Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 20, 2017 - Good morning to a Thursday of new hope, faith and renewal


July 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, July 20, 2017
 
"I had my first drink when I was 15 and my alcoholic potential had ripened me to the point of necessary escapism. I needed alcohol from that night on, and it in turn used me, ruling my life for three years.
"I never drank socially; I drank as often and as much as I could. My eventual goal was to drink myself to death. All my life, it seemed, was spent on the outside looking in. I had been unhappy, lonely and scared for so long that the discovery of liquor seemed to be the answer to all my problems." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II ("They Stopped in Time"), Ch 7 ("A Teenager's Story"), p 353.

Today ... out of the mouths of babes. This sufferer who crossed the threshold of alcoholism at age 15 and began recovery at 18 speaks to all of us on multiple levels. First, youth and even a relatively short drinking career do not shield us from alcoholism; second, if like this child we are drinking or drank as an "escape" or a solution "to all (our) problems," we have by clinical definition established the link between alcohol and addiction even if it is emotional or psychological. If I have any deep-seeded worry about my drinking or if I am desperately clawing for excuses to quiet others who have their worries, grant me the strength and honesty to heed the voices of warning. Their experience may be the lifeline I might not yet know I need. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

July 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, July 20, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
We must be loyal to the group and to each member of it. We must never accuse members behind their backs or even to their faces. It's up to them to tell us themselves if anything is wrong. More than that, we must try not to think bad things about any members, because if we do, we're consciously or unconsciously hurting that person. We must be loyal to each other if AA is going to be successful. While we're in this lifeboat, trying to save ourselves and each other from alcoholism, we must be truly and sincerely helpful to each other.

Am I a loyal member of my group?

Meditation for the Day
Carry out God's guidance as best you can. Leave the results to Him. Do this obediently and faithfully with no question that if the working out of the guidance is left in God's hands, the results will be all right. Believe that the guidance God gives you has already been worked out by God to produce the required results according to your case and in your circumstances. So follow God's guidance according to your conscience. God has knowledge of your individual life and character, your capabilities and your weaknesses.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may live according to the dictates of my conscience. I pray that I may leave the results to God.

Hazelden Foundation

July 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, July 20, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
"It is the privilege of wisdom to listen," Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote. If I try as hard as I can to cultivate the art of listening - uncritically and without making premature judgments - chances are great that I'll progress more rapidly in my recovery. If I try as hard as I can to listen to the feelings and thoughts expressed - rather than to the "speaker" - I may be blessed with an unexpectedly helpful idea. The essential quality of good listening is humility, which reflects the fact that God's voice speaks to us even through the least and most inarticulate of His children.

Does a holier-than-thou attitude sometimes close my mind to the shared suggestions of others?

Today I Pray
May my Higher Power keep me from being "holier-than-thou" with anyone whose manner or language or opposite point of view or apparent lack of knowledge turns me off to what they are saying. May I be listening always for the voice of God, which can be heard through the speech of any one of us.

Today I Will Remember
Hear the speech, not the speaker.

Hazelden Foundation

July 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, July 20, 2017
 
In all great emergencies, people instinctively turn to the man who has complete control of all his faculties. Few indeed are the difficulties that we can fight our way out of, yet few indeed are the difficulties that we cannot think our way out of.

Confusion is unknown in the mind that is cool, calm and collected.

Hazelden Foundation

Friday, July 14, 2017

July 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, July 14, 2017
 
"As we look back, we feel we had gone on drinking many years beyond the point where we could quit on our will power. If anyone questions whether he has entered this dangerous area, let him try leaving liquor alone for one year. If he is a real alcoholic and very far advanced, there is scant chance of success. In the early days of our drinking, we occasionally remained sober for a year or more, becoming serious drinkers again later. Though you may be able to stop for a considerable period, you may yet be a potential alcoholic." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 3 ("More About Alcoholism"), p 34.

Today - the AA challenge. If hangovers, the morning drink to calm a churning stomach and shakes, if warnings from the spouse, partner or employer and if high liver enzymes aren't enough to clue me that I might have a problem with alcohol, I'll take the AA challenge and give up drinking for a year. It would be a monumental achievement considering I probably can't remember when I went that long without a drink after I started. And if I don't make it ...how about a piece of humble pie with a couple of side dishes of honesty and determination "to go to any lengths"  to recover? Likewise, even if I am in recovery and it's been a few years since my last drink, what are the odds that I can start drinking responsibly again? Rhetorical question. Today, I set out on the AA challenge to go it alcohol-free for a year ...one day at a time. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

July 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, July 14, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
One of the best things about the AA program is the peace of mind and serenity that it can bring us. In our drinking days, we had no peace of mind or serenity. We had the exact opposite, a kind of turmoil and that "quiet desperation" we knew so well. The turmoil of our drinking days was caused partly by our physical suffering, the terrible hangovers, the cold sweats, the shakes and the jitters. But it was caused even more by our mental suffering, the loneliness, the feeling of inferiority, the lying, the remorse that every alcoholic understands.

Have I achieved more peace of mind?

