Grateful for the Gift of Desperation

Is it possible to be grateful for alcoholism? Is there really such a thing as the gift of desperation?

Over the years I have read blog posts all over the internet about people being grateful for their alcoholism once they stop drinking.  It is often called the gift of desperation. They believe that without the alcoholism in their history they would not have the life that they are currently enjoying in recovery or sobriety. I was skeptical of this mindset. I thought no, I would much rather not have developed a drinking problem. How could I ever be thankful or grateful for it?

Well, turns out I am now a believer in this frame of mind. After three years of an alcohol-free lifestyle, I am finally seeing the wisdom of those people who wrote about the gift of desperation and being grateful for having experienced the pain of alcohol dependency or addiction. Turns out that pain is an immensely powerful motivator. Without experiencing the pain of alcoholism, the gift of desperation, and work of recovery I would have most certainly never experienced the following:

Wisdom and inspiration from so many sober warriors on how to live a meaningful life. People who fight their demons every day. People who slay the monster of alcohol addiction with various methods. I have learned from all of them. People (especially on Boom) have motivated me and filled me with awe. The stories they share help so many who struggle. The pain I experienced from addiction motivated me to change. The sober warriors taught me how to do this.  I am so grateful to the Boom community and the other sober bloggers. I learned not only how to not drink alcohol but also how to come out a better person because of the struggle. Thank you. 

What an education desperation gave me!  It started with reading books and articles about sobriety. But it grew to things such as: how the brain works, nutrition, herbal and other dietary supplements, self-improvement, how to set boundaries, codependency, psychology, dealing with toxic people, motivation, habits, yoga, meditation, and finding purpose in life. When the pain of drinking became so great that I stopped drinking I wanted to learn all about the whys and hows of alcoholism and recovery.  So yes, because of the desperation I experienced, I have improved my mind and therefore my life and for that, I am very thankful. 

My life has also grown richer because of the need to fill all those sober hours. I forced myself to look for ways to fill the hours that I once spent drinking. If I had not developed an addiction, I would have probably never been motivated to change my sedentary and rather dull existence. Until I started to fill my evenings with new and rekindled interests, I didn’t even realize just how dull and small my life had become. So, thanks to my desperation to change, I now enjoy walks, photography, painting, collaging, mosaic art, jewelry making, and book groups. Many of the things I did in early sobriety “stuck”. So grateful to have a much more interesting life due to the need to fill those painful early sober hours in the beginning months of recovery. 

So yes. I am indeed thankful for my own gift of desperation. It has brought me to a much better place in life. 

Thank you, Boom for being such an important part of my ability to answer Mary Oliver’s famous question:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

My answer is…..I plan to live my life sober. And to be very grateful every day for the gift of desperation. Will you please join me?

More Reading from this Author :

You Have to Do Your Part : One Year Sober

12 Things that Helped me Stop Drinking and Stay Sober

The Video that Helped me go Alcohol Free and Stay Happily Sober

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