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

I know the Promises are being fulfilled in my life, but I want to maintain and develop them by the daily application of Step Ten. I have learned through this Step that if I am disturbed, there is something wrong with me. The other person may be wrong too, but I can only deal with my feelings. When I am hurt or upset, I have to continually look for the cause in me, and then I have to admit and correct my mistakes. It isn’t easy, but as long as I know I am progressing spiritually, I know that I can mark my effort up as a job well done. I have found that pain is a friend; it lets me know there is something wrong with my emotions, just as a physical pain lets me know there is something wrong with my body. When I take the appropriate action through the Twelve Steps, the pain gradually goes away.

  My thoughts on Reflection
The Steps have given me direction on how to live a good life today, compared to the insane/unmanageable life I lead before. Step 10 helps me with balance in my daily life. At any time during the day if I am feeling anxious, irritable, or discontent, I can stop and review my day and see why I am feeling this way. What a great tool ( Step) to have, as I didn't know to do that before.  My day would just get worse until I exploded at anyone in my path. Also when I retire at night  I ask God if there was anything in  my day I owe amends for, or where I could do better tomorrow. I use to think the reason I felt angry or upset or uneasy was what YOU did to me and I would make sure you knew it!!  Even letting you know how I felt I didn't feel any better, but with Step 10  I get freedom once I take that time to look at why I am feeling the way I am.  It is wonderful to have that choice in my day, to stop look and see and be able to change how I am feeling and make amends if I need to.  I still have those days,  I speak before I think and have to go back to that person and apologize. I am not perfect, and don't want to be, as I would be with my maker then.

So I will keep coming and keep growing and working the Steps in my life.

God Bless you all

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.

Fortunately, we can shake this hold on us, and our freedom comes when we decide to forgive whatever transgressions are made against us. This decision, with some practice, can become second nature.

Clearly the choice to resent no one is our opportunity to free our mind and heart for the real activities God hopes we'll attend to. Our purpose in this life goes unfulfilled when we're consumed by resentments. Now we have a program of recovery to help us develop a forgiving heart and find the peace and joy that are part of God's will for each of us.

Holding resentments against others hurts me. Forgiveness can make me glad I'm alive today.

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. Without the guidance and strength of a Higher Power, it would be impossible to proceed through the various stages of reconstruction. I realize that God works for me and through me. Proof comes to me when I realize that God did for me what I could not do for myself, by removing that gnawing compulsion to drink. I must continue daily to seek God's guidance. He grants me a daily reprieve and will provide the power I need for reconstruction.
From the book Daily Reflections

 Donna S alcoholic

 Boy did i have trouble with Step 2 which in turn didn't help me with the others steps. Basically i made it harder for myself then it is, as in Step 2 all i was to do was become willing. I said i was but in all actuality i wasn't, i still kept believing i was in control saying i did understand God.. how was it all to work? it wasn't till my life was totally out of control did i finally become willing to believe that there was a Power great then me and from there i was able to start my journey i found even with the smallest of prayers help me and thank you every day i didn't pick up and time went by and i was getting thru the steps4 & 5 i saw how i had a part in these resentments i had i got to see my defects and in 6 & 7 i was able to ask God to take them a beginning of healing, letting go 8 & 9 helped me forgives God was doing for me what i couldn't do for myself this wasn't the first time i did the step work i did them 3 times before this the difference was I was willing to believe that God couldds13099: and would if I let Him i winged it before and didn't allow a God of my understanding to work in an thru me i am so grateful today as my life has changed so much and i continue to trust God and the path i am on i couldn't do this with out the steps , the fellowship and God

 ty God Bless and thanks for reading me  

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.

What we need to do is let the care of our Higher Power run our life. We can use care as a guide because care is what a Higher Power is all about. When we put care into action, we get healing love as a result. So let's put our egos aside and ask our Higher Power to help us do the next right thing.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, I've made a decision. I am yours to do with as You want. I know that You will guide my life with care.

Today's Action

I will write down one way that I can be caring to others and myself today. Acting from care is acting for my Higher Power

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.

Staying clean and sober are gifts available to all of us when we cultivate gratitude. We can be grateful for this program that has brought manageability and serenity to our life, and that leaves us little room for self-pity, anger, or impatience. Our mind will be willing and open to receive God's guidance and support when we let go of our self-pity.

Today I will stay free of self-pity so I can receive God's strength.

from the book
In God's Care by Karen Casey

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:

“For me, the things I cannot change are other people, places, and circumstances. The only things I can change are my attitudes, reactions and action toward the people, places and circumstances in my life.

