3 MIN READ -CHUCK Sept 05 2023 - How  I  Came to Understand the Power of Turning a Sorry into Thank You

I appreciate the idea of turning "sorry's" into "thank you's" is not 100% new, but how the concept first developed in my mind, might just surprise you;

While I was in active addiction, I never personally got involved with doing opioids i.e. morphine, heroin, and fentanyl, but whatever the most popular street opioid was at the time, there were a lot of people doing it around me. When fentanyl came on the scene, having Narcan around, and saving somebody's life was just another part of a Tuesday night. I personally, never got used to it, and it was traumatizing every single time I had to Narcan somebody. It wasn't until the last maybe one or two times helping to bring people back that I noticed something peculiar. Like clockwork as soon as they were brought back to life they would start apologizing; "Sorry" you had to go through that etc. etc.

The thing is not once did hear from the people I had helped save, or from the people I had watched other people save, did I hear a thank you.

No, I am not so self-absorbed that I think somebody should be grateful to me when they are contemplating their own mortality only minutes after a traumatic event, it bothered me because none of them were thankful to be alive. Not one person said thank you or any form of gratitude for having their life. Again I didn't need a thank you, but it really bothered me that they were not thankful to be alive.

It was there that the concept of turning sorry's into thank you's as I know it now, started to form in my brain, and it wasn't until I was in recovery a few months after that, that I really found ways to verbalize that.

I can only speak to my personal journey, and though I am not a scholar, nor am I a philosopher with wisdom and profound truth for the masses, I can confidently say that the moment I started focusing my gratitude on the people around me, instead of on the shame of mistakes made in a past gone by, things started to get better around me. Things started to get better for me too. Perhaps best of all, the relationships with the people I was now saying "thank you" to, started to be about the things I am grateful for, as opposed to the things they knew I was sorry for.

Thank you,


Chuck LaFlange
Chuck LaFlange