The Grateful Addict

The Grateful Addict

Within the rooms of AA and NA, there often seems to be a particular type of individual during the initial introductions who doesn’t simply state their name and their disease, but who adds the additional descriptor of “grateful” to their introduction. For many addicts and alcoholics, and especially those newer in sobriety, this is often a time of confusion, frustration and even anger. The quite obvious thought following this self-description is, “why in the world would anyone be grateful for their addiction?!” There is often chatter amongst those who have not been fortunate enough to gain the perspective of the grateful addict that this notion is just preposterous. This seems to be a perfectly reasonable question to ask given the incredibly destructive nature of addiction and all of the negative implications that accompany the sufferers of this disease.

Although on the surface, gratitude and addiction shouldn’t mix, if one has the capacity to be honest with themselves about the state of their lives prior to sobriety, one might gain insight to the motivations behind identifying as a grateful alcoholic. There isn’t anyone who believes that the process of recovery is easy, and in fact, it is quite the opposite of easy. We don’t typically associate gratitude with a process as arduous and difficult as recovery can be; we do, however, begin to understand that had we not been forced, in one way or another, to engage in a program of self-renewal and discovery, we would be continuing down the path of isolation and self-destruction. When we are able to gain a broader perspective of our lives, we can start to understand that disease can actually be looked at as a gift! In the rooms, it is often said that there are three destinations for addicts if we leave our disease unchecked and those are in treatment, in jail, or in a mental institution. If we take this warning seriously and grasp the truth in this statement, we can begin to adopt an attitude of gratitude due to the fact that we are not sentenced to death by our addictions, but rather, we are granted the opportunity for salvation through the transcendence of our disease. We would be best serving ourselves, and the healing that accompanies recovery, with the adoption of the perspective that recovery is not a curse, but rather an gift whereby we can work to save ourselves from the potential death sentence of our addiction.


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.

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