“The wisdom to know the difference, well, that’s a hard one. I don’t always know what I can and cannot change until I try changing it. Wisdom comes by trial and error. The more experience I have, the more understanding, knowledge, and wisdom I have.”

Today I will accept that much of my wisdom can only come through my daily experiences. I need to expect to make some mistakes in my attitudes, actions, and judgment of what I can and cannot change. I will learn to be patient with myself and others as I gain more understanding from my mistakes.

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.

We need to be careful about creating what we look for. Regardless of the frightening experiences of the past, we need to believe that other results are possible: All loved ones don't leave, all risks don't end in devastation, and all efforts aren't dashed on the rocks of defeat.

New consequences are possible when we believe they're possible. The brave new world that each of us seeks stands on the shoulders of that belief.

I am sick and tired of being fearful. Today, I am confident that positive efforts will yield positive results.

Days of Healing, Days of Joy by Earnie Larsen and Carol Larsen Hegarty

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.

Whether we learn this low self-esteem in our families or through our interactions with others, in NA,AA,SH we learn the tools for reclaiming ourselves.  Building up our fractured self-esteem sometimes begins by simply accepting a service position.  Or perhaps our phone begins to ring, and for the first time people are calling just to see how we are.  They don’t want anything from us but to reach out and help.

Next we get a sponsor, someone who teaches us that we are worthwhile and believes in us until we can believe in ourselves.  Our sponsor guides us through the Twelve Steps where we learn who we really are, not who we have built ourselves up or down to be.

Low self-esteem doesn’t go away overnight.  Sometimes it takes years for us to really get in touch with ourselves.  But with the help of other members of NA, AA, SH who share our same feelings, and by working the Twelve Steps, we blossom into individuals whom others and, most importantly, we ourselves respect.

Just for today:  I will remember that I am deserving of my Higher Power’s love.  I know that I am a worthy human being.

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.

Our need to be perfect will lessen with time. And we can help ourselves break the old habits. Perfection and self-worth are not symbiotic, except in our minds. And it's a symbiosis that has done us a grave injustice. Breaking the old thought patterns takes a commitment. We must first decide and believe that we are worthwhile, simply because we are. There is only one of us; we have a particular gift to offer this world. And our being is perfect as is. Affirming this, repeatedly, is our beginning. But with this, too, progress will be slow; perfection need only be worked for, not achieved.

The patterns I am weaving with my life are complex, full of intricate detail and knots. I need to go slow, taking only one stitch at a time. With hindsight I will see that whatever the progress, it was the perfect fit to the overall design.

Read from the book; Each Day a New Beginning by Karen Casey

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.

We have to want the Program out of a desire for a new life, not out of a fear of the old. Positive thinking and behavior will be in charge if we are to make any character growth. Every fear encourages negative thinking that can destroy us. Guilt and shame come from the past, just like fear. If those feelings are what drive us, we will never grow.

I will make it a practice to take note of my fears. I will take an inventory of each fear until I understand what caused it. Then I will be able to find a way to work through them.

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.

At first, it may seem insensitive not to react to others' problems or negative behavior. We may fear they'll think we simply don't care about them. Learning that it is far more caring to let other people handle their own lives takes time and patience. But with practice, it will begin to feel comfortable. In fact, in time it will feel freeing and wonderful.

I will work on detachment today, knowing that in time the rewards will come.

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. I want them to behave the way I want. Expectations then come into play, then resentments, and then I am back where I started, miserable and expecting everyone to do what I think is right. I can't control anyone or anything except ME!
Then I had to accept a Higher Power into my life, that took time, but I saw when I wasn't accepting of one, my life was still going to be out of control. I am a hard head and have to have the floor drop out for me to SEE the right way things work out. Once I accepted a God of my understanding into my life, man did my life take off in a new direction.
When I worked the steps, I got to see where I was wrong in so many situations, and how my defects effected others. I had to accept responsibility for them and keep them at bay.
I have learned many a lesson in the rooms about acceptance. I had to accept I can't run a group just because I belong to that group. There is a group conscious and business meetings where we vote on things and if it isn't what i want, I have to accept it.  I can be miserable and piss and moan about it, but it isn't going to change the fact there are guidelines, not rules,
to how it works and it is voted on.
There's also people I have to have acceptance with. Lately it has been with a couple people I am friends with. My old defect came out that I knew better, that I knew what they needed to be doing. I didn't tell them, I just thought it, but that is just as bad. My thinking gets all messed up thinking it is ok. I had to apologize  to one of them last night at CR meeting, she had no clue and said Oh shut up already LOL. I owe someone else one when I see them. It is what I have to do for me today!! Acceptance and responsibility. I don't know it all and I don't want to. I have to accept that we are all in a different places and have to grow at our own pace. If I keep stepping in, they will miss the message they need to learn.

