Just like the author of today's CTC, when I was a newcomer to Emotions Anonymous, I heard people say that they were grateful for the experience of their emotional illness. What? That sounded crazy! Wasn't that experience what gave them such grief, and even nightmares? Why would they even want to remember that, much less be grateful for it? Yet these same people were the happiest in the room, despite their problems (which sounded exactly like my own).
Today I think I understand, for I too am grateful to have found this program. And, honestly, I would not have come to an twelve step group without some kind of motivation. As the author says, "I too needed to hit a kind of bottom, feel the pain, and reach out for help before I could find lasting happiness."
Our program encouraged me to develop my own concept of a Higher Power, and so today I carry a confidence I never had before coming to meetings. I also have friends today, inside and outside our meetings, who give me real support.
"I have learned that gratitude and forgiveness are necessary to my peace of mind. Now I can truly say that I am a grateful member of a twelve step fellowship....Today I will practice gratitude. I will think of some of the things, big or small, for which I am grateful. Maybe I'll even put this list in writing or share it with a program friend."
Sometimes tiny positive actions like this lighten up my day, "helping me to see my life with increasing joy."
"When things look blackest, it is within my power to brighten them with the light of understanding and gratitude." One Day at a Time in Al-anon.