Nov. 30, 2013 – Step by Step


Step by Step
Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013

Today, understanding that a “substitute” chemical to replace alcohol that alters my perception of reality is not working toward recovery from an addictive personality, grant me the wisdom to also understand that “mind- and mood-altering chemicals” may not necessarily include prescribed medications. If depression continues to be a condition even in sobriety, for example, let me listen to reasons why anti-depressants may not compromise my sobriety but may even improve its quality. The debate in AA and other 12-Step groups that any substance which affects my mood is as old as the Program itself. But the Program admits that it is not a medical one, and that tells me it is my responsibility to seek out the knowledge from sources that may be more qualified than me to determine if my sobriety is at risk. Today, understanding that the substances I ingested are not the same as prescribed medications, let me also consider the possibility that acting as my own physician may be writing my own relapse somewhere down the road. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2013

 

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Nov. 30, 2013 – Twenty-Four Hours a Day


Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013

AA Thought for the Day
We have slips in AA. It has been said these are not slips but premeditated drunks, because we have to think about taking a drink before we actually take one. The thought always comes before the act. It is suggested that people should always get in touch with an AA before taking that first drink. The failure to do so makes it probable that they had decided to take the drink anyway. And yet the thoughts that come before taking a drink are often largely subconscious. People usually don’t know consciously what made them do it. Therefore, the common practice is to call these things slips.

Am I on guard against wrong thinking?

Meditation for the Day
“The eternal God is thy refuge.” He is a sanctuary, a refuge from the cares of life. You can get away from the misunderstanding of others by retiring into your own place of meditation. But from yourself, from your sense of failure, your weakness, your shortcomings, whither can you flee? Only to the eternal God, your refuge, until the immensity of His spirit envelopes your spirit and it loses its smallness and weakness and comes into harmony again with His.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may lose my limitations in the immensity of God’s love. I pray that my spirit may be in harmony with His spirit.

Hazelden Foundation

 

Nov. 30, 2013 – A Day at a Time


A Day at a Time
Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013

Reflection for the Day
If you’re a negative thinker and are not yet ready to do an about-face, here are some guidelines that can keep you miserable for just as long as you wish to remain so. First, don’t go to meetings of The Program, especially discussion groups. If you somehow find yourself at a meeting, keep your mouth shut, your hands in your pockets and your mind closed. Don’t try to solve any of your problems, never laugh at yourself and don’t trust the other people in The Program. Above all, under no conditions should you try to live in the Now.

Am I aware that negative thinking means taking myself deadly serious at all times, leaving no time for laughter – and for living?

Today I Pray
If I am feeling negative, may I check myself in the mirror that is the group for any symptoms of a closed mind; tight lips, forced smile, set jaw, straight-ahead glance – and not a glimmer of humor. God, grant me the ability to laugh at myself – often – for I need that laughter to cope with the everyday commotion of living.

Today I Will Remember
To laugh at myself.

Hazelden Foundation

 

Nov. 30, 2013 – The Eye Opener


The Eye Opener
Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013

Many who are active in AA work come to feel that they just can’t carry on any longer. There is so much to do; so little time can be spared to do it; so few to do the work. There is a limit to their endurance. After all, a guy has just so much health, strength and patience.

When the burdens get too heavy and too numerous, take it up with the Big Boss, tell Him you like to do His work but that it is more than you can handle – ask Him for more help – and you’ll get it.

Hazelden Foundation

 

Nov. 30, 2013 – Today’s Gift from Hazelden


Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013

Today’s thought from Hazelden is:

In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.
 — Anne Frank

Newcomer
I get upset and discouraged about what’s in the news. So much of it is about violence and tragedy, lying and competition. What’s going on our there is so different from what I see at meetings. I wish that everyone had what we have.

Sponsor
Sometimes it does seem as if the world “out there” is on a binge of some kind. And addictions themselves, of all kinds, are still widespread and causing considerable damage. But what about the healing, the taking of responsibility, the turning around of lives? News of recovery, changes in consciousness, spiritual growth, and service is not what sells papers, but it is a real and vital part of what’s happening in the world. Twelve Step recovery has been around for less than a century, but its healing principles have entered the awareness and lives of millions of people around the world.

When we think about what our individual lives were like before recovery and what fundamental changes we’ve been able to make in a short time, it gives us hope and a sense of what’s possible.

Today, I’m blessed with hope. I let change begin with me.

From the book:

If You Want What We Have by Joan Larkin

If You Want What We Have © 1998 by Joan Larkin

 

Nov. 29, 2013 – Step by Step


Step by Step
Friday, Nov. 29, 2013

Today, if my candle is burning at both ends with responsibilities, obligations and expectations that have been entrusted to me since I started following the Program, I will not complain or seek adulation and, instead, will practice gratitude and humility that I now am trusted and can carry out what is asked and expected of me. But if I feel overwhelmed at times, I can fall back on the Program’s edicts to prioritize and take “First Things First.” The first thing is sobriety and, without it, there is literally nothing. With it, there is literally everything. The benefits sobriety bring to me include service to the sufferer who needs and wants to hear the Program’s message, and I should not shirk or complain about being in service. Not only does what I contribute to another soul strengthen my own against a possible slip or relapse, I need only to remember the days when I was drunk literally 24/7 and ask if those days were better than now when I have been given the gift to be of some greater good. Today, my yesterdays are nowhere better than today, and today is where I will stay without complaining, without seeking recognition and instead asking in humility for His will for me and the power to carry it out. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2013

 

Nov. 29, 2013 – Twenty-Four Hours a Day


Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Nov. 29, 2013

AA Thought for the Day
The AA way is the way of sobriety, and yet there are slips. Why do these slips occur? Why don’t we all accept AA and stay sober from then on? There are many reasons, but it has been proved without exception that once we have become alcoholics, we can never drink successfully again. This has never been disproved by any case we know of. Many alcoholics have tried drinking after a period of sobriety from a few days to a few years, and no one that we know of has been successful in becoming a normal drinker.

Could I be the only exception to this rule?

Meditation for the Day
“We are gathered together in Thy name.” First, we are gathered together, bound by a common loyalty to God and to each other. Then, when this condition has been fulfilled, God is present with us. Then, when God is there and one with us, we voice a common prayer. Then it follows that our prayer will be answered according to God’s will. Then, when our prayer is answered, we are bound together in a lasting fellowship of the spirit.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be loyal to God and to others. I pray that my life today may be lived close to His and to theirs.

Hazelden Foundation