Oct. 31, 2010 – Just for Today

Just for Today
Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010

“I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:
1. Sense of duty.
2. It is a pleasure.
3. Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “Personal Stories, Pioneers of AA”, Ch 1 (“Doctor Bob’s Nightmare”), pp 180-81.

Just for today, admitting that my motive to quit drinking was self-serving and hardly altruistic, I am required now to be responsible for the gift of sobriety I am receiving in the Program. That responsiblity is no clearer in any other than the 12th Step, the one that gives us our marching orders to carry the message to people who need it. A dividend like sobriety that we have earned through blood, sweat and tears brings with it a responsibility to it, and we appreciate and treasure that dividend when we share it with someone else, and it works as well for them. As a drinking alcoholic, I “shared” my problem by blaming anyone and anything but myself, and it overwhelmed me; as a soberholic, so must I also share it and, hopefully, sobriety will become an even stronger condition than the attraction to alcohol. And our common journey continues. Just for today. – Chris M., 2010


Oct. 31, 2010 – Today’s Gift from Hazelden

Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010
Today’s thought from Hazelden is:

It’s good for your heart.

“I know I’ve got some emotions up, just brewing right beneath the surface,” Jake said one day. “I’m edgy, irritable, and definitely not centered. But I don’t want to look. I don’t want to go into the emotions. I don’t like feelings. Whenever I give into them, I end up feeling like a piece of cooked spaghetti for days.”

Emotions can take a lot out of us. Feeling them, whether it’s anger, fear, or sadness, can leave us exhausted and drained.

Not feeling our emotions, however, can keep us edgy, irritable, and off-balance. Not feeling our feelings for an extended time can drive us to acting out, whether that means overeating, obsessing, staying in bed and hiding from the world, or staring at the television every night until we pass out.

Be gentle with yourself. Don’t force it. But don’t run away from your feelings, either. You might feel like cooked spaghetti for a while, but what’s really softening up is your heart.

God, help me face and feel any feelings.

From the book:
More Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

Oct. 31, 2010 – AA Thought for the Day

AA Thought for the Day
(courtesy AAOnline.net)

Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010

The First One
We have learned to concentrate on avoiding only one drink: The first one. . .
Sounds almost foolishly simplistic, doesn’t it?
It’s hard for many of us now to believe that we really never figured this out
before we came to AA. We know now that this is what works.
– Living Sober, p. 5

Thought to Ponder …
The first drink has the last say.

AA-related ‘Alconym’ …
N O W = No Other Way.

Oct. 31, 2010 – Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010

AA Thought for the Day
I have more peace and contentment. Life has fallen into place. The pieces of the jigsaw puzzle have found their correct position. Life is whole, all of one piece. I am not cast hither and yon on every wind of circumstance or fancy. I am no longer a dry leaf cast up and away by the breeze. I have found my place of rest, my place where I belong. I am content. I do not vainly wish for things I cannot have. I have “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”

Have I found contentment in AA?

Meditation for the Day
In all of us there is an inner consciousness that tells of God, an inner voice that speaks to our hearts. It is a voice that speaks to us intimately, personally, in a time of quiet meditation. It is like a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. We can reach out into the darkness and figuratively touch the hand of God. As the Big Book puts it: “Deep down in every man, woman and child is the fundamental idea of God. We can find the Great Reality deep down within us. And when we find it, it changes our whole attitude toward life.”

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may follow the leading of the inner voice. I pray that I may not turn a deaf ear to the urging of my conscience.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 31, 2010 – A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010

Reflection for the Day
If I’m to continue growing in The Program, I must literally “get wise to myself.” I must remember that for most of my life I’ve been terribly self-deceived. The sin of pride has been at the root of most of my self-deception, usually masquerading under the guise of some virtue. I must work continually to uncover pride in all its subtle forms, lest it stop me in my tracks and push me backward once again to the brink of disaster.

When it comes to pride, do I believe, in Emerson’s words, that “it is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself …?”

Today I Pray
May I know that button-popping pride is inappropriate for me as a recovering addict. It hides my faults from me. It turns people off and gets in the way of my helping others. It halts my progress because it makes me think I’ve done enough self-searching and I’m “cured.” I pray to my Higher Power that I may be realistic enough to accept my success in The Program without giving in to pride.

Today I Will Remember
Pride halts progress.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 31, 2010 – The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010

The Founders of AA acted wisely when they fixed it so there would be no Big Shots in our fellowship. We are not the best people in the world when it comes to bearing heavy responsibilities. It has proven to be poison to many a good man.

After all, it is not necessary for your fame to spread around the world – there are more drunks on your own street than you can help.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 30, 2010 – Just for Today

Just for Today
Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010

“Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks – drinking which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change, there is very little hope of his recovery.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, “The Doctor’s Opinion,” pp xxvi-vii.

Just for today, if I cannot forget what the physician in the Big Book calls “the effect” of alcohol as I grew progressively drunker, let me never forget the morning after with its consequences, none of which I care to be responsible for again. If I can cling onto what the morning-after costs were, my bottom if you will, may they be potent enough to remove any desire to drink again because, should I drink again, there likely will be no stopping until another bottom hits – if I survive long enough. I abused that “firm resolution” not to drink again when I was hung over, or standing in front of a judge with my latest DUI or after I broke every promise I’d made to family and friends. A “firm resolution” is so easy then; it can be just as easy if I apply it to being sober – if I remember the consequence instead of “the effect.” Today, I don’t need or want to remember the effect; the consequences are enough. And our common journey continues. Just for today. – Chris M., 2010