By Alison T

What do I have to say about gratitude? It works if you work at it. Gratitude is a practice. It’s a muscle. It’s an action. It’s a state of mind. Practicing gratitude has changed the way that I look at the world. When I was a year and a half sober my roommate accidentally burnt my apartment down. My rent controlled apartment. 

What happened next was an adventure through gratitude. Gratitude got me to a meeting that night. It got me to speak at another meeting that night. I was just extremely grateful for it. And that me and my dog were safe. And for knowing I would be back no matter what.

That year, while waiting for my home to be rebuilt, I moved at least 20 times. I moved into hostels, friends houses, airbnb, and the homes of other members. I experienced heartbreak and processed trauma. And the whole time I said to myself : 

“I get to grow strong from this. I am so lucky. I am grateful.” 

I was grateful for the conviction that even losing everything I knew I would be okay no matter what. I was grateful for all the people in my life and all the support I had. Sometimes the feeling of gratitude was overwhelming to the point of tears. I would not have been able to survive the fire and the following year if it weren’t for life with gratitude. 

I no longer just survive, even in the case of catastrophe, I thrive.


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