I started a Web Site in 1999 when I came back into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Tripod decided to block me a few years ago , so I stopped writing, posting. SO I decided to take the posts I had there and put them here. Plus new ones I found on the net and shares of my own. Take what you need and pass on the rest! Blessings ds♥

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Acid Test ( Daily Reflection )

October 2nd

As we work the first nine Steps, we prepare ourselves for the adventure of a new life. But when we approach Step Ten we commence to put our A.A. way of living to practical use, day-by-day, in fair weather or foul. Then comes the acid test: can we stay sober, keep in emotional balance, and live to good purpose under all conditions? TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 88

Thursday, September 10, 2015



Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.
--Hannah Arendt

Resentments keep us in the past, a past that can never be relived. Resentments keep a stranglehold on our mind. They keep us from appreciating the beauty of a moment. They stop us from hearing the loving voices of friends. We forget that we have a mission to fulfill God's divine plan for our life.

Friday, September 4, 2015


Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead. . . .

The reconstruction of my life is the prime goal in my recovery as I avoid taking that first drink, one day at a time. The task is most successfully accomplished by working the Steps of our Fellowship. The spiritual life is not a theory; it works, but I have to live it. Step Two started me on my journey to develop a spiritual life; Step Nine allows me to move into the final phase of the initial Steps which taught me how to live a spiritual life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
--Step Three of Alcoholics Anonymous

Let's cut right to the heart of the matter: We get in trouble if we try to run our own lives. Our ego starts to mess things up. We try to control things we can't control. We think we are smarter than we are. We start to think we can run things just fine by ourselves. What's the end product? We end up alone – spiritually and sometimes physically – and in trouble.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.

--Maya Angelou

Some days we grasp at self-pity like a blanket on a cold night, and we are momentarily comforted. However, extended periods of self-pity will undermine our primary purpose, which is to be at peace with ourselves and others so that we may know freedom from our addictions. Thus our self-pity prevents us from carrying a message of hope to fellow sufferers, that they too can find release from their suffering through the Twelve Steps.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Self-Acceptance and Self-Knowledge

God, grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change the things I can

And wisdom to know the difference.

This well-known prayer expresses some key guidelines to our philosophy of living. One group member explained it this way:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Be not afraid of life


Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
--William James

Many of us learned as children that rejection and abandonment are part and parcel of being alive. We are so used to feeling as though things won't work out, that fear - like a shadow - is always lurking behind us. Usually there's something specific to be afraid of - that we won't have enough money to pay our bills, someone we love will die, or our children won't do well in school. And always there's the generalized fear that events will overwhelm us in spite of our best efforts.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.”

“Deep inside, I had feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.”


Somewhere along the way, many of us developed strong feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.  Deep inside was a voice that continually cried out, “You’re worthless!”  Many of us learn to recognize this characteristic of low self-esteem very early in our recovery.  Some of us may feel that our feelings of inferiority were where all our problems began.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Progress, not perfection

. . . I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy.
--Marie Curie

We are looking for progress, not perfection; however, we sometimes get lost or confused between the two. Expecting ourselves to be perfect at something we are only now learning is a familiar affliction. As we accept our humanness, we'll allow the mistakes that are a normal part of the process of living and learning - a process we call progress.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


F.E.A.R. = Frustration, Ego, Anxiety and Resentment

We don't want to return to the life we led before recovery, but fear should never be the reason why we don't. Fear keeps us from being open to the Program. If we're only in the Program because we're afraid of the old way of life, we'll never pay attention and open our souls to learn about the new way. We'll be too busy looking back over our shoulders to make sure the old life isn't creeping up on us.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Detachment means "freedom from emotion."

Letting someone else's behavior determine how we feel at every turn is irresponsible. Our emotions should be determined by us, not by someone else. But no doubt we have spent years confusing the boundaries that separate us from other people. Whether at work or at home, we have too often let someone else's "insanity" affect how we behave and how we feel.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


 Donna S alcoholic,

 Acceptance is one I have to work on a lot. First I had to accept I was defeated when it came to alcohol or any kid of drugs. I could not have one, I am not a social drinker! So I had to accept that or I would continue to go back out.

Then I had to accept that if I don't do any action work on myself, I am not going to change. Acceptance isn't easy, but my biggest challenge with acceptance is of other people.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

By Working the Steps...


