Just for Today in Narcotics Anonymous

July 20

Step One

“We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”

The First Step begins with “we,” and there’s a reason for that. There is great strength in making a verbal admission of our powerlessness. And when we go to meetings and make this admission, we gain more than personal strength. We become members, part of a collective “we” that allows us, together, to recover from our addiction. With membership in NA comes a wealth of experience: the experience of other addicts who have found a way to recover from their disease.
No longer must we try to solve the puzzle of our addiction on our own. When we honestly admit our powerlessness over our addiction, we can begin the search for a better way to live. We won’t be searching alone—we’re in good company. :heart:

Just for today: I will start the day with an admission of my powerlessness over addiction. I will remind myself that the First Step starts with “we,” and know that I never have to be alone with my disease again.

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

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July 21

Surrender is for everyone

“If, after a period of time, we find ourselves in trouble with our recovery, we have probably stopped doing one or more of the things that helped us in the earlier stages of our recovery.”
Basic Text, p. 95

Surrender is just for newcomers, right? Wrong!
After we’ve been around awhile, some of us succumb to a condition particular to oldtimers. We think we know something about recovery, about God, about NA, about ourselves—and we do. The problem is, we think we know enough, and we think that merely knowing is enough. But it’s what we learn and what we do after we think we know it all that really makes the difference.
Conceit and complacency can land us in deep trouble. When we find that “applying the principles” on our own power just isn’t working, we can practice what worked for us in the beginning: surrender. When we find we are still powerless, our lives again unmanageable, we need to seek the care of a Power greater than ourselves. And when we discover that self-therapy isn’t so therapeutic after all, we need to take advantage of “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. :heart:

Just for today: I need guidance, support, and a Power beyond my own. I will go to a meeting, reach out to a newcomer, call my sponsor, pray to my Higher Power—I will do something that says, “I surrender.”

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

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July 22

Spiritual death

“For us, to use is to die, often in more ways than one.”
Basic Text, p. 82

As newcomers, many of us came to our first meeting with only a small spark of life remaining. That spark, our spirit, wants to survive. Narcotics Anonymous nurtures that spirit. The love of the fellowship quickly fans that spark into a flame. With the Twelve Steps and the love of other recovering addicts, we begin to blossom into that whole, vital human being our Higher Power intended us to be. We begin to enjoy life, finding purpose in our existence. Each day we choose to stay clean, our spirit is revitalized and our relationship with our God grows. Our spirit becomes stronger each day we choose life by staying clean.
Despite the fact that our new life in recovery is rewarding, the urge to use can sometimes be overwhelming. When everything in our lives seems to go wrong, a return to using can seem like the only way out. But we know what the consequence will be if we use—the loss of our carefully nurtured spirituality. We have traveled too far along the spiritual path to dishonor our spirit by using. Snuffing the spiritual flame we have worked so hard to restore in our recovery is too dear a price to pay for getting high. :heart:

Just for today: I am grateful that my spirit is strong and vital. Today, I will honor that spirit by staying clean.

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

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July 23

Surrendering self-will

“We want and demand that things always go our way. We should know from our past experience that our way of doing things did not work.”
Basic Text, p. 93

All of us have ideas, plans, goals for our lives. There’s nothing in the NA program that says we shouldn’t think for ourselves, take initiative, and put responsible plans into action. It’s when our lives are driven by self-will that we run into problems.
When we are living willfully, we go beyond thinking for ourselves—we think only of ourselves. We forget that we are but a part of the world and that whatever personal strength we have is drawn from a Higher Power. We might even go so far as to imagine that other people exist solely to do our bidding. Quickly, we find ourselves at odds with everyone and everything around us.
At this point, we have two choices. We can continue in our slavery to self-will, making unreasonable demands and becoming frustrated because the planet doesn’t spin our way. Or we can surrender, relax, seek knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry that out, and find our way back to a condition of peace with the world. Thinking, taking initiative, making responsible plans—there’s nothing wrong with these things, so long as they serve God’s will, not merely our own. :heart:

Just for today: I will plan to do God’s will, not mine. If I find myself at odds with everything around me, I will surrender self-will.

