Monday, November 30, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: November 30th

Recovery Meditations:  November 30th


People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.

Joseph Fort Newton

When I was growing up I remember always being lonely and I never had many friends. In order to protect myself from the pain of rejection, or perhaps because I didn't have self-esteem or believe in myself, I gave the impression that I didn't need people. I was probably thought of as a snob. I thought that people didn't like me because I was shy and introverted, but I had built up around myself an impenetrable protective wall which didn't invite anyone in. It was small wonder that I spent many lonely nights buried in a book or food or any other solitary pursuit for that matter.

In my adult years I became a people-pleaser in the hopes that people would like me more. That even spilled over to include my children as well, which meant that I wasn't able to say no to them or anyone else unless they stopped loving me. I would say yes when I really meant no, and consequently I was always filled with resentment and felt even lonelier than ever. I didn't know how to set boundaries and was terrified that if I said no, people wouldn't love me anymore.

I now know that when I set boundaries, it is an affirmation of my worth, and in most cases I am respected and liked by those people who are really my true friends. My children, too, have benefitted from my having set boundaries with them, and they have more respect for me than before. I am beginning to realize that it is just fine to do what is right for me, and that it doesn't have to jeopardize any of my relationships.

One day at a time . . .
I am learning that it is right for me
to define my boundaries with those that I love,
knowing that I set these boundaries in love and friendship,
rather than hostility, and that I am still a lovable person.

Sharon S.


 Each Day A New Beginning

Doubt indulged soon becomes doubt realized.
  —Frances Ridley Havergal

We are powerless over our addictions, whether liquor, pills, people, food. We are powerless over the outcome of all events involving us. And we are powerless over the lives of our friends and family members. We are not powerless, however, over our own attitudes, our own behavior, our own self-image, our own determination, our own commitment to life and this simple program.

Power aplenty we have, but we must exercise it in order to understand its breadth. We'll find all the day's activities, interactions, and plans decidedly more exciting when we exercise control over our responses. We don't have to feel or respond except in the way that pleases us. We have total control and we'll find this realization exhilarating.

Our recovery is strengthened each time we determine the proper behavior, choose an action that feels right, and take responsibility where it is clearly ours to take. The benefits will startle us and bring us joy.

I will take charge of my life today.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.


Food For Thought



We will never make it if we feel we are responsible for solving everyone else's problems. It is tempting to our ego to feel that we can exercise control over the lives of those around us, but it is counter to reality. We cannot protect those we love from sadness, sickness, or pain. Making martyrs of ourselves only prepares the ground for future retaliation.

Our primary task is to remember our dependence on our Higher Power and by His grace to maintain our abstinence. The problems, which we face, are best deal with if our spiritual condition is strong. Without abstinence from compulsive overeating, we are not much help to anyone, least of all ourselves.

There are times when all we can manage is to hang on, to survive. We know in our heads that these times will eventually pass. Practicing Step Eleven convinces us in our hearts that God is in charge, no matter how far away He may seem to be.

By Your grace, may I survive the hard times.

The Language of Letting Go


One day, my son brought a gerbil home to live with us. We put it in a cage. Some time later, the gerbil escaped. For the next six months, the animal ran frightened and wild through the house. So did we - chasing it.

"There it is. Get it!" we'd scream, each time someone spotted the gerbil. I, or my son, would throw down whatever we were working on, race across the house, and lunge at the animal hoping to catch it.

I worried about it, even when we didn't see it. "This isn't right," I'd think. "I can't have a gerbil running loose in the house. We've got to catch it. We've got to do something."

A small animal, the size of a mouse had the entire household in a tizzy.

One day, while sitting in the living room, I watched the animal scurry across the hallway. In frenzy, I started to lunge at it, as I usually did, then I stopped myself.

No, I said, I'm all done. If that animal wants to live in the nooks and crannies of this house, I'm going to let it. I'm done worrying about it. I'm done chasing it. It's an irregular circumstance, but that's just the way it's going to have to be.

I let the gerbil run past without reacting. I felt slightly uncomfortable with my new reaction - not reacting - but I stuck to it anyway.

I got more comfortable with my new reaction - not reacting. Before long, I became downright peaceful with the situation. I had stopped fighting the gerbil. One afternoon, only weeks after I started practicing my new attitude, the gerbil ran by me, as it had so many times, and I barely glanced at it. The animal stopped in its tracks, turned around, and looked at me. I started to lunge at it. It started to run away. I relaxed.

"Fine," I said. "Do what you want." And I meant it.

One hour later, the gerbil came and stood by me, and waited. I gently picked it up and placed it in its cage, where it has lived happily ever since. The moral of the story? Don't lunge at the gerbil. He's already frightened, and chasing him just scares him more and makes us crazy.

Detachment works.

Today, I will be comfortable with my new reaction - not reacting. I will feel at peace.

Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more.
--Malvina Reynolds

The abundant life appeals to us. Seldom do we want less money, fewer toys, clothes, or friends. In general, we want more of everything and still more - particularly of love. The truth is that the things we hoard or hide or fear losing must be shared or soon may be lost.

Giving love to a lover, a friend, or even a stranger will fill up our own empty spaces where love wants to be. And we'll glow radiantly with the warmth that hovers on the heels of love expressed.

The pantry of the human heart is never bare when love is being served. We pass this way with one another, not by mere chance, but by design for the nourishment that is love.

Our greatest hope, to be loved, is ours when we've made that hope a reality for someone else.
You are reading from the book:


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: November 29th

Recovery Meditations:  November 29th

To Thine Own Self Be True

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made.
What’s a sun-dial in the shade?”
Benjamin Franklin

In the cups of my illness I was a chameleon and people-pleaser. I was afraid to stand on my own opinions and be myself. My fear of rejection kept me always looking for ways to fit in. I was running from life because I was afraid that I would be found to be a fraud and a compulsive eater. I played dumb in school and with my friends. I was afraid to be smart. I was afraid to have differing opinions. Shame kept me hiding inside of myself and inside of my suit of fat. I was afraid to be me.

Since coming to the program I am learning more each day that it is okay for me to be me. It is more than okay; it is essential. I can spread my wings and let myself out of my self-imposed cage ~ and I can go for a flight gliding on the breeze with ease. My first steps were wobbly, but this program promises me that the sunlight is there and it is okay to come out of the shade and be whom I really am. I have something to offer the world. We all do. It is up to us to find it in our deepest heart’s desire.

One day at a time...
I can take one small step to match my insides to my outsides.

~ Lanaya


Each Day A New Beginning


Faith is like the air in a balloon. If you've got it you're filled. If you don't, you're empty.
  —Peggy Cahn

Being faith-filled takes effort, not unlike becoming a good writer, tennis player, or pianist. Faith grows within our hearts, but we must devote time to foster this growth. Daily discussions with God are required, frequent quiet times to hear God's messages to us - just as practice on the court, hitting balls or sitting for extended periods at the typewriter or a piano are necessary to attainment of these goals.

Life's difficulties are eased when we have faith. The most frightening situation, a job interview, an evaluation with our boss, a showdown with a friend, can be handled confidently when we let our faith work for us. But, we must first work for it, work to attain it and work to keep it. Like any skill, it gets rusty with lack of use.

I will make sure to add to my reserves today. We never know when we may need to let our faith direct our every action. I will make a friend of my higher power, and that partnership will carry me over any troubled time.

Food For Thought


If we examine our behavior patterns when we were eating compulsively, we usually find that they were quite rigid. Our mental obsession and physical addiction kept us bound in repetitious behavior, which permitted very little spontaneity. With so much time and energy tied up in eating, we had very little flexibility. Most of our free time was used to support our addiction in one way or another.

As we recover, we may find ourselves threatened by unstructured time or by impromptu changes in schedule. An unexpected holiday can bring on feelings of emptiness or boredom. Changed plans can leave us feeling confused and unsettled. Without a firm routine, we may become uneasy.

Remembering that abstinence is the most important thing in our life without exception can provide an anchor when we are required to be flexible. As long as we remain abstinent, we are free to alter schedules and plans according to preference and convenience. Flexibility and spontaneity are possible when abstinence is firm.

Show me how to be flexible.

The Language of Letting Go

Step Twelve

The Twelfth Step says that having had a spiritual awakening, we try to carry this message to others. Our message is one of hope, love, comfort, health - a better way of life, one that works.

How do we carry it? Not by rescuing. Not by controlling. Not by obsessing. Not by becoming evangelists for the recovery cause.

We carry the message in many small, subtle, but powerful ways. We do our own recovery work and become a living demonstration of hope, self-love, comfort, and health. These quiet behaviors can be a powerful message.

Inviting (not ordering or demanding) someone to go to a meeting is a powerful way to carry the message.

Going to our meetings and sharing how recovery works for us is a powerful way to carry the message.

Being who we are and allowing our Higher Power to guide our actions are powerful ways to carry the message. Often, we find ourselves carrying the message more effectively than we do when we set out to reform, convince, or coerce someone into recovery.

Caretaking and controlling are not ways to carry the message. All those behaviors carry is codependency.

Still, the most powerful form of helping others comes down to helping ourselves. When we do our own work and are honest and open about it, we impact others more than by our most well intentioned "helping" gesture. We cannot change others, but when we change ourselves, we may end up changing the world.

Today, I will strive to carry the message in ways that work. I will let go of my need to "help" people. Instead, I will concentrate on helping and changing myself. If an opportunity comes up to share my recovery with someone, I will do so quietly. God, help me show others comfort, empowerment, and hope. I can be a channel to help others when I am ready. I do not have to force this; it will happen naturally.

Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

One way to become enthusiastic is to look for the plus sign. To make progress in any difficult situation, you have to start with what's right about it and build on that.
-- Norman Vincent Peale

Beginning our days with a positive mental outlook is a great depression chaser. Simply lifting our heads and looking up and out instead of down will make us feel better. Although we can't spend all our time staring at the sky, we can train ourselves to look for the best in ourselves and others.

Even in the middle of difficulty or pain, we have choices. We can choose a gloom-and-doom attitude and endlessly replay the thoughts that accompany it. Or we can step back and find the one good thing. We may be blinded with pain. The situation may appear hopeless, utterly bleak. But recovery guarantees that we are equal to it; that in our pain there is at least one good thing.

We are the masters of our fate. We can change even the most difficult situations with an attitude of hope and positive expectation. Approaching each day with a hopeful heart will give us a different approach to our troubles.

Today help me find the one good thing. Help me let go of fear and negativity.
You are reading from the book:

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: November 27th

Recovery Meditations:  November 27th


There will come a time when you believe everything is finished.
That will be the beginning.
Louis L'Amour

During my life I've always found it hard to start anything. I don't know whether it comes from being a compulsive overeater, but I do know that I took my time in starting a recovery program. Maybe it was a fear that, if I didn't succeed, I could never start over.

Luckily, this is a very forgiving program. If I slip, I can get up and start over. I don't have to stay down. In fact, I can be down, but I can never be counted out, because all I need to do is begin again. My Higher Power helps me stay on track, and it comforts me to know that, if I fall, I can be picked up and allowed to continue my journey to recovery.

One day at a time . . .
I will remain "higher powered" and start over if I need to.



Each Day A New Beginning

“Limited expectations yield only limited results.”

School children perform according to the expectations their teachers have of them. Likewise, what we women achieve depends greatly on what we believe about ourselves, and too many of us have too little belief in ourselves. Perhaps we grew up in a negative household or had a nonsupportive marriage. But we contribute, too, in our negative self-assessment. The good news is that it no longer needs to control us.
We can boost our own performance by lifting our own expectations, even in the absence of support from others. It may not be easy, but each of us is capable of changing a negative self-image to a positive one. It takes commitment to the program, a serious relationship with our higher power, and the development of positive, healthy relationships with others.

It’s true, we can’t control other people in our lives. And we can’t absolutely control the outcome of any particular situation. But we can control our own attitudes. Interestingly, when we’ve begun seeing ourselves as competent and capable, instead of inadequate, we find that other people and their situations become more to our liking, too.



The Language of Letting Go

We can Trust Ourselves

For many of us, the issue is not whether we can trust another person again; it's whether we can trust our own judgment again.

"The last mistake I made almost cost me my sanity," said one recovering woman who married a sex addict. "I can't afford to make another mistake like that."

Many of us have trusted people, who went on to deceive, abuse, manipulate, or otherwise exploit us because we trusted them. We may have found these people charming, kind, and decent. There may have been a small voice that said, "No - something's wrong." Or we may have been comfortable with trusting that person and shocked when we found our instincts were wrong.

The issue may then reverberate through our life for years. Our trust in others may have been shaken, but our trust in ourselves may have been shattered worse.

How could something feel so right, flow so well, and be such a total mistake? We may wonder. How can I ever trust my selection process again, when it showed itself to be so faulty?

We may never have the answers. I believe I needed to make certain "mistakes" to learn critical lessons I'm not certain I would have otherwise learned. We cannot let our past interfere with our ability to trust ourselves. We cannot afford to function with fear.

If we are always making the wrong decision in business or in love, we may need to learn why we insist on defeating ourselves.

But most of us do improve. We learn. We grow from our mistakes. Slowly, in increments, our relationships improve. Our business choices improve. Our decisions about how to handle situations with friends or children improve. We benefit from our mistakes. We benefit from our past. And if we have made mistakes, we needed to make them in order to learn along the way.

Today, I will let go of my fears about trusting myself because I have made mistakes in the past. I understand that these fears only serve to impair my judgment today. I will give my past, even my mistakes, validity by accepting and being grateful for it all. I will strive to see what I've gained from my mistakes. I will try to look at all my good decisions too. I will keep a watchful eye for improvement, for overall progress, in my life.


From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

... satisfaction is a lowly thing, how pure a thing is joy.
--Marianne Moore

Our perfectionism generally dashes all hopes of self-satisfaction. But the program is here to show us that we can make progress. We can learn to believe that we are doing any task as well as we need to do it, at this time. Our job is the effort. The outcome is part of a larger plan, one that involves more than ourselves.

We'll find joy when we find acceptance of ourselves and our efforts and the belief that we are spiritual beings whose lives do have purpose and direction.

