July 4, 2022 – Readings in Recovery: Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, July 4, 2022

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Freedom and Sobriety

Thomas Jefferson put it this way: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” That adage inspires me. But I’ve changed it up a bit to fit with life in recovery. The way I frame it is, “With sobriety comes freedom, and with freedom comes responsibility.”

This means that you need to follow whatever your program is. You need to be honest and fess up to any mistakes you’ve made. And you need to live your life in a responsible way. If you do those things, you will be happy, joyous, and free. That’s what recovery costs, and it’s well worth the price.

Today I will be responsible in order to maintain the freedom I have in sobriety. J. D., U.S. Army, 1985–1993/1998–2018

Hazelden Foundation

July 4, 2022 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, July 4, 2022

” …(T)here is a substitute …It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 11 (“A Vision for You”), p 152.

Today, if I have not already, let me take the first step toward a life that finally means something other than how bad the next hangover will be or how severe the consequences of my misconduct and, as promised by the Program, a belief and faith that the “most satisfactory years of (my) existence” do, indeed, lay ahead. And if I have taken the first step toward the promise of the Program, let me not squander it on some folly like self-pity or a thought that “just one, this one time” won’t hurt. Whether I have or have not already embarked on my journey of recovery, let me believe that sobriety and recovery can provide a life that is better, one that is more satisfying than the one I have in drinking. Today, let me believe that I am worthy to work toward something better. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2022

July 4, 2022 – Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, July 4, 2022

AA Thought for the Day
In Alcoholics Anonymous, there is no thought of individual profit. No greed or gain. No membership fees, no dues. Only voluntary contributions of our money and ourselves. All that we hope for is sobriety and regeneration so that we can live normal, respectable lives and can be recognized by others as men and women willing to do unto others as we would be done by. These things we accomplish by the help of each other, by following the twelve steps and by the grace of God.

Am I willing to work for AA without material gain to myself?

Meditation for the Day
What is sometimes called by religion as conversion is often only the discovery of God as a friend in need. What is sometimes called religion is often only the experiencing of the help and strength of God’s power in our lives. What is sometimes called holiness is often only the invitation of God to be our Friend. As God becomes your friend, you become a friend to others. We experience true human friendship and, from this experience, we can imagine what kind of a Great Friend God can be. We believe Him to be a tireless, selfless, all-conquering, miracle-working Friend. We can reach out to the Great Friend and figuratively take His hand in ours.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may think of God as a Great Friend in need. I pray that I may go along with Him.

Hazelden Foundation

July 4, 2022 – Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time

Monday, July 4, 2022

Reflection for the Day

It’s time for me to start being responsible for my own actions. It’s time for me to be willing to take some chances. If my new life in The Program is valid and right, as I truly believe, then surely it can stand the test of exposure to real-life situations and problems. So I won’t be afraid to be human and, if necessary, to sometimes fall on my face in the process of living. Living is what The Program is all about. And living entails sharing, accepting, giving – interacting with other people. Now is the time for me to put my faith into action.

Have I begun to practice what I preach by putting my new thoughts and ideas into action?

Today I Pray

May The Program, with God’s help, give me a chance to live a steady, creative, out-reaching life, so that I may share with others what has been given to me. May I realize on this Declaration of Independence Day that I, too, have a celebration of freedom – freedom from my addiction.

Today I Will Remember

To celebrate my personal freedom.

Hazelden Foundation

July 4, 2022 – Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener

Monday, July 4, 2022

It is not possible to help a man as long as he stands in his own way, nor can anyone or anything else.
A vast host of drinkers could quit if they could get a job, but they can’t get a job because they are drinking.

They could quit if they could get their families back, but they can’t get their families back because they persist in drinking.

We are all too prone to get a new man “fixed up” so he can stop drinking instead of making him realize that he must stop drinking so he can “fix himself up.” He must get out of his own way first.

Hazelden Foundation

July 3, 2022 – Readings in Recovery: Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

My name is Elizabeth. I have a gift. It is called alcoholism.Elizabeth Farrell

Many of us didn’t feel alcoholism or addiction was a gift when we first got into recovery. We felt shame or perhaps anger that we couldn’t drink or use like other women. Alcohol or other drugs made us feel less self-conscious and more courageous. Accepting that we couldn’t handle these substances meant feeling the fear of many situations, perhaps for the first time.

But most of us have come to appreciate the rewards of sobriety. When we were using, our lack of consistent values caused us to stumble many times. Now we have the Steps as guiding principles for every action we take.

We also have warm friendships that are healing our loneliness. We no longer harbor anger and self-pity. We are more peaceful and secure. Having a Higher Power we can trust makes any new experience tolerable. Addiction and sobriety are both gifts we have been graced with, and we are coming to appreciate this more each day.

I will show God my appreciation for the gifts of addiction and sobriety by carrying the message through my behavior today.

Hazelden Foundation

July 3, 2022 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, July 3, 2022

“We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. …All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals – usually brief – were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced …that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.”– Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 3 (“More About Alcoholism”), p 30.

Today, I do not have time to waste mulling the myth that I can become a responsible drinker by “controlling” it. My history is etched in the words of the Program and probably with the histories of countless others. I lost control at some point, conned myself into thinking I could regain it only to plunge deeper into “incomprehensible demoralization.” Only when I understood and believed that alcoholism is progressive, that it always gets worse and never better without total abstinence, did I come to surrender to Step One: “Admitted (I am) powerless …” I am still powerless over alcohol and always will be, but I have power in recovery and, today, I have a choice: don’t drink. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2022

July 3, 2022 – Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, July 3, 2022

AA Thought for the Day
In the beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous, there were only two persons. Now there are many groups and thousands of members. True, the surface has only been scratched. There are probably 10 million or more persons in America alone who need our help. More and more people are making a start in AA each day. In the case of individual members, the beginning has been accomplished when they admit they are powerless and turn to a Power greater than themselves, admitting that their lives have become unmanageable. That Higher Power works for good in all things and helps us to accomplish much in individual growth and in the growth of AA groups.

Am I doing my part in helping AA to grow?

Meditation for the Day
“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Only in the fullness of faith can the heart-sick and faint and weary be satisfied, healed and rested. Think of the wonderful spiritual revelations still to be found by those who are trying to live the spiritual life. Much of life is spiritually unexplored country. Only to the consecrated and loving people who walk with God in spirit can these great spiritual discoveries be revealed. Keep going forward and keep growing in righteousness.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not be held back by the material things of the world. I pray that I may let God lead me forward.

Hazelden Foundation

July 3, 2022 – Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Reflection for the Day

Change is a part of the flow of life. Sometimes we’re frustrated because change seems slow in coming. Sometimes, too, we’re resistant to a change that seems to have been thrust upon us. We must remember that change, in and of itself, neither binds us nor frees us. Only our attitude toward change binds or frees. As we learn to flow with the stream of life, praying for guidance as to any change that presents itself – praying, also, for guidance if we want to make a change and none seems in view – we becoming willing.

Am I willing to let God take charge, directing me in the changes I should make and the actions I should take?

Today I Pray

When change comes too fast – or not fast enough – for me, I pray I can adjust accordingly to make use of the freedom the program offers to me. I pray for the guidance of my Higher Power when change presents itself – or when it doesn’t and I wish it would. May I listen for direction from that Power.

Today I Will Remember

God is in charge.

Hazelden Foundation