“Gratitude changes the way I feel, the way I think. It acknowledges my Higher Power. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, I had very little gratitude. I suffered from soul sickness. When I had ten days of sobriety, my sponsor told me to go to meetings for 90 days and check in with him every day, and when I woke up, I was to thank my Higher Power for my sobriety. I was to sit and meditate and reflect on gratitude. My mom was in hospice and I got to be next to her on her death bed. I was able to connect with my creator. I felt power in the room and it’s the same power that I feel today that keeps me sober. If I didn’t have gratitude, I would not have been able to access that power. I’m very grateful for that.”
—Savun Sean, sober since December 18, 2018.
“Addiction is a disease of forgetfulness. If I forget that I had nothing and I was living on the street, then I forget to be grateful for having a home and a bed to sleep in. I try to remain grateful. For example, I applied for a job that I didn’t get, they hired someone else and I felt funky for weeks. Then I got grateful I have a job. For the most part, I enjoy my job. Gratitude is important because it brings me back to a centered place. In recovery we strive to be happy joyous and free. When I’m constricted by my anger, my resentment and self-loathing, there’s a cure for that. The cure is to be grateful.”
—Robby Mason, sober since August 9, 1999.
“The Van Ness House was like a roller coaster ride. I got the opportunity to learn things about myself and things that I needed to change about me, and I also learned new ways of living. It was not what I expected. I still wanted to control what was going to happen and they asked me to do things I swore I would never do in my life. It was a challenging thing for me to look at my behavior. I had to be responsible and accountable for my own actions, but it was very rewarding watching myself change, and the way I view life and growing into the woman I am now. The old ways and how I used to do things, died away. The way I respond to things, everything changed. Everyday wasn’t a good day there, I must tell you, but I was open to whatever. I would recommend the House to anyone struggling with addiction.”
—Chantay Mackey, sober June 18, 2017.