Marcus' Story - My Children

"I'm a very grateful person these days. It wasn't always like that."

Illustration of a purple shooting star

I'm Marcus. I'm a very grateful person these days. It wasn't always like that. My story is basically, I've had a terrifying drug addiction for most of my life. And during most of that, I was pretty ungrateful for many things that I should have been grateful for.

But my vision and my perception, everything was so clouded. So yeah, I was very negative, I was very depressed, even almost even suicidal at certain points of it. And I wasn't a happy person at all. It was dark.

And towards the end, it became extremely dark, it really wasn't a nice place, wasn't a nice feeling. And today, I'm talking about gratitude and the impact that's had on my life. And one of the first things I did when I surrendered to the fact that my life could not go on this way, I couldn't kid myself anymore.

I joined this fellowship and one of the things that were suggested to do, especially for newcomers, like me, was to write a gratitude list of 10 things that you were grateful for every morning, or every evening, or any point.

And when I started doing this, I was told not to just suddenly stop the things the substances I was taking. Because when I tried to do that a couple of times, I had quite severe fits and seizures, and I was told that these are very dangerous, and I might not actually come out of them.

So I was told to try to gradually medicate myself. I wasn't in a position to put myself into a proper medical facility, I didn't have the money. And I was at a very critical point. So when I first started my gratitude, I was still in the midst of all that madness.

And my gratitude list was pretty sparse. It was like a little withered tree. By the grace of God, I still had a roof over my head, and I still had food to eat. So those were the things I was massively grateful for. I was grateful for the air I was breathing. I continued with it.

It was something that I never, ever forgot to do. And I didn't sleep properly at that time, either. Quite often, my plan was to do it in the morning, it was on a WhatsApp group, I would have normally submitted my list at about four o'clock in the morning.

I just had nothing to do and I'll just be thinking that's the one thing that I've got to do because you can't start doing the other work until you've actually got clean. In my work with the fellowship I was doing, the main thing was your gratitude lists and reaching out to other people.

I continued with it my list, and I started being able to notice more and more stuff to be grateful for. The attitude of gratitude started developing. And it did take some practice.

The first little while, it seemed a bit like it wasn't going anywhere. But given how long I've been ungrateful for, to how quickly this attitude of gratitude was able to develop is just incredible.

And the changes I've experienced in my mind, I'm grateful. I just have to take one step, and there's just a whole myriad of new things to be grateful for. And I love life. And if you'd said this to me, six months ago, that this is how you're going to feel and this is what every day is going to be like, I would have laughed.

I continued with my gratitude lists, they developed and they grew. At some point, a few months in, I finally managed to get completely clean. I did that all by myself without any medical assistance.

Very suddenly, just overnight, I decided one more time to just go for it, even though it was against the advice of the medical people. And this time, I didn't have the seizures and the fits. That was a massive thing on my list.

I said it was 24 hours and all the other people in the group said, "Yeah! Wonderful!" For me, that was a massive thing, just to get through 24 hours. It's hundreds of days now but that first day, I was so grateful for that.

And, I was speaking to other people in the fellowship and someone introduced me to the Gratitude app. And, I thought, "Yeah, that seems pretty cool. I've got photographs on there, I will read up the daily sentence." I make one or two entries every single day to the app, and I love having that.

That's the first thing I do in the morning is I get up and I go to my knees and I pray. And then, the next thing I do is write my gratitude list. And then to put on this WhatsApp group, there are lots of other people that appreciate seeing it.

Because a lot of the people in the group don't actually like to submit something themselves, they just like to read other people's stuff. So I always do that. And I love how the app prompts me all throughout the day, it'll just have little questions and little prompts, and it just sets off these little neuron neurological paths.

"Oh, yeah, actually, though, but I do have that to be grateful. And that worked out quite nicely." I've had a complete transformation of my mind. So the first thing I'm grateful for is God. I do think that the next thing is the attitude of gratitude.

Because that's the thing that flipped my mind from complete negativity. I'm talking about it. And so I've just got a massive smile on my face. And I feel like I could carry on for the next two hours.

I'm grateful every single day. And I realize, my life was always like this. I always had this amount of stuff to be grateful for. But I missed it, I had this other set of glasses on and I couldn't see any of it.

There are things I could complain about, I guess. But that's all I used to focus on in the past. And now, I focus on the positive things. And I will say, every step I take, as soon as I open the door, as soon as I come back home, there is just so much stuff to be grateful for, it's wonderful.

And I love my life now. I love God. I love my life. I love everyone. I used to, it sounds painful to say, but I used to hate everyone. I used to hate myself. I used to hate everybody else. I was an angry person.

That's how it was. And now it's completely different. I've got lots of dear friends I've met in recent times. My old friendships have come back because a lot of people were very worried about me, people that really did love me, but they couldn't be around me.

My close family stayed close-ish but from an arm's distance. Now, I'm quite a popular person. My days are full. I have to go to work, obviously. As soon as I'm finished working phone calls, I've got people coming around, people who want me to go out.

And these are just all things I can be grateful for. So now it's like whenever the app pops up with a little question, I'll take it quite seriously. I feel like sometimes when I'll just scroll through the list, I'm like, "Wow!"

There are pictures and this and that. And it's just full of love and smiles and gratitude. And I just think, Wow, this is amazing. I'm not exaggerating when I say it is been absolutely key, and it is one of the first things that's taken me from a really terrifying place.

Now I'm in a sunny Meadow with those rainbows. And, may this continue.

Team Gratitude

Team Gratitude

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