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cmmacneil's Blog


Aug. 1, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
 
Today, grant me the wisdom not to pervert “Take It Easy” into procrastination or neglect of the new responsibilities that sobriety has given me. “Take It Easy” affords me not only the luxury but the necessity to tend to my own spiritual and emotional care lest I be unqualified to help someone else with their own. Adversely, “Take It Easy” does not bestow “permission” to put off or ignore responsibilities to myself, others and the 12th Step edict to carry the Program’s message to the alcoholic who still suffers. The Program shows me how to balance the scale between taking it easy and procrastination, and if it’s weighted down by taking it easy at the expense of responsibility to myself and others, I am as irresponsible dry as I was when I was drinking. Today, I seek that balance between taking it easy all the time and giving all my time to everything and everyone else. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2014

Aug. 1, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
 
AA Thought for the Day
The Alcoholics Anonymous program has borrowed from medicine, psychiatry and religion. It has taken from these what it wanted and combined them into the program which it considers best suited to the alcoholic mind and which will best help the alcoholic to recover. The results have been very satisfactory. We do not try to improve on the AA program. Its value has been proved by the success it has had in helping thousands of alcoholics to recover. It has everything we alcoholics need to arrest our illness.

Do I try to follow the AA program just as it is?

Meditation for the Day
You should strive for a union between your purposes in life and the purposes of the Divine Principle directing the universe. There is no bond of union on earth to compare with the union between a human soul and God. Priceless beyond all earth’s rewards is that union. In merging your heart and mind with the heart and mind of the Higher Power, a oneness of purpose results, which only those who experience it can even dimly realize. That oneness of purpose puts you in harmony with God and with all others who are trying to do His will.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may become attuned to the will of God. I pray that I may be in harmony with the music of the spheres.

Hazelden Foundation


Aug. 1, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time
Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
 
Reflection for the Day
Self-pity is one of the most miserable and consuming defects I know. Because of its interminable demands for attention and sympathy, my self-pity cuts off my communication with others, especially communication with my Higher Power. When I look at it that way, I realize that self-pity limits my spiritual progress. It’s also a very real form of martyrdom, which is a luxury I simply can’t afford. The remedy, I’ve been taught, is to have a hard look at myself and a still harder one at The Program’s Twelve Steps to recovery.

Do I ask my Higher Power to relieve me of the bondage of self?

Today I Pray
May I know from observation that self-pitiers get almost no pity from anyone else. Nobody – not even God – can fill their out-sized demands for sympathy. May I recognize my own unsavory feeling of self-pity when it creeps in to rob me of my serenity. May God keep me wary of its sneakiness.

Today I Will Remember
My captor is my self.

Hazelden Foundation


Aug. 1, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener
Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
 
It has been observed by many in AA that the surest bet to get our Program is the man who needs it most desperately. His very desperation lends strength to his efforts. He has been backed up to a wall and he must fight his way out of his dilemma or else he must die. There is no alternative.

Only the coward quits in despair, and the alcoholic can’t be a coward for, if he was, he would have quit the unequal game long before his alcoholism was fully developed.

Yes, it takes a brave man to fight his way to the gutter, and it takes a brave and desperate man to fight his way out.

Hazelden Foundation


July 31, 2014 - Step by Step

 Step by Step
Thursday, July 31, 2014
 
“The old (drinking) pattern reasserted itself, but it was no longer once every six months. The intervals grew shorter. The binges were longer. They were harder to get off. …
“That type of drinking is not pleasant. It is no longer enjoyable. You no longer get the kicks. It is desperation drinking. I was drinking to keep away the shakes …I was drinking to try to hold on to a job, to try and hold on to my home, to try to hold on to my wife, to try to hold on to my sanity.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part III (“They Lost Nearly All”), Ch 8 (“Desperation Drinking”), p 514.

Today, I muster the honesty to accept the possibility that I have a problem if drinking is my answer to any desperation I feel, be it for a situation I desperately want not to face, or the talk with my spouse, partner or employer, the constantly ringing telephone that I will not answer because someone might be calling about my drinking or some problem it has caused. If drinking is my solution to any problem in my life, let me hear the voices of experience that my solution has become a crisis bigger than the problem I’m avoiding by drinking. And if I have not drank for any significant number of 24 Hours, chances are I now cannot remember the problem I drank to avoid. But, in so doing, I and I alone created one of the most critical crises that was far worse than any problem I faced sober. Today, alcohol will not be my solution to any problem that I may encounter; my answer is in the Twelve Steps. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M.,2014


July 31, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, July 31, 2014
 
AA Thought for the Day
This leaves only one day – today. Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burden of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives us mad. It is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday or the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore do our best to live but one day at a time.