Meditation for the Day
Try to look for God's leading in all your personal relationships, in all your dealings with other persons. God will help you to take care of all your relationships with people, if you are willing to let Him guide you. Rejoice that God can protect you and keep you from temptation and failure. God can protect you in all situations during the day, if you will rely on His strength and go forward. You should feel that you are entering upon the stage of success in the proper way of living. You should not doubt that better things are ahead for you. Go forward unafraid because you feel deeply safe under God's protection.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that God may protect and keep me as long as I try to serve Him. I pray that I may go forward today unafraid.

Hazelden Foundation

July 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Friday, July 14, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
Conditioned as we are by our old ideas and old ways of living, it's understandable that we tend to resist certain suggestions made to us when we first come to The Program. If that's the case, there's no need to permanently reject such suggestions; it's better, we've found, just temporarily to set them aside. The point is, there's no hard-and-fast "right" way or "wrong" way. Each of us uses what's best for himself or herself at a particular time, keeping an open mind regarding other kinds of help we may find valuable at another time.

Am I trying to remain open-minded?

Today I Pray
May I be enlightened about the real meaning of an open mind, aware that my one-time definition of "open-minded" as "broad-minded" doesn't seem to fit here. May I constantly keep my mind open to the suggestions of the solid many who came into The Program before me. What has worked for them may work for me, no matter how far-fetched or how obvious it may be.

Today I Will Remember
Only an open mind can be healed.

Hazelden Foundation

July 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, July 14, 2017

Suspicion, and its first cousin, jealousy, are the world's most bitter poisons. They are compounded from surmise, rumor and malicious gossip and are mixed in the retort of confused and unsure minds.

They serve no useful purpose on earth, but they torture all who possess them. It is much better for a person to have his worst fears justified than to live with unproven suspicions.

Hazelden Foundation

July 14, 2017 - Good morning to a Friday we trust will bring faith, hope and renewal


Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day.
 -- Albert Camus


"Later." How often have we said this? This trick helps us avoid the tasks of the day. Life is full of tasks - many fun, some boring, and others hard. Can I accept the tasks my Higher Power gives me, easy or hard?

When we used alcohol or other drugs, we'd avoid tasks if they became hard for us. We believed we had more control than we really did. We started to believe we could control outcomes. What we really were doing was setting ourselves up for a great fall. We had to face the fact that when our Higher Power had given us a task, we said no, and turned away. Thus, we turned away from the guiding hand of our Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day
God, help me face You and the tasks You give me. Make me a grateful student of life.

Today's Action
Today I will talk with friends. I will tell them what tasks I'm working on.
You are reading from the book:
Keep It Simple © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation

July 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, July 13, 2017
 
Today, if the responsibility to sobriety sometimes seems overwhelming or too demanding if I fail to do it First Things First, I will not complain or cop the poor-me attitude or blow off steam on anyone or anything. Instead, I'll remember yesterday when I couldn't be trusted with any responsibility because I was too drunk or too hung over. I'll remember gratitude and that my response in the past to "relaxing" robbed me of being trusted with those responsibilities. Today, no complaints, no self-pity, no turning my back on anything I'm asked to do. I'll be grateful that I'm sober to be entrusted with the responsibilities that I have. That's all. It's that simple. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

July 13 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, July 13, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
Before alcoholics come into AA, they are "flying blind." But AA gives them a directed beam in the AA program. As long as they keep on this beam, the signal of sobriety keeps coming through. If they have a slip, the signal is broken. If they swing off course into drunkenness, the signal stops. Unless they regain the AA-directed beam, they are in danger of crashing against the mountain peak of despair.

Am I on the beam?

Meditation for the Day
Be expectant. Constantly expect better things. Believe that what God has in store for you is better than anything you ever had before. The way to grow old happily is to expect better things right up to the end of your life and even beyond that. A good life is a growing, expanding life with ever-widening horizons, an ever-greater circle of friends and acquaintances and an ever-greater opportunity for usefulness.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may await with complete faith for the next good thing in store for me. I pray that I may always keep an expectant attitude toward life.

Hazelden Foundation

July 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, July 13, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
These days, I go to meetings to listen for the similarities between myself and others in The Program - not the differences. And when I look for the similarities, it's amazing how many I find, particularly in the area of feelings. Today I go to meetings thinking that I'm here not because of anyone else's addictions, but because of mine and, most importantly, what my addiction did to my spirit and body. I'm here because there's no way I can stay free of my addiction by myself. I need The Program and my Higher Power.

Am I becoming less harsh in my judgment of others?

Today I Pray
May I stay alert as I listen, just one more time, to Jack or Jill or Fred or Sam or Martha go through his or her tale of woe and weal. May I find, when I listen with the wholehearted attention I want to be able to give, that each has something to offer me to add to my own life-tale. May I be struck once again by our samenesses. May each sameness draw us nearer to each other's needs.

Today I Will Remember
In sameness, there is strength.

Hazelden Foundation

July 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, July 13, 2017
 
It is most fortunate for us arrested alcoholics that we can never know the price we paid for our former dissipations (sic).

One man received a splendid promotion about a month ago, and was told that his name had been considered for the job for 14 years but that it had been held up because of his drinking.

There is no use in crying over spilt (sic) milk - those days are gone forever and carried their opportunities with them - but today is here now.

Hazelden Foundation