“We examined our lives and discovered who we really are.  To be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves.”

Basic Text, p. 36

As using addicts, the demands of our disease determined our personality.  We could be whoever or whatever we needed to be in order to get our “fix.”  We were survival machines, adapting easily to every circumstance of the using life.

Friday, May 22, 2015

One Small Change

The change of one simple behavior can affect other behaviors and thus change many things.”

Our behavior tells others and ourselves who we are. Frequently, we find ourselves behaving in ways that keep us stuck or embarrass us. Or we may feel deep shame for our behavior in a certain instance. Our behavior will never totally please us. But deciding we want to change some behavior and using the program to help us is a first step.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fear of the Fourth Step

“As we approach this step, most of us are afraid that there is a monster inside of us that, if released, will destroy us.”
Basic Text, p. 27
Most of us are terrified to look at ourselves, to probe our insides.  We’re afraid that if we examine our actions and motives, we’ll find a bottomless black pit of selfishness and hatred.  But as we take the Fourth Step, we’ll find that those fears were unwarranted.  We’re human, just like everyone else—no more, no less.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Don't take the first drink

A man takes a drink, the drink takes another, and the drink takes the man.


I've heard Alcoholics Anonymous members say, "It's the first drink that gets you drunk," and Overeaters Anonymous members say, "Don't take that first compulsive bite." It seems a little extreme. Don't Twelve Step programs allow for the possibility of doing things in moderation?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Any lengths

“...I was ready to go to any lengths to stay clean.”

Basic Text, p. 132

“Any lengths?” newcomers ask.  “What do you mean, any lengths?”  Looking back at our active addiction and the lengths we were willing to go to in order to stay high can help to explain.  Were we willing to drive many miles to get drugs( alcohol) ?  Yes, we usually were.  Then it makes sense that, if we are as concerned about staying clean as we were about using, we will try anything to find a ride to a meeting.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


We can practice forgiveness each day.

Resentments have a way of creeping back into my psyche even after I have let go of them. I know that holding a grudge is harmful to my emotional health and can threaten my abstinence, but what can I do when I keep feeling anger toward someone?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The gifts we receive are meant to be shared.

Thanks to the progress I am making in recovery, I like to think I am more loving, more open, more spontaneous, more confident. I believe these gifts have come to me through my Higher Power, the Twelve Steps, and the friends who have helped me grow.

If I am to keep the gifts, I must share them. They are mine as long as I give them away. To do that I need to realize we're all working toward a similar goal: that of developing our potential and becoming who we are meant to be. We help each other toward this goal by sharing our experience, strength, and hope.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


A man and his wife are awakened at 3 o’clock in the morning by a loud pounding on the door. The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger standing in the pouring rain asks for a push.
"Not a chance," says the husband. "It’s three o’clock in the morning!" He slams the door and returns to bed.

Big Book Meeting Step 11

Page 86 big book
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.

Monday, April 27, 2015



"The monkey may be off my back, but the circus hasn't left town yet."

Once I had about 6 months of recovery, I began to feel as if my addiction was finally beginning to be manageable - I didn't crave it all the time, it didn't drive me as it once had, and I found myself thinking more about the steps, my life and the work ahead. The monkey was off my back.


Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.
--Niccolo Machiavelli

Acceptance may be one of the most difficult things to learn, for it means we must give up the desire to control our life and its outcome. Once we have truly received this great gift we will learn that acceptance need not take away our strength - on the contrary, we will have an inner strength we never thought possible.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Happiness is an achievement brought about by inner productiveness.
People succeed at being happy by building a liking for themselves.
Erich Fromm

It has been said that if one of us ever treated another human being the way we treated ourselves, we would be liable for criminal charges. I did not treat myself as a friend, someone I loved; I constantly fed into my unhappiness.

Wrap your love

Let each thing that happens plant a seed within your spirit. Then nurture that seed so it bears positive, valuable fruit.

