Joy arises from gratitude

In recovery, the word God is used interchangeably with the word, Higher Power. A Higher Power does not have to be religious or have intermediaries. Your Higher Power can be anything that restores you to sobriety like doing actions that are guided by the four absolutes (1. Honesty, 2. Purity, 3. Love, 4. Unselfishness). In the Big Book, it says that the goal of turning your life and will over to the care of your Higher Power is to give you sobriety and a life that is "happy, joyous, and free." The key to becoming happy, joyous, and free is to NOT MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF GETTING THERE. You are happy if you're not unhappy. You don't always have to be whooping it up. Sometimes you may be sad or anxious because of a difficulty, but you still qualify as a happy person if you don't turn temporary sadness or anxiety into misery. "Free" means you can "wake up," not "come to" with a hangover. A friend was doing well with "happy" and "free" but struggling with "joy" until his Sponsor asked him, "What is the first thing that comes to your mind that you are grateful for?" My friend replied, "Well I woke up today, I didn't come to" and spontaneously laughed with joy!


Keep a grateful heart to feel the joy that ameliorates nervousness, sadness, and fear. One way to feel grateful is to make a list of all of the angels (people) who have helped you over your life.