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

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July 24

The masks have to go

“…we covered low self-esteem by hiding behind phony images that we hoped would fool people. The masks have to go.”
Basic Text, p. 33

Over-sensitivity, insecurity, and lack of identity are often associated with active addiction. Many of us carry these with us into recovery; our fears of inadequacy, rejection, and lack of direction do not disappear overnight. Many of us have images, false personalities we have constructed either to protect ourselves or please others. Some of us use masks because we’re not sure who we really are. Sometimes we think that these images, built to protect us while using, might also protect us in recovery.
We use false fronts to hide our true personality, to disguise our lack of self-esteem. These masks hide us from others and also from our own true selves. By living a lie, we are saying that we cannot live with the truth about ourselves. The more we hide our real selves, the more we damage our self-esteem.
One of the miracles of recovery is the recognition of ourselves, complete with assets and liabilities. Self-esteem begins with this recognition. Despite our fear of becoming vulnerable, we need to be willing to let go of our disguises. We need to be free of our masks and free to trust ourselves. :heart:

Just for today: I will let go of my masks and allow my self- esteem to grow.

Have a beautiful day in sobriety my friends.

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July 25

Twelfth Step “failure”?

“Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
Step Twelve

There is no such thing as a “failed” Twelfth Step call. Even if our prospect doesn’t get clean, we have accomplished two purposes. We have planted the seed of recovery in the mind of the addict with whom we have shared our experience, strength, and hope. And we ourselves have stayed clean another day. Rarely does a recovering addict leave a Twelve Step call with anything but a deep dose of gratitude.
Sometimes we are practicing the Twelfth Step without realizing it. When our co-workers or other acquaintances know some of our history and see what kind of person we are today, they know where to go when they have a friend or loved one in need of our help. We are often the best attraction that NA has to offer!
For many addicts, the Twelfth Step is the cornerstone of recovery. We truly believe that “we can only keep what we have by giving it away.” The paradox of the Twelfth Step is evident, for in giving, we receive. :heart:

Just for today: I will remember that I am a living example of the Twelfth Step. I cannot “fail” when I try to carry the message to another addict.

Have a beautiful day clean & sober my friends.

July 26

Unconditional surrender

“Help for addicts begins only when we are able to admit complete defeat. This can be frightening, but it is the foundation on which we have built our lives.”
Basic Text, p. 22

Most of us have tried everything we can think of, exerted every ounce of force possible, to fill the spiritual hole inside us. Nothing—not drugs, not control and management, not sex, money, property, power, or prestige—has filled it. We are powerless; our lives are unmanageable, at least by ourselves alone. Our denial will not change that fact.
So we surrender; we ask a Higher Power to care for our will and our lives. Sometimes in surrendering, we don’t know that a Power greater than ourselves exists which can restore us to wholeness. Sometimes we’re not sure that the God of our understanding will care for our unmanageable lives. Our lack of certainty, though, does not affect the essential truth: We are powerless. Our lives are unmanageable. We must surrender. Only by doing so can we open ourselves wide—wide enough for our old ideas and past wreckage to be cleared, wide enough for a Higher Power to enter. :heart:

Just for today: I will surrender unconditionally. I can make it as easy or as hard as I choose. Either way, I will do it.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

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July 27

We do recover

“After coming to NA, we found ourselves among a very special group of people who have suffered like us and found recovery. In their experiences, freely shared, we found hope for ourselves. If the program worked for them, it would work for us.”
Basic Text, p. 10

A newcomer walks into his or her first meeting, shaking and confused. People are milling about. Refreshments and literature are set out. The meeting starts after everyone has drifted over to their chairs and settled themselves in. After taking a bewildered glance at the odd assortment of folks in the room, the newcomer asks, “Why should I bet my life on this group? After all, they’re just a bunch of addicts like me.”
Though it may be true that not many of our members had much going for us when we got here, the newcomer soon learns that the way we are living today is what counts. Our meetings are filled with addicts whose lives have turned completely around. Against all odds, we are recovering. The newcomer can relate to where we’ve been and draw hope from where we are now. Today, every one of us has the opportunity to recover.
Yes, we can safely entrust our lives to our Higher Power and to Narcotics Anonymous. So long as we work the program, the payoff is certain: freedom from active addiction and a better way of life. :heart:

Just for today: The recovery I’ve found in Narcotics Anonymous is a sure thing. By basing my life on it, I know I will grow.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

July 28

Secrets and Intimacy

“We feared that if we ever revealed ourselves as we were, we would surely be rejected.”
Basic Text, p. 32

