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cmmacneil's Blog


Oct. 25, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

The greatest piece of self-deception on the part of the drinker is the actual belief that a drink will make him feel better. We got this illusion because alcohol in the blood stream and in the brain deadens the misery momentarily, but it also served to make us thirsty and so we continued the drinking and inevitably felt worse. Whiskey will pick you up a foot or so, but it drops you a hundred. What made you sick will never make you well.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 25, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Reflection for the Day
My addictions were like thieves in more ways than I can count. They robbed me not only of money, property and other material things, but of dignity and self-respect, while my family and friends suffered right along with me. My addictions also robbed me of the ability to treat myself properly, as God would treat me. Today, in total contrast, I'm capable of true love of self to the extent that I'm able to provide myself with more love than even I need. So I give that love away to other people in The Program, just as they have given their love to me.

Do I thank God for bringing me to a Program in which sick people are loved back to health?

Today I Pray
Thanks be to God for a way of life which generates such love and caring that we in The Program can't help but learn to love ourselves. When I see that someone cares about me, I am more apt to be convinced that perhaps I am, after all, worth caring about. May I be conscious always of the love I am now able to give - and give it.

Today I Will Remember
Someone caring about me makes me feel worth caring about.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 25, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Fifth, I have learned to live one day at a time. I have finally realized the great fact that all I have is now. This sweeps away all vain regret and it makes my thoughts of the future free of fear. Now is mine. I can do what I want with it. I own it, for better or worse. What I do now, in this present moment, is what makes up my life. My whole life is only a succession of nows. I will take this moment, which has been given to me by the grace of God, and I will do something with it. What I do with each now, will make me or break me.

Am I living in the now?

Meditation for the Day
We should work at overcoming ourselves, our selfish desires and our self-centeredness. This can never be fully accomplished. We can never become entirely unselfish. But we can come to realize that we are not at the center of the universe and that everything does not revolve around us at the center. I am only one cell in a vast network of human cells. I can at least make the effort to conquer the self-life and seek daily to obtain more and more of this self-conquest. "He that overcomes himself is greater than he who conquers a city."

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may strive to overcome my selfishness. I pray that I may achieve the right perspective of my position in the world.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 25, 2014 - After the Tears

After the Tears
Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

"God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons. Most of them give freely of themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and bodies. Try to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 9 ("The Family Afterward"), p 133.

Today, let me not be discouraged even in sobriety if the Program of AA is not complete enough to treat my physical, emotional or spiritual sickness. The Program was never intended to replace treatments that might be needed for those medical psychological conditions that preceded alcoholism or developed in sobriety. If clinical depression or bipolar disorder have been ever-present shadows in my life, for example, I may need medication to stabilize those conditions, and I should not and cannot feel let down if AA does not treat such maladies. The Program was never intended to and, instead, is another facet of the multiple therapies that I might require. As the Program's Big Book points out, alcohol is but a symptom of our underlying problems. And if those problems should be a medical or psychological condition that warrants medical treatment, sobriety will be an elusive payoff if we treat only the symptoms and leave the conditions unattended. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 24, 2014 - After the Tears

After the Tears
Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

"The alcoholic may say to himself in the most casual way, 'It won't burn me this time, so here's how!' Or perhaps he doesn't think at all. How often have some of us begun to drink in this nonchalant way, and after the third or fourth, pounded on the bar and said to ourselves, 'For God's sake, how did I ever get started again?' Only to have that thought supplanted by, 'Well, I'll stop with the sixth drink.' Or, 'What's the use anyhow?'" - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 2 ("There Is a Solution"), p 24.

Today: what's the use anyhow? There isn't any if I cave into the myth that "just one" won't hurt. "Just one" triggers the craving that leads to "just two," then "just six" and, in the end, "What's the use anyhow?" So much for "just one." It's the one that sets off the craving, temptation or thirst for the "just two" or "just six." How, then, not to feed a craving, temptation or thirst? Simple! Don't drink the first! We've been handed the tools to steer clear of the mythical "just one." All we need do is pick up the tools and put them into action. Today, we have the power and choice to prevent that horrible conclusion of our drinking days: what's the use anyhow. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 24, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Fourth, I have turned to a Power greater than myself. Thank God, I am no longer at the center of the universe. All the world does not revolve around me any longer. I am only one among many. I have a Father in heaven and I am only one of His children and a small one at that. But I can depend on Him to show me what to do and to give me the strength to do it. I am on the Way and the whole power of the universe is behind me when I do the right thing. I do not have to depend entirely on myself any longer. With God, I can face anything.

