Friday, November 17, 2017

Nov. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Friday, Nov. 17, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Reflection for the Day
I must never forget who and what I am and where I come from. I have to remember the nature of my illness and what it was like before I came to The Program. I'll try to keep the memory green, yet not spend my time dwelling morbidly on the past. I won't be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to others, so others will give to me.
Can I ever afford to forget what it used to be like, even for one minute?

Today I Pray
May I never forget the painful days of my addiction. May I never forget that the same misery awaits me if I should slip back into the old patterns. At the same time, may such backward glances serve only to bolster my own present strength and the strength of others like me. Please, God, do not let me dredge up these recollections in order to outdo or "out drunk" my fellow members. Like others who are chemically dependent, I must be wary of my desire to be center stage in the spotlight.

Today I Will Remember
I do more when I don't 'outdo.'
You are reading from the book:
A Day at a Time © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

Today, understand that not drinking or using by themselves do not equal sobriety or recovery. Addiction is a three-tiered disease of the physical, spiritual and emotional. Abstaining may treat the physical, by it neglects the spiritual and emotional. My self-imposed wounds to my spiritual and mental psyches, not to mention to other people, can be treated only by a change from within. The Fourth Step, if thorough and honest, may show that many of the feelings, perceptions and attitudes toward myself, other people and the world were developed in an alcohol- or drug-induced haze. But removing the haze by itself does not alter those perceptions. Let me understand that the reason for the 12 steps is to identify and treat the spiritual and emotional injuries. Today, while swearing off alcohol is a giant step forward, God grant me the knowledge that I must work for recovery and sobriety beyond abstinence alone. On this day, I choose sobriety over dry. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Nov. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Everyone has two personalities, a good and a bad. We are all dual personalities to some extent. When we were drinking, the bad personality was in control. We did things when we were drunk that we would never do when we were sober. When we sober up, we are different people. Then we wonder how we could have done the things we did. But we drink again, and again our bad side comes out. So we are back and forth, always in conflict with our other selves, always in a stew. This division of our selves is not good; we must somehow become unified. We do this by giving ourselves wholeheartedly to AA and to sobriety.

Have I become unified?

Meditation for the Day
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of Thy Lord." These words are for many ordinary people whom the world may pass by, unrecognizing. Not to the world-famed, the proud, the wealthy, are these words spoken, but to the quiet followers who serve God unobtrusively yet faithfully, who bear their crosses bravely and put a smiling face to the world. "Enter into the joy of Thy Lord." Pass into that fuller spiritual life, which is a life of joy and peace.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not desire the world's applause. I pray that I may not seek rewards for doing what I believe is right.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Many of us in The Program stubbornly cling to false ideas and positions simply because we fear we'd be left defenseless if we admitted having been wrong. The thought of "backing down" still seems distasteful to some of us. But we come to learn that our self-esteem soars when we're able to push pride into the background and truly face the facts. Chances are that people with true humility have more genuine self-esteem than those of us who are repeatedly victimized by pride.

Does pride deviously keep me from thorough and continuing attention to the Tenth Step?

Today I Pray
May pride stay out of my way, now that I've found a road to follow. May I avoid that familiar, destructive cycle of pride - the ego that balloons up out of all proportion and then deflates with a fizzle. May I learn the value of "backing down."

Today I Will Remember
Pride is the arch-enemy of self-esteem.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

All forward steps in the progress of civilization have been the results of great ideas. All advances in the field of science were first ideas, many of which were conceived years before they became realities. Their creators were thinking far in advance of their times.

Alcoholics Anonymous is not a new system of ideas, but it is rather a new application of old ideas whose time has come.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 17, 2017 - Let's get moving on Friday with new confidence, gratitude, faith and hope


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Nov. 16, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

An alcoholic spends his life committing suicide on the installment plan.
 -- Laurence Peter


None of us woke up one morning and found we had suddenly turned into an addict. We got to be one by practice. And we practiced often. We ignored our families - we left work early - and went drinking and drugging. Daily, we chose chemicals over anything else.

Likewise, getting sober is no accident. We use the Steps. We work the program. At meetings, we're reminded to help others. We all get sober on the installment plan. A day at a time. We got sick one day at a time; we recover one day at a time.


Prayer for the Day
Today, with my Higher Power's help, I'll be happier, more honest, more sober. Sobriety is like a good savings account. Higher Power, help me to put in more than I take out.

Action for the Day
I'll go over my Step One to remind myself it's no accident I'm an addict.
You are reading from the book:
Keep It Simple © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 16, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017

"I remember the day when I decided to drink myself to death quietly, without bothering anyone, because I was tired of having been a dependable, trustworthy person for about 39 years without having received what I thought was a proper reward for my virtue. That was the day, that was the decision ...when I crossed over the line and became an active alcoholic. ...(w)ith a great sense of relief, I no longer had to pretend. I was giving up the struggle." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Lost Nearly All," Ch 11 ("He Who Loses His Life"), p 531.