My life is wonderful when I am accepting, loving, forgiving. When I get out the way and let God take the wheel! 

My God is an awesome God   weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

Its been a great day so far, I got a f2f later and its beautiful outside. I got to work in my garden this morning, which I love, very therapeutic.

 If your new or coming back, stick around and give yourself a chance. Reach out if you are struggling, we are here for you!!!     Love & Happy Sober 24

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.

Once we began our recovery, we entered a new and different life.  Many of us had no idea what behavior was appropriate for us in any given situation.  Some of us didn’t know how to talk to people, how to dress, or how to behave in public.  We couldn’t be ourselves because we didn’t know who we were anymore.

The Twelve Steps give us a simple method for finding out who we really are.  We uncover our assets and our defects, the things we like about ourselves and the things we’re not so thrilled about.  Through the healing power of the Twelve Steps, we begin to understand that we are individuals, created to be who we are by the Higher Power of our understanding.  The real healing begins when we understand that if our Higher Power created us this way, it must be okay to be who we really are.

Just for today:  By working the steps I can experience the freedom to be myself, the person my Higher Power intended me to be.

 from the book JFT

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.
Remember, imperfections are human and very acceptable. However, changing a particular behavior, maybe deciding to take a walk every morning rather than sleeping 30 extra minutes, will change how we feel about ourselves. And a minor change such as this can have a remarkable effect on our outlook, our attitudes.

The dilemma for many of us for so long was the fear we couldn’t change. But we can. And we can help each other change, too.


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.

We all have personality traits that we’re not especially proud of.  On a bad day, we may think that our faults are worse than anyone else’s.  We’ll have moments of self-doubt.  We’ll question our motives.  We may even question our very existence.  But if we could read the minds of our fellow members, we’d find the same struggles.  We’re no better or worse than anyone else.

We can only change what we acknowledge and understand.  Rather than continuing to fear what’s buried inside us, we can bring it out into the open.  We’ll no longer be frightened, and our recovery will flourish in the full light of self-awareness.


Just for today:  I fear what I don’t know.  I will expose my fears and allow them to vanish.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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?


There are numerous stories of addicted people who started with the idea that they'd have "just one" of whatever it was. Hours, days, or weeks later, they were still in the middle of a binge. Most of us, when we were active in our addictions, promised ourselves repeatedly that we'd be moderate, though we'd already accumulated plenty of evidence that we lacked the desire and the capacity for moderation. Once we started using, no matter how seemingly insignificant the beginning, we were under the control of our addiction. We experienced a craving that no quantity of a drug or repetition of an addictive behavior could satisfy.

There are people who can do in moderation what people filling the seats at meetings couldn't stop doing, once they started. But we are not those people.

Today, I'm strengthened by accepting my need to take special measures to protect my health and recovery.

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.
In our addiction, didn’t we often do crazy, insane things or use unknown substances at the direction of others?  Then why do we often find it so hard to take direction in recovery, especially when the direction is designed to help us grow?  And when we used, didn’t we often, in desperation, turn to our Higher Power, saying, “Please, just get me out of this one!”  Then why do we find it so hard to ask for God’s help in our recovery?
When we used, we usually had an open mind when it came to finding ways and means to get more drugs (alcohol).  If we can apply this same principle of open-mindedness to our recovery, we may surprise ourselves by how easily we begin to grasp the NA (AA) program.  Our best thinking, it is often said, got us into the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous ( Alcoholics Anonymous).  If we are willing to go to any lengths, follow directions, and stay open-minded, we can stay clean.

Just for today:  I am willing to go to any lengths to stay clean.  I will become as open-minded and ready to take direction as I need to be.

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?

In the interest of recovery, in my own best interest, I can continue to forgive each day. I may not be able to forgive the person once and for all, but I can do it right now, just for today. With practice, who knows? Perhaps the resentment will disappear.

When I remember that my own track record is far from perfect, I realize I could use some daily forgiveness too, both from others and from myself.

Just for now, I can let go of resentments and forgive. If resentments come back, I can forgive again.

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.

Close, warm, loving contacts with my family and friends are what feed my heart and spirit and fill the inner emptiness. When I am willing to share the gifts I have received, I always have enough, because what I give comes back to me.

