Essentials of Recovery

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Created to carry the message of recovery to all addicts. Whether the addiction is alcohol, drugs, food or any other addiction the program of recovery is the same. I am a recovering alcoholic of over twenty years, a day at a time of course and I believe my primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve recovery. Remember seven days without a meeting makes one weak. Sign up to get emails.This Blog is not affiliated to either A.A. or N.A. Help to stop drinking.
Updated: 5 hours 47 min ago

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox

April 16, 2019 - 4:35pm
SEEING CHRIST IN OTHERS

We often hear the expression "saluting the Christ in him," or "seeing the Christ in him," and we may well ask ourselves what that phrase really means. It is simply the practical application of the rule of Jesus Christ.

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment (John7:24).

Each of us has a divine Self that is spiritual and perfect but that is never seen on this plane. That is the true man, God's man, and is what we sometimes call "the Christ within." Now whenever you dwell upon or realize the presence of the Christ within yourself or within anyone else, outer appearances begin at once to improve. If somebody displeases you, silently salute the Christ in him. If someone says something against John Smith's character, salute the Christ in him, refuse to discuss the matter, and of course do not repeat it.

The more often you salute the Christ in others, the sooner you will find Him in yourself.
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

April 16, 2019 - 4:30pm
LOVE AND FEAR AS OPPOSITES

“All these failings generate fear, a soul-sickness in its own right.”
—TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 49

“Fear knocked at the door; faith answered; no one was there.” I don’t know to whom this quote should be attributed, but it certainly indicates clearly that fear is an illusion. I create the illusion myself. I experienced fear early in my life, and I mistakenly thought that the mere presence of it made me a coward. I didn’t know that one of the definitions of “courage” is “the willingness to do the right thing in spite of fear.” Courage, then, is not necessarily the absence of fear. During the times I didn’t have love in my life, I most assuredly had fear. To fear God is to be afraid of joy. In looking back, I realize that, during the times I feared God most, there was no joy in my life. As I learned not to fear God, I also learned to experience joy.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

April 16, 2019 - 4:28pm
Priority: Meetings


“I initially felt that it would be impossible to attend more than one or two meetings a week. It just wouldn’t fit in with my busy schedule. I later learned that my priorities were [180] degrees reversed. It was the everything else that would have to fit into my meeting schedule.”
—Basic Text p. 204

Some of us attended meetings infrequently when we first came to Narcotics Anonymous, then wondered why we couldn’t stay clean. What we soon learned was that if we wanted to stay clean, we had to make meeting attendance our priority.

So we began again. Following our sponsor’s suggestion, we made a commitment to attend ninety meetings in ninety days. We identified ourselves as newcomers for our first thirty days so that others could get to know us. At our sponsor’s direction, we stopped talking long enough to learn to listen. We soon began to look forward to meetings. And we began to stay clean.

Today, we attend meetings for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we go to meetings to share our experience, strength, and hope with newer members. Sometimes we go to see our friends. And sometimes we go just because we need a hug. Occasionally we leave a meeting and realize that we haven’t really heard a word that’s been said—but we still feel better. The atmosphere of love and joy that fills our meetings has kept us clean another day. No matter how hectic our schedule, we make meeting attendance our priority.

Just for today: In my heart, I know that meetings benefit me in all kinds of ways. Today, I want what’s good for me. I will attend a meeting.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

April 16, 2019 - 4:26pm
A.A. Thought For The Day

Every time we go to an A.A. meeting, every time we say the Lord’s Prayer, every time we have a quiet time before breakfast, we’re paying a premium on our insurance against taking that first drink. And every time we help another alcoholic, we’re making a large payment on our drink insurance. We’re making sure that our policy doesn’t lapse. Am I building up an endowment in serenity, peace, and happiness that will put me on easy street for the rest of my life?

Meditation For The Day

I gain faith by my own experience of God’s power in my life. The constant, persistent recognition of God’s spirit in all my personal relationships, the ever accumulating weight of evidence in support of God’s guidance, the numberless instances in which seeming chance or wonderful coincidence can be traced to God’s purpose in my life. All these things gradually engender a feeling of wonder, humility, and gratitude to God. These in turn are followed by a more sure and abiding faith in God and His purposes.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my faith may be strengthened every day
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

April 16, 2019 - 4:24pm
Learn in Quiet, p. 108

In 1941, a news clipping was called to our attention by a New York member. In an obituary notice from a local paper, there appeared these words: “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Never had we seen so much A.A. in so few words. With amazing speed the Serenity Prayer came into general use.

*********************************

In meditation, debate has no place. We rest quietly with the thoughts or prayers of spiritually centered people who understand, so that we may experience and learn. This is the state of being that so often discovers and deepens a conscious contact with God.

