Saturday, February 25, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings: February 25th

Recovery Meditations: February 25th

Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist,
but in the ability to start over.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Before coming into this program I was, and probably still am to a certain extent, a perfectionist, so one of the things I really struggled with is being able make mistakes without feeling bad about myself. So when I came into the program, I decided that I was going to do this program perfectly, and proceeded to do just that. I followed a meal plan, lost weight and worked the steps, and I really thought I had it made. But I hadn't counted on the fact that this is a disease, and it is both cunning, baffling and powerful. So when I had my first slip, I was devastated and felt a real failure.

Fortunately for me, with the help of many loving sponsors over the years, I have realised that I am not a failure if I slip, but I am only one if I fail to get up. This program has enabled me to learn that when I make a mistake, I am not that mistake, and that all I need to do is to pick myself up and start over. In the old days if I failed at a diet, I would never have been able to pick myself up so soon, and it would always be an excuse to carry on eating and start the diet again on Monday. Now I know that my abstinence can even start at the end of the day, rather than waiting till tomorrow, next week or even next month. I am slowly starting to let go of the guilt I feel when I slip, and am also learning to love myself even when I do flounder, because with the love and support I am given in this program, I know I can always start over.
One day at a time...
I will remember that I can start afresh any time I like, and don't need to feel as if I have failed.
~ Sharon ~


Each Day A New Beginning

You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours.
  —Florida Scott-Maxwell

The search is on. Everyone, everywhere, asks the question at some time, "Who am I?" Women like ourselves are fortunate to have this program. It shows us the way to self-discovery. It directs our steps to the celebration of self that is a gift of recovery. The events of our past may plague us, but they did contribute to the fullness we feel today. And for them, for their involvement in who we've become, we can be grateful.

Claiming ourselves, the good and the bad, is healing. It's taking responsibility--for where we were and where we're going. Claiming ourselves makes us the active participants in our lives. The choices are many and varied. Not actively participating in life is also a choice. Passivity may have been our dominant choice in years gone by. But now, today, we are choosing recovery. We are choosing action that is healing, and wholeness is the result.

Making myself mine, will exhilarate me. It will give me hope. It will prepare me for anything to come. I will know a new joy.

Food For Thought

A New Place

After a slip, we do not go back and start again in the same place where we were before. Through the experience of making a mistake, we have reached a new place. Out of error, we can gain new knowledge and insight.

Often we find that wrong thinking got us into trouble. Perhaps we fell back into the old perception of ourself as the center of the universe. Perhaps we forgot to turn over whatever was troubling us and instead began to overeat. Perhaps we tried to depend on our own inadequate strength to get us through the day. Undoubtedly, we forgot that abstinence is the most important thing in our lives without exception.

Whatever the mistake, we can profit from it by growing in understanding and insight. We can mark a pitfall to be avoided in the future. We start again a few steps farther ahead, in a new place.

May I not be discouraged by mistakes. 

The Language of Letting Go

Accepting Imperfection

"Why do I do this to myself?" asked a woman who wanted to lose weight. "I went to my support group feeling so guilty and ashamed because I ate half a cookie that wasn't on the diet. I found out that everyone cheats a little, and some people cheat a lot. I felt so ashamed before I came to the group, as though I were the only one not doing my diet perfectly. Now I know that I'm dieting as well as most, and better than some."

Why do we do this to ourselves? I'm not talking strictly about dieting, I'm talking about life. Why do we punish ourselves by thinking that we're inferior while believing that others are perfect - whether in relationships, recovery, or a specific task?

Whether we're judging others or ourselves it's two sides of the same coin: perfection. Neither expectation is valid.

It is far more accurate and beneficial to tell ourselves that who we are is okay and what we are doing is good enough. That doesn't mean we won't make mistakes that need correcting; doesn't mean we won't get off track from time to time; doesn't mean we can't improve. It means with all our mistakes and wandering, we're basically on course. Encouraging and approving of ourselves is how we help ourselves stay on track.

Today, I will love and encourage myself. I will tell myself that what I'm doing is good enough, and I'll let myself enjoy that feeling. 

Today's Gift

The most useless day of all is that in which we have not laughed.
—Sebastian R. N. Champort

We are told that laughter is sunshine filling a room. And where there is laughter, there also is life. They say that people who laugh a lot live longer than do the sour-faced. When we laugh together, gratitude comes more easily, companionship thrives, and all praise is sincere. Laughter brings us joy that cannot be bought. Such joy is with us throughout each day. To hoard joy, to hide it away deep within us away from others, will make us lonely misers. We cannot buy or trade for joy, but we can give or receive it as a gift.

Laughter's joy celebrates the moment we are living right now. It is a gift we must share, or it will wither and die. Shared, it grows and thrives, and always returns to us when we need it most.

What can I find to laugh about right now?

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings: February 5th

Recovery Meditations: February 5th

Your worth is not established by teaching or learning.
Your worth is established by God. 
Nothing you do or think or wish or make
is necessary to establish your worth.

Helen Schucman, scribe of "A Course in Miracles"

I have spent the last 30 years of my life wanting more, thinking that in proving myself I would be worthy of the love and affection I deserved and this would determine my value. I was always seeking the best path to take to show everyone what I could do and that I was worthy of more of their love and praises. 

Turning my life and my will over to God has allowed me to see that, no matter what I may think, in God's eyes I am worth plenty, and this has given me so much peace. I now know that what others say or think about me is not going to make me worthy or worthless. Allowing God to run the show and doing the next right thing is all I need to do. I don't have to concern myself if I am of value to anyone; I am of value to God, and that is all that counts. 

