On Gratitude, an essay


Good Afternoon:

One of the old sots I met early on in recovery was named Grover. He passed away over ten years ago now, but he taught an important lesson to this alcoholic.

This lesson was on Gratitude. He said, “Get a roll of toilet paper.” The assignment was, on each sheet, every day, write down ten things you are grateful for. When you get to the end of the roll, write on the other side. 

Back then, double rolls had just come out, so I knew I was in trouble. 

I didn’t follow his homework assignment exactly back in those days. I just wrote my gratitude list on ordinary notebook paper in my journals. This was the first daily homework assignment I had been given, and I still do it, 18 years into my sobriety. 

The list of things I am grateful for can vary, depending on the day. For example, today, I am grateful for a strange pair of wrap around sunglasses my step daughter gave me for Christmas one year. Today, it helps me to deal with computer screens and migraines. I can safely work on the computer, and not go blind and have to spend the afternoon in bed. Something that I thought little of when I first got it, (it didn’t work well with my prescription glasses) is saving my bacon today.

Another thing on today’s gratitude list: Years ago, I bought Dad a listen up sound amplifier. It allowed him to hear the homily at church and other things. Over time, he set it to the side. This morning, I found it, replaced the battery, and it still works exceptionally well. His hearing is worse today than it was when he received it, and he now listens to his music at a much lower level. This saves my migraine infested head from severe pounding when he plays Polka music. 

The list goes on and on. 

My siblings, 6 of them, are awesome, very busy people, but they have each made time to help me in specific ways over the years. I am grateful for them too. 

The gratitude list pulls me up when I am down and suffering. I keep it always in my heart, and reflect on it cheerfully every day.

Thank You Grover, for the lesson. You rock man!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at justanotheralcoholic@yahoo.com

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