Instead of letting a certain occurrence stir up judgment, let it stir up love. Wrap your love around whatever happens, and make it into something good.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


"So many times, addicts have sought the rewards of hard work without the labor."
Basic Text, p. 34

When we first came to NA, AA, SH, some of us wanted everything, and right away. We wanted the serenity, the cars, the happy relationships, the friends, the closeness with our sponsor-all the things other people had gotten after months and years of working the steps and living life on life's terms.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bondage Of Resentments

......harboring resentment is infinitely grave. For then we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the spirit. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 5

It has been said, “Anger is a luxury I cannot afford.” Does this suggest I ignore this human emotion? I believe not. Before I learned of the A.A. program, I was a slave to the behavior patterns of alcoholism. I was chained to negativity, with no hope of cutting loose. The Steps offered me an alternative.

Friday, April 10, 2015


The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Have you ever envied someone else's good fortune? Consider the friend who calls with a different ring to her voice. Instead of sharing her troubles and woes, she proceeds to tell you good news. Something exciting, financially beneficial, glamorous, wonderful beyond belief has happened in her life. It's not a fantasy. It's one of those rare moments when a dream has come true.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I can live for two months on a good compliment.


At a meeting I shared about a loss I've gone through, and the response was amazing. People expressed sympathy and understanding, and a number of them shared experiences of their own that were similar to mine. It surprised me. I'd told the same story at a different meeting, and people there didn't say a thing to me. I had left feeling like there was something wrong with me. I can't figure out what I did differently this time, maybe there was something about the way I shared.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Lifetime Process

We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people. . . . ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 52

Friday, April 3, 2015

Accepting Our Humanness

We finally saw that the inventory should be ours, not the other man’s. So we admitted our wrongs honestly and became willing to set these matters straight.

Why is it that the alcoholic is so unwilling to accept responsibility? I used to drink because of the things that other people did to me. Once I came to A.A. I was told to look at where I had been wrong. What did I have to do with all these different matters?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you.
The idea of faith is a very large chunk to swallow when fear, doubt and anger abound in and around me. Sometimes just the idea of doing something different, something I am not accustomed to doing, can eventually become an act of faith if I do it regularly,

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Easy Does It

All of us are faced with the troubles and problems of daily living, whether we've been in the Program two days or twenty years. We’d sometimes like to believe we could take care of all our problems right now, but it rarely works that way. If we remember the slogan “Easy Does It” when we are ready to panic, we may come to know that the very best way to handle all things is “Easy.” We put one foot in front of the other, doing the best we are capable of doing. We say “Easy Does It,” and we do it. Are the Program’s slogans growing with me as I grow with the Program?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Our own recovery

“The steps are our solution.  They are our survival kit.  They are our defense against addiction, a deadly disease.  Our steps are the principles that make our recovery possible.”

Basic Text, p. 19


There’s lots to like in recovery.  The meetings, for one, are great.  We get to see our friends, hear some inspiring stories, share some practical experience, maybe even hook up with our sponsor.  The camp outs, the conventions, the dances are all wonderful, clean fun in the company of other recovering addicts.  But the heart of our recovery program is the Twelve Steps—in fact, they are the program!

We’ve heard it said that we can’t stay clean by osmosis—in other words, we can’t just attend meetings, no matter how many, and expect to breathe recovery in through the pores of our skin.  Recovery, as another saying goes, is an inside job.  And the tools we use in working that “inside job” are the Twelve Steps.  Hearing endlessly about acceptance is one thing; working the First Step for ourselves is something very different.  Stories about making amends may be inspiring, yet nothing will give us the freedom from remorse that taking the Ninth Step ourselves will give.  The same applies to all Twelve Steps.

There’s much to appreciate about recovery, but to get the most from our recovery we must work the Twelve Steps for ourselves.

Just for today:  I want everything my personal program has to offer.  I will work the steps for myself.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Rationalizing away our recovery


As a result of the Twelve Steps, I’m not able to hold on to old ways of deceiving myself.”

We all rationalize.  Sometimes we know we are rationalizing, admit we are rationalizing, yet continue to behave according to our rationalizations!  Recovery can become very painful when we decide that, for one reason or another, the simple principles of the program don’t apply to us.

With the help of our sponsor and others in NA, AA, SH,OA we can begin to look at the excuses we use for our behavior.  Do we find that some principles just don’t apply to us?  Do we believe that we know more than everyone else in recovery, even those who have been clean for many years?  What makes us think that we’re so special?