One Day at a Time . . .
I will continue to turn to God for my strength, knowing that I need not carry the burden of proof of what I'm worth.
~ Maureen ~

Each Day A New Beginning

Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got.
  —Janis Joplin

When we don't know who we are, it's easy to compromise ourselves. When we don't know where we stand on an issue, it's easy to be swayed by a forceful voice. Values may be cloudy in our minds, or we may not be aware of them at all. It's then that we are vulnerable to the persuasion of another. In this Twelve Step program, we are offered the way to know ourselves. We are supported in our efforts, and we realize we have friends who don't want us to compromise ourselves - who value our struggle to know and to be true to ourselves.

One of recovery's greatest gifts is discovering we can make decisions that represent us, our inner selves, and those decisions please us. We all are familiar with the tiny tug of shame that locates itself in our solar plexus. When we "go along," when we "give in" on a personally important issue, we pay a consequence. We lose a bit of ourselves. Over the years we've lost many bits. We have a choice, however.

I will have a chance, soon, to act according to my wishes. I will take it.

Food For Thought


Most of us go through periods in our lives when nothing seems interesting, when our motivation and enthusiasm have deserted us. We feel dull and bored and depressed. Whether the slump lasts for an afternoon or for a month or for a year, the compulsive overeater tends to turn to food as a way out. For us, food has been exciting, and eating often used to be the most pleasurable activity we could imagine.

As most of us know all too well, eating is not a permanent solution to boredom. We may get a temporary high from food, but we invariably eat too much and end up feeling infinitely worse than before we started. Boredom is better than a binge. Food does not motivate nor does it generate enthusiasm. Overeating has just the opposite effect.

Joining OA does not ensure that we will never again experience boredom or have the blahs. What it does provide is a program of action to which we may turn when we are in a slump. Going to meetings, making phone calls, reading the literature, working the Steps - these are concrete actions we can take.

We have tried food and found that it eventually made things worse. Now let's try the OA program.

Give me grace to act. 

The Language of Letting Go

Financial Responsibility

We are responsible for ourselves financially.

What a frightening, grown up thought that is for many of us - taking responsibility for money and our financial affairs. For many of us, handing over responsibility for our financial affairs has been part of a codependent trade off in our relationships.
Some of our emotional dependency on others, on this tight tie that binds us to others, not in love, but in need and desperation, is directly related to financial dependency. Our fears and reluctance to take responsibility for our financial affairs can be a barrier to the freedom we're seeking in recovery.

Financial responsibility is an attitude. Money goes out to pay for necessities and luxuries. Money must come in, in order to go out. How much needs to come in to equal that which is going out?

Taxes... savings plans...appropriate spending habits that demonstrate an attitude of financial responsibility.... Part of being alive means learning to handle money. Even if we have a healthy contract with someone that allows us to depend on him or her for money, we still need to understand how money works. We still need to adopt an attitude of financial responsibility for ourselves. Even if we have a contract with someone else to provide for our financial needs, we need to understand the workings of the money earned and spent in our life.

Self-esteem will increase when we increase our sense of being financially responsible for ourselves. We can start where we are, with what we have today.

God, help me become willing to let go of my fears and reluctance to face the necessary parts of handling money responsibly in my life. Show me the lessons I need to learn about money.

Today's Gift

Let there be spaces in your togetherness.
  —Kahlil Gibran

Sometimes it is just as important to know when to leave others alone as it is to know when to talk with them. We all need to be alone at times - to think, to work out a problem, or just to be quiet with ourselves. This is especially true in families, where we're often surrounded by others. If we tune in to our other family members, we can develop sensors that will let us know when they need some time alone. Part of good communication is knowing when not to talk, too.

Can I be sensitive to my family's needs for privacy today?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings: February 1st

Recovery Meditations: February 1st

~ Strategy ~
"Better shun the bait than struggle in the snare. "
John Dryden

Perhaps the most important strategy for beating temptation is to avoid it altogether. Temptation pits me head-on with my disease and all of its cunning and baffling ways. It's so much easier to stay out of its claws and devices than to try to free myself once caught in its web.

What ways do I bring temptation right into my house or provide access to temptation when I go out? Do I keep forbidden foods in my house? Have I ever asked other family members to go without those things because they are dangerous to me or my recovery? Do I go places or engage in activities that increase my desire to eat compulsively? Have I considered that, for now, I just can't go certain places because of the risk to my recovery? Have I considered that I might have to give up socializing with certain groups of people because they lead me into temptation? Does watching TV trigger compulsive eating? Does putting myself in the company of a certain individuals lead to self- defeating behavior of any kind? Do I continually expose myself to stressful situations or people that tempt me to eat compulsively? Do I continue doing the things that tempt me to eat to ease the feelings or emotions that come up over it? 

Perhaps I am in an unwholesome relationship, or I overspend, or have another addiction or compulsion. What am I willing to do to recover? What am I willing to change to keep myself out of harm's way?

It is easy to pray for God to keep me from temptation, but I must do my part also. 

One day at a time ... 
I must remember to avoid the people, places and things that tempt me to eat compulsively and provide a way for the disease to touch me again.
~ Diane ~ 


Each Day A New Beginning

You were there when I needed you. You stood above all of the others with your strength and you guided me. To each of you I offer my being, my love and all that I am.
  —Deidra Sarault

Each of us is guided while we act as guides to one another, throughout the day, throughout our lives. We are interdependent. Everywhere we look, someone is learning from us and we from her. We often know not what we give, when we give it. And we seldom realize the value of what we're receiving at the time we accept it.

