May 25, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

serenity prayer239

Step by Step

Friday, May 25, 2018

“The remorse, horror and hopelessness of the next morning are unforgettable. The courage to do battle was not there. (The) brain raced uncontrollably and there was a terrible sense of impending calamity. …(A) mental fog settled down. Gin would fix that. So two bottles, and – oblivion.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, Third Edition, 1976, Ch 1, p 6.

Today, gratitude that I awoke today with memory of what I did or said last night, and without dread of what this day will bring and without fear that some unknown disaster is about to explode. Today, I have clarity of all I said and did last night, no dread of what these 24 Hours will serve and no need to run from a non-existent fear. AA has strengthened me with faith and trust in a Higher Power who, in turn, has graced me with faith in the 12 Steps and, above all, with sobriety. But I cannot take for granted that I awoke sober today and with a sense of purpose. My reprieve from all those morning-afters of so many yesterdays is only for this day, and this day I must continue to work toward awakening to the next 24 Hours without “remorse, horror and hopelessness.” And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2018

Advertisements

May 24, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

serenity prayer234

Step by Step

Thursday, May 24, 2018

“Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his family back. This just isn’t so. In some cases, the (spouse) will never come back …(R)ecovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his relationship with God.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, Third Edition, 1976, Ch 7, pp 99-100.

Today, understanding why my alcoholism and recovery are dependent only on me and that I cannot make them a condition on what someone else does or how some situation plays out. Just as none of those can be “blamed” for my drinking, neither can they be the reason for my recovery. To place my sobriety on someone or something else does little more than reinforce my refusal to take responsibility and consequences, and exert emotional blackmail on an external source that I cannot or will not stop drinking if I don’t get from them what I want. Today, my alcoholism and my character and spiritual defects are my responsibility and no one else’s. Likewise, no one and nothing outside of me are responsible for my recovery. And if addiction is as selfish as the program says, then so it is for my recovery. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2018

May 23, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

serenity prayer229

Step by Step

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

“It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. …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.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, Third Edition, 1976, Ch 5, p 66

Today, understand and accept that resentments are both futile and unhappy and, by holding onto them, these words are gospel: ” …(H)arboring such (resentment), we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.” Because I cannot afford to empower anything so strongly that my sobriety and, maybe, my life are imperiled, I will listen to my Higher Power for the way to release to Him my resentments without taking them back. By holding onto resentment, I must see that I am still spiritually sick and that the sickness can trigger a slip or relapse. Today, I seek with sincerity and humility the courage, strength and willingness to release that which I cannot control – and not take it back. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2018

May 22, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

serenity prayer224

Step by Step

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Today, reach into my past to measure the enormity of my present and try to grasp the scope of the life that sobriety has given me. Whereas I once was helpless, hopeless, weak, apathetic, pathetic, selfish and destructive, today I have hope, strength, selflessness, compassion, passion and the courage born of humility to treat sobriety with awe and respect. While I cannot and do not want to live in or return to yesterday, I also do not want to forget it; its lessons can steer me from the same mistakes today. And all I have left behind and gained what I have now is through sobriety and, therefore, my sobriety is my No. 1 priority for. Without it, I have nothing except for all I pray I left behind. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2018

May 21, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

serenity prayer219

Step by Step

Monday, May 21, 2018

“When I am hungry, give me someone that I can feed. And when I am thirsty, give me someone who needs a drink. When I’m cold, give me someone to keep warm. And when I grieve, give me someone to console.” – Mother Teresa

Today, I embrace the prayer of a religious icon it evokes two essential philosophies of a recovery worth achieving: humility and service. By encountering the person who is hungrier than I, whose thirst is more parched, who is not as warm as I and who mourns losses more painful than mine, may I have the charity to feel compassion  and realize – finally – that my own hunger, thirst, cold and grief is less than someone else’s. And in that humility, may I be compelled into service to feed the one who is hungrier, whose thirst needs quenched more than mine, who needs my coat more than I and whose heart needs consolation more than mine. In humility and service, may I see that my recovery hinges on NOT making myself the center of my and anyone else’s universe, and may I treasure forever the gratitude of the one person who I can help. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2018

May 20, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

serenity prayer214

Step by Step
Sunday, May 20, 2018

“In spite of (a) great increase in the size and the span of this Fellowship, at its core it remains simple and personal. Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, Forward to the Third Edition, 1976.

Today, do not diminish the enormity of personal recovery by thinking that ours are insignificant among the millions of others who have found recovery in AA. The program empowers us and our recovery by telling us that our own and another person’s hope begins one-to-one when two alcoholics talk to each other and share their experience, strength and hope. In turn, the alcoholic whose recovery began by talking to another alcoholic passes on his own experience, strength and hope. Today, we embrace with gratitude and humility the significance of our recovery along with those millions of others because, without our experience, strength and hope to pass on, our Fellowship will not increase in size, span or power in its message of reconciliation and redemption. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2018

May 18, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

serenity prayer204

Step by Step

Friday, May 18, 2018

Today, no inflated pride in a job or thing well done to the extent that I elevate myself above others, nor will I embellish any mistake to the degree that my self-confidence is so devastated that I con myself into believing I can do nothing right. Either way, the source of excess pride and a shattered self-image is an ego not centered but too far to the left or right. In the end, egoism is the character defect that, had I been thorough and honest in my Fourth Step, remains with me. And I ask my Higher Power to strike the proper balance. May I understand that a job well done is no license to toot my own horn and that deep disappointment with myself for making a mistake blinds me to a basic edict of the program – progress over perfection. Today, I will strive for progress and leave perfection to the power that is truly perfect. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2018