Today, when I crossed from compulsive to alcoholic drinking, was I "giving up the struggle" or giving in? Had I reached a point when I justified drinking because my ego had become so twisted that I thought other people, life itself, hadn't appreciated me enough to give me my just due? For me, whenever I crossed the line between compulsive drinking and alcoholism, I was not "giving up the struggle;" I was giving in. But what difference does it make now? Whenever and whatever the force that drove me to alcoholism, AA tells me it matters only if it fits into my program to clear out the garbage, to reconcile my past with my present and my hopes for my future. And if, indeed, I was one of those who drank out of some deranged belief that I hadn't gotten what I thought I deserved from people who didn't praise me, perhaps now I should be grateful that I didn't  get what I deserved. Today, I am an alcoholic grateful to be in recovery. Why I became alcoholic doesn't matter anymore because knowing the reason won't "cure" me. But the program will. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Nov. 16, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
I have got rid of most of my inner conflicts. I was always at war with myself. I was doing things that I did not want to do. I was waking up in strange places and wondering how I got there. I was full of recklessness when I was drunk and full of remorse when I was sober. My life didn't make sense. It was full of broken resolves and frustrated hopes and plans. I was getting nowhere fast. No wonder my nerves were all shot. I was bumping up against a blank wall and I was dizzy from it. AA taught me how to get organized and to stop fighting against myself.

Have I got rid of inner conflicts?

Meditation for the Day
"When two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." The spirit of God comes upon His followers when they are all together at one time, in one place, and with one accord. When two or three consecrated souls are together at a meeting place, the spirit of God is there to help and guide them. Where any sincere group of people are together, reverently seeking the help of God, His power and His spirit are there to inspire them.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be in accord with the members of my group. I pray that I may feel the strength of a consecrated group.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 16, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017

Reflection for the Day
We sometimes hear humility defined as the state of being "teachable." In that sense, most of us in the Program who are able to stay free of active addiction have acquired at least a smattering of humility, or we never would have learned to stay away from the first drink, the first tranquilizer, the first "side bet" and similar destructive acts for those of us who are powerless over our respective addictions.

Do I see increasing humility as a pathway to continuing improvement?

Today I Pray
Now that I have made a start at developing humility, may I keep it up. May I open myself to the will of God and the suggestions of my friends in the group. May I remain teachable, confrontable, receptive and conscious that I must stay that way in order to be healthy.

Today I Will Remember
To remain confrontable.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 16, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017

We become too easily discouraged when the new man fails to make the grade. What we fail to keep before us is the fact that we are not accountable for the results of our efforts. We are only charged with the responsibility of carrying the message to other alcoholics.

Just go about your end of the job, which is sowing the seed, and if the ground is fertile, God in His good time will bring forth the harvest.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 16, 2017 - Time to get moving on Thursday with new confidence, faith, hope and gratitude


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nov. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Reflection for the Day
Every man and woman who has joined The Program and intends to stick around has, without realizing it, made a beginning on Step Three. Isn't it true that, in all matters related to their addictions, each of them has decided to turn his or her life over to the care, protection, and guidance of The Program? So already a willingness has been achieved to cast out one's own will and one's own ideas about the addiction in favor of those suggested by The Program. If this isn't turning one's will and life over to a new-found "Providence," then what is it?
Have I had a spiritual awakening as the result of The Steps?

Today I Pray
For myself, I pray for a God-centered life. I thank God often for the spiritual awakening I have felt since I turned my life over. May the words "spiritual awakening" be a clue to others that there is a free fund of spiritual power within each person. It must only be discovered.

Today I Will Remember
I will try to be God-centered.
You are reading from the book:
A Day at a Time © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017

" ...(L)ife among Alcoholics Anonymous is more than attending gatherings and visiting hospitals. Cleaning up old scrapes, helping to settle family differences, explaining the disinherited son to his irate parents, lending money and securing jobs for each other, when justified - these are everyday occurrences. No one is too discredited or has sunk too low to be welcomed cordially - if he means business." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 11 ("A Vision For You"), p 161.

TodayI know through faith that I am not "too discredited" or " too low" to begin recovery. But I have to "mean business." What does this mean? That I absolutely must surrender in Step One that "(I) am powerless" over alcohol or any other addictive or compulsive substance and behavior, and then to Step Two where I must at least be open to the possibility of a power stronger and greater than myself. When I can say honestly that I have bowed to these two steps, I am "ready to take certain steps," the ones that lead me beyond being dry to getting sober. Yet working the steps and going to meetings are not enough. "Cleaning up" the wreckage of my drinking days requires work beyond mouthing the words of the steps and going to meetings. My recovery takes work. I have no right to sobriety: I must earn it. And once I have received it, God granting, I will have the wisdom and knowledge to nurture it, and that means continued working of the steps, reassessing my program to change as I hopefully grow in my recovery and, just as important, being in service to those who need and want the lifeline of AA. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Nov. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
I am less sensitive and my feelings are less easily hurt. I no longer take myself so seriously. It didn't use to take much to insult me, to feel that I had been slighted or left on the outside. What happens to me now is not so important. One cause of our drinking was that we couldn't take it, so we escaped the unpleasant situation. We have learned to take it on the chin if necessary and smile. When I am all wrapped up in AA, I do not notice the personal slights so much. They do not seem to matter so much. I have learned to laugh at self-pity because it's so childish.

Am I less sensitive?

Meditation for the Day
God's miracle-working power is as manifest today as it was in the past. It still works miracles of change in lives and miracles of healing in twisted minds. When a person trusts wholly in God and leaves to Him the choosing of the day and hour, there is God's miracle-working power becoming manifest in that person's life. So we can trust in God and have boundless faith in His power to make us whole again, whenever He chooses.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may feel sure that there is nothing that God cannot accomplish in changing my life. I pray that I may have faith in His miracle-working power.

Hazelden Foundation