Resistance to what another person is offering us may be our natural response. But the passage of time highlights the value of the experience. We can look for the comforters in our lives. They are there offering us strength and hope enough to see us through any difficulty.

We need both the rough times and the soft shoulders of a friend. They contribute equally to the designs our lives are weaving. The rough times press us to pray, to reach out to others for solace. And our pain gives others the chance to heal our wounds. We are all healers offering strength. And we all need healing.

One of the greatest gifts of my recovery is giving and receiving strength.

Food For Thought


In this program, we never stop learning. It takes time to absorb the OA way of life. Some of us start with great enthusiasm, expecting perfection all at once. When we do not achieve it, we are sometimes tempted to give up and go back to the old, self-destructive way of eating the wrong kinds of food in the wrong amounts.

One of the most important things we learn in OA is patience with ourselves. We seek progress, not perfection. We work for it one step at a time, one day at a time. Our Higher Power accepts us and loves us as we are right now, today. By turning our lives over to Him and humbly asking for guidance, we become receptive to His teaching.

As we grow - slowly -we learn from our mistakes even more than from our successes. We are willing to be again as little children, and we are willing to accept suggestions and help from those who have had more experience and time in the program. We do not have to continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. We can learn the new way of life if we will walk into it patiently and slowly.

Open my body, mind, and heart to Your teaching, Lord. 

The Language of Letting Go

Step Two

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
—Step Two of Al-Anon

We come to believe in a better life through the powerful gift of other people - hearing them, seeing them, and watching the gift of recovery at work in their lives.

There is a Power greater than us. There is real hope now that things can and will be different and better for our life and us.

We are not in a "do it ourselves" program. We do not have to exert willpower to change. We do not have to force our recovery to happen. We do not have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps just so we believe that there is a Power greater than ourselves - one who will get the job done in our life. This Power will do for us what your greatest and most diligent efforts could not accomplish.

Our Higher Power will restore us to a sane and beneficial life. All we do is believe.

Look. Watch. See the people around you. See the healing they have found. Then discover your own faith, your own belief, your own healing.

Today, regardless of my circumstances, I will believe to the best of my ability that a Power greater than myself can and will restore me to a peaceful, sane way of living. Then I will relax and let Him do that.

Today's Gift

It's not enough to talk to plants, you also have to listen.
  —David Bergman

Plants grow best when we pay attention to them. That means watering, touching them, putting them in places where they will receive good light. They need people around them to notice if they are drooping at the edges or looking particularly happy in the sunlight. The more attention a plant receives, the better it will grow.

We need to be noticed in the same way. If we notice a family member or friend is drooping, perhaps we can pay some special attention to him or her. All of us need someone to care about how we are and to truly listen to us. We can share and double someone's happiness by noticing and talking about it also. We help the people around us to grow by listening to their droopy edges as well as their bright days. People need this as much as plants need light and water.

How can I help someone grow today?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings: January 22nd

Recovery Meditations: January 22nd

The only ones among you who will be really happy
are those who will have sought and found how to serve.

Albert Schweitzer

In my first few 12 step meetings, I was so angry. On one hand, I didn't think I needed to be there, although deep inside, I knew I did. People were nice enough, greeted me, made me feel welcome, but I kept myself apart with my anger. I was angry that there seemed to be a small core group of members who attended weekly and obviously knew each other well. I didn't think they'd let me in their inner group; I didn't get invited.

Next, I tried to get the program without working the Steps. That inner group talked about the Steps all the time. I'd show them how good I was; I'd get the program, get the recovery they'd gotten, by taking a shorter route. The Steps were for dummies, and I wasn't dumb. I quickly found out the Steps are the only way to get the 12 step program, hence its name.

I struggled for a long time. Then I started giving service to my group. It started off by simply straightening up the room because I always got there early. I asked for a key so I could put out the books. I started greeting newcomers, who usually showed up early. When the person who'd signed on to do the topic didn't make it one week, I agreed to lead the meeting.

To my shock, I was giving service. In looking back at my first weeks in the program, I realized that the "inner core" of my home group had become my very good friends. When had I been asked in? Never. I joined when I began to give service and became one of them, the service-givers to the group. I learned why they seemed to have such effortless growth-- it came from giving service. With service I always get back much more than I put in. 

One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember to give of myself. I will remember that giving service in the program gives me so many gifts in return.
~ Rhonda ~


Each Day A New Beginning

One cannot have wisdom without living life.
—Dorothy McCall

Living life means responding, wholly, to our joys and our pitfalls. It means not avoiding the experiences or activities that we fear we can't handle. Only through our survival of them do we come to know who we really are; we come to understand the strength available to us at every moment. And that is wisdom.

When we approach life tentatively, we reap only a portion of its gifts. It's like watching a movie in black and white that's supposed to be in Technicolor. Our lives are in color, but we must have courage to let the colors emerge, to feel them, absorb them, be changed by them. Within our depths, we find our true selves. The complexities of life teach us wisdom. And becoming wise eases the many pitfalls in our path.

Living life is much more than just being alive. I can choose to jump in with both feet. Wisdom awaits me in the depths.

Food for Thought

There Is No Such Thing as "Have To"

The serenity and insight, which we gain from this program, help us realize that we do not have to do anything. There is always a choice. We may even choose not to live.

Our lives are gifts from our Higher Power, and the choice of what to do with them is ours. We can continue to overeat and watch our illness get progressively worse. We can isolate ourselves from other people and console ourselves with food. We can do as little as possible each day just in order to survive.

