jill. As some of you know, Jill is a very accomplished person in her own area of endeavor. She is without a doubt, at the very peak of her profession, and is a motivation and inspiration to people the world over. She is one of a kind, in every way. But, Jill is, beyond all those other accolades and accomplishments, a loving wife and partner. I am so grateful that I got to marry the nicest person I ever met. I can only wish every one of you, the same happiness and joy in your relationships. m
None of what I do, every day, from the simplest things to the most challenging, would be possible if I was still using drugs and drinking.
My world today is full of people who love me, even when I may not deserve it. People who encourage me, when I am ready to give up, and people who inspire me with the way they live their lives. People like you. For people like you, who may have defeated your addiction, or are still in the throes of its tentacles, or are still trying to decide if you need to get into recovery or not – for every one of you who spends a few minutes here with me each week- I am forever grateful.