Monday, April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, April 23, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
 — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Newcomer
Initially, I was excited about recovery. I felt better for a while. I hate to say it, but now that I’m not at the beginning any more, everything seems worse. I feel more cynical than ever.

Sponsor
What you’re experiencing is part of the process of recovery. Many of us go through a “honeymoon” phase in early recovery. Our craving may feel miraculously lifted. Change feels easy, and hope replaces despair.

Then, life feels difficult again. We may perceive ourselves as having gotten worse, but that’s not accurate. What’s really happening is that, though our addictive craving has been treated, we still have our old problems, habits, and states of mind. We may be getting through the day, showing up for our work responsibilities, attending meetings, but not having much fun.

We may wonder if what we’ve heard is really true — that “our worst day in recovery is better than our best day of active addiction.” We may wonder whether recovery really is the answer after all.

Our doubt makes clear to us that we have to do something. Staying where we are is too uncomfortable. We can attend a Step meeting and read program literature to begin to familiarize ourselves with our next Step. For spirits in need of healing, Step work leads to the next phase of recovery.

Today, I have the courage to move forward in my journey of recovery.
You are reading from the book:
If You Want What We Have © 1998 by Joan Larkin

April 23, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, April 23, 2018

Today, reflect on the choices and responsibilities of sponsorship. If I have progressed in my sobriety that I need to ask someone to sponsor me, where and how do I begin? My home group is fertile ground, and I may think about selecting three or four members, narrow them down to those I feel I can trust most and then approach that potential sponsor in confidence. If I am being asked to sponsor someone, however, I ask my Higher Power for the wisdom and responsibility before taking on such a sacred trust. Let me understand that sponsorship does not mean I am the sponsee's pseudo-priest and that the job does not make me "preacher." Today, I extend my recovery to include asking to be sponsored and, God willing, consenting to someone's request to extend my hand to his. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

April 23, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, April 23, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
Men and women keep coming into AA, licked by alcohol, often given up by doctors as hopeless cases, they themselves admitting they're helpless to stop drinking. When I see these men and women get sober and stay sober over a period of months and years, I know that AA works. The change I see in people who come into AA not only convinces me that there must be a Power greater than ourselves which helps us to make that change.

Am I convinced that a Higher Power can help me to change?

Meditation for the Day
Cooperation with God is the great necessity for our lives. All else follows naturally. Cooperation with God is the result of our consciousness of His presence. Guidance is bound to come to us as we live more and more with God, as our consciousness becomes more and more attuned to the great Consciousness of the universe. We must have many quiet times when we not so much ask to be shown and led by God, as to feel and realize His presence. New spiritual growth comes naturally from cooperation with God.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that God may supply me with strength and show me the direction in which He wants me to grow. I pray that these things may come naturally from my cooperation with Him.

Hazelden Foundation

April 23, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, April 23, 2018

Reflection for the Day
No matter what it is that seems to be our need or problems, we can find something to rejoice in, something for which to give thanks. It is not God who needed to be thanked, but we who need to be thankful. Thankfulness opens new doors to good in our life. Thankfulness creates a new heart and a new spirit in us.

Do I keep myself aware of the many blessings that come to me each day and remember to be thankful for them?

Today I Pray
May God fill me with a spirit of thankfulness. When I express my thanks, however fumbling, to God or to another human being, I am not only being gracious to Him or that other person for helping me, but I am also giving myself the greatest reward of all - a thankful heart. May I not forget either the transitive "to thank," directed at someone else, or the intransitive "giving thanks," which fills my own great need.

Today I Will Remember
Thank and give thanks.

Hazelden Foundation

April 23, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, April 23, 2018

It would be possible for a nation, or even the world, to exist without many of the natural resources we have. But no nation could exist without men. The strength of the nation is the strength of its men.

The men who comprise the population of the nation are individuals, and the sum total of the virtues of the individuals is the character of the nation.

Our value to society is not our newfound sobriety but our new character as developed by our new and better way of living.

Hazelden Foundation

April 23, 2018 - Good morning to a marvelous Monday and awesome new week


Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 22, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, April 22, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Misery is optional

We may have learned to be miserable, but we can choose to unlearn it. Though we can’t control what happens to us, we can determine how we will interpret and react to what happens. We can moan about the things we don’t like, using them as excuses for self-pity (“poor me”), or we can implement the Serenity Prayer, accepting what we can’t change and changing what we can.

In the past, we often made ourselves miserable by over-doing things. Now, how often do we continue to invite misery by thinking we ought to be able to control other people? What part do unrealistic expectations play in the creation and continuation of our misery?

When we’re hurting, we need to do something about it. A physical hurt may require a doctor; an emotional pain may call for a therapist or friend, and spiritual distress may indicate the need for more prayer and meditation, closer contact with a Higher Power. We can accept responsibility for our feelings, become willing to go to any lengths to get well, and choose not to be miserable.

