Thursday, December 31, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: December 31st

Recovery Meditations: December 31st

Life Is Worth Living
"These, then, are my last words to you:
Be not afraid of life.
Believe that life is worth living.
and your belief will help create the fact. 
William James (1842 ~ 1910) 
I have lived my life as a compulsive eater and I have known many other compulsive eaters. I believe I can say unequivocally that life is much more difficult in so many ways for us than for many others. I denied that what I suffered from was a disease; yet I watched as over the years it robbed me of so many things others take for granted. Most of us will acknowledge early on that the manifestations of compulsive eating affects us spiritually, emotionally and physically. Volumes have been written about each of these so most reading this know the devastation it causes. When I began to inventory my life and saw how much the quality of it had suffered, it saddened me greatly.

I believe one of the most difficult ways the disease of COE, or any compulsive illness, affects us is the way society looks upon us. Because I have experienced life both ways, I know how behavior and attitudes change in interacting with a COE vs a non-COE. We wear our disease on the outside ... but the extensive damage is far more wide-spread than just the physical. The disease wrecks havoc in every area of our lives as we silently go about our life doing the things expected of us. We don't dare scapegoat the disease. After all, this is not a cancer ... or heart disease. Yet it can be just as serious.

Many decades ago, a group of alcoholics gathered and, as a result, life began to change for those of us who struggled with the disease. When I reached the point in my life that I could actually acknowledgement that compulsive eating was affecting it and that I had done everything possible to stop it and couldn't, it was one of the most freeing moments I've ever experienced. I learned that I was as powerless over this as I would have been suffering a heart attack. I also learned that I couldn't handle it alone. I learned that there were twelve steps that were absolutely necessary if I were to survive emotionally and, perhaps even physically.

I went from fighting the disease to acknowledging it. Because of the Steps I learned that there were tens of thousands of others exactly like me and that we all spoke the same beautiful language. I learned not to be afraid of life ... and that, despite this despicable disease, life is truly worth living. I was told to "act as if" and by doing this it became no longer an act.

One day at a time ...
I affirm that my life is worth living. One day at a time, I affirm that I will not be afraid of anything that makes me feel otherwise.
~ Mari


Each Day A New Beginning

In the process of growing to spiritual maturity, we all go through many adolescent stages.
  —Miki L. Bowen

Progress, not perfection, is our goal in this recovery program. And many days we'll be haunted by the feeling that we've regressed. We will display old behavior. We will feel unable to change, to go on, to make gains once again. But these periods will pass, and soon progress will be evident again.

We must be wary of our need for perfection. It's this need that makes normal progress seem not good enough. And yet, that's all we're capable of - and all we'll ever need to be capable of. The program, its Steps and the promises offered, provide the tools we have lacked, yet need to use in order to accept ourselves wholly and imperfectly.

Daily attention to our spiritual side will foster the spiritual and emotional health we long for. Prayer and meditation, combined with honest inventory-taking, can show us the personal progress needed, the personal progress made. However, we will falter on occasion. We will neglect our program some days. But it won't ever be beyond our reach. And each day is a new beginning.

Today is before me, and I can make progress. I will begin with a quiet prayer and a moment of meditation. 

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


Food For Thought

No Exceptions

Abstinence is the most important thing in my life without exception. Since I am a compulsive overeater, any exception would mean that I might lose control. If I do not control my disease, it controls me. Therefore, there are no exceptions to the rule that abstinence is the most important thing in my life.

In order to follow this rule, I need to depend on a Power greater than myself. Alone, I am not strong enough to maintain abstinence at all times and in all places, but through the grace of God and the support of the OA fellowship, I can do it.

With abstinence, the rest of my life falls into place. I have an incurable illness, but one which can be controlled day by day through following the OA program, working the Twelve Steps, and staying in contact with my Higher Power. There are good days and bad days. but there is always abstinence. I am grateful to be an abstaining, recovering, compulsive overeater.

May I remember each day there are no exceptions to abstinence. 


The Language of Letting Go

Affirming the Good

Fun becomes fun, love becomes love, life becomes worth living. And we become grateful.
  —Beyond Codependency

Wait, and expect good things - for yourself and your loved ones.

