My grateful heart development began when I met my first temporary sponsor in July of 2017.
Up until this point, I can't say that I ever considered really evaluating my life or viewing anything with much gratitude, outside of the customary "Thank you" to another human for a gift, or ringing me out at the register.
I began self-medicating when I was 10 years old with NyQuil. The 1st taste warmed my belly, created numbness, and I felt safe in my skin for the first time ever.
This forever changed the course of my life.
By age 12 I was drinking alcohol any chance I could.
I know I had a genetic predisposition, however, I believe the strongest reason I began seeking mind-altering substances was to drown and numb myself to the sexual abuse I was a victim of.
My recovery journey began in July of 2016 when I entered rehab and surrendered my addiction to pills and began unearthing the first of many layers of unresolved trauma.
In July of 2017, I surrendered my alcohol addiction to the higher power I call God and began working in a recovery program. My sponsor introduced me to the idea of expressing daily gratitude.
In the beginning not only was this difficult for me but completely opposite to how I had always lived my life, which was rooted deeply in how can Noel best be served her needs on a silver platter, while I impatiently wait.
At first, I struggled to even express gratitude for my life, but slowly over time, I began to find gratitude for everything from the coffee I drank to the food I ate, to the bed I had to sleep in.
Today, and since June 4th, 2020, when I surrendered my addiction to marijuana and walked through the door of true sobriety, my morning begins with coffee, daily readings, prayer, and engagement with a gratitude journal application.
This dedicated time has become as ingrained in me as my need for air.
With the guidance from my higher power, consistent sobriety, constant daily gratitude, and many one-day-at-a-time connected to the next, I have just a bit over 2 years of sobriety.
Today I can find so many things to be grateful for and not just the stuff, but people, experiences both good and bad that have brought me much-needed growth, healing, and the ability to each day level up more spiritually, aligned and present in the moment of each second of life.
I'm forever grateful for this app because just as each experience, human, pain, and joy serve a purpose, so does this app act as a piece to the big life puzzle that makes up a beneficial part of this gal's life.
Today, I'm blessed to work with others who are still suffering, to give it away to keep it, to advocate for change, and to daily role model the changes I wish to see in the world.
So thank you for being part of my recovery journey, for the daily dose of beautiful perspectives, and for providing a format that I can both acknowledge and express my sincere deep gratitude for the life I have been blessed with today.