Am I living one day at a time?

Meditation for the Day
Give God the gift of a thankful heart. Try to see causes of thankfulness in your everyday life. When life seems hard and troubles crowd, then look for some reasons for thankfulness. There is nearly always something you can be thankful for. The offering of thanksgiving is indeed a sweet incense going up to God throughout a busy day. Seek diligently for something to be glad and thankful about. You will acquire in time the habit of blessings. Each new day some new cause for joy and gratitude will spring to your mind and you will thank God sincerely.

Prayer for the Day
I pray for a truly thankful heart. I pray that I may be constantly reminded of causes for sincere gratitude.

Hazelden Foundation


July 31, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time
Thursday, July 31, 2014
 
Reflection for the Day
One of the most serious consequences of the me-me-me syndrome is that we lose touch with practically everyone around us – not to mention reality itself. The essence of self-pity is total self-absorption, and it feeds on itself. Rather than ignore such an emotional state – or deny that we’re in it – we need to pull out of our self-absorption, stand back, and take a good honest look at ourselves. Once we recognize self-pity for what it is, we can begin to do something about it.

Am I living in the problem rather than the answer?

Today I Pray
I pray that my preoccupation with self, which is wound up tight as a Maypole, may unwind itself and let its streamers fly again for others to catch and hold. May the thin, familiar wail of me-me-me become a chorus of us-us-us, as we in the fellowship pick apart our self-fullness and look at it together.

Today I Will Remember
Change me-me-me to us-us-us.

Hazelden Foundation


July 31, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener
Thursday, July 31, 2014
 
In our drinking days, we were ready to take a poke at anyone who suggested we couldn’t handle our “likker.” It was a very sore spot with us, as we all kidded ourselves into believing that our over-indulgence was a well-guarded secret when, actually, we knew it was not.

Upon our entrance in AA, we soon made a public confession of our alcoholism and, to our surprise, we lost some of the sense of stigma and we could learn to laugh at our affliction and at ourselves. Our sense of guilt was lessened by our acknowledgment of its existence.

Hazelden Foundation


July 30, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
 
Today, I must realize that the character defects I identified in my Fourth Step probably existed before my drinking days and that alcohol simply developed them to their destructive zenith. My Sixth and Seventh Steps of first admitting to God and then asking that He remove my defects assume paramount honesty in my recovery program for I am likely to be challenged to release defects that have had a lifetime to take root – more so than those that those that were born of my drinking days. And if my defects are lifelong, simply stopping to drink will not give me the recovery and quality of sobriety for which I strive. Today, I am an alcoholic and abstaining from drinking is not enough. I consider myself a part of the AA program; today, as I talk the talk, I will walk the walk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2014

July 30, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow, with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise, and perhaps its poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is as yet unborn.

Do I still worry too much about tomorrow?

Meditation for the Day
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is not seeing, but believing. Down through the ages, there have always been those who obeyed the heavenly vision, not seeing but believing in God. And their faith was rewarded. So shall it be to you. Good things will happen to you. You cannot see God, but you can see the results of faith in human lives, changing them from defeat to victory. God’s grace is available to all who have faith – not seeing, but believing. With faith, life can be victorious and happy.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may have faith enough to believe without seeing. I pray that I may be content with the results of my faith.

Hazelden Foundation


July 30, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
 
Reflection for the Day
When we first come to The Program, the most common variety of self-pity begins: “Poor me! Why can’t I (fill in your own addiction) like everybody else? Why me?” Such bemoaning, if allowed to persist, is a surefire invitation for a long walk off a short pier – right back to the mess we were in before we came to The Program. When we stick around The Program for a while, we discover that it’s not just “me” at all; we become involved with people, from all walks of life, who are in exactly the same boat.

Am I losing interest in my comfortably familiar “pity pot?”

Today I Pray
When self-pity has me droopy and inert, may I look up, look around and perk up. Self-pity, God wills, vanishes in the light of other people’s shared troubles. May I always wish for friends honest enough to confront me if they see me digging my way back down into my old pity pit.