When you wonder what is coming, tell yourself the best is coming, the very best life and love have to offer, the best God and His universe have to send. Then open your hands to receive it. Claim it, and it is yours.

See the best in your mind; envision what it will look like, what it will feel like. Focus, until you can see it clearly. Let your whole being, body and soul, enter into and hold onto the image for a moment.

Then, let it go. Come back into today, the present moment. Do not obsess. Do not become fearful. Become excited. Live today fully, expressing gratitude for all you have been, all you are, and all you will become.

Wait, and expect good things.

Today, when I think abut the year ahead, I will focus on the good that is coming. 


Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

May you live all the days of your life.
--Jonathan Swift

Tonight, at midnight, a new year will begin. None of us know what the new year will hold. But we can trust ourselves to hold on to the spirit of recovery as we go through the year. As a new year is about to begin, we can rejoice in our new way of life. We can give our will and our life to our Higher Power. By doing these things, we'll be ready for the new year.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, I pray that I'll start the new year safe in Your loving arms, I pray that I'll keep working my program.

Action for the Day

Tonight, at midnight, I'll say the Serenity Prayer. I will think of all the others who will join me in my prayer. We are a recovering community.
You are reading from the book:

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: December 30th

Recovery Meditations:  December 30th

Yet we finally did make choices that brought about our recovery. We came to believe that alone we were powerless over [food]. This was surely a choice, and a most difficult one. We came to believe that a Higher Power could restore us to sanity when we became willing to practice [program's] twelve steps. In short, we chose to 'become willing,' and no better choice did we ever make." 

from "As Bill Sees It"

I floundered in program for a good while. I was not willing to do the Fourth Step; it scared me. Then I did it, and recovery continued.
I floundered in program again. I was not willing to do the extra work I knew I would have to do to stay in the program. I was scared of being a sponsor, so I left. The disease gradually took me over.
I came back to program. This time I was willing. No longer did the phrase "going to any lengths" scare me. I knew I needed to do whatever it took. The disease had beaten me down to where I had no choice if I wanted to recover. I took the steps ... all the steps. I became a sponsor. I also discovered that abstinence is only the beginning of recovery - that life is joyful and free. It all began with willingness on my part. I didn't have the power to change my life, but my Higher Power was able to change it once I became willing to follow the Twelve Steps to the best of my ability.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will ask for and receive the willingness to work this program. 
~ Julie ~


Each Day A New Beginning

And what a delight it is to make friends with someone you have despised!

What does it mean to say we "despise" someone? Usually it means that we have invested a lot of energy in negative feelings; it means that we have let ourselves care deeply about someone. We would never say we "despised" someone who wasn't important to us. Why have we chosen to let negative feelings occupy so much of our hearts?

Sometimes, in the past, that negative energy has become almost an obsession, consuming our time, gnawing at our self-esteem. But in recovery there comes a moment of lightning change; a moment of release from the bonds of obsession. The other person is, after all, just another person--a seeker, like ourselves. And, since we cared enough to devote our time and energies to disliking her, she is probably someone who would be rewarding to know.

Recovery has given us the opportunity to turn over many negative feelings, to discover that "friend" and "enemy" can be two sides of the same person.

Today, I will look into my heart and see whether I am clinging to obsessive concerns with other people. I will resolve to let them go. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: December 29th

Recovery Meditations: December 29th

He was my greatest teacher. 
He taught me patience. 

The Dalai Lama on Mao Tse Tung

Whenever I feel downtrodden or disappointed by the hand that life has dealt me, I often think of this quote. It moves me beyond speech. Here was a man who had lost his homeland to communist China, yet he still had a good thing to say about the man who started it all. It forces me to come to a realization that what has happened to me is peanuts! 

Too often I am caught up with feeling sorry for myself because of my disease, while ignoring the fact that I am so fortunate to have found recovery. Sometimes I feel so poor, yet I live in a large home with a wonderful spouse and delightful pets. I have a car, and enough food to eat every day. I have the luxury of obtaining my degree. Most of all, though I often complain about how unfair it all is, I am even fortunate to have an eating disorder. Because it is through admitting I have a problem that I am beginning to taste recovery, and it is sweeter than any binge item. And it has taught me that it is through our adversities that we learn compassion and patience. 

