What Can I be Grateful for? by Peter Marinelli
As the holiday season is quickly approaching and many of us can get caught up in the hysteria of it all, let me stop for a moment and remember gratitude.
I often think of the days when there was no hope on the horizon and the holidays were just another reminder that another year has passed and I’m even worse condition than the year before. I swore to myself the year before that next year would be better. It wasn’t and in fact much worse. There I was same as always, in the grip of alcoholism.
On one occasion I was in some flea bag motel, desperate and without hope. One early morning the courage to do battle wasn’t there. So I took what was left of a bottle of pills washed them down with Jack Daniels got back into bed and waited to die. On another holiday year, I remember roaming through the streets of Brooklyn NY without money, not enough clothes on my back to keep me warm and needing a drink desperately. I was too embarrassed to go anywhere because I knew I looked like a bum. As I just roamed around in panic trying to figure out what to do, midnight struck as it was New Year’s Eve. Horns from cars started blaring and people opened their doors to yell out “Happy New Year”.
What seemed a festive moment was yet another harsh reminder of how bad my life had become. Ironically my family was just a few miles from where I was and yet it felt as if they were on the other side of the world. Loneliness at its extreme and fear and desperation enveloped me. Wising I was dead seemed like the best plan I could come up with. I don’t remember what happened that night, but nothing changed the next day.
Over and over and over things became worse and hope had vanished.
Ahh! Sobriety and the sober life reached out its hand one day and pulled me ashore.
My life and the holidays are a reminder to be grateful. I celebrate not only the occasion, but the life I’ve been given. As one of spiritual mentors told me in regards to the holiday season it’s just another day. He said “Peter every day in sobriety is a holiday.”
No longer desperate but certainly joyful. No longer alone but certainly with fellowship.
No longer hopeless but certain I walk with my Creator. What a way to celebrate. What a way to be grateful!
Chop wood, carry water