Is my life in the hands of God?

Meditation for the Day
The grace of God is an assurance against all evil. It holds out security to the believing soul. The grace of God means safety in the midst of evil. You can be kept unspotted by the world through the power of His grace. You can have a new life of power. But only in close contact with the grace of God is its power realized. In order to realize it and benefit from it, you must have daily quiet communion with God, so that the power of His grace will come unhindered into your soul.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be kept from evil by the grace of God. I pray that henceforth I will try to keep myself more unspotted by the world.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 24, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Reflection for the Day
So many of us in the Program went through childhood - as well as part of our adult lives - emotionally shackled with the terrible burden called shyness. We found it difficult to walk into crowded rooms, to converse with even our friends, to make eye contact with anyone. The agonies we suffered! We learned in The Program that shyness is just another manifestation of self-centered fear, which is the root of all our character defects. Shyness, specifically, is fear of what others think or might think about us. To our enormous relief, our shyness gradually leaves us as we work The Program and interact with others.

Am I aware that I'm okay as long as I don't concentrate on me?

Today I Pray
God, may I be grateful that I am getting over my shyness, after years of pulling back from people, squirming, blushing, blurting out all the "wrong things" or saying nothing at all - then reliving the agonies and imagining what I should have said and done. May I know that it has taken a full-blown addiction and a lot of caring people to convince me that I'm okay - and you're okay, he's okay and so is she.

Today I Will Remember
A cure for shyness is caring about somebody else.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 24, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Resolutions, like clay pigeons, are made to be broken. They are nearly always made in sincerity, but the very act of making a resolution is a confession on the part of the maker of his inability to keep it otherwise. As resolutions are contrary to the subconscious wishes of the maker, they are almost surely doomed from the start.

If a person really wanted what he resolved, he would do it without the resolution, for we are prone to do those things that we really want to do.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 23, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

"Why can't that guy get the Program? He is down and out, he has taken a terrible beating, just what is the matter?"

We try to analyze that man, his mental capacity, his home life, his employment, his environment, and the answer just isn't there.

Have we improperly delivered the message?

The chances are he isn't ripe - he still wants to drink.

He cannot see the light, but he is probably further away from it than you think. Maybe it just isn't dark enough yet.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 23, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

Reflection for the Day
"One's own self is well hidden from one's own self," a renowned philosopher once wrote. "Of all mines of treasure, one's own is the last to be dug up." The Twelve Steps have enabled me to unearth my "own self," the one that for so long was buried beneath my desperate need for approval from others. Thanks to The Program and my Higher Power, I've begun acquiring a true sense of self and a comfortable sense of confidence. No longer do I have to react chameleon-like, changing my coloration from one moment to the next, fruitlessly trying to be all things to all people.

Do I strive, at all times, to be true to myself?

Today I Pray
I pray that I may be honest with myself, and that I will continue - with the help of God and my friends - to try to get to know the real me. May I know that I cannot suddenly be a pulled-together, totally defined, completely consistent personality; it may take a while to develop into that personality, to work out my values and my priorities. May I know now that I have a good start on being who I want to be.

Today I Will Remember
I'm getting to be who I want to be.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 23, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Third, I have learned how to be honest. What a relief! No more ducking or dodging. No more tall tales. No more pretending to be what I am not. My cards are on the table, for all the world to see. "I am what I am," as Popeye used to say in the comics. I have had an unsavory past. I am sorry, yes. But it cannot be changed now. All that is yesterday and is done. But now my life is an open book. Come and look at it, if you want to. I'm trying to do the best I can. I will fail often, but I won't make excuses. I will face things as they are and not run away.

Am I really honest?

Meditation for the Day
Though it may seem a paradox, we must believe in spiritual forces which we cannot see more than in material things which we can see, if we are going to truly live. In the last analysis, the universe consists more of thought or mathematical formulas than it does of matter as we understand it. Between one human being and another, only spiritual forces will suffice to keep them in harmony. These spiritual forces we know, because we can see their results although we cannot see them. A changed life - a new personality - results from the power of unseen spiritual forces working in us and through us.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may believe in the Unseen. I pray that I may be convinced by the results of the Unseen which I do see.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 23, 2014 - After the Tears

