I spent more nights than I can remember lying awake, tossing and turning over past mistakes and the ever-growing fear of the future with an alcoholic. I would wake in the middle of the night and not be able to return to sleep. I agonized over the seemingly horrible decisions of my past, which morphed into the blackness of despair for my hopeless future.
Each new fear replaced another as my nightmare scenarios increased exponentially. My Sponsor lovingly listened to my pitiful story. When I finally paused for a breath, she made two simple suggestions—say the Serenity Prayer, and make a gratitude list.
I knew my decision to attend Al‑Anon was a realization that I needed help, and I was ready to listen. That night when I was still wrapped in a cloak of victimhood and couldn’t sleep, I tried repeating the Serenity Prayer over and over, each time focusing on every word and its meaning. Eventually, I began a gratitude list. I did not believe I had much to be grateful for, so I began with a very simple list.
I was grateful for a warm, comfortable bed to sleep in, a roof over my head, the coolness of air on my skin, the soothing sound of the fan next to my bed, etc. Focusing on the many things for which I did feel gratitude, I fell soundly asleep and woke up refreshed the next morning.
Today, looking back, I realize this was the beginning of my serenity, the beginning of my recovery and the beginning of a whole new life of gratitude.
By Keith K., Florida
The Forum, May 2017
Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Hdqts., Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.