We do not have to follow the program; we also do not have to overeat. We do not have to turn our lives over to God; we also do not have to continue to bear the burden of self and self-will. It is a proven fact of experience for countless people that the most satisfying thing to do with the life given to each of us is to give it back to our Higher Power to use as He wills.

Thank You for my freedom, Lord.

The Language of Letting Go

Appreciating Our Past

It is easy to be negative about past mistakes and unhappiness. But it is much more healing to look at ourselves and our past in the light of experience, acceptance, and growth. Our past is a series of lessons that advance us to higher levels of living and loving.

The relationships we entered, stayed in, or ended taught us necessary lessons. Some of us have emerged from the most painful circumstances with strong insights about who we are and what we want.

Our mistakes? Necessary. Our frustrations, failures, and sometimes-stumbling attempts at growth and progress? Necessary too.

Each step of the way, we learned. We went through exactly the experiences we needed to, to become who we are today.  Each step of the way, we progressed.

Is our past a mistake? No. The only mistake we can make is mistaking that for the truth.

Today, God, help me let go of negative thoughts I may be harboring about my past circumstances or relationships. I can accept, with gratitude, all that has brought me to today.

Today's Gift

Animals are such agreeable friends they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. 
  —George Eliot

A pet is often liked by everyone and seems to have no enemies. Why is this? Pets are friendly and interested in others. They seem to get joy out of just being with us. They do not have a critical attitude. When mistreated or neglected for a while, they are quick to forgive and quickly seek once again to be by our side.

Each of us is a valuable part of the family. When we treasure one another and don't waste our time finding each other's faults, we will begin to have fewer faults. When we accept our loved ones as they are and enjoy sharing our lives with them, our lives become more enjoyable, and our family love grows because we are each more lovable.

What can I accept in others today?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings: January 18th

Recovery Meditations: January 18th

One of the hardest things in life
is having words in your heart that you can't utter. 

James Earl Jones

Many years ago I had difficulty in expressing feelings of love and caring and warmth and concern. Contrary to this, I had no difficulty in expressing criticism, unkind words or constant critiques. Over the years I have learned so much about myself and others ... and now I can express feelings to my friends and loved ones about everything.

Those who are imprisoned by emotional constipation do little to make life better for themselves or for others. To be able to look at someone in your life and tell them you love them is such a beautiful gift. To tell a store clerk that you like something about them makes their heart sing. To look a little child in the eyes and tell them they have a good heart and you admire them takes them through the rest of the day on wings. 

One Day at a Time . . .
Here's to letting the words out of hearts. 

~ Mari ~


Each Day A New Beginning

We are born in innocence. Corruption comes later. The first fear is a corruption, the first reaching for a something that defies us. The first nuance of difference, the first need to feel better than the different one, more loved, stronger, richer, more blessed--these are corruptions.
—Laura Z. Hobson

We are corrupted. To be human is to be corrupted. Our corruptions interfere with our happiness at the very time we are seeking happiness. When we think if only we were prettier, smarter, had a better job, then we'd be happy, we are giving in to corruptions. And these corruptions stifle our growth. We are each who we need to be. We have a supporting role in one another's lives. We can teach and learn from one another.

Recovery is choosing to help ourselves and one another to be as we are; to quit making comparisons; to understand our equality as women; to celebrate our difference, knowing they give intensity to life's colors for us all.

I can celebrate our special and different gifts today. My heart will be lightened.

Food For Thought

Abstain or Overeat

For the compulsive overeater, there is always one primary choice to be made. Will I abstain or will I overeat? For us, there is nothing in between. If we have hundreds of pounds to lose or if we have reached and are maintaining our goal weight, the choice is still the same. It is the key decision we make many, many times each day.

We are free at each moment to choose which we will do. There is no magic, which will make us abstain, and there is no force, which can compel us to swallow food we do not need. The choice is ours alone.

No one graduates from OA. There is no point at which one can say, "This is it. I've got it made now." We are always aware of the fact that we are compulsive overeaters and are always one bite away from a binge. When we remember that abstaining or overeating is our primary choice, then other decisions become easier. To abstain is to choose life. To overeat is to choose death.

May I maintain constant awareness of my primary choice.

The Language of Letting Go


Sometimes in life, things happen too fast. We barely solve one problem when two new problems surface. We're feeling great in the morning, but we're submerged in misery by nightfall.

Every day we face interruptions, delays, changes, and challenges. We face personality conflicts and disappointments. Often when we're feeling overwhelmed, we can't see the lessons in these experiences.

One simple concept can get us through the most stressful of times. It's called gratitude. We learn to say, thank you, for these problems and feelings. Thank you for the way things are. I don't like this experience, but thank you anyway.

Force gratitude until it becomes habitual. Gratitude helps us stop trying to control outcomes. It is the key that unlocks positive energy in our life. It is the alchemy that turns problems into blessings, and the unexpected into gifts.

Today, I will be grateful. I will start the process of turning today's pain into tomorrow's joy.

Today's Gift

The stream that was locked up for the winter now ripples and gurgles along its way.
—John F. Gardner

Winter presents us with a frozen world, silent, sometimes forbidding. It seems like such a harsh time, forcing us indoors, letting us out only when we're wrapped in extra woolens, extra boots, extra hats and mittens. But beneath the snow's blanket, the earth is resting. Just as we sleep at night, the earth naps, nurturing its roots and bulbs, replenishing its moisture and minerals, refreshing itself. Spring is the earth's first stirring; it opens one eye, then another, wiggles a toe, stretches, yawns. The earth rises, shaking leaves off, brushing twigs away. It sends new shoots up to welcome the day.

