Reflections of Gratitude


I was talking with some people about gratitude last night, New Year’s Eve. Well, they were talking. I didn’t have anything particularly helpful to add, so I seized the opportunity to just listen for a change.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot though, ever since. The bottom line being that gratitude is oh so important to have. Always. So I’ve been thinking. For me, I have one reliable nugget of gratitude that works for me in any given situation.

So grateful that I’m sober for this. That’s my first ‘go to’. No matter the situation. Especially when I can’t think of much to be grateful for. It’s where I begin. So grateful that I’m sober for this.

I’ve said it before. To be clear. When I say I’m sober now, I’m not suggesting that I was always drunk before. Please don’t picture it that way. Not so. I was just like everybody else who drinks way too much, sometimes. You know.

When I say I’m sober, I’m referring to a state of being that involves so much more than the absence of drink.

When I meet people who are seeking to achieve sobriety for themselves, I honestly tell them that sobriety is the greatest gift I’ve ever received. Amazing grace. Really. And I mean it.

It’s come to my attention though, that my enthusiasm might somehow suggest that my life in sobriety is perfect. Well no, back the truck up. That’s not the case. Not always.

And so, back to gratitude. It’s easy to have gratitude when all is right in my world. But there are other times. Overwhelming times. Sad times. Worrisome times. You know. Life, when it gets messy. These are the times when I rely on my one little nugget. So grateful that I’m sober for this.

Christmas was tough. I was suddenly backhanded with a sadness that knocked me off my feet. I didn’t even see it coming. So grateful that I’m sober for this was the best I could do. I sought and received the comfort and kindness of others. It was majestic really, how they helped me walk through it.

Last week my husband had back surgery. The outcome not guaranteed. And, the doctor recommended against our previously booked and payed for cruise. The surgery was frightening. And the cruise situation was disappointing. So grateful that I’m sober for this. I clung to that nugget.

He’s up and walking. Full recovery expected. Not well enough for cruising though. But he’s not a big baby about it. “You go” he said. And I’ve got a girlfriend. And she’s got a passport. Goodbye romantic getaway. Hello girlfriend retreat. I’m so grateful for all that.

After the back surgery, that night, I drove seven hours to a little country town in Georgia with my oldest. We spent the night at a crappy hotel. The very next day we entered a one room court house to address the snowball effect of a partially neglected two year old misdemeanor pot charge. He was 19, on pilgrimage to Bonnarroo. It happens. Try not to judge.


As he stood to face the music, I trembled with worry but channeled a little bit of calm – so grateful I’m sober for this. He produced his documents of compliance, most of them. And then, it was all over. A clean slate. We headed home, grateful for everything.

As my husband and I rang in the new year, I had so much to be grateful for and I knew it. So grateful I was sober and aware of all our blessings.

Afterwards, after the ball drop, we went to bed. Our youngest and her friends stayed up.

At 2:30 ish, she came crashing into our room in horror. She’d just discovered grandpa on the bathroom floor. I scrambled across the house to grandpa’s bathroom where he lay, his knees bleeding. He was conscious. He’d been there for a pretty good while, it seemed. He wanted to get up. But couldn’t. He wanted to go to bed.

So grateful to be sober for this. My first thought. And then, So grateful she discovered him. And then, so grateful her friends are here to help. So grateful one of them is strong enough to gently carry him to bed. (Because, remember, the back surgery. My husband just could not). And the firemen/EMT guys who came and checked him out. All eight of them. So grateful for those guys.

And today, grandpa is bruised but says he’s not sore. He has no memory of falling. No memory of the bathroom floor. No memory of me, my husband, four teenagers and eight firemen tending to him in the middle of the night. So, I’m grateful for his poor memory too.

My world, it seems, is often perfect. And then, other times, it’s just one thing after another. I’m so grateful to be sober for this. All of it.

What are you grateful for?

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24 comments on “Reflections of Gratitude
  1. Great! So easy to relate to. Life is tough but I would imagine facing it without sobriety would add more stress for everyone. Grateful for you.

  2. Gratitude is a slippery concept…I find my inner voice has no gratitude….but I’m learning.
    However I am grateful I have a passport and an opportunity to have a girls retreat cruise

    • Don’t forget the passport. Thats a new product on my worry assembly line lately btw
      ‘What if Margot forgets her passport?’
      It ain’t easy in my head!!!!!

  3. This is so surreal and from the heart thanks Jeannie for sharing the thoughts and inner feeling of many. So grateful to be sober to read this and feel this

  4. Jeanne.i am great full for our history. My eyes water reading this and the memories of your dad and how easy he always was. “Dad can you take us to the mall”. Let’s go. “Dad can you take us to the movies”. Let’s go. ” dad can you take us to the roller rink” let’s go. Thank you Mr. Moran.

  5. “That is part of the beauty of literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

    In a culture so focused on diversity and division your words always illuminate our “sameness”. I just love that 🙂

    • Oh my gosh, thank you Carolyn! And for ‘normies’ like you who don’t happen to be in or need ‘sobriety’, any other word can be substituted. Faithful, present….
      Whatever your superpower
      Thank you again

  6. I thought about your writing all week. It was very helpful to me.. So I started to say your words, “Grateful that I’m sober for this” it helped tremendously. For now I was going through life events as a sober women and it helped to feel real feelings and not run from them or pick up a drink. Keep on writing Jeanne, very inspirational

  7. Just read this one. You do have a way with words, a gift for writing. I too am grateful, all the time. Even when life sucks, which nowadays is fairly rare. Living sober is an incredible gift. As a friend of mine says, Ain’t life grand?

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