I have to realize that life just isn't fair. If it were, how boring it would be! Nothing worthwhile is easy to obtain, and that includes recovery. What would it be worth if there was no effort going into it? Sometimes bad things happen, and they are unfortunate. But that's the end of it. I cannot make things be the way I want them to be. I cannot change life. I must accept life on life's terms, and learn the art of patience, so well demonstrated by the above quote. How fortunate that I have the opportunity to learn these precious skills in the safety and security of my own home, with my wonderful friends, spouse, and my program family!
One Day at a Time . . .
I will avoid dwelling on the misery that accompanies hardship. I will develop the willingness to be grateful for the opportunity for me to learn compassion and patience.



Each Day A New Beginning

Kindness and intelligence don't always deliver us from the pitfalls and traps. There is no way to take the danger out of human relationships.
  —Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

Relationships with other people are necessary to escape loneliness; however, relationships do not guarantee freedom from pain. Nurturing a meaningful relationship with another human being takes patience, even when we don't have any. It takes tolerance, even if we don't feel it. It takes selflessness, at those very moments our own ego is crying for attention.

Yet, we need relationships with others; they inspire us. We learn who we are and who we can become through relationships. They precipitate our accomplishments. Our creativity is encouraged by them, and so is our emotional and spiritual development.

We can look around us, attentively. We can feel blessed, even when it's a negative situation. Every situation is capable of inspiring a positive step forward. Every situation is meant for our good.

There's risk in human relationships, and it's often accompanied by pain. But I am guaranteed growth, and I will find the happiness I seek. I will reach out to someone today. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: December 28th

Recovery Meditations:  December 28th

God is the mirror of silence 
in which all creation is reflected.

Paramahansa Yogananda

The disease of compulsive overeating is a devious one. It tries to tell me that I'm not a worthwhile person. It tries to tell me that I'm never going to recover, so I may as well eat. The disease tries to make me feel like I'm the lowest of the low.

Fortunately, there are many things in this recovery program that counteract the disease. I can use a food plan to make sure I don't eat what I'm not supposed to eat. I can read program literature to show me how to live triumphantly. I can work the Steps, do service, make outreach calls; there's so much I can do which can bring recovery from compulsive overeating. 

Another of the things I can do to counteract my disease is meditation. When I meditate, I come into conscious contact with my Higher Power. Meditation helps me to see that I am a worthwhile person, that God loves me just as I am. When I meditate I gain insights into the program literature I'm reading, I learn the things I need to do to further my recovery. I also learn the things that stifle my growth, so I can stop doing them. Meditation is very important to my recovery program.
One Day at a Time . . .
I remember the importance of meditation, and I meditate every day.



Each Day A New Beginning 

The human heart dares not stay away too long from that which hurt it most. There is a return journey to anguish that few of us are released from making.
  —Lillian Smith

As the sore tooth draws our tongue, so do rejections, affronts, painful criticisms, both past and present draw our minds. We court self-pity, both loving and hating it. But we can change this pattern. First we must decide we are ready to do so. The program tells us we must become "entirely ready." And then we must ask to have this shortcoming removed.

The desire to dwell on the injustices of our lives becomes habitual. It takes hours of our time. It influences our perceptions of all other experiences. We have to be willing to replace that time-consuming activity with one that's good and healthy.

We must be prepared for all of life to change. Our overriding self-pity has so tarnished our perceptions that we may never have sensed all the good that life daily offers. How often we see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full!

A new set of experiences awaits me today. And I can perceive them unfettered by the memories of the painful past. Self-pity need not cage me, today.

Food For Thought

Minimizing Temptation

There are things we can do to minimize the temptations that are around us. We are constantly exposed to food advertisements if we watch television and read magazines. Most of us need to spend a certain amount of time purchasing and preparing food. Social gatherings usually involve refreshments. All of this exposure to food can be uncomfortable for compulsive overeaters if we do not find ways to minimize it.