After the Tears
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

Today, if some habit seems too strong for me to overcome at this point in my recovery, I won't waste any more physical and emotional energy to fight what I shouldn't: I'll simply change the game rules. If being drunk was habitual, I'll make being sober a habit; if I have a temptation, craving or compulsion, I'll make a 10th or 12th Step the focus of my compulsion. If lying was or still is a habit, telling the truth will be the new habit (and in the process, I might learn how much easier honesty is compared to the work it takes to keep my lies going). If interacting with anyone was from an antagonistic or condescending perspective, I'll make a habit of asking my Higher Power to remind me that I wouldn't tolerate anyone treating me as I treat them. If dodging responsibility was or still is a habit, I'll face the music if for no other reason than to be done with it. If I think my perspective of any issue is the only logical one and that everyone needs to hear it, I'll ask my Higher Power that I consider the possibility that mine might not be the only opinion, and certainly not the best. Habits die hard, and humans - addicts and non-addicts alike - are notoriously resistant to breaking free. Instead of breaking free, today I'll simply change the game rules and, in the end, make sobriety instead of drunkenness my habit. And our common journey continues. After the tears. -Chris M., 2014

Oct. 22, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

We alcoholics should never claim Justice. It is the one thing in the way of a virtue that we can't use. It would be poison.

It would be found upon examination that had we received justice, we would never have gotten to the door of AA. The warden wouldn't have allowed it. If we are wise, we will confine our conversations to Mercy, for this is something we want and need. But if Justice was ever given us in full measure, we would find it would be something we didn't want.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 22, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Reflection for the Day
"Not all those who know their minds know their hearts as well," wrote LaRochefoucauld. The Program is of inestimable value for those of us, formerly addicted, who want to know ourselves and who are courageous enough to seek growth through self-examination and self-improvement. If I remain honest, open-minded and willing, The Program will enable me to rid myself of my self-deceptive attitudes and character flaws that for so long prevented me from growing into the kind of person I want to be.

Do I try to help others understand The Program and Twelve Steps? Do I carry the message by example?

Today I Pray
I ask God's blessing for the group, which has shown me so much about myself that I was not willing to face on my own. May I have the courage to be confronted and to confront, not only to be honest for honesty's sake - which may be reason enough - but to allow myself and the others in the group to grow in self-knowledge.

Today I Will Remember
We are mirrors of each other.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 22, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Second, I am content to face the rest of my life without alcohol. I have made the great decision once and for all. I have surrendered as gracefully as possible to the inevitable. I hope I have no more reservations. I hope that nothing can happen to me now that would justify my taking a drink. No death of a dear one. No great calamity in any area of my life should justify me in drinking. Even if I were on some desert isle, far from the rest of the world but not far from God, should I ever feel it right to drink. For me, alcohol is out - period. I will always be safe unless I take that first drink.

Am I fully resigned to this fact?

Meditation for the Day
Day by day, we should slowly build up an unshakable faith in a Higher Power and in that Power's ability to give us all the help we need. By having these quiet times each morning, we start each day with a renewing of our faith, until it becomes almost a part of us and is a strong habit. We should keep furnishing the quiet places of our souls with all the furniture of faith. We should try to fill our thoughts each day with all that is harmonious and good, beautiful and enduring.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may build a house in my soul for the spirit of God to dwell in. I pray that I may come at last to an unshakable faith.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 22, 2014 - After the Tears

After the Tears
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

"The classification of alcoholics seems most difficult ...There are, of course, the psychopaths who are emotionally unstable. ...They are always 'going on the wagon for keeps.' They are over-remorseful and make many resolutions, but never a decision.
"There is the type of man who is unwilling to admit that he cannot take a drink. He plans various ways of drinking. He changes his brand or his environment. There is the type who always believes that after being entirely free from alcohol for a period of time he can take a drink without danger. There is the manic-depressive type, who is, perhaps, the least understood by his friends ...
"Then there are types entirely normal in every respect except in the effect alcohol has upon them. They are often able, intelligent, friendly people.
"All these, and many others, have one symptom in common: they cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving." -Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "The Doctor's Opinion," p xxviii.

Today, I will not was time figuring out in what "classification" of drinking I fit because, in the end, the common denominator for everyone is that we cannot now or ever drink responsibly. If I accept that absolute truth, I have surrendered to Step One and can begin the work toward recovery; if I have not accepted it, I cannot set out on the journey toward sobriety because I have not admitted my powerlessness over alcohol. And if the opinion of the doctor quoted here is on the mark - that drinking is the trigger to the "phenomenon of craving" - the solution to quenching the craving is simple: don't drink. That's keeping it simple! And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 21, 2014 - After the Tears