Having relationships without barriers, ones in which we can be entirely open with our feelings, is something many of us desire. At the same time, the possibility of such intimacy causes us more fear than almost any other situation in life.
If we examine what frightens us, we’ll usually find that we are attempting to hide an aspect of our personalities that we are ashamed of, an aspect we sometimes haven’t even admitted to ourselves. We don’t want others to know of our insecurities, our pain, or our neediness, so we simply refuse to expose them. We may imagine that if no one knows about our imperfections, those imperfections will cease to exist.
This is the point where our relationships stop. Anyone who enters our lives will not get past the point at which our secrets begin. To maintain intimacy in a relationship, it is essential that we acknowledge our defects and accept them. When we do, the fortress of denial, erected to keep these things hidden, will come crashing down, enabling us to build up our relationships with others. :heart:

Just for today: I have opportunities to share my inner self. I will take advantage of those opportunities and draw closer to those I love.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

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July 29

Expectations

“As we realize our need to be forgiven, we tend to be more forgiving.”
Basic Text, p. 39

Our behavior toward other people in our life is a mirror of our behavior toward ourselves. When we demand perfection of ourselves, we come to demand it from others around us, too. As we strive to repair and heal our lives in recovery, we may also expect others to work just as hard and to recover at the same pace as we do. And just as we are often unforgiving of our own mistakes, we may shut out friends and family members when they don’t meet our expectations.
Working the steps helps us understand our own limitations and our humanity. We come to see our failures as human mistakes. We realize that we will never be perfect, that we will, at times, disappoint ourselves and others. We hope for forgiveness.
As we learn to gently accept ourselves, we can start to view others with the same accepting and tolerant heart. These people, too, are only human, trying to do their best and sometimes falling short. :heart:

Just for today: I will treat others with the tolerance and forgiveness I seek for myself.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

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July 30

Regular Inventory

“Continuing to take a personal inventory means that we form a habit of looking at ourselves, our actions, attitudes, and relationships on a regular basis.”
Basic Text, p. 42

Taking a regular inventory is a key element in our new pattern of living. In our addiction, we examined ourselves as little as possible. We weren’t happy with how we were living our lives, but we didn’t feel that we could change the way we lived. Self-examination, we felt, would have been a painful exercise in futility.
Today, all that is changing. Where we were powerless over our addiction, we’ve found a Power greater than ourselves that has helped us stop using. Where we once felt lost in life’s maze, we’ve found guidance in the experience of our fellow recovering addicts and our ever-improving contact with our Higher Power. We need not feel trapped by our old, destructive patterns. We can live differently if we choose.
By establishing a regular pattern of taking our own inventory, we give ourselves the opportunity to change anything in our lives that doesn’t work. If we’ve started doing something that causes problems, we can start changing our behavior before it gets completely out of hand. And if we’re doing something that prevents problems from occurring, we can take note of that, too, and encourage ourselves to keep doing what works. :heart:

Just for today: I will make a commitment to include a regular inventory in my new pattern of living.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

July 31st

Freedom from active addiction

“Narcotics Anonymous offers only one promise and that is freedom from active addiction, the solution that eluded us for so long.”
Basic Text, p. 106

NA offers no promises other than freedom from active addiction. It is true that some of our members meet with financial success in recovery. They buy nice houses, drive new cars, wear fine clothes, and form beautiful families. These outward signs of prosperity are not the lot of all of our members, however. A great many of us never achieve financial success. This does not necessarily reflect on the quality of our recovery.
When we are tempted to compare ourselves to these other, seemingly more affluent members, it is good to remember why we came to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. We came because our lives had fallen down around us. We were emotionally, physically, and spiritually defeated. Our Basic Text reminds us that “in desperation we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous.” We came because we were beaten.
For addicts, even one day clean is a miracle. When we remember why we came to Narcotics Anonymous and in what condition we arrived, we realize that material wealth pales in comparison to the spiritual riches we have gained in recovery. :heart:

Just for today: I have been given a spiritual gift greater than material wealth: my recovery. I will thank the God of my understanding for my freedom from active addiction.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

August 1st

Freedom from Guilt

“Our addiction enslaved us. We were prisoners of our own mind and were condemned by our own guilt.”
Basic Text, p. 7

