Life on the Streets: Gratitude

Let me tell you about what goes on in my head. I think that getting high and living on the street is a far better life. It’s easier, right? I mean no job to go to, no stress of life, no nothing, but just looking for the fix. However, I am wrong. DEAD WRONG! See this is the addictive mind trying to trick me into thinking that the other life I used to lead is better, but this is my addict brain using selective, euphoric recall to entice me to revert rather than move forward.

See there is a lot more stress of being in addiction. First of all, despite always fulfilling my crazy habit, the search for a high is incredibly stressful. Also if it is cold outside and I need to find a place to sleep for the night. Say you are in a shelter or a crack house, is my stuff safe? We all know that when we have a small amount of stuff, that stuff can be very valuable to us. Let’s also think about the fact that we do not have any money, might not even have a phone, or maybe you have a phone but it is shut off AND you don’t have any money.

There are plenty of stresses in both worlds, but what I still hold true to this day is that the stresses of this life are far more rewarding than the stresses of the other life. Still, we get in these funks that I think having a little gratitude will help pull us out of.

I thought that gratitude would be a great topic to discuss today. See, we have talked about being thankful, but gratitude is a little different. Being grateful can really help us become centered once again. We call become discombobulated with the daily stresses, however, we can be reset by simply reevaluating out gratitude.

I was listening to a podcast the other day, and gratitude came up. I really enjoyed the approach discussed. Now the approach was not anything new or life-changing, but rather one of the same old tactics that is continually been harped on in classes. Nevertheless, if it is not broke then don’t fix it. Furthermore, it is repeated constantly so that we, as addicts, can get it through our thick head.

When we are feeling overwhelmed with life. Maybe we have an immense amount of stress and responsibility on our shoulders. It is vital to our mental health to be grateful for the small things we have.

Let’s start from the beginning:

The alarm clock goes off. I am grateful to wake up/be alive. I am grateful to have a bed.

Put your feet on the warm carpet. I am grateful to have heat. I am grateful to have carpet.

Walk to the shower. I am grateful to be able to walk. I am grateful that I have hot, running water.

Brush your teeth. I am grateful to be in a place where I can care for myself.

ETC…

This may seem redundant, or even silly, but really think about it, there was a time when we didn’t have these things. There are people today that don’t have these things. Maybe it is because they are in another country that doesn’t have all the luxuries of a first world country, but maybe it is because they haven’t cleaned up their life. Maybe they haven’t figured out how to have, and maintain the basic needs.

Many times I think about the simple things that are normally taken for granted, and that seems to settle me. I have healthy girls and a loving wife. I have a great job, and we do not have to struggle. Sometimes it is a reflective thing. For example; I do not get paid to write this blog. Would I love to? Yes. However, I am also grateful that I get to come here and share my story with anyone willing to read it. I am grateful that I get to come here every week and share, and in reality… it helps me, and I am grateful for that.

Please remember that if you need help, if you need anything at all, then please reach out. Please just contact someone. You are always welcome to contact me if you need anything.

rocky@rockyferrenburg.com

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