“Gratitude provides a needed perspective on our problems and helps us feel connected with our Higher Power.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 53
I have found that my urge to act out arises most frequently when I am feeling sorry for myself and am experiencing my core dysfunctional beliefs about myself. One of the most powerful tools I have found to turn those self-defeating messages around is to practice gratitude. For me this is a difficult thing to do, and I have found that it takes practice.
Sometimes I have to become what I call primitive in my gratitude list. I have to start by being grateful to be alive. I move on to remind myself that today I have a roof over my head, and I have enough to eat and drink. I then move to higher levels of gratitude by reminding myself that I have family and friends. These people care about me even if they are critical of my behaviors or are telling me how much I have hurt them. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t tell me; they would just avoid me.
Eventually, I can get past thinking about myself to the point that I can be grateful to be of service to someone whose needs I consider and treat with respect. Meetings often provide such opportunities.
Sincere gratitude can replace the bondage of self and strengthen recovery.