We, too, are part of nature, and as such we experience our own seasons. Sometimes we are happy, full of energy, always able to handle obstacles. When we are down, when things seem to be too much for us to handle, we must remember that it is natural and proper to feel that way, and that soon, without our even trying, a new season will lift our hearts.

When I feel low, what can I do best?


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings: January 17th

Recovery Meditations: January 17th

Procrastination, more than anything else I can think of, 
separates those who want to be successful from those who are. 

Lee Silber

I would always intend to start everything 'tomorrow.' As a compulsive overeater I constantly promised myself the diet would start the next day, or if a weekend was approaching, then it would be Monday. When I first found this program I still had the same attitude: I would get a sponsor in good time, I would get a food plan next week, I'd read the Big Book and other program literature when I got a moment. I thought if I just kept going to meetings something will happen.

However, I found that procrastination does not work in program any more than it does outside. I no longer wanted to be the member who was constantly sharing what a dreadful week I had with the food and other aspects of my life.

Today I have a sponsor, I have worked through all the Twelve Steps -- I am still working and living the Steps -- I am in good contact with my Higher Power, have a good food plan which I am following religiously, and I have recovery to bring to my shares.

One Day at a Time . . .
When I make a decision I follow it through with action immediately. 

~ Lilian ~


Each Day A New Beginning

She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.
—Anais Nin

How aptly these words describe the woman so many of us were. Many activities were not attempted, courses weren't taken, conversations weren't initiated because we lacked confidence. The pain, the constant search for acceptance and love in the eyes and behavior of others, still haunts us. But those days are past. We are daring to be ourselves, one day at a time.

Confidence still wavers on occasion, and we may need assurance that we're lovable. Gratefully, we can look to one another for the additional boost we may need to face the day. Being there for one another, knowing that we understand each other's fears as women offers the strength to go ahead that we may lack today or tomorrow.

Today a woman may need me to dare to be herself. I will be there.

Food For Thought

All We Have Is Now

We can only live now, this moment. We cannot erase the mistakes we made yesterday or bring back the good times we had. We cannot know what tomorrow will require of us, nor can we ensure future security and happiness. Now is what we have, and now is everything.

We can follow our food plan now. We can abstain this moment. We can deal with the problems, which confront us today as best we can, trusting God to guide us. We can be in touch with our Higher Power only in the present.

As we focus on the present moment, we live it deeper, and we derive a satisfaction that we did not know when we were regretting the past and worrying about the future. Whatever happens now is all I can manage and all I need.

Thank you; Lord, for this present moment.

The Language of Letting Go

Acting As If

The behavior we call "acting as if" can be a powerful recovery tool. Acting as if is a way to practice the positive. It's a positive form of pretending. It's a tool we use to get ourselves unstuck. It's a tool we make a conscious decision to use.

Acting as if can be helpful when a feeling begins to control us. We make a conscious decision to act as if we feel fine and are going to be fine.

When a problem plagues us, acting as if can help us get unstuck. We act as if the problem will be or already is solved, so we can go on with our life.

Often, acting as if we are detached will set the stage for detachment to come in and take over.

There are many areas where acting as if - combined with our other recovery principles - will set the stage for the reality we desire. We can act as if we love ourselves, until we actually do begin to care for ourselves. We can act as if we have a right to say no, until we believe we do.

We don't pretend we have enough money to cover a check. We don't pretend an alcoholic is not drinking. We use acting as if as part of our recovery, to set the stage for our new behaviors. We force ourselves through positive recovery behaviors, disregarding our doubts and fears, until our feelings have time to catch up with reality.

Acting as if is a positive way to overcome fears, doubts, and low self-esteem. We do not have to lie; we do not have to be dishonest with ourselves. We open up to the positive possibilities of the future, instead of limiting the future by today's feelings and circumstances.

Acting as if helps us get past shaky ground and into solid territory.

God, show me the areas where acting as if could help set the stage for the reality I desire. Guide me as I use this powerful recovery tool to help create a better life and healthier relationship

Today's Gift

Man cannot remake himself without suffering. For he is both the marble and the sculptor.
—Alexis Carrel

A sculptor begins with an unformed piece of marble. He must be able to envision what he wants to create. Then, armed with tools and courage, he begins to chink away at the marble he does not need. Every day he examines how it looks and what he wants it to become.

Every one of us who is trying to be a better person is like the sculptor. We envision who we want to be and what kind of qualities we believe in. Some of these qualities might be kindness, good self-esteem, the ability to love and feel loved. If we are honest, we must also look with the artist's eye at our faults. We might see some jealousy and resentment, or feelings of superiority. Our faults, human as they are, are like unwanted marble that keeps our most loving selves from taking shape. Carving away at our faults is hard work, and sometimes-even hurts. Yet we do not do this work alone--we can only do it with the help of our God.

What can I chisel away today?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings: January 8th

Recovery Meditations: January 8th

"You will not be punished for your anger,
you will be punished by your anger.
Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts
of resentment are cherished in the mind."
It was not until I came into the program that I learned that resentment is just another name for anger. There are some areas in which letting go of resentment is not so easy, especially when dealing with hurtful words. Word wounds have a tendency to fester. The program shows me how to approach someone and make amends to them for saying something hurtful. That can be extremely healing. Unfortunately, there is no step in the program which makes provisions for others to make amends to me when my feelings are hurt.

I have learned something that has helped: telling others how I feel when my feelings are hurt. Instead of internalizing my feelings, I am beginning to speak up and ask, “Why did you say that? I felt hurt when you said that.”

Doing this releases the negativity and turns it into a positive action for me. Rather than just reacting to a bad situation, I am taking positive action. When I begin to take positive action, I find myself surrounded with positive influences and I am letting go of those friendships which are unhealthy.