Today I Will Remember
Turn self-involvement into involvement.

Hazelden Foundation


July 30, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
 
No pleasures of our drinking days even compensated for those horrible nights of wakeful tossing. The interminable pacing the floor; those night sweats; the endless hours when we couldn’t sleep and at the same time dreaded falling asleep. The hours that seemed to stretch into eternity as we lay in bed with remorse as a bedfellow. Then the Hell of the goof-balls that made our nights better and our days worse.

The physical pain we might have endured for many more years, but the anguish of the heart and soul was unendurable.

Hazelden Foundation


July 29, 2014 - Step by Step

 Step by Step
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
 
“I never knew which came first, the thinking or the drinking. If I could only stop thinking, I wouldn’t drink. If I could only stop drinking, maybe I wouldn’t think. But they were all mixed up together, and I was all mixed up inside. And yet I had to have that drink. You know the deteriorating effects, the disintegrating effects of chronic wine-drinking. I cared nothing about my personal appearance. I didn’t care what I looked like. I didn’t care what I did. To me, taking a bath was just being in a place with a bottle where I could drink in privacy. I had to have it with me at night, in case I woke up and needed that drink.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II (“They Stopped in Time”), Ch 4 (“The Housewife Who Drank at Home”), p 337.

Today, I don’t care which came first, the delusional and irrational thinking or the drinking, because it doesn’t matter. Whether some deluded thinking misled me to alcohol for a clearer perspective or if excess drinking fueled a thinking problem is moot because, now, the two are intertwined. Thus, my thinking now cannot be that I can resume responsible drinking if I get my thinking in a logical sync. Nor can I believe that I could drink responsibly. Neither is possible. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Does it matter? The chicken’s polluted; whatever comes out of him is also polluted. Today, I don’t care where my drinking thinking or thinking drinking came from. I need both corrected, and I’m where I need to be to get both. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2014


July 29, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
 
AA Thought for the Day
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept from fear and apprehension. One of these days is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone beyond recall.

Do I still worry about what happened yesterday?

Meditation for the Day
“God will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation He will also find a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” If you have enough faith and trust in God, He will give you all the strength you need to face every temptation and to overcome it. Nothing will prove too hard for you to bear. You can face any situation. “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” You can overcome any temptation with God’s help. So fear nothing.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may face every situation without fear. I pray that nothing will prove too hard for me to bear.

Hazelden Foundation


July 29, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
 
Reflection for the Day
The feeling of self-pity, which we’ve all suffered at one time or another, is one of the ugliest emotions we can experience. We don’t even relish the thought of admitting to others that we’re awash in self-pity. We hate being told that it shows; we quickly argue that we’re feeling another emotion instead; we go so far as to “cleverly” hide from ourselves the fact that we’re going through a siege of “poor-me-ism.” By the same token, in a split-second, we can easily find several dozen “valid” reasons for feeling sorry for ourselves.

Do I sometimes enjoy rubbing salt into my own wounds?

Today I Pray
May I recognize the emotions I am feeling for what they are. If I am unable to point them out to myself, may I count on others who know what it’s like to be a feelings-sufferer. May I stay in touch with my feelings by staying in touch with my Higher Power and with the others in my group.

Today I Will Remember
Stay in touch.

Hazelden Foundation


July 29, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
 
Humility has been the hardest of all the virtues to acquire for many of us. Few of us know what it actually is. Many have it and think they don’t; many don’t have it and think they do. Many admit they don’t understand the word and forget it, leaving to the world to judge whether they have it or not.

The best way to acquire Humility is to constantly remind yourself how much lower than a snake’s belly you would be but for the Grace of God. You made a horrible mess of running your life and failed completely, but that Grace could and did make you what you are today.

