This Thanksgiving I am grateful for all I have been given from the 12 steps of AA. I have my family back, I am employable and for once, I am able to wake up in the morning and be comfortable in my own skin. I am happy with where my life is at.
I have my family back in my life – that is what I am most grateful for. During my addiction I had no relationship with mom, dad and sister. I dreaded seeing them call me on my cell phone. I hated having to talk to them and all I caused them was pain and sorrow. They were never able to get a full night of sleep because they were too worried about me; they didn’t know where I was or what kind of mental state I was in. Today I am able to have an honest conversation with them. I call them and ask them how their days were. I ask my mom about how the remodeling of their cabin is going because she is stressed out about it. I ask my sister how her new job dog walking is because I care about her. I call my dad and laugh at the bad jokes he tells because I know how much it means to him. I get to be an uncle for my nephew Carter; I get to be a godfather to him as well. I never would have had the privilege to be a godfather to my nephew if it wasn’t for the 12 steps of AA and for everyone in New Life House. Instead of taking from my family, I am able to give to them. I can put a smile on their faces and I can show up for them when they have trouble. I am able and willing to give to my family instead of taking from them.
I have not been this optimistic about my future in a long time. I feel confident about going back to school in the near future and now knowing what I want to do with my life. I have decided that I want to go into journalism and I want to go travel the world and write on important stories that are happening. I never would have been able to collect the courage to pursue my dreams before. I never was willing to take a risk before I came to the house. I couldn’t go into journalism because I had heard that it was a very competitive job market and I didn’t think that I would be able to survive, let alone thrive in it. I was willing to settle for mediocrity with my life but no more. I now know that I need to take risks if I want to have a fulfilling life. I have confidence and courage now, I can believe in myself because I have the internal strength from a higher power of my own understanding. I am grateful to have a positive mindset and to wake up in the morning with a smile on my face.
I am happy to be me, and that is something that I never thought I would say. I would always wish that I could be another person when I was drinking. I would use chemicals to check out from reality. Today, I am able to hear others when they are willing to take time out of their day to offer advice to me. I could never have done that before. Whenever someone pointed out how I was being rude, selfish or childish, I viewed it as a personal attack and just wrote that person off as a jerk. Now I can listen to what they say, look at my actions and do my best to grow from it.
I am grateful for where my life is. I have a family back in my life and a large sober community of friends I can reach out to. To be willing to take risks and put myself out there and not having to live in fear – that is what I am grateful for this Thanksgiving.
-Jack B., New Life House Alumni
Last Updated on May 24, 2022