There is no doubt, we can successfully rationalize our way through part of our recovery.  But, eventually, we must squarely face the truth and start acting accordingly.  The principles in the Twelve Steps guide us to a new life in recovery.  There is little room for rationalization there.

Just for today:  I cannot work the steps and also continue deceiving myself.  I will examine my thinking for rationalizations, reveal them to my sponsor, and be rid of them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A.A. Thought for the Day

Having surrendered our lives to God and put our drink problem in His hands doesn't mean that we'll never be tempted to drink. So we must build up strength for the time when temptation will come. In this quiet time, we read and pray and get our minds in the right mood for the day. Starting the day right is a great help in keeping sober. As the days go by and we get used to the sober life, it gets easier and easier. We begin to develop a deep gratitude to God for saving us from that old life. And we begin to enjoy peace and serenity and quiet happiness. Am I trying to live the way God wants me to live?
Meditation for the Day

The elimination of selfishness is the key to happiness and can only be accomplished with God's help. We start out with a spark of the Divine Spirit but a large amount of selfishness. As we grow and come in contact with other people, we can take one of two paths. We can become more and more selfish and practically extinguish the Divine Spark within us, or we can become more unselfish and develop our spirituality until it becomes the most important thing in our lives. Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may grow more and more unselfish, honest, pure, and loving. I pray that I may take the right path every day.

G.O.D. = Good Orderly Direction

When we decided to turn our will and lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him, we made a declaration of independence. We declared our freedom from the chains of our self-centered ego and the unrelenting demands of our self-will. When we decided that God was God and we were not, we began to receive the wonderful future that had been planned for us.

That decision was our claim to a new life. The prison that was our home has been destroyed. We decide to let go and let God on a daily basis. Our wills are always free to decide. We must decide to keep ourselves conscious at all times and listen to the voices that speak to us. We must decide to guard against our ego once again begging to run the show.

My will power will only be helpful to me when it is acting in accordance with my decision to let my Higher Power instruct me in the way to go.

Monday, March 2, 2015

What is it like to be a recovering addict


A woman was asked by someone, "What is it like to be a recovering addict?"  She replied, "It is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, self loathing, etc. and then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see." 

This was passed on to you from another pumpkin. Now it is your turn to pass it to a pumpkin. I liked this enough to send it to all the pumpkins in my patch.       

Friday, February 20, 2015

Change the behavior


Reflection for the Day

Among the many gifts that we are offered in The Program is the gift of freedom. Paradoxically, however, the gift of freedom is not without a price tag; freedom can only be achieved by paying the price called acceptance. Similarly, if we can surrender to God's guidance, it will cost us our self-will, that "commodity" so precious to those of us who have always thought we could and should run the show. Is my freedom today worth the price tag of acceptance?

Today I Pray

May God teach me acceptance - the ability to accept the things I cannot change. God also grant me courage to change those things I can. God help me to accept the illness of my addiction and give me the courage to change my addictive behavior.

Today I Will Remember

Accept the addiction. Change the behavior.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Carrying the message, not the addict


“They can be analyzed, counseled, reasoned with, prayed over, threatened, beaten, or locked up, but they will not stop until they want to stop.”
Basic Text, p. 65
Perhaps one of the most difficult truths we must face in our recovery is that we are as powerless over another’s addiction as we are over our own.  We may think that because we’ve had a spiritual awakening in our own lives we should be able to persuade another addict to find recovery.  But there are limits to what we can do to help another addict.
We cannot force them to stop using.  We cannot give them the results of the steps or grow for them.  We cannot take away their loneliness or their pain.  There is nothing we can say to convince a scared addict to surrender the familiar misery of addiction for the frightening uncertainty of recovery.  We cannot jump inside other peoples’ skins, shift their goals, or decide for them what is best for them.
However, if we refuse to try to exert this power over another’s addiction, we may help them.  They may grow if we allow them to face reality, painful though it may be.  They may become more productive, by their own definition, as long as we don’t try and do it for them.  They can become the authority on their own lives, provided we are only authorities on our own.  If we can accept all this, we can become what we were meant to be—carriers of the message, not the addict.

Just for today:  I will accept that I am powerless not only over my own addiction but also over everyone else’s.  I will carry the message, not the addict.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Personality Change

"It has often been said of A.A. that we are interested only on alcoholism. That is not true. We have to get over drinking in order to stay alive. But anyone who knows the alcoholic personality by first hand contact knows that no true alky ever stops drinking permanently without undergoing a profound personality  change."