It is a good idea to skip the recipe sections in the magazines we read. Unnecessary thinking about food only intensifies our obsession. Moving away from the television set during a food commercial is a way to minimize that kind of temptation. Grocery shopping is expedited by not considering any items other than those on a prepared list and by spending as little time as possible in the grocery store. Meal preparation can be simplified so that less rather than more time is spent in the kitchen. At parties, we can concentrate on people and conversation instead of food.

The best way to handle temptation is by remembering that we are compulsive overeaters and that nothing is worth activating our disease.

Guide us as we avoid temptation. 

The Language of Letting Go


Don't panic!

If panic strikes, we do not have to allow it to control our behaviors. Behaviors controlled by panic tend to be self-defeating. No matter what the situation or circumstance, panic is usually not a good foundation. No matter what the situation or circumstance, we usually have at least a moment to breathe deeply and restore our serenity and peace.

We don't have to do more than we can reasonably do - ever! We don't have to do something we absolutely cannot do or cannot learn to do!

This program, this healthy way of life we are seeking, is built on a foundation of peace and quiet confidence - in ourselves, in our Higher Power, in the recovery process.

Do not panic. That takes us away from the path. Relax. Breathe deeply. Let peace flow through our body and mind. From this base, our Source shall supply the necessary resources.

Today, I will treat panic as a separate issue that needs immediate attention. I will refuse to allow panicky thoughts and feelings to motivate me. Instead, I will let peace and trust motivate my feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. 

Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Taking the first step helps bridge the gulf between our dreams and our accomplishments.

Whether the project is cleaning the garage, building a cathedral, or recovering from an addiction, plans must be translated into action. In order to arrive at our destination, we must begin the trip. We can read hundreds of college catalogs, but it's when we register for a course, buy a textbook, and begin to study that we are on our way to a degree.

Two factors inhibit our beginning a project. The first is lack of clear motivation, and the second is fear of failure. If we don't really want to do something, it's hard to get started. So, if motivation is a problem, we may need to reconsider our choice of projects.

As for fear of failure, this may be something that we step over and around as we move forward. It is not a good reason for aborting a dream. If, in spite of fear of failure, we make a beginning, we will find that the fear shrinks with every step we take. Action is the catalyst. We learn how to do something by doing it.

I will take the first step toward accomplishing a dream today by getting started.
You are reading from the book:

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: December 27th

Recovery Meditations:  December 27th

~ JOY~
Life is no brief candle to me. 
It is a sort of splendid torch which 
I have got hold of for the moment, and 
want to make it burn as brightly as possible 
before handing it on to future generations. 

George Bernard Shaw

For many years my life was filled with pain and I felt totally empty inside. I did what I had to do for my children and for the people around me, but with a heavy heart, and life seemed to be one endless day after the other. What had happened to all the dreams and hopes I had for a life filled with joy and happiness? Sometimes the pain got to be so great that life just didn't seem to be worthwhile any more. At times I even contemplated ending my life. I have often heard it said that the opposite of pain is joy but in those dark days, I certainly couldn't see that.

It is only in recovery that I see that the pain had a meaning, and it has brought me to a great appreciation of all the miracles in my life. I can appreciate the beauty in nature, and for the first time in a very long time my soul is filled with joy. When I listen to Beethoven's glorious Ninth Symphony with its last movement, the choral piece set to the poet Schiller's "Ode to Joy", I begin to realize that one can create something truly wondrous out of one's pain and suffering. Beethoven wrote this magnificent work shortly before his death, when he was in tremendous emotional pain and totally deaf. Yet he created this truly amazing piece of music that lives on nearly 200 years after his death, and will probably do so for many years to come.

I now realize that there was a reason for my suffering and if, out of that, I can bring some joy or happiness to others, then my life will have had some purpose. It is only through this fellowship that I have been able to see that.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will always remember that my pain has been a growing experience that enables me to share what I have learned with other fellow sufferers. I can now appreciate all the miracles that my Higher Power performs in my life, and I am now truly able to experience joy.

Sharon S.