After the Tears
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Today, I can extend gratitude but pull back on taking pride on the day that greeted me sober and saw me through doing what is expected of me - expected of the Program, expected of the responsibilities to sobriety, and expected of myself. I need not be bogged down with anything from my drinking past - shame, remorse, regret, grandiosity, egoism, anger, depression, or anything else that I could find to keep myself in the gutter. Today, if I awakened sober and proceed through the day doing what is expected of me and doing it with integrity and ethics and then go to sleep remembering all that I said and did, then today will be good. I can be grateful for that seemingly simple achievement and, today, it is enough. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 21, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Now that we have considered the obligations of real, working members of AA, let us examine what the rewards are that have come to us as a result of our new way of living. First, I understand myself more than I ever did before. I have learned what was the matter with me and I know now a lot of what makes me tick. I will never be alone again. I am just one of many who have the illness of alcoholism and one of many who have learned what to do about it. I am not an odd fish or a square peg in a round hole. I seem to have found my right place in the world.

Am I beginning to understand myself?

Meditation for the Day
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will remain with him and him with me." The knocking of God's spirit, asking to come into your life, is due to no merit of yours, though it is in response to the longing of your heart. Keep a listening ear, an ear bent to catch the sound of the gentle knocking at the door of your heart by the spirit of God. Then open the door of your heart and let God's spirit come in.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may let God's spirit come into my heart. I pray that it may fill me with an abiding peace.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 21, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Reflection for the Day
There's a world of difference between the idea of self-love and love of self. Self-love is a reflection of an inflated ego, around which - in our distorted view of our own self-importance - everything must revolve. Self-love is the breeding ground for hostility, arrogance and a host of other character defects which blind us to any point of view but our own. Love of self, in contrast, is an appreciation of our dignity and value as human beings. Love of self is an expression of self-realization, from which springs humility.

Do I believe that I can love others best when I have gained love of self?

Today I Pray
May God, who loves me, teach me to love myself. May I notice that the most arrogant and officious humans are not so completely sure of themselves, after all. Instead, they are apt to have a painfully low self-image, an insecurity which they cloak in pomp and princely trappings. May God show me that when I can like myself, I am duly crediting Him, since every living thing is a work of God.

Today I Will Remember
I will try to like myself.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 21, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

One day, not too long ago, you lost everything in the world you held dear, then a man sat down with you and he gave you friendship, understanding, faith, hope, courage and opportunity. Have you ever realized the great value of what this man gave you? These were the tools with which you made a new and better life.

Someone did this for you, so "go and do thou likewise."

Hazelden Foundation

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Previous Posts
Oct. 25, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 25th, 2014
Oct. 25, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 25th, 2014
Oct. 25, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 25th, 2014
Oct. 25, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 25th, 2014
Oct. 24, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 24th, 2014, 1 comment
Oct. 24, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 24th, 2014
Oct. 24, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 24th, 2014
Oct. 24, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 24th, 2014
Oct. 23, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 23rd, 2014
Oct. 23, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 23rd, 2014
Oct. 23, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 23rd, 2014
Oct. 23, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 23rd, 2014
Oct. 22, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 22nd, 2014
Oct. 22, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 22nd, 2014
Oct. 22, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 22nd, 2014
Oct. 22, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 22nd, 2014
Oct. 21, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 21st, 2014
Oct. 21, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 21st, 2014
Oct. 21, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 21st, 2014
Oct. 21, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 21st, 2014
Oct. 20, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 20th, 2014
Oct. 20, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 20th, 2014
Oct. 20, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 20th, 2014
Oct. 20, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 20th, 2014
Oct. 19, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 19th, 2014
Oct. 19, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 19th, 2014
Oct. 19, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 19th, 2014
Oct. 19, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 19th, 2014
Oct. 18, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 18th, 2014
Oct. 18, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 18th, 2014
Oct. 18, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 18th, 2014
Oct. 18, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 18th, 2014
Oct. 17, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 17th, 2014
Oct. 17, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 17th, 2014
Oct. 17, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 17th, 2014
Oct. 17, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 17th, 2014
Oct. 16, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 16th, 2014
Oct. 16, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 16th, 2014
Oct. 16, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 16th, 2014
Oct. 16, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 16th, 2014
Oct. 15, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 15th, 2014, 1 comment
Oct. 15, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 15th, 2014
Oct. 15, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 15th, 2014
Oct. 15, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 15th, 2014
Oct. 14, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 14th, 2014
Oct. 14, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 14th, 2014
Oct. 14, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 14th, 2014
Oct. 14, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 14th, 2014
Oct. 13, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 13th, 2014
Oct. 13, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 13th, 2014
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