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 196
2. 12 & 12, pp. 101-100 
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

April 16, 2019 - 4:22pm

We can’t go home again …
Living here and now.


Despite all evidence that we must live for today, some of us persist in trying to recapture the past. We may be holding a few good memories that we would like to bring alive today. More likely, we may also be re-fighting old battles in the hope that this time we’ll come out winners.

But since change is taking place everywhere at every moment, we can never return to any previous place or time. Time does march on, and we are part of the parade. Whether we were winners or losers in the past, we can live only in the here and now.

The good news is that we can retain any lessons from the past and put them to use today. If we have scalding memories of twisted relationships, we can remind ourselves that growth and understanding now place us out of harm’s way. And if we remember the things that did turn out right even in the confused past, we can reflect that even greater good is possible today.

Our home is never in the past. It is in the time and place where we are today. As we make the best of it, all of our future homes in place and time will improve, for “in God’s house are many mansions.”
Accepting the value of all of its lessons, I will close the door firmly on the past, knowing that I must devote all of my interest and energies to the present moment.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrec

April 16, 2019 - 4:20pm
“We create revolution by living it.”

—Jerry Rubin

There’s a lot wrong in the world—child abuse, homeless and hungry people, pollution. Our old way of dealing with these troubles was to break the rules or to “drop out” by using chemicals.

Now we have a new way to change the world. We’re changing ourselves. One Day at a Time, we’re acting like the caring , responsible people we want to be. We use the ideas of the program in our lives.

We’re kinder. We’re more honest. We stand up for ourselves and for others who need our help. What if the whole world started working the Steps? What a wonderful world this would be!

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, please work through me today. Help me make the world a little better place.

Action for the Day: I’ll list one thing that bothers me about the world today. How can using the ideas of the program help solve that problem? Remember, the program tells us to look at our own behavior.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

April 16, 2019 - 4:18pm
POWER


“Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts, perhaps the fear of loss of power.”

—John Steinbeck

In my recovery, I am beginning to understand that so much “power” in the world is really fear. The power that seeks to attack first in order to feel secure is really fear. The power that always has to have an answer is really fear. The power that arrogantly refuses to listen is really fear. So much power is “fear” dressed in illusion!

Spiritual power has the ability to be vulnerable. It can live with confusion. It can stand alone. It allows others to walk away to pursue their happiness. Spiritual power can exist in suffering and loneliness, and it does not expect perfection.

My recovery is teaching me to live and let others live, too. My freedom must respect the freedom of others; respect is a two-way street!

Give me the power that can rest in imperfection.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

April 16, 2019 - 4:16pm
Reflection For The Day

The Program teaches me to remain on guard against impatience, lapses into self-pity, and resentments of the words and deeds of others. Though I must never forget what it used to be like, neither should I permit myself to take tormenting excursions into the past—merely for the sake of self-indulgent morbidity. Now that I’m alert to the danger signals, I know I’m improving day by day. If a crisis arises, or any problem baffles me, do I hold it up to the light of the Serenity Prayer?

Today I Pray

I pray for perspective as I review the past. May I curb my impulses to upstage and outdo the members of my group by regaling them with the horrors of my addiction. May I no longer use the past to document my self-pity or submerge myself in guilt. May memories of those miserable earlier days serve me only as sentinels, guarding against hazardous situations or unhealthy sets of mind.

Today I Will Remember


I cannot change the past.
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

April 16, 2019 - 4:14pm
~ FORGIVENESS ~


“Forgiving is not forgetting; it’s letting go of the hurt.”

—Mary McCleod Bethune

When I first came into the program, I was so fired up with anger and resentment that I had no space for any other emotions. After all, I had the food which would anesthetize me against any emotions I didn’t want to feel. I was angry with God for all the trauma and losses that had happened to me in my life. I blamed my mother for not being the kind of mother I wanted, which was, of course, why I ate. But the person towards whom I felt the most anger and resentment was my ex-husband, who never financially supported my children, making my financial burden and my present husband’s very heavy. What made it worse was that he was good to the children and they thought he was great because they would have fun with him on a weekend, while we had all the financial responsibility and resulting worry.

But when I came to Step Eight, my sponsor gently reminded me that I needed to forgive the people towards whom I felt the most anger, namely my mother and my ex-husband. My mother had passed away and so I had to write a long letter to her, forgiving her for not being the person I wanted her to be and also making amends to her for my part in it all. I realize now that she did the best she knew how, just as I have done with my children, and I have been able to forgive her with love. When it came to forgiving my ex-husband, I knew that I wasn’t able forgive him in person, but I was able to write a letter to him which I never sent. In it, I forgave him for being the irresponsible person that he is. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. When my younger daughter had her 21st birthday, I could be there for her and not spoil it as I had done before, and in fact, I could be almost friendly to her father. As a result, the relationship with all my children has improved a hundredfold, but more importantly, I’m a much better person for it.