Hazelden Foundation


July 28, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, July 28, 2014
 
Today, we remind ourselves why abstaining from drinking is not enough in recovery. Addiction in general and alcoholism specifically are three-level diseases – physical, emotional, and spiritual. While not drinking is most certainly the beginning, it is not the end because abstaining will improve the physical ravages of drinking only but not the psychological and spiritual damage drinking inflicts. It is for treatment of the emotional and spiritual that we have AA; here, we are given the tools to undo the damage we have done and, when repair isn’t possible, how to accept our mistakes, forgive ourselves even when no one else does and move ahead toward sobriety. Without that treatment and when we depend solely on abstinence, we are less sober and more like a dry drunk. Today, I accept that not drinking by itself is not sufficient to attain the sobriety and quality of the life I seek. Today, I pick up and begin to use the Program’s Steps of recovery. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

July 28, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, July 28, 2014
 
AA Thought for the Day
To continue the paraphrase of the psalm: “The judgments of the twelve steps are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than whiskey, yea, than much fine whiskey, sweeter also than wine. Moreover, by them are alcoholics warned and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand our alcoholism? Cleanse us from secret faults. Keep us from presumptuous resentments. Let them not have dominion over us. Then shall we be upright and free of the great transgression.”

Am I resolved that liquor will never again have dominion over me?

Meditation for the Day
God can be your shield. Then no problems of the world can harm you. Between you and all scorn and indignity from others is your trust in God, like a shining shield. Nothing can then have the power to spoil your inward peace. With this shield, you can attain this inward peace quickly, in your surroundings as well as in your heart. With this inward peace, you do not need to resent the person who troubles you. Instead, you can overcome the resentment in your own mind which may have been aroused by that person.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may strive for inward peace. I pray that I may not be seriously upset, no matter what happens around me.

Hazelden Foundation


July 28, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time
Monday, July 28, 2014
 
Reflection for the Day
We learn the value of meditation in The Program. As the beginning of the Eleventh Step suggests, we seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him. One of the great values of meditation is that it clears the mind. And as the mind becomes clearer, it becomes more capable and willing to acknowledge the truth. Less pain is required to force honest recognition of defects and their results. The real needs of the whole person are revealed.

Are prayer and meditation a regular part of my daily living?

Today I Pray
May God’s truths be revealed to me through meditation and these small prayers, through contact with my group which keeps me mindful of my need to clear my mind with daily meditation. For only an uncluttered mind can receive God; only a mind cleansed of self-interest can acknowledge the truth.

Today I Will Remember
Meditation is a mind-cleanser.

Hazelden Foundation


July 28, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener
Monday, July 28, 2014
 
In AA, we must of necessity make the best use of our time. The hours must be allocated to our various affairs in proportion to their importance. We now have so many responsibilities we did not have in our drinking days.

If we wisely divide our time between our duties to our families, our jobs, our community, our God and getting our own lives in order, we will find little time left for worry, fear, self-pity or envy.

Hazelden Foundation


1-20 of thousands of Blogs   

Previous Posts
Aug. 1, 2014 - Step by Step, posted August 1st, 2014
Aug. 1, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted August 1st, 2014
Aug. 1, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted August 1st, 2014
Aug. 1, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted August 1st, 2014
July 31, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 31st, 2014
July 31, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 31st, 2014
July 31, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 31st, 2014
July 31, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 31st, 2014
July 30, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 30th, 2014
July 30, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 30th, 2014
July 30, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 30th, 2014
July 30, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 30th, 2014
July 29, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 29th, 2014
July 29, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 29th, 2014
July 29, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 29th, 2014
July 29, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 29th, 2014
July 28, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 28th, 2014
July 28, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 28th, 2014
July 28, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 28th, 2014
July 28, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 28th, 2014
July 27, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 27th, 2014
July 27, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 27th, 2014
July 27, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 27th, 2014
July 27, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 27th, 2014
July 26, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 26th, 2014
July 26, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 26th, 2014
July 26, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 26th, 2014
July 26, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 26th, 2014
July 25, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 25th, 2014
July 25, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 25th, 2014
July 25, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 25th, 2014
July 25, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 25th, 2014
July 24, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 24th, 2014
July 24, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 24th, 2014
July 24, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 24th, 2014
July 24, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 24th, 2014
July 23, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 23rd, 2014
July 23, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 23rd, 2014
July 23, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 23rd, 2014
July 23, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 23rd, 2014
July 22, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 22nd, 2014
July 22, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 22nd, 2014
July 22, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 22nd, 2014
July 22, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 22nd, 2014
July 22, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden, posted July 22nd, 2014
July 21, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 21st, 2014
July 21, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 21st, 2014
July 21, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 21st, 2014
July 21, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 21st, 2014, 1 comment
July 20, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 20th, 2014
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