One day at a time...
I will take positive action and surround myself with positive influences.
~ Marilyn S.


Each Day A New Beginning

When people make changes in their lives in a certain area, they may start by changing the way they talk about that subject, how they act about it, their attitude toward it, or an underlying decision concerning it.
  —Jean Illsley Clarke

Acting "as if" is powerful. It leads the way to a changed attitude, a changed woman. If we are self-conscious in crowds and fearful about meeting new people and yet act poised and extend our hands in friendship, we'll not only behave in a new way, but feel good about it, too. Each act we take in this way brings us closer to the woman we are behaving like. Each positive change we make builds our self-esteem.

Realizing that through our own actions we are becoming the kind of women we admire gives us the strength, in fact, encourages the excitement in us that's needed to keep changing. Making positive changes in our lives is the stuff that comprises self-esteem. Each gain makes the next one easier to attempt.

I will accept an opportunity today to act "as if" I can handle a situation I used to run from.

Food For Thought

The Bottom Line

For everything worthwhile in life, there is a price to pay. The price is the bottom line. There is no free lunch. While we have learned that we cannot overcome compulsive eating without the support of our Higher Power and the OA group, we also know that OA is not a free ride to ideal weight maintenance. Each of us must look at the bottom line.

The price of freedom from compulsive overeating is the avoidance of all personal binge foods. It is the discipline of measured meals every day. We cannot have a new life of freedom from compulsion if we continue to cling to our old excesses. We cannot be free and overeat at the same time. We must be willing to pay the price.

As we move along each day in abstinence, we form new habits and we become accustomed to living without extra, unnecessary food. We begin to change in positive, constructive ways. One day at a time, in small installments, we pay the price of our new growth and progress. What we gain is infinitely more than worth the cost!

May I be willing to pay the price today.

The Language of Letting Go


Some of us may have made a decision that no one was ever going to hurt us again. We may automatically go on "feelings freeze mode" when faced with emotional pain. Or, we may terminate a relationship the first time we feel hurt. Hurt feelings are a part of life, relationships, and recovery. It is understandable that we don't want to feel any more pain. Many of us have had more than our share, in fact, at some time in our life, we may have been overwhelmed, crushed, or stopped in our tracks by the amount of pain we felt. We may not have had the resources to cope with our pain or take care of ourselves.

That was yesterday. Today, we don't have to be so frightened of pain. It does not have to overwhelm us. We are becoming strong enough to deal with hurt feelings. And we don't have to become martyrs, claiming that hurt feelings and suffering are all there is to life.

We need only allow ourselves to feel vulnerable enough to feel hurt, when that's appropriate, and take responsibility for our feelings, behaviors, and what we need to do to take care of ourselves. We don't have to analyze or justify our feelings. We need to feel them, and try not to let them control our behavior.

Maybe our pain is showing us we need to set a boundary; maybe it's showing us we're going in a wrong direction; maybe it's triggering a deep healing process.

It's okay to feel hurt; it's okay to cry; it's okay to heal; it's okay to move on to the next feeling, when it's time. Our willingness and capacity to feel joy will eventually match our willingness and capacity to feel hurt.

Being in recovery does not mean immunity from pain; it means learning to take loving care of ourselves when we are in pain.

Today, I will not strike out at those who cause me pain. I will feel my emotions and take responsibility for them. I will accept hurt feelings as part of being in relationships. l am willing to surrender to the pain as well as the joy in life.

Today's Gift

Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light
—Theodore Roethke

All flowers begin with the potential to grow and blossom. Yet in winter, perennial flowers are buried under the snow. Inside the dark earth, they are patiently waiting for their time to bloom. For the flowers, faith is believing that spring will return. It is carrying the light of summer deep in their roots so that even in times of cold and dark, there is hope that they will bloom again.

When spring does return, they shoot out of the ground and burst into blossom. In times of light, they drink it deep into their roots - deep enough to sustain them through the next season of darkness. We can do the same, keeping the memory of good times deep within us, so that when we're feeling low, it will keep our faith in the happy future strong.

What helps sustain my faith today?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings: January 7th

Recovery Meditations: January 7th

The social workers have named a new syndrome.
It's called "compassion fatigue."
Why does it sound so familiar?

Anne Wilson Schaef

For most of my life I have always cared for others, and have always been in the caring professions. I didn't think that was a bad thing until I was brought to my knees and arrived at my first program meeting. One of the character defects that I found I had was people pleasing. Because I was always trying to help and fix others, I also knew that I had a problem with control and lack of acceptance.
One of the things I am learning in the program is that, because for so many years I had hidden my emotions in food, there are still many layers of the onion that I haven't even begun to peel away. The amazing thing is that it is only when I reach a rock bottom of some sort that I am forced to look deeper at many issues that I have blocked for years. What I realize now is that I have spent so many years of my life taking care of others that I have forgotten to take care of me. No wonder I feel so overwhelmed!
I'm a compulsive caregiver, but in doing that, I have often neglected to see to my own needs. I am so grateful that I have become open to looking further into why I have always put others' needs before mine, and to being able to detach with love from many issues over which I am powerless, so that I can take better care of me.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that in order to be able to care for and love others, I must first learn to care for and love myself.
~ Sharon S. ~


Each Day A New Beginning

The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another's existence
  —-Sue Atchley Ebaugh

We all want to matter to others. Very often in the past and sometimes in the present, our behavior screams for the attention we seek from others. Perhaps, instead of trying to get attention, we ought to give it. The program tells us we have to give it away in order to keep it. Wisdom of the ages also dictates that in life there are no accidents. Those people close to us and those just passing through our lives have reason to be there. Giving attention to another's humanity is our calling.