The wisdom that accompanies spiritual growth offers us security, that which we have sought along many avenues. And when we feel secure, we can trust that the challenges confronting us are purposeful and to our advantage.

One day at a time, one small prayer at a time, moves us even closer to spiritual security. We can look with glad anticipation at our many responsibilities and activities today. They are our opportunities for spiritual security. We can trust our growing inner resources by simply asking for guidance and waiting patiently. It will find us.

I must exercise my prayers if I want the spiritual security where I can find joy. I will ask for guidance with every activity today.
You are reading from the book:

Daily Recovery Readings: November 28th

Recovery Meditations:  November 28th


Above all, let us never forget that an act of goodness
is in itself an act of happiness.

Count Maurice Maeterlinck

While in the disease, most of the goodness I tried to do was for ulterior motives. It was only in recovery that I learned to give unselfishly and without strings to help another. In doing so, I have found happiness beyond measure. I can create my own happiness in the service of my Higher Power and other compulsive overeaters. I can make the promise of a "new happiness and a new freedom" come true.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will do acts of goodness.

~ Judy N. ~


Each Day A New Beginning

The idea of God is different in every person. The joy of my recovery was to find God within me.
  —Angela L. Wozniak

The program promises peace. Day by day, step-by-step, we move closer to it. Each time we clearly are touched by someone else, and each time we touch another, carries us closer to a realization of God's presence, in others, in ourselves, in all experiences. The search for God is over, just as soon as we realize the Spirit is as close as our thoughts, our breath.

Coming to believe in a greater power brings such relief to us in our daily struggles. And on occasion we still fight for control to be all-powerful ourselves, only to realize that the barriers we confront are of our own making. We are on easy street, just as soon as we choose to let God be our guide in all decisions, large and small.

The program's greatest gift to us is relief from anxiety, the anxiety that so often turned us to booze, or pills, or candy. Relief is felt every time we let go of the problem that's entrapped us and wait for the comfort and guidance God guarantees.

God's help is mine just as quickly as I fully avail myself of it. I will let go of today's problems.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.


 Food For Thought

A Strong Father

Many of us understand God in terms of a father, one on whom we can rely no matter what the situation. Our biological father may have been a tyrant or a pal, remote or accessible, firm or weak. However much we loved him and depended on him, he was only a person and not infallible.

For recovery from compulsive overeating, we need a source of strength to which we may turn in any emergency. We require a Power to lean on through the minor ups and downs of every day. Though our families and friends support us, their assistance is not enough. They can provide neither the control nor the sustenance, which we need in order to recover from our illness.

The firm, unfailing guidance which we require comes from our Higher Power. If we are willing to again become as children and cast ourselves on God without reservation, we shall receive His support. It is His Power that frees us from our false dependency on food.

Be for us a strong Father, we pray.

The Language of Letting Go
Back to the Steps

Go back to the Steps. Go back to a Step

When we don't know what to do next, when we feel confused, upset, distraught, at the end of our rope, overwhelmed, full of self will, rage, or despair, go back to the Steps.

No matter what situation we are facing, working a Step will help. Focus on one, trust your instincts, and work it.

What does it mean to work a Step? Think about it. Meditate on it. Instead of focusing on the confusion, the problems, or the situation causing our despair or rage, focus on the Step.

Think about how that Step might apply. Hold on to it. Hang on as tightly as we hang on to our confusion or the problem.

The Steps are a solution. They work. We can trust them to work.

We can trust where the Steps will lead us.

When we don't know what step to take next, take one of the Twelve.

Today, I will concentrate on using the Twelve Steps to solve problems and keep me in balance and harmony. I will work a Step to the best of my ability. I will learn to trust the Steps, and rely on them instead of on my protective, codependent behaviors.

Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
"I was lucky," a man explained to me. "One of my first mentors in life made me practice serenity. Whenever I'd call him in full-blown panic mode or with that frantic tone in my voice, he'd refuse to talk to me until I calmed myself down.
"'Go get centered,' he'd tell me. 'Then we'll talk.'" Sometimes we need help working through our panic, anxiety, and fear. Find someone to talk to who will support serenity, rather than feed anxiety. Learn to recognize turmoil and urgency in your body, speech, emotions, and thought. Learn what it feels like to be centered and calm. Practicing serenity is a learned behavior and an art.
When you find yourself in turmoil, stop what you are doing. Take deliberate steps to relax. Talk to a friend, say the Serenity Prayer or any favorite prayer, breathe, meditate, feel any emotions you need to feel. Calming yourself may feel awkward at first, nearly impossible. (Some people may need professional help to deal with anxiety and panic if it's chronic and continual.) Over time and with practice, you will discover ways to calm yourself, the way a loving parent learns to calm a fretting child.

You are reading from the book: