May 16, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Recognizing choices

We have choices, more choices than we let ourselves see. We may feel trapped in our relationships, our jobs, our life. We may feel locked into behaviors—such as caretaking or controlling.

Feeling trapped is a symptom of codependency. When we hear ourselves say, “I have to take care of this person.” “I have to say yes…” “I have to try to control that person.” “I have to behave this way, think this way, feel this way…” we can know we are choosing not to see choices.

That sense of being trapped is an illusion. We are not controlled by circumstances, our past, the expectations of others, or our unhealthy expectations for ourselves. We can choose what feels right for us, without guilt. We have options.

Recovery is not about behaving perfectly or according to anyone else’s rules. More than anything else, recovery is about knowing we have choices and giving ourselves the freedom to choose.

Today, I will open my thinking and myself to the choices available to me. I will make choices that are good for me.

Hazelden Foundation

May 16, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, May 16, 2021

“The fact is that most alcoholics …have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically non-existent. We are unable …to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.”
 – Alcoholics Anonymous, Third Edition, 1976, Ch 2, p 24.

Todaythe lie of “just one” and the truth that my defense rests on a Higher Power of my understanding. I need only to review with honesty my drinking history and its trail of broken bottles that were opened on the promise of “just one.” And if the Big Book is correct that the memory of “the suffering and humiliation” of my last try at just one drink doesn’t last more than a month at best, I pray for the wisdom to search beyond the powerlessness of my own devices to overcome any temptation. Today, that search leads me to my Higher Power in whom I must place my trust, faith, hope and confidence to rise above temptation. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2021

May 16, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, May 16, 2021

AA Thought for the Day

In the story of the Good Samaritan, the wayfarer fell among robbers and was left lying in the gutter, half dead. And a priest and Levite both passed by on to the other side of the road. But the Good Samaritan was moved with compassion and came to him and bound up his wounds and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

Do I treat another alcoholic like the priest and the Levite or like the Good Samaritan?

Meditation for the Day

Never weary in prayer. When one day you see how unexpectedly your prayer has been answered, then you will deeply regret that you have prayed so little. Prayer changes things for you. Practice praying until your trust in God has become strong. And then pray on, because it has become so much a habit that you need it daily. Keep praying until prayer seems to become communion with God. That is the note on which true times of prayer hould end.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may form the habit of daily prayer. I pray that I may find the strength I need, as a result of this communion.

Hazelden Foundation

May 16, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, May 16, 2021

Reflection for the Day

Many of us in The Program share the memory that we originally drank or used other chemicals to “belong,” to “fit in” or to “be a part of the crowd.” Others of us fueled our addictions to “get in” – to feel, at least for a short time, that we fitted in with the rest of the human race. Sometimes, the chemicals had the desired effect, temporarily assuaging our feelings of apartness. But when the chemicals’ effects wore off, we were left feeling more alone, more left out, more “different” than ever.

Do I still sometimes feel that “my case is different?”

Today I Pray

God, may I get over my feeling of being “different” or in some way unique, of not belonging. It was this feeling that led me to my chemical use in the first place. It also kept me from seeing the seriousness of my addiction, since I thought, “I am different. I can handle it.” May I now be aware that I do belong, to a vast fellowship of people like me. With every shared experience, my “uniqueness” is disappearing.

Today I Will Remember

I am not unique.

Hazelden Foundation

May 16, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, May 16, 2021

Is revenge really sweet? Some louse has offended you, so you get even, thus offending him and becoming a louse yourself.

Do you really want revenge? Then do the guy a favor. It will hurt him deep down in his heart as nothing else can. It will be a great source of satisfaction to your wounded pride, and it may be that you will be additionally rewarded by the acquisition of a friend.

Hazelden Foundation

May 15, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Today’s Gift from Hazelde Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

To be reliable means to show up and to be trustworthy. Bumper sticker wisdom reminds us: you must be present to win. For anything of any import to occur in any situation, we must first be in attendance, available with our time, energy, and talents. How many times did we get nothing — and contribute nothing — to group counseling sessions when we first started in recovery, because we were somewhere else in our hearts and in our heads?

So showing up is the first requirement, but then we must also be willing to honor our word and actually follow through. When we do this, we gradually learn the critical importance of doing what we said we would do, even if we encounter difficulties. This opens the door to other important lessons, including the value of asking for help while we are doing our best to stay true to our intent.

And being trustworthy also includes holding close anything confidential someone else shares with us—in or out of a Twelve Step program setting. When we put the concept of reliability into practice, we nurture many positive attributes: being present, asking for support, keeping our word, and following through with our actions.

Being reliable teaches me in many different ways.

Hazelden Foundation

May 15, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, May 15, 2021

Today, no immersing myself so deeply into service or 12th-Step work that I neglect my own basic needs. To put into anything the passion I spent on drinking, I will predictably suffer the same outcome of physical, emotional and spiritual bankruptcy – and resentment. While we are called by the 12th Step to commit ourselves to service, the quality of that service will be negligible if I have not reserved enough of myself to offer something worth giving. Today, I will guard against becoming hungry, angry, lonely and tired – HALT – to assure that I can be the best of what the 12th Step asks of us – an effective carrier of the message. Today, I will listen to the message again. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2021

May 15, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, May 15, 2021

AA Thought for the Day

In AA, we find a new strength and peace from the realization that there must be a Power greater than ourselves which is running the universe and which is on our side when we live a good life. So the AA Program really never ends. You begin by overcoming drink and you go on from there to many new opportunities for happiness and usefulness.

Am I really enjoying the full benefits of AA?

Meditation for the Day

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”  We should not seek material things first, but seek spiritual things first and material things will come to us as we honestly work for them. Many people seek material things first and think they can then grow into knowledge of spiritual things. You cannot serve God and Mammon at the same time. The first requisites of an abundant life are the spiritual things: honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love. Until you have these qualities, quantities of material things are of little real use to you.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may put much effort into acquiring spiritual things. I pray that I may not expect good things until I am right spiritually.

Hazelden Foundation

May 15, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Saturday, May 15, 2021

Reflection for the Day

Looking back at those last desperate days before I came to The Program, I remember more than anything the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Even when I was surrounded by people, including my own family, the sense of “aloneness” was overwhelming. Even when I tried to act sociable and wore the mask of cheerfulness, I usually felt a terrible anger of not belonging.

Will I ever forget the misery of “being alone in a crowd?”

Today I Pray

I thank God for the greatest single joy that has come to me outside of my sobriety – the feeling that I am no longer alone. May I not assume that loneliness will vanish overnight. May I know that there will be a lonely time during recovery, especially since I must pull away from my former junkie friends or drinking buddies. I pray that I may find new friends who are recovering. I thank God for the fellowship of The program.

Today I Will Remember

I am not alone.

Hazelden Foundation