I will fully attend to another person I have occasion to be with today. She will matter to me, and my attention will matter to her.

Food For Thought

Don't Take the First Compulsive Bite

OA says that if you don't take the first compulsive bite, you won't overeat. It is that first extra bite that gets us into trouble. The first bite may be as "harmless" as a piece of lettuce, but when eaten between meals and not as part of our daily plan, it invariably leads to another bite. And another, and another. And we have lost control. And there is no stopping.

It is the first compulsive bite that breaks abstinence. When we take it, we cheat ourselves and fall back into slavery to our appetites. To rationalize by saying that just a little deviation won't make any difference is like saying that someone is just a little bit pregnant.

All we have to give up is the first compulsive bite. Then we do not have to worry about the rest of them. Simple. Once we decide not to take the first one, our problem is solved. Abstinence is a lifeboat. It is possible to stay afloat in the lifeboat as long as we do not jump out by taking the first compulsive bite.

Thank you; Lord, for the saving gift of abstinence.

The Language of Letting Go

Dealing with Painful Feelings

Feelings of hurt or anger can be some of the most difficult to face. We can feel so vulnerable, frightened, and powerless when these feelings appear. And these feelings may trigger memories of other, similar times when we felt powerless.

Sometimes, to gain a sense of control, we may punish the people around us, whether they are people we blame for these feelings or innocent bystanders. We may try to "get even," or we may manipulate behind people's backs to gain a sense of power over the situation.

These actions may give us a temporary feeling of satisfaction, but they only postpone facing our pain.

Feeling hurt does not have to be so frightening. We do not have to work so hard to avoid it. While hurt feelings aren't as much fun as feeling happy, they are, still, just feelings.

We can surrender to them, feel them, and go on. That does not mean we have to seek out hurt feelings or dwell unnecessarily on them. Emotional pain does not have to devastate us. We can sit still, feel the pain, figure out if there's something we need to do to take care of ourselves, and then go on with our life.

We do not have to act in haste; we do not have to punish others to get control over our feelings. We can begin sharing our hurt feelings with others. That brings relief and often healing to them and to us.

Eventually, we learn the lesson that real power comes from allowing ourselves to be vulnerable enough to feel hurt. Real power comes from knowing we can take care of ourselves, even when we feel emotional pain. Real power comes when we stop holding others responsible for our pain, and we take responsibility for all our feelings.

Today, I will surrender to my feelings, even the emotionally painful ones. Instead of acting in haste, or attempting to punish someone, I will be vulnerable enough to feel my feelings.

Today's Gift

To affect the quality of the day - that is the highest of the arts.
—Henry David Thoreau

We are the sculptors of our day. We can mold it creatively into a wonderful masterpiece. We control the amount of moisture we mix into our clay. We pound it, shape it, stroke it, and love it. Others can offer suggestions, and we gain new perspectives from their advice, but it is finally our own creation. Our knife may occasionally slip, or our mixture of earth may be too dry. Any great artist suffers temporary setbacks. Besides, imperfections in art often make it all the more interesting.

How creative can I be in my life today?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings: January 3rd

Recovery Meditations: January 3rd


God seldom delivers virtues all wrapped
in a package and ready for use. Rather He puts
us in situations where by His help we can develop those virtues.

C. R. Findley

I have been reading and studying a lot about the 6th and 7th Steps lately. I have realized that these steps are threefold. I must first become aware of the defect of character. Next, I must accept that I own it and it no longer works for me as it once did. 

Lastly, I need to surrender that defect of character to my Higher Power. In the meantime, it is my job to act as if the change has already occurred. This means that I may come into contact with some seemingly obnoxious people who will mirror my character defects. I must remember that "Nothing happens in God's world by mistake," and they are here to teach me something. Maybe I am here to be the lesson for them. I may be the only example they ever see of a person trying to work and walk a spiritual path, in a 12 Step program of recovery. 
One Day at a Time . . .
God, I ask that You continue to help me to be aware of my actions and how they affect others, and to accept and become willing to relinquish my character defects to You.
~ Jeanine ~

Each Day A New Beginning

Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore.
  —Dorothy Bryant

Sometimes we feel buried in sand, blocked, clogged, unable to move. Then we must remember that we are not alone. Help is at hand, if only we will ask for it. If we invoke our higher power, our source of spiritual strength can help us to believe that there is gold somewhere in all this sand, and that the sand itself is useful.

No one and no thing is good all the time. Let us remember that if we expect nothing but gold, we are distorting life, getting in our own way. We don't want to falsify the texture of our lives; the homespun quality helps us to appreciate the gold when it appears.

I will find some gold among the sand, today.

Food For Thought


Many of us find it difficult to accept the OA program at the beginning. Many of us cannot believe or are afraid to believe the good news at first. All we need to start is the desire to stop eating compulsively.

If we will be open to the program, we will find that it gradually unfolds. What we do not understand at the beginning becomes clear as we become ready to accept it. We shall never achieve perfection, but we can make progress every day.

When we are willing to grow and to change, God can work His miracles. OA is filled with members whose stories attest to the Power that has changed their lives.

I open myself to Your power, Lord.

The Language of Letting Go

Nurturing Self Care

...there isn't a guidebook for setting boundaries. Each of us has our own guide inside ourselves. If we continue to work at recovery, our boundaries will develop. They will get healthy and sensitive. Our selves will tell us what we need to know, and we'll love ourselves enough to listen.
  —Beyond Codependency

What do we need to do to take care of ourselves?