Responding with misery is not on my list of options for today.
You are reading from the book:
This book is now out of print and no longer available to purchase. Inner Harvest by Elisabeth L. © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

April 22, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, April 22, 2018

Today, stop running from regret, shame, guilt, loss and all other anguish that my drinking caused. I must  come to terms and reconciliation with all of it. By taking each step with absolute honesty and the will of my Higher Power, I will look instead to the lessons to be learned from my actions that eventually pooled together to create the pain I may still carry. Regret and shame might be eased by the single strongest amend I can make: by not drinking today. I can release guilt by learning from the mistakes that bred it, and the sense of loss might be less if I can be grateful that I even had what I lost and accept that I might not have been ready to be responsible for what I had - and lost. Today, I work on easing any pain - not by confronting it but finding the comfort in it. But, in the end, if I deny or do not allow myself to feel and deal with the hurt, the good might not feel as good as it might otherwise. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

April 22, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, April 22, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
People believe in AA when they see it work. An actual demonstration is what convinces them. What they read in books, what they hear people say doesn't always convince them. But when they see a real honest-to-goodness change take place in a person, a change from a drunkard to a sober, useful citizen, that's something they can believe because they can see it. There's really only one thing that proves to me that AA works.

Have I seen the change in people who come into AA?

Meditation for the Day
Divine control and unquestioning obedience to God are the only conditions necessary for a spiritual life. Divine control means absolute faith and trust in God, a belief that God is the Divine Principle in the universe and that He is the Intelligence and the Love that controls the universe. Unquestioning obedience to God means living each day the way you believe God wants you to live, constantly seeking the guidance of God in every situation and being willing to do the right thing at all times.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may always be under Divine Control and always practice unquestioning obedience to God. I pray that I may be always ready to serve Him.

Hazelden Foundation

April 22, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, April 22, 2018

Reflection for the Day
As I attend meetings of The Program, my eyes open wider and wider. Other people's problems make mine look small, yet they are facing them with courage and confidence. Others are trapped in situations as bad as mine, but they bear their troubles with more fortitude. By going to meetings, I find many reasons to be grateful. My load has begun to lighten.

Do I expect easy solutions to my problems? Or do I ask only to be guided to a better way?

Today I Pray
Make The Program my way of life. Its goals are my goals. Its members are my truest friends. May I pass along the skills for coping I have learned there. May my turnabout and the resulting transformation in my life inspire others, as others have inspired me.

Today I Will Remember
May I be grateful.

Hazelden Foundation

April 22, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, April 22, 2018

When we take the first drink, we invite the dead certainty of physical illness, untold sorrows, shame and degradation. That first drink has built more hospitals, jails, poorhouses and insane asylums than any other cause. All the drinks that follow are simply compounding the felony.

There are some people that can drink intelligently, but these people avoid difficulties. We are not in that class, and experience has proven it. Years of sobriety will not enable us to join that class and, again, experience has proven it. Why do you persist in trying, what are you trying to prove? That you are the exception to the rule? If you are the exception, you automatically become a freak.

Hazelden Foundation

April 22, 2018 - Good morning to a serene and relaxing Sunday with faith and hope


Saturday, April 21, 2018

April 21, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, April 21, 2018
Today’s thoughts from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation are:

Don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember, it’s all small stuff.
*****

Drinking didn’t cause my problems, living did.
*****

The practicing alcoholic is the only person in the world who can lie in the gutter and still look down on others.
*****

AA meetings are the jumper cables God uses to get love flowing from one alcoholic to another.
You are reading from the book:
My Mind is Out to Get Me by Dr. Ron B. © 1994 by Hazelden Foundation

April 21, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, April 21, 2018

Today, I am okay! I will not let the debris of my alcoholic past, its regrets and uncertainty about my future clutter my mind with neglect of today. If I cannot simply be and feel okay today, I have a weak foundation for any tomorrows. But I will not let worry about tomorrow impair me today. If today I do not drink, then I am more alive than I ever was when I was drinking. If I can make and keep today okay, then I am making some progress. Hopefully today's progress will stretch into another 24 Hours and being okay will turn into something better. Today, I am okay. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

April 21, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, April 21, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
After we've been in AA for a while, we find out that if we're going to stay sober, we have to be humble people. The men and women in AA who have achieved sobriety are all humble people. When I stop to think that but for the grace of God I might be drunk right now, I can't help feeling humble. Gratitude to God for His grace makes me humble. When I think of the kind of person I was not so long ago, when I think of the person I left behind me, I have nothing to be proud of.

Am I grateful and humble?

Meditation for the Day
I must arise from the death of sin and selfishness and put on a new life of integrity. All the old sins and temptations must be laid in the grave and a new existence rise from the ashes. Yesterday is gone. All my sins are forgiven if I am honestly trying to do God's will today. Today is here, the time of resurrection and renewal. I must start now, today, to build a new life of complete faith and trust in God and a determination to do His will in all things.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may share in making the world a better place to live in. I pray that I may do what I can to bring goodness a little nearer to the earth.

Hazelden Foundation