Each Day A New Beginning

One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm.
  —Hannah Senesh

Life offers little, if we sit passively in the midst of activity. Involvement is a prerequisite if we are to grow. For our lives' purposes we need enthusiasm; we need enthusiasm in order to greet the day expectantly. When we look toward the day with anticipation, we are open to all the possibilities for action.

We must respond to our possibilities if we are to mature emotionally and recover spiritually. Idly observing life from the sidelines guarantees no development beyond our present level. We begin to change once we start living up to our commitment to the program, its possibilities and our purpose, and it's that change, many days over, that moves us beyond the negative, passive outlook of days gone by.

The program has offered us something to believe in. We are no longer the women we were. So much more have we become! Each day's worth of recovery carries us closer to fulfilling our purpose in life.

I believe in recovery, my own; when I believe in success, I'll find it. There is magic in believing. 

Food For Thought


We pray for the courage to change the things we can. We cannot change the fact that we are compulsive overeaters, but we can change our actions so that we are not destroyed by our disease. Making changes requires the courage to start out on a new, unknown course. Courage does not mean the elimination of fear. Courage means acting in spite of the fact that we are afraid.

It takes courage to learn to affirm one's rights as an individual, especially if the old way was to say yes to all demands and requests, reasonable and unreasonable. It takes courage to face the truth instead of continuing to live with comfortable illusions. Courage is necessary for working the steps of the OA program.

Sometimes courage comes when we are pressed to a wall of failure. There is nothing to do but turn around and step out in a new direction, even though we are afraid. The courage born of desperation can produce remarkable results.

Grant us the courage to move in Your direction. 

The Language of Letting Go

Near the Top

I know you're tired. I know you feel overwhelmed. You may feel as though this crisis, this problem, this hard time will last forever.

It won't. You are almost through.

You don't just think it has been hard; it has been hard. You have been tested, tried, and retested on what you have learned.

Your beliefs and your faith have been tried in fire. You have believed, then doubted, then worked at believing some more. You have had to have faith even when you could not see or imagine what you were asked to believe. Others around you may have tried to convince you not to believe in what you were hoping you could believe.

You have had opposition. You have not gotten to this place with total support and joy. You have had to work hard, in spite of what was happening around you. Sometimes, what motivated you was anger; sometimes fear.

Things went wrong - more problems occurred than you anticipated. There were obstacles, frustrations, and annoyances en route. You did not plan on this being the way it would evolve. Much of this has been a surprise; some of it has not been at all what you desired.

Yet, it has been good. Part of you, the deepest part that knows truth, has sensed this all along, even when your head told you that things were out of whack and crazy; that there was no plan or purpose, that God had forgotten you.

So much has happened, and each incident - the most painful, the most troubling, and the most surprising - has a connection. You are beginning to see and sense that.

You never dreamt things would happen this way, did you? But they did. Now you are learning the secret - they were meant to happen this way, and this way is good, better than what you expected.

You didn't believe it would take this long, either - did you? But it did. You have learned patience.

You never thought you could have it, but now you know you do.

You have been led. Many were the moments when you thought you were forgotten, when you were convinced you had been abandoned. Now you know you have been guided.

Now things are coming into place. You are almost at the end of this phase, this difficult portion of the journey. The lesson is almost complete. You know - the lesson you fought, resisted, and insisted you could not learn. Yes, that one. You have almost mastered it.

You have been changed from the inside out. You have been moved to a different level, a higher level, a better level.

You have been climbing a mountain. It has not been easy, but mountain climbing is never easy. Now, you are near the top. A moment longer, and the victory shall be yours.

Steady your shoulders. Breathe deeply. Move forward in confidence and peace. The time is coming to relish and enjoy all, which you have fought for. That time is drawing near, finally.

I know you have thought before that the time was drawing near, only to learn that it wasn't. But now, the reward is coming. You know that too. You can feel it.

Your struggle has not been in vain. For every struggle on this journey, there is a climax, a resolution.

Peace, joy, abundant blessings, and reward are yours here on earth. Enjoy.

There will be more mountains, but now you know how to climb them. And you have learned the secret of what is at the top.

Today, I will accept where I am and continue pushing forward. If I am in the midst of a learning experience, I will allow myself to continue on with the faith that the day of mastery and reward will come. Help me, God; understand that despite my best efforts to live in peaceful serenity, there are times of mountain climbing. Help me stop creating chaos and crisis, and help me meet the challenges that will move me upward and forward. 

Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

You saved me once, and what is given is always returned. We are in this life to help one another.
--Carlo Collodi, The Adventures of Pinocchio

As the end of this year approaches, we think about endings and beginnings. This past year brought us both difficulties and happiness, both pain and healing. It has been a year of growth because we are sober.

Let's think about the year that is ending and be thankful for its gifts. We need to take time to rest before the next year begins. We shouldn't worry about what the next year will bring. We can simply know that next year will bring us the chance to help other addicts who still suffer. We have been saved. We are living a new life. Let's be grateful, and let's plan to reach out next year to share the wealth of sobriety. After all, we are in this world to help one another.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, remind me each day that I am needed. By living well, staying sober, and helping others through the program of recovery, I am fulfilling an important purpose in life.

Today's Action

When did I last reach out to a newcomer in recovery? Today I will make a plan for how I will share my experience, strength, and hope through the next year to help save someone else's life.
You are reading from the book:

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: December 26th

Recovery Meditations:  December 26th

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile 
the moment a single man contemplates it, 
bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

Antoine De Saint-Exupery

It never ceases to amaze me how the disease of compulsive overeating distorts the vision. Some compulsive overeaters can look into a mirror and see a fat person where there is none. Others can look into the same mirror and not see the weight that is there.

Recovery brings new eyes to the compulsive overeater. It lets us see what's really there in the mirror. Recovery allows each of us to see the cathedral we really are, rather than the pile of rubble we think we see. Recovery corrects our vision.
One Day at a Time . . .
As I work my recovery program, I will see myself as I really am, rather than seeing what the disease shows me.



Each Day A New Beginning

It is only framed in space that beauty blooms; only in space are events, and objects and people unique and significant and therefore beautiful.
  —Anne Morrow Lindbergh

We must look closely; focus intently on the subjects of our attention. Within these subjects is the explanation of life's mysteries. To observe anything closely means we must pull it aside with our minds and fondle it, perhaps. We must let the richness of the object, the person, and the event, wash over us and savor its memory.

Many of us only now are able to look around ourselves slowly, with care, noting the detail, the brilliant color of life. Each day is an opportunity to observe and absorb the beauty while it blooms.

I will look for beauty today, in myself, and in a friend, and I will find it. 

Food For Thought


Control was something we either feared or did not know much about before we began the OA program. We resisted control as being opposed to our idea of spontaneous living, especially spontaneous eating, Control was for other people - our children perhaps - but not for us.

Without control, we watched as self-will ran riot with our lives. We ate what we pleased, and then, angry and depressed, we said what we pleased and did what we pleased. The problem was that we ended up being not at all "pleased," but full of disgust and despair. Dimly, we may have realized that our suffering was due to lack of self-control, but we did not know how to go about acquiring what we lacked.

By relinquishing our so-called control to a Higher Power, we learn what it means to be free. By using the OA concept of abstinence to control our eating, we find spontaneity in living. Rather than inhibiting us, the kind of control we develop through this program liberates us from the bondage of self-will.

Control my life, I pray. 

The Language of Letting Go


Just as when we were children and grew out of favorite toys and clothes, we sometimes grow out of things as adults - people, jobs, and homes. This can be confusing. We may wonder why someone or something that was so special and important to us last year doesn't fit the same way in our life today. We may wonder why our feelings have changed.

When we were children, we may have tried to fit an outgrown article of clothing on to our body. Now, as adults, we may go through a time of trying to force fit attitudes that we have outgrown. We may need to do this to give ourselves time to realize the truth. What worked last year, what was so important and special to us in times past, doesn't work anymore because we've changed. We've grown.

We can accept this as a valid and important part of recovery. We can let ourselves go through experimentation and grief as we struggle to make something fit, trying to figure out if indeed it no longer fits, and why. We can explore our feelings and thoughts around what has happened.

Then, we can put last year's toys away and make room for the new.