Listen to that voice inside. What makes you angry? What have you had enough of? What don't you trust? What doesn't feel right? What can't you stand? What makes you uncomfortable? What do you want? Need? What don't you want and need? What do you like? What would feel good?

In recovery, we learn that self care leads us on the path to God's will and plan for our life. Self-care never leads away from our highest good; it leads toward it.

Learn to nurture that voice inside. We can trust ourselves. We can take care of ourselves. We are wiser than we think. Our guide is within, ever present. Listen to, trust, and nurture that guide.

Today, I will affirm that I am a gift to the Universe and myself. I will remember that nurturing self care delivers that gift in its highest form.

Today's Gift

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.
  —Faith Baldwin

Change surrounds us. It lies within us, too. The trees in the yard have changed. They've grown taller. Their leaves die and scatter on the ground in the fall. We don't resemble our baby pictures much anymore, either. Like trees, we've grown up. As babies, we couldn't walk. But we learned to run, ride bikes, and go out alone to movies and parties. Some changes we don't notice while they're going on. The snow melts; the birds fly south; our hair grows a little every day. Other changes startle us. A best friend moves away. Perhaps a favorite grandparent dies. These changes we wish hadn't happened, and we have to remember that change is as natural as breathing. We can't keep it from happening, but we can trust that change never means to harm us. It's a sign we're growing up.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Daily Recovery Readings: January 2nd

Recovery Meditations: January 2nd

“He who cannot rest, cannot work;
He who cannot let go, cannot hold on;
He who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.”

Harry Emerson Fosdick

Prior to walking through the doors of this program, my goal in life was to set up barricades against possible attacks. My mind was cluttered with battle strategies and defense tactics. I tried to predict every conceivable plot to topple me from my self-appointed throne. I sought to control situations in order to dominate the outcomes. To that end, I would bend over backwards to do for others what I didn’t want them to do for themselves. I maneuvered myself into positions of power so that I wasn’t presented with any surprises. Every situation was weighed for the probability of failure. I never took chances.

This process took time and vast amounts of energy. My mind was in a constant cacophony. Consequently, there was no room for growth, no space for acquiring new skills and no time to develop old ones. Every day was a constant juggling act between an ever-decreasing energy supply and an escalating demand to feel secure. The more I sought to control, the less I controlled.

Working through Step One brought my whole crusade to an end. I learned to let go of what I had laughingly called control. I learned to relinquish the helm and acknowledge that I wasn’t such a good driver. Almost instantly I became aware of a path beneath my feet. I was, for the first time in the longest time, moving forward. The scenery was changing and the outlook was brighter. 
One Day at a Time . . .
I will accept what I cannot do alone, and let go and let God.
~ Sue G


Each Day A New Beginning

I believe that true identify is found . . . in creative activity springing from within. It is found, paradoxically, when one loses oneself. Woman can best re-find herself by losing herself in some kind of creative activity of her own.
  —Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Creative activity might mean bird watching, tennis, quilting, cooking, painting, writing. Creative activity immerses us fully in the here and now, and at the same time it frees us. We become one with the activity and are nourished by it. We grow as the activity grows. We learn who we are in the very process of not thinking about who we are.

Spirituality and creativity are akin. There is an exhilaration rooted deep within us that is a lifeline to God. Creative activity releases the exhilaration, and the energy goes through us and out to others. We find ourselves and our higher power through the loss of our self-conscious selves while creating - a picture, a sentence, a special meal.

Creativity is a given. It is another dimension of the spiritual presence guiding us all. I'll get out of its way today.

Food For Thought


When we hit bottom and are ready to swallow our pride, help is available. When we admit that by ourselves we are powerless, a Higher Power takes over. Most of us have tried for years to control what we eat by ourselves. Often it seems that the harder we try, the more miserably we fail. We despair. When we are truly desperate and ask for help, OA can help us.

We have proven that we cannot solve our problem alone. A diet is not enough. We need a program that fills our emotional and spiritual needs as well as our physical ones.

Step by step and day by day we can learn to live without overeating. We will gradually become convinced that no amount of physical food will ever satisfy our emotional and spiritual hunger. The Higher Power, which infuses each OA GROUP, becomes our lifesaver and our nourishment.

God, save me from myself.

The Language of Letting Go

Healthy Limits

Boundaries are vital to recovery. Having and setting healthy limits' is connected to all phases of recovery: growing in self esteem, dealing with feelings, and learning to really love and value ourselves.

Boundaries emerge from deep within. They are connected to letting go of guilt and shame, and to changing our beliefs about what we deserve. As our thinking about this becomes dearer, so will our boundaries.

Boundaries are also connected to a Higher Timing than our own. We'll set a limit when we're ready, and not a moment before. So will others.

There's something magical about reaching that point of becoming ready to set a limit. We know we mean what we say; others take us seriously too. Things change, not because we're controlling others, but because we've changed.

Today, I will trust that I will learn, grow, and set the limits I need in my life at my own pace. This timing need only be right for me.

Today's Gift

Happiness is like manna; it is to be gathered and enjoyed every day.
  —Tryon Edwards

Life is like a winding path surrounded by flowers, butterflies, and delicious fruit, but many of us spend much of life looking for happiness around the next corner. We do not bend to enjoy the happiness, which is ours for the taking just at our feet.

In our desire to reach the "pot of gold," the complete and lasting happiness we all want to fill our lives, we ignore anything which doesn't seem worthy of such a large ambition, or which can't give us the whole thing all at once.

Happiness is all around us, but it often comes in small grains. When we gather it grain by grain, we soon have a basketful.