In the Big Book, it says that the goal of sobriety is for you to be "happy, joyous, and free." The key to reaching this goal is not to make a big deal out of it. Often, you are happy if you're not unhappy. You don't always have to be ecstatic. Sometimes you may be sad because of a difficulty, but you still qualify as a happy person if you don't turn temporary sadness into misery. "Free" means you can wake up after another day of sobriety rather than come to with a hangover. After one year clean and sober, I knew I was happy and free but wondering if I was experiencing joy.  I mentioned this to my Sponsor who asked me, "What is the first thing that comes to your mind that you are grateful for?" I replied, "Well I woke up today, I didn't come to." I laughed with joy, and the following words flowed out from my heart, "My life is full of so much joy! I can even be content when things don't seem to be going my way. I am able to find peace in the midst of struggles. I have learned what I can and cannot control. I can now see that I have a joy that did not exist when I was drinking and drugging, a joy that did not exist before I made sobriety the central theme of my life rather than materialism, selfishness, and egotism."


Today I will appreciate how happiness, freedom, and joy have returned to my life. I will remember how rare these states of mind were when I was drinking and drugging. I won't lose sight of how they have returned as a result of my daily recovery practices. So, I will keep doing gratitude lists, maintain perspective and connect with other recovering friends.