<< << << >> >> >>

We thought "conditions" drove us to drink, and when
we tried to correct these conditions and found that we couldn't do so to our entire satisfaction, our drinking went out of hand and we became alcoholics. It never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves to meet conditions, whatever they were.
1. LETTER, 1940


A friend in Program says . . .
Meditation was always a mystery to me. I didn't know how to do it, and I never like trying something that I'm not going to be good at. I always thought there was a "right" way to meditate; that is, until I took a walk one day and decided to meditate while walking.

Several minutes into the walk, I suddenly felt myself getting focused. For more than fifteen minutes, I was experiencing the moment. I was aware of so many sights, sounds, and smells. The sun was just rising; there was a cloud that continually changed colors in the new morning light; there were chirping crickets and singing birds.
So it seems to me that our lives are a series of moments, and meditation is simply experiencing those moments one after another. If we ever perfected meditation, life would be one big moment of total awareness. But for me, just then, merely having a series of brief moments of being in the "now" was a wonderful and glorious thing.

"The spiritual life is never one of achievement: it is always one of letting go."

Thursday, February 12, 2015



No man is more cheated than the selfish man.
--Henry Ward Beecher

When we're selfish, we close off the channels of exchange with others. Not only are we grabbing and holding all the goods or attention we can get, but we are denying others the possibility of sharing with us in the benefits. We may be selfish in material goods, but there are many other ways too. Some of us expect our spouses to meet our needs while we make little effort to meet theirs. Some of us discover our selfishness as we drive, refusing to yield a position to another car or getting furious if we lose a place in heavy traffic.

By contrast, our generosity and welcoming responses nourish the spirit within us and create a good environment for our growth. Sometimes giving does not come easily We have a more generous spirit when we are in touch with our ultimate vulnerability. All of life is fragile, and we need each other to have a good life. We can truly hold on to nothing but ourselves. Giving what we can of our time, our energy, and our goods, helps create the kind of world we want to live in.

Today, I will look for ways to be generous with those with whom I share this world.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Letting Go of Sadness

A block to joy and love can be unresolved sadness from the past.

In the past, we told ourselves many things to deny the pain: It doesn't hurt that much…. Maybe if I just wait, things will change.… It’s no big deal. I can get through this…. Maybe if I try to change the other person, I won’t have to change myself.

We denied that it hurt because we didn’t want to feel the pain.

Unfinished business doesn't go away. It keeps repeating itself, until it gets our attention, until we feel it, deal with it, and heal. That’s one lesson we are learning in recovery from codependency and adult children issues.

Many of us didn’t have the tools, support, or safety we needed to acknowledge and accept pain in our past. It’s okay. We’re safe now. Slowly, carefully, we can begin to open ourselves up to our feelings. We can begin the process of feeling what we have denied so long—not to blame, not to shame, but to heal ourselves in preparation for a better life.

It’s okay to cry when we need to cry and feel the sadness many of us have stored within for so long. We can feel and release these feelings.

Grief is a cleansing process. It’s an acceptance process. It moves us from our past, into today, and into a better future—a future free of sabotaging behaviors, a future that holds more options than our past.

God, as I move through this day, let me be open to my feelings. Today, help me know that I don’t have to either force or repress the healing available to me in recovery. Help me trust that if I am open and available, the healing will happen naturally, in a manageable way.

Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


"Come to the edge," he said. "No, we will fall," they replied. They came to the edge. He pushed them . . . and they flew.

Without courage it is virtually impossible to progress along the spiritual path. Courage enables us to face the fears that arise when we go for what we want.

Courage often involves going against conventional wisdom and walking the path alone. It takes courage to give up the high paying job and work part-time while you start your own business on the side. It takes courage to leave an unworkable relationship. It takes courage to face the pain of one's childhood and seek to heal it. In short, it takes courage to be oneself.

People ask, "How can I have courage when I'm afraid?" The answer is clear. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to move forward in spite of it. When fear comes up in your life, fully feel and experience it. If you try to push it away, it will only expand.

