Addiction. Did you just cringe? I know, I did. It’s even a hard word to say. You know what is even harder to say? “I am an alcoholic and drug addict.” It strikes a nerve, a weird nerve. Kinda like when you hit your funny bone, hurts but it makes you laugh at the same time. That’s how I feel.
Christopher Bilyk started an initiative called StateofGratitudeUSA. It’s mission is to spread gratitude across the country with Gratitude apparel that also has a recovery edge. Recovery from what? Addiction. Bilyk himself has overcome the obstacles surrounding getting sober and wants to share his story, experience, and hope with others to help them along their path to long-term sobriety.
How does he do this…. You ask? He has setup an online catalogue of clothing and accessories which displays his signature mantra State of Gratitude. Representing those who have chosen to live in a State of Gratitude, focusing on the positive and making a conscious choice not to focus on the negative.
Most importantly, the product sales on his site are used to fund grants that assist other individuals through their recovery. Chris allows individuals from all over the nation to apply on his site to be considered as a grant recipient. Click here for more information on how to submit an application to be considered for a grant. While Chris is currently focusing on selecting at least one grant winner per quarter, he hopes to eventually grow his sales to the point that multiple grant winners can be awarded recovery assistance funds within the same timeframe.
His site is filled with shirts, tanks, hats, and all kinds of accessories branded with the signature State of Gratitude phrase and his heart chakra logo on the back. Why? Because Gratitude comes from the heart. And sporting these items is representation of an individuals’ decision to support the cause and live a gratuitous life.
Chris notes, “It’s something that I have to remind myself everyday, I am an addict. Once I finally came to terms to this realization, I could start doing the work to make a change in my life, one that would bring me a little closer every day to being a person I can look at in the mirror. Before I got sober, I couldn’t look myself in the mirror. Hell, even if I did, I didn’t know or recognize the person looking back at me. Today, I can say, I am imperfect, and that’s okay. Progress rather than Perfection. But I’m sober and that’s what matters most.
I took the traditional road of going to inpatient treatment for 30 days, moving into a sober living home, and attending Intensive Outpatient therapy for an additional 60 days. Having lived the road to recovery and to living a life of long-term sobriety, I know it takes a village to get sober and stay sober. I started State Of Gratitude as a way to create a village in Gratitude for every day of this beautiful life that we live. At State of Gratitude we set aside a portion of all net profits to create grants for individuals new to recovery who need financial assistance to get back on their feet again.”
State of Gratitude awarded their first grant recipient, Kevin Voeltz in August 2020 providing him with funding assistance for living expenses and housing. Kevin has been pouring his heart and soul into making a change in his life and with a little assistance from State of Gratitude he was able to free his mind of collection calls and phone bills and re-focus on his top priority, achieving long-term sobriety.
I believe we all know someone who has struggled with this difficult disease, but it’s important to bring this issue into the light and spread Gratitude in every way, shape, and form. Especially in these times of isolation, loneliness, and depression when overdose rates have increased over 30-40% in some areas. It’s in times like these when we need to reach out to loved ones and let them know how much we care. Be a part of the change in the world you want to see.
And Lastly, Always Remember to live in a STATE OF GRATITUDE, ALWAYS.