One day at a time …
I will forgive the people who have harmed me, let them go with love, and entrust them to their Higher Power.

~ Sharon ~ 
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery

April 16, 2019 - 4:06pm
Loneliness drives more people to the Gin Mill than almost any other single factor – perhaps even the compulsion to drink.

In the old days when our society was objectionable to all our old friends, we would from sheer boredom go to the bar just to talk to someone. Anyone’s conversation was preferable to our thoughts. The drink was frequently an incidental.

Boredom is still one of our worst enemies. If you have an AA club, there is always some guy you can try to help. Regardless of your effect on him, the experience is bound to help you and will relieve you of your blues. 

Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 107 – Withdrawal #essentialsofrecovery

April 16, 2019 - 4:04pm
Activity is essential, but exhausting,
And its importance is only on the surface.
Withdraw into Tao at the end of the day.
Returning is renewal.


Each day is filled with activity. We rush around from meeting to meeting; we make all sorts of arrangements for the future. Such doings are important, but they are not all that there is in life. Even as we engage in them, we must remember that all human endeavors are temporary and provisional.

We cannot allow our accomplishments to divorce us from what is actually happening in the world. It is imperative that we withdraw to reflect upon the day’s events and collect ourselves for the continuation of our path. There is no need to go to a temple, a sacred spot, or a special room. We do not need elaborate ritual. All we need is a simple and natural turning within.

This is why followers of Tao always use the word ‘returning.’ They recognize the necessity of activity in life, but they also recognize the need to return to Tao. In Tao is the source of all things, and in the source one finds the renewal that one needs to go on with life. This back-and-forth movement between the source and the activity of life is the movement of all things.
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Twelve Warnings

April 15, 2019 - 6:30pm


Twelve Warnings


The book Alcoholics Anonymous contains a series of propositions and proposals, the successful outcome of these depends upon the actions of the reader.
The book directs us as to what we must start doing, what we must stop doing, what happens when we fulfill the propositions and proposals and what will happen if we fail to fulfill them.
These are the Twelve Warnings as to what will happen if we fail to heed the directions.



1. For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. (p14)



2. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined. (p17)



3. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness, we must, or it kills us! God makes that possible. (p62)



4. Though our decision (Step 3) was a vital and crucial Step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face and be rid of, the things in our lives which had been blocking us. (p64)



5. It is plain that a life, which includes deep resentment, leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and with us to drink is to die. (p66)


6. Concerning sex. Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is only a half-truth. It depends on us and our motives. If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned a lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. We are not theorizing. These are facts about our experience. (p70)


7. If we skip this vital Step (5), we may not overcome drinking. Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. (p.72)


8. We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them. (p78)


9. We feel that a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. (p.82)


10. It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. (p.85)


11. Our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, if we have a legitimate reason for being there. That includes bars, nightclubs, dances, receptions, weddings, even plain ordinary whoopee parties. To a person who has had experience with an alcoholic, this may seem like tempting Providence , but it isn't. You will note that we made an important qualification. Therefore, ask yourself on each occasion, "Have I a good social, business, or personal reason for going to this place? Or am I expecting to steal a little vicarious pleasure from the atmosphere of such places?" If you have answered these questions satisfactorily, you need have no apprehension. Go or stay away, whichever seems best. But be sure you are on solid spiritual ground before you start and that your motive in going is thoroughly good. Do not think of what you will get out of the occasion. Think of what you can bring to it. But if you are shaky, you had better work with another alcoholic instead! (p.101)


12. The head of the house ought to remember that he is mainly to blame for what befell his home. He can scarcely square the account in his lifetime. But he must see the danger of over-concentration on financial success. Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always followed spiritual progress, it never preceded. (p127)
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Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox

April 15, 2019 - 4:35pm

Your Daily Visits with God

Who is our peace? Of course, we all know that it is God alone who is our peace--although nearly all of us tend to forget it from time to time, however heartily we believe it. Our tendency is, occasionally at least, without realizing it, to rest upon ourselves, which means, of course, that we think that we are our own peace. We would never admit this to ourselves, but it happens, and the only result is that we get no results until we change that attitude.


Fox, Emmet (2010-09-07). Stake Your Claim: Exploring the Gold Mine Within (pp. 40-41). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery

April 15, 2019 - 4:30pm

ANGER: A “DUBIOUS LUXURY”


If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of the normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.