Say to your fear, "I acknowledge you. But as I connect with my higher knowing, I see that you are not in alignment with my true calling. Because I have the courage and the faith to follow my heart, I am moving ahead with my plans in spite of you." Then proceed. Like the actor whose stage fright leaves in the first moments of the play, yours will fade as you  actively embrace your own unique destiny - with courage.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Rescued By Surrender

Characteristic of the so-called typical alcoholic is a narcissistic egocentric core, dominated by feelings of omnipotence, intent on maintaining at all costs its inner integrity…. Inwardly the alcoholic brooks no control from man or God. He, the alcoholic, is and must be the master of his destiny. He will fight to the end to preserve that position. A.A. COMES OF AGE, p.311

The great mystery is: “Why do some of us die alcoholic deaths, fighting to preserve the ‘independence’ of our ego, while others seem to sober up effortlessly in A.A.?” Help from a Higher Power, the gift of sobriety, came to me when an otherwise unexplained desire to stop drinking coincided with my willingness to accept the suggestions of the men and women of A.A. I had to surrender, for only by reaching out to God and my fellows could I be rescued.

Daily Reflection © Alcoholics Anonymous World Services

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

We pray for "courage to change the things we can.'' Change requires giving up familiar old ways to try something new. Even though the old ways brought us pain, they were known. Changing them for new ones feels risky; it could lead to pleasure . . . or to even more pain.

But if we don't try, we'll never know whether we can handle a new job, go back to school, work out a new relationship, or breathe new life into an old one. To try something new, we have to be willing to take risks and be vulnerable. We have to accept the responsibility and the consequences if our venture does not proceed as we had hoped it would.

Perhaps our addiction was a way of avoiding risk. Rather than take the chance of failing at something we wanted to do or being rejected by someone to whom we offered our friendship, we focused on our addiction. Are we ready, now, to take risks for something we really want?

Today, I can take a small risk in the interest of enriching my life.


On the face of it,
surrendering certainly does not seem like winning.
But it is in AA
Only after we have come to the end of our rope,
hit a stone wall in some aspect of our lives
beyond which we can go no further;
only when we hit "bottom" in despair and surrender,
can we accomplish sobriety which we could
never accomplish before.
We must, and we do, surrender in order to win.
c. 1955 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, 2nd Edition, pp. 341-2

Thought to Consider . . .

Life didn't end when I got sober -- it started.

S W A T = Surrender, Willingness, Acceptance, Trust

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Identify not compare


Nothing is so bad that relapse won't make it worse.

The stories we hear in meetings often shock us. It seems hard to believe that some members could have harmed themselves in such ways. We hear about arrests, bankruptcies, loss of family and home, lost jobs, violence, jail, physical injury – the list goes on. Most of us said to ourselves, "I never was that bad. Maybe I don't really belong here."

Our sponsors and fellow members quickly straightened us out. We were comparing our histories with other members. We were told to identify with the stories, not compare. Some of us had been lucky that worse things hadn't happened to us while we were using. We were reminded those things hadn't happened to us "yet." If we relapsed, the "yets" were waiting.

Today I'll remember to identify, not compare. I don't want to relapse and go through THE YETS.

Monday, January 26, 2015


“The spiritual part of our disease is our total self-centeredness.”
Basic Text, p. 20

What is self-centeredness?  It is our belief that the world revolves around us.  Our wishes, our demands are the only ones worth consideration.  Our self-centered minds believe they are capable of getting everything they want if only they would be left to their own devices.  Self-centeredness assumes total self-sufficiency.
We say that self-centeredness is the spiritual part of our disease because the self-centered mind cannot conceive of anything greater or more important than itself.  But there is a spiritual solution to our spiritual malady: the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous.  The steps lead us away from self-centeredness and toward God-centeredness.

We strip away our delusion of self-sufficiency by admitting our own powerlessness and seeking the aid of a Power greater than ourselves.  We acknowledge the bankruptcy of our self-righteousness by admitting we’ve been wrong, making amends, and seeking knowledge of what’s right from the God our understanding.  And we deflate our overwhelming sense of self-importance by seeking to serve others, not only ourselves.
The self-centeredness afflicting our spirit can be treated with a spiritual solution: the Twelve Steps.
Just for today:  My guidance and my strength comes from a Higher Power, not from my own self.  I will practice the Twelve Steps to become more God-centered and less self-centered.