Today, I will let last year's toys be what they were: last year's toys. I will remember them with fondness for the part they played in my life. Then, I will put them away and make room for the new. 

Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Working today

As we approach a new year, many of us feel fear. We look back on the past and worry about the future. But if we remember we only have today, we can work to make that future better. We have found true friends in our fellowship, and this is a time to be with them.

Am I ensuring a fruitful future by working with all I've got today?

Higher Power, I pray for guidance for today and for freedom from worry about tomorrow.
You are reading from the book:

Friday, December 25, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: December 25th

Recovery Meditations:  December 25th

HOLIDAYSMay peace be more than a holiday; 
May love be more than a season; 
May the feelings deep inside transcend the calendar; 
And, instead, become a way of life. 


It is the time of Hanukkah ... of Christmas ... of Kwanzaa ... and other holidays. It is the time when the world is at its best and the hearts of all seem to be brimming with love. 

It is also the time of year that my very soul finds the most difficult. My physical and emotional recovery is compromised, and memories occupy every cell in my body, causing this vulnerable addict tremendous turmoil. 

These holy days test the gifts of that enigma which is my Higher Power ... the God Of My Understanding ... and when these days are over and normality returns, I smile at having once again made it through the holidays intact.
One Day at a Time . . .
I acknowledge that in my Higher Power 
I have a love that can never be fathomed, 
A spiritual resource that can never be exhausted,
A peace that can never be understood, 
A rest that can never be disturbed, 
A joy that can never be diminished, 
A hope that can never be disappointed, 
A glory that can never be clouded, 
A light that can never be darkened, 
And a life that can never die ... 
Even on holidays.
~ Mari ~


Each Day A New Beginning

What we suffer, what we endure . . is done by us, as individuals, in private.
  —Louise Bogan

Empathy we can give. Empathy we can find, and it comforts. But our pain, the depth of it, can never be wholly shared, fully understood, actually realized by anyone other than ourselves. Alone, each of us comes to terms with our grief, our despair, even our guilt.

Knowing that we are not alone in what we suffer, makes the difficulties each of us must face easier. We haven't been singled out, of that we're certain. Remembering that our challenges offer us the lessons we need in the school of life makes them more acceptable. In time, as our recovery progresses, we'll even look eagerly to our challenges as the real exciting opportunities for which we've been created.

Suffering prompts the changes necessary for spiritual growth. It pushes us like no other experience to God--for understanding, for relief, for unwavering security. It's not easy to look upon suffering as a gift. And we need not fully understand it; however, in time, its value in our lives will become clear.

I will not be wary of the challenges today. I will celebrate their part of my growth. 

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


Food For Thought


Our biggest problem was the inability to stop eating compulsively and the resultant obesity. This problem is never solved permanently, but it is overcome on a day-to-day basis. As we succeed in abstaining from compulsive overeating, we grow in confidence. Since by working the program we solve our biggest problem every day, we become confident that we can solve other problems as well.

Confidence is trust that our Higher Power and OA will not let us down. Confidence is the knowledge that however tough life gets, we have tools and resources for dealing with it. Confidence believes in ourselves as children of God and people of value. Confidence is the willingness to give what we have, with the faith that our gifts are needed and acceptable.

When we have confidence in our Higher Power and in ourselves, we are willing to try even though we may fail. If we fail, we are willing to try again. Since our will and our lives are turned over to God, as we understand Him, we have confidence that everything eventually works out for good.

You are the source of confidence. 


Twenty-Four Hours A Day

Thought for the Day

Many alcoholics will be saying today: "This is a good Christmas for me." They will be looking back over past Christmases, which were not like this one. They will be thanking God for their sobriety and their newfound life. They will be thinking about how their lives were changed when they came into A.A. They will be thinking that perhaps God let them live through all the hazards of their drinking careers, when they were perhaps often close to death, in order that they might be used by Him in the great work of A.A. Is this a happy Christmas for me?