 –ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 66

“Dubious luxury.” How often have I remembered those words. It’s not just anger that’s best left to nonalcoholics; I built a list including justifiable resentment, self-pity, judgmentalism, self-righteousness, false pride and false humility. I’m always surprised to read the actual quote. So well have the principles of the program been drummed into me that I keep thinking all of these defects are listed too. Thank God I can’t afford them–or I surely would indulge in them.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

April 15, 2019 - 4:28pm
“Acting As If”

“Today, we seek solutions, not problems. We try what we have learned on an experimental basis.” Basic Text p. 55

The first time we heard that we should “act as if” many of us exclaimed, “But that’s not honest! I thought we were always supposed to be honest about our feelings in Narcotics Anonymous.”

Perhaps we can reflect on when we first came into the program. We may not have believed in God, but we prayed anyway. Or maybe we weren’t sure the program would work for us, but we kept coming to meetings regardless of what we thought. The same applies as we progress in recovery. We may be terrified of crowds, but if we act confidently and extend our hand, we’ll not only feel better about ourselves, we’ll find that we are no longer so frightened of large gatherings.

Each action we take in this vein brings us closer to becoming the people we were meant to be. Each positive change we make builds our self-esteem. Through acting differently, we will realize that we are beginning to think differently. We are living ourselves into right thinking by “acting as if.”

Just for today: I will take the opportunity to act as if I can accept a situation I used to run from.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

April 15, 2019 - 4:26pm
A.A. Thought For The Day

In A.A. we have insurance. Our faith in God is a kind of insurance against the terrible things that might happen to us if we ever drink again. By putting our drink problem in the hands of God, we’ve taken out a sort of insurance policy, which insures us against the ravages of drink, as our homes are insured against destruction by fire. Am I paying my A.A. insurance premiums regularly?

Meditation For The Day


I must try to love all humanity. Love comes from thinking of every man or woman as your brother or sister, because they are children of God. This way of thinking makes me care enough about them to really want to help them. I must put this kind of love into action by serving others. Love means no severe judging, no resentments, no malicious gossip, and no destructive criticism. It means patience, understanding, compassion, and helpfulness.

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may realize that God loves me, since He is the Father of us all. I pray that I in turn may have love for all of His children.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery

April 15, 2019 - 4:24pm

“Perfect” Humility, p. 106


For myself, I try to seek out the truest definition of humility that I can. This will not be the perfect definition, because I shall always be imperfect.

At this writing, I would choose one like this: “Absolutely humility would consist of a state of complete freedom from myself, freedom from all the claims that my defects of character now lay so heavily upon me. Perfect humility would be a full willingness, in all times and places, to find and to do the will of God.”

When I meditate upon such a vision, I need not be dismayed because I shall never attain it, nor need I swell with presumption that one of these days its virtues shall all be mine.

I only need to dwell on the vision itself, letting it grow and ever more fill my heart. This done, I can compare it with my last-taken personal inventory. Then I get a sane and healthy idea of where I stand on the highway to humility. I see that my journey toward God has scarce begun.

As I thus get down to my right size and stature, my self-concern and importance become amusing.

Grapevine, June 1961
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

April 15, 2019 - 4:22pm
Fix the Need
Taking Inventory


Recovering users have a saying: “Need a fix? Fix the need” It’s great advice, if we combine it with our daily inventory.

In good behavior and bad, we’re always trying to meet our needs. As compulsive people, we have lots of experience with destructive ways of meeting them. Driven by nameless hungers, we tried desperately to combat boredom, to raise our low self-esteem, to find companionship. What we actually did was place more distance between ourselves and the true satisfying of our needs.

On the new path, one way of fixing needs is to come to terms with them. Maybe we had a need for success that was really a frantic effort to “show others” that we were all right. We should want to succeed, but let’s begin by exchanging any false goal for one that’s right for us. Maybe we have other needs that are based on defective principles and immature hopes.

What do we rally need? All of us need self-honesty, self-worth, friendship, and purpose…. all available in the AA program as part of sober living. Finding these, we’ll gain insight that will enable to sort out and understand other needs,….. and perhaps find those that correspond to our heart’s desire and bring real happiness. It’s something we can turn over, because God knows our needs before we even ask.

I’ll remember today that my needs exist to serve my way of life, and that I must never be a slave to them.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

April 15, 2019 - 4:20pm
No human creature can give order to love.

–George Sand

If we are trying to get others to love us, all we’re really doing is trying to be in control. Trying to control others can be a powerful drug. Remember, we can’t control others. We can’t make others love us. Our Higher Power has control, not us.

So, what do we need to do? Turn things over to our Higher Power and just be ourselves. Sure, it can scare us to just be ourselves. The truth is, not everyone will love us. But if we’re honest about who we are, others will respect us. We’ll like ourselves better. And we’ll have a better chance of loving others and being loved.

Prayer for the Day: I pray to have my need for control lifted from me. I pray to be rid of self-will.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list five ways my self-will—my need to control—has gotten me in trouble.
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