I will take advantage of today's opportunities for caring and sharing, remembering that my recovery depends not on what I have but on what I give.

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.

"Who was it?" asks his wife.
"Just a drunken stranger asking for a push" he answers.
"Did you help him?" she asks.
"NO, I didn’t-it’s three in the morning and it’s pouring out!"
"Well, you’ve got a short memory" says his wife. "Can’t you remember about three months ago when we broke down on a holiday and those two guys helped us? I think you should help him."

The man does as he is told and gets dressed and goes out into the pounding rain and calls out into the dark: "Hello, are you still there?"
"Yes," comes the answer.
"Do you still want a push?" calls out the husband.
"Yes, please!" comes the reply from the dark.
"Where are you?" asks the husband.
"Over here, on the swing" the drunk replies.

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.

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.
In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.

 Donna S alcoholic

The part of the reading i do everyday is wake up and talk to God asking for His will for my day, and to divorce me from self, selfishness, self-centerness, dishonesty, lust, greed, pride, envy, and sloth, instead make me a channel  thru u God of love & peace patience and tolerance kindness and forgiveness and understanding, let me bring hope to others in this day and remind me when i lose sight of whats is right and thanking Him for another day. I have gotten use to thanking Him all thru the day... for the good and bad.I take the time in the morning to listen as well.... and change up what i might read... or listen to some morning  meditations on YouTube or music that is positive  and soothing, it makes for my day to start out positive.  Mon ,Tue, Wed  & Fri, I have morning meetings which i am grateful for. I can stop any time during the day, if i feel out of sorts and take the time to talk to God....it isn't just a morning and night thing and it took me years of practice to do remember to do it. Now it is just part of my day into the night.  I miss it if i don't do it and some days i wake up late and meeting is going to start and i have to do my readings and meditations afterwards. I don't forget to do it ,as i WILL feel it as my day  goes on. I also have reminders on my cell phone from others in program and i send them to others in program as well
I do my check list at bed time and ask for forgiveness as i am not perfect and always thank God for all the blessings in  my life ,He gives me more then i deserve!!!! Talk about gratitude, i should be dead so how can I NOT talk to God and not listen. How can I NOT give back so freely what has been given to ?? I don't want to forget where i came from and by doing what this step says ensures me i will stay spiritually closer to God and our relationship will blossom more.

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.

But that didn't mean the circus of my life had left town. With the monkey gone, and my focus now redirected, I was confronted with the damage, the wreckage and the 'circus' of my life and my affairs. What a mess! I felt as if the different areas of my life were like separate Big Top tents - each with its own wild circus act going on, and all out of control. How was I ever to deal with it all?

One day at a time, that's how. One of the most valuable lessons I learned early on was that I hadn't created this mess in a day, and I couldn't fix it in a day, but one day at a time, with God's help, I could be honest, clean house, and sanity would return. And if did.

Today I'm happy to report that the circus, the monkey and all the ringleaders have left town. It's peaceful here now, and boy am I grateful.


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.

When we decided to meet the challenge of a sober life we took the first step toward acceptance - we accepted the fact that we have a disease, a chronic disease that will always be with us. By accepting this fact we will be able to cope with our lifelong struggle. This way we willingly accept the friendship of our group members and the wisdom they offer us. They have been where we are coming from, they have suffered as we suffer, and they have felt the hope we now feel.

We are being offered a way of life that, if we follow it, will bring us a peace of mind we may never have felt. By our surrender we are now willing to receive something that is being offered to us - the beginning of a new way of life.

Today let me accept my powerlessness and any help.

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.

Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill W. was asked, shortly before he died, to sum up the program in the lowest common denominator. He replied, "Get right with yourself, with God, then with your neighbor." Therefore, it stands to reason that I must start making friends with myself. I must treat myself with love and dignity, and the result will be happiness. To be happy, joyous, and free is the by-product of obedience to the program.

One Day at a Time . . .
Am I going to try being happy?
Am I going to make friends with myself?
If not today, when?

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.

From joy, from pain, from pleasure, from disappointment, you can move in a positive direction. It’s a choice you can make each day that will surely improve each tomorrow.

There is much in life to love, and your love has a character all its own. Use each moment, each incident, each circumstance as an opportunity to express that love in your unique way.

Wrap your love around life, no matter what life may offer. Wrap your love around life, and you’ll make life better in countless ways.

Your love can lift the world higher. Wrap your love around it all, and see how good it can get.

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.