Meditation for the Day

The kingdom of heaven is also for the lowly, the sinners, and the repentant. "And they presented unto him gifts - gold, frankincense, and myrrh." Bring your gifts of gold - your money and material possessions. Bring your frankincense - the consecration of your life to a worthy cause. Bring your myrrh - your sympathy and understanding and help. Lay them all at the feet of God and let Him have full use of them.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be truly thankful on this Christmas Day. I pray that I may bring my gifts and lay them on the altar. 


 Today's Gift

We have no right to ask, when sorrow comes, Why did this happen to me? Unless we ask the same question for every joy that comes our way.
  —Philip S. Bernstein

All of us have reasons to be grateful. Usually, the word implies we have received something. We often think of gratitude as that warm feeling we get from someone else's generosity. We are particularly grateful when we get unexpected gifts from those who owe us nothing. Within a family, we expect such acts of love because we are close to one another.

But gratitude doesn't always come from being a receiver. Gratitude is warmest when it accompanies the joy of being able to give without expecting anything in return. We find it isn't enough to feel grateful. We have to express our gratitude by showing kindness and service to everyone around us.

Gratitude is the greatest of all heart-openers. When it enters the heart, love pours out. For every kindness we receive, gratitude inspires a hundred acts of giving.

How can I show my gratitude today? 


The Language of Letting Go
The Holidays

Sometimes, the holidays are filled with the joy we associate with that time of year. The season flows. Magic is in the air.

Sometimes, the holidays can be difficult and lonely.

Here are some ideas I've learned through personal experience, and practice, to help us get through difficult holidays:

Deal with feelings, but try not to dwell unduly on them. Put the holidays in perspective: A holiday is one day out of 365. We can get through any 24-hour period.

Get through the day, but be aware that there may be a post-holiday backlash. Sometimes, if we use our survival behaviors to get through the day, the feelings will catch up to us the next day. Deal with them too. Get back on track as quickly as possible.

Find and cherish the love that's available, even if it's not exactly what we want. Is there someone we can give love to and receive love from? Recovering friends? Is there a family who would enjoy sharing their holiday with us? Don't be a martyr - go. There may be those who would appreciate our offer to share our day with them.

We are not in the minority if we find ourselves experiencing a less than ideal holiday. How easy, but untrue, to tell ourselves the rest of the world is experiencing the perfect holiday, and we're alone in conflict.

We can create our own holiday agenda. Buy yourself a present. Find someone to whom you can give. Unleash your loving, nurturing self and give in to the holiday spirit.

Maybe past holidays haven't been terrific. Maybe this year wasn't terrific. But next year can be better, and the next a little better. Work toward a better life - one that meets your needs. Before long, you'll have it.

God, help me enjoy and cherish this holiday. If my situation is less than ideal, help me take what's good and let go of the rest.



In the sphere of material things, giving means being rich. Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.
  —Erich Fromm

Material possessions have great significance in our world. Not only do we strive to own a special car, electronic gear, and far more clothes than we need, but we also think in terms of possessing a girlfriend, or our health, or happiness, or things that cannot be owned. Some of us have become addicted to buying and owning things. This gimme-gimme mentality affects us all and, rather than enriching us, it impoverishes us. Tangible things enrich us only when we use them and share them to improve our lives and the lives of others. We don't need to be wealthy to share what we have with others. It is the sharing that nourishes us and builds bridges between us.

Wise people have known for thousands of years that a man's spirituality is deeply affected by his relationship to his possessions. When we respect what we own as a gift from God and share it with others, we grow richer spiritually.

I will hold my possessions loosely and with respect so they can be used well and shared. 


Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Reflection for the Day

Today is a special day in more ways than one. It's a day that God has made, and I'm alive in God's world. I know that all things in my life this day are an expression of God's love – the fact that I'm alive, that I'm recovering, and that I'm able to feel the way I feel at this very instant. For me, this will be a day of gratitude. Am I deeply thankful for being a part of this special day, and for all my blessings?

Today I Pray

On this day of remembering God's gift, may I understand that giving and receiving are the same. Each is part of each. If I give, I receive the happiness of giving. If I receive, I give someone else that same happiness of giving. I pray that I may give myself – my love and my strengths – generously. May I also receive graciously the love and strength of others' selves. May God be our example.

Today I Will Remember

The magnitude of God's giving.
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