Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
It seems as if we’re particularly immature, especially in the early stages of recovery. When we were using, we handled all of our problems the same way: When faced with difficult relationships, we used. When faced with responsibilities, we used. When faced with life, we used. Substances took the place of learning experiences.
Fortunately, we’re in recovery now, and we can learn from our problems. We are more mature now that we understand our strengths and weaknesses better, and we know how to work the program to recover.
Am I learning from my experiences?
Higher Power, help me to be strong (enough) to evaluate and learn from my mistakes.
Many people in AA take too literally the statement they hear to the effect “we have no initiation fee or dues.”
Alcoholics Anonymous is not free – it costs a whale of a lot. It takes your time, your money, your thoughts, your prayers. It will give you a lot every day of your life, but it also requires a lot of your everyday living. If you are stingy with AA, you are cheating yourself.
If you want a horse to work for you, you must feed him.
A Day at a Time Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 Reflection for the Day In a letter to a friend, AA co-founder Bill W. wrote, “I don’t think happiness or unhappiness is the point. How do we meet the problems we face? How do we best learn from them and transmit what we have learned to others, if they would receive the knowledge? In my view, we of this world are pupils in a great school of life. It is intended that we try to grow, and that we try to help our fellow travelers to grow in the kind of love that makes no demands …When pain comes, we are expected to learn from it willingly, and help others to learn. When happiness comes, we accept it as a gift, and thank God for it.”
Can I accept both pain and happiness willingly? Today I Pray God, please help me remember that everything that happens to me has its worth, including the misery of addiction. May I believe that even my dependency was part of God’s Grand Scheme to bring me to Him. Today I Will Remember All that I am is all that has happened to me.
Twenty-Four Hours a Day Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 AA Thought for the Day Step One is, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.” This step states the membership requirement of AA. We must admit that our lives are disturbed. We must accept the fact that we are helpless before the power of alcohol. We must admit that we are licked as far as drinking is concerned and that we need help. We must be willing to accept the bitter fact that we cannot drink like normal people. And we must make, as gracefully as possible, a surrender to the inevitable fact that we must stop drinking.
Is it difficult for me to admit that I am different from normal drinkers? Meditation for the Day “Show us the way, O Lord, and let us walk in Thy paths.” There seems to be a right way to live and a wrong way. You can make a practical test. When you live the right way, things seem to work out well for you. When you live the wrong way, things seem to work out badly for you. You seem to take out of life about what you put into it. If you disobey the laws of nature, the chances are that you will be unhealthy. If you disobey the spiritual and moral laws, the chances are that you will be unhappy. By following the laws of nature and the spiritual laws of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love, you can expect to be reasonably healthy and happy. Prayer for the Day I pray that I may try to live the right way. I pray that I may follow the path that leads to a better life.
Today, first things first, one thing at a time, one step at a time, one feeling at a time if one day at a time is too daunting a challenge. Today, I will quiet the noise in my mind for the Program’s wisdom to take me from the character defects that degrade sobriety into dry drunkenness – if not a wet one. If and when the responsibilities to sobriety seem too heavy, I will look to the Steps and live in the answer of sobriety instead of the problem of trying not to drink. And, in the end, the problem is not living with the struggle not to relapse: the answer is living in the Program. Today, I have the choice to live in sobriety instead of struggling to fight off what threatens it. Today, I can live in the answer, not the problem. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2021
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
He brought me out into an open place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. — Psalms 18:19
We know in this program that our recovery was not an accident. We may be mystified by it or surprised to be feeling better. Some of us call it a miracle. We have worked hard in our recovery. We have suffered through some difficulties. Still, our recovery is not an achievement or an accomplishment. It is a gift from our Higher Power. We were powerless to help ourselves. All we could do was ask for help.
As we live an improved life and enjoy the benefits of our growth, we may ask why we were given this gift. As we seek to know the will of God, the ancient passage quoted today offers an answer. “He rescued me because he delighted in me.” Can we let that in?
Thanks to God for all the rescued moments and for all the times I have been saved from my excesses.
A Day at a Time Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 Reflection for the Day We learn from others in The Program that the best way to deal with painful situations is to meet them head-on, to deal with them honestly and realistically and to try to learn from them and use them as springboards for growth. Through The Program and our contact with a Higher Power, we can find the courage to use pain for triumphant growth.
Will I believe that whatever pain I experience is a small price to pay for the joy of becoming the person I was always meant to be? Today I Pray May my Higher Power give me the courage I need to stop running away from painful situations. The chemical was my escape hatch, the trap door I counted on to swallow me when life became too monstrous or villainous to bear. Now that I have locked that door, may I face pain and learn from it. Today I Will Remember My compulsion: a trap-door – and a trap.
Twenty-Four Hours a Day Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 AA Thought for the Day Today, let us begin a short study of The Twelve Suggested Steps of AA. These Twelve Suggested Steps seem to embody five principles. The first step is the membership requirement step. The second, third and eleventh steps are the spiritual steps of the program. The fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and tenth steps are the personal inventory steps. The eighth and ninth steps are the restitution steps. The twelfth step is the passing on of the program, or helping others, step. So the five principles are membership requirement, spiritual basis, personal inventory, restitution and helping others.
Have I made all these steps a part of me? Meditation for the Day We seem to live not only in time but also in eternity. If we abide with God and He abides with us, we may bring forth spiritual fruit which will last for eternity. If we live with God, our lives can flow as some calm river through the dry land of earth. It can cause the trees and flowers of the spiritual life – love and service – to spring forth and yield abundantly. Spiritual work may be done for eternity, not just for now. Even here on earth we can live as though our real lives were eternal. Prayer for the Day I pray that I may try to make my life a cool river in a thirsty land. I pray that I may give freely to all who ask my help.
Step by Step Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 “In two ways I may be a little different from other alcoholics. First, we all hear at AA meetings about those who have lost everything, those who have been in jail, those who have been in prison, those who have lost their families, those who have lost their income. I never lost any of it. I never was on skid row. I made more money the last year of my drinking than I ever made before in my whole life. My wife never hinted that she would leave me. Everything that I touched from grammar school on was successful. I was president of my grammar school student body. I was president of all of my classes in high school and in my last year I was president of that student body. I was president of each class in the University, and president of that student body. I was voted the man most likely to succeed. The same thing occurred in medical school. I belong to more medical societies and honor societies than men 10 to 20 years my senior. ‘Mine was the skid row of success. The physical skid row in any city is miserable. The skid row of success is just as miserable.'” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Stopped in Time,” Ch 6 (“Physician, Heal Thyself!”), p 345.
Today, no pride in successes or acquisitions of things in my life – for they are no refuge from alcoholism. Skid row is just as miserable in my own home as it is under a bridge or in a homeless shelter. Responsibility comes with success and material gain as it does with irresponsible choices, and alcoholic drinking is not the responsible response to life when it is good any more than when it is bad. If I choose to “reward” my successes and material gains with irresponsible drinking, I risk turning my living room into skid row. Today, I accept responsibility to my sobriety just as I am responsible to the consequences of my drinking. What I have today is not promised me tomorrow. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2021
The main objective in talking is to say something, not just anything. Words give a truer picture of a man than does a photograph, for words are reflections of the inner man, beyond the range of the finest camera.
Most of us alcoholics have been hurt more by our own words than we have by the words of others. Let us screen our words through our minds and give expression only to those words that are products of a sober and thinking intellect.