We learned the hard way that serenity comes only from working the steps. A new car comes from showing up on the job every day and trying to "practice these principles in all our affairs," including our employment. Healthy relationships come as a result of lots of hard work and a new willingness to communicate. Friendship with our sponsor comes as a result of reaching out during the good times as well as the bad.

In recovery, we have found the path to a better way of life. To reach our destination, however, we must do the footwork. 

Just for Today: I want a better life. I will make an inventory of what I want, find out how to get it, talk with my sponsor about it, and do the necessary footwork.

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. Step Four was the beginning of the end of my bondage. The process of “letting go” started with an inventory. I needed not be frightened, for the previous Steps assured me I was not alone. My Higher Power led me to this door and gave me the gift of choice. Today I can choose to open the door to freedom and rejoice in the sunlight of the Steps, as they cleanse the spirit within me.

© Alcoholics Anonymous World Services

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.

Sometimes when I’ve become willing to do what I should have been doing all along, I want praise and recognition. I don’t realize that the more I’m willing to act differently, the more exciting my life is. The more I am willing to help others, the more rewards I receive. That’s what practicing the principles means to me. Fun and benefits for me are in the willingness to do the actions, not to get immediate results. Being a little kinder, a little slower to anger, a little more loving makes my life better–day by day.

© Alcoholics Anonymous World Services 
Daily Reflections Book


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.

"That's wonderful," you may say, meaning every word. At first.

"Why her?" You may later think. "What about me? When am I going to get a break?" As hard as we may try not to feel that way, a little jealousy, envy, and self-pity replace the joy we felt for our friend.

Most of us want other people to be successful and happy. We really do. That's not the problem. The problem comes when we think they're going to be happier or better than we are.

Sometimes we know when we're envying and resenting others. Other times it's a subtle undercurrent that we're not aware of, but it invades our lives. It may only be a slight feeling of smugness when we hear that something unfortunate has happened to someone we perceive as being more fortunate than we are.

Goodwill isn't just the name of a secondhand store or a phrase used in songs during the holiday season.

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.


My hunch is that the difference in response to your sharing from different groups of people had to do with things over which you had no control. There are many possible explanations for people's responses to us; we needn't assume we're responsible for what they do or don't do.

There's an old slogan (nicknamed "The Three C's") that says, "I didn't cause it, I can't control it, and I can't cure it." For me, it's a helpful one to remember, especially when people in my life are active in an addiction or are on a "dry high." It's useful in situations with non-addicts, too. Most human beings behave as they do for reasons that have little to do with us.

We're entitled to support and response from other human beings. When I find myself in a group where I experience a warm, engaged response from others, I make a point of returning. Support and validation from others quenches one of my deepest thirsts. But we can't rely on others to give us a sense of self-esteem. That comes from within, it grows as we do the work of recovery.

Today, I go where I find food for my spirit.

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

These words remind me that I have more problems than alcohol, that alcohol is only a symptom of a more pervasive disease. When I stopped drinking I began a lifetime process of recovery from unruly emotions, painful relationships, and unmanageable situations. This process is too much for most of us without help from a Higher Power and our friends in the Fellowship. When I began working the Steps of the A.A. program, many of these tangled threads unraveled but, little by little, the most broken places of my life straightened out. One day at a time, almost imperceptibly, I healed. Like a thermostat being turned down, my fears diminished. I began to experience moments of contentment. My emotions became less volatile. I am now once again a part of the human family.

© Alcoholics Anonymous World Services

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? When I simply accepted that I had a part in them, I was able to put it on paper and see it for what it was – humanness. I am not expected to be perfect! I have made errors before and I will make them again. To be honest about them allows me to accept them – and myself – and those with whom I had the differences; from there, recovery is just a short distance ahead.

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, and do it without debating whether it’s the right thing to do. When a bad day comes along and everything is going wrong, a meeting or a talk with another drunk often distracts me just enough to persuade me that everything is not quite as impossible, as overwhelming as I had thought. In the same way, going to a meeting or talking to a fellow alcoholic are acts of faith; I believe I’m arresting my disease. These are ways I slowly move toward faith in a Higher Power.
From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

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?

Today I Pray

May even the words “Easy Does It” serve to slow me down in my headlong rush to accomplish too much too fast. May just that word “Easy” be enough to make me ease up on the accelerator which plunges me into new situations without enough forethought, ease off on the number of hours spent in material pursuits. May I hark to the adage that Rome wasn’t built in a single day. Neither can I build solutions to my problems all at once.

Today I Will Remember

Easy Does It.

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.