Guilt is one of the most commonly encountered stumbling blocks in recovery. One of the more notorious forms of guilt is the self-loathing that results when we try to forgive ourselves but don’t feel forgiven.
How can we forgive ourselves so we feel it? First, we remember that guilt and failure are not links in an unbreakable chain. Honestly sharing with a sponsor and with other addicts shows this to be true. Often the result of such sharing is a more sensible awareness of the part we ourselves have played in our affairs. Sometimes we realize that our expectations have been too high. We increase our willingness to participate in the solutions rather than dwelling on the problems.
Somewhere along the way, we discover who we really are. We usually find that we are neither the totally perfect nor the totally imperfect beings we have imagined ourselves to be. We need not live up to or down to our illusions; we need only live in reality. :heart:

Just for today: I am grateful for my assets and accept my liabilities. Through willingness and humility, I am freed to progress in my recovery and achieve freedom from guilt.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

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August 2nd

Practicing Honesty

“When we feel trapped or pressured, it takes great spiritual and emotional strength to be honest.”
Basic Text, p. 85

Many of us try to wiggle out of a difficult spot by being dishonest, only to have to humble ourselves later and tell the truth. Some of us twist our stories as a matter of course, even when we could just as easily tell the plain truth. Every time we try to avoid being honest, it backfires on us. Honesty may be uncomfortable, but the trouble we have to endure when we are dishonest is usually far worse than the discomfort of telling the truth.
Honesty is one of the fundamental principles of recovery. We apply this principle right from the beginning of our recovery, when we finally admit our powerlessness and unmanageability. We continue to apply the principle of honesty each time we are faced with the option of either living in fantasy or living life on its own terms. Learning to be honest isn’t always easy, especially after the covering up and deception so many of us practiced in our addiction. Our voices may shake as we test our newfound honesty. But before long, the sound of the truth coming from our own mouths settles any doubts: Honesty feels good! It’s easier living the truth than living a lie. :heart:

Just for today: I will honestly embrace life, with all its pressures and demands. I will practice honesty, even when it is awkward to do so. Honesty will help, not hurt, my efforts to live clean and recover.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

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August 3rd

Trusting People

“Many of us would have had nowhere else to go if we could not have trusted NA groups and members.”
Basic Text, p. 84

Trusting people is a risk. Human beings are notoriously forgetful, unreliable, and imperfect. Most of us come from backgrounds where betrayal and insensitivity among friends were common occurrences. Even our most reliable friends weren’t very reliable. By the time we arrive at the doors of NA, most of us have hundreds of experiences bearing out our conviction that people are untrustworthy. Yet our recovery demands that we trust people. We are faced with this dilemma: People are not always trustworthy, yet we must trust them. How do we do that, given the evidence of our pasts?
First, we remind ourselves that the rules of active addiction don’t apply in recovery. Most of our fellow members are doing their level best to live by the spiritual principles we learn in the program. Second, we remind ourselves that we aren’t 100% reliable, either. We will surely disappoint someone in our lives, no matter how hard we try not to. Third, and most importantly, we realize that we need to trust our fellow members of NA. Our lives are at stake, and the only way we can stay clean is to trust these well-intentioned folks who, admittedly, aren’t perfect. :heart:

Just for today: I will trust my fellow members. Though certainly not perfect, they are my best hope.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

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Thanks this one gave me goosebumps
Very powerful :pray::pray::stars:

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Thank you Emma, I hope the message that was being conveyed helps in your recovery. I actually shed a few tears as I was copying this. Had to stop more than once and take a break. Only two things I trust in this world 100% without question 1. my Higher Power 2. my sponsor. Very emotional and very powerful indeed. :heart:

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August 4

When is a secret not a secret?

“Addicts tend to live secret lives… It is a great relief to get rid of all our secrets and to share the burden of our past.”
Basic Text, p. 33

We’ve heard it said that “we’re as sick as our secrets.” What do we keep secret, and why?
We keep secret those things that cause us shame. We may hold onto such things because we don’t want to surrender them. Yet if they’re causing us shame, wouldn’t we live more easily with ourselves if we were rid of them?
Some of us hold onto the things that cause us shame for another reason. It’s not that we don’t want to be rid of them; we just don’t believe we can be rid of them. They’ve plagued us for so long, and we’ve tried so many times to rid ourselves of them, that we’ve stopped hoping for relief. Yet still they shame us, and still we keep them secret.
We need to remember who we are: recovering addicts. We who tried so long to keep our drug use a secret have found freedom from the obsession and compulsion to use. Though many of us enjoyed using right to the end, we sought recovery anyway. We just couldn’t stand the toll our using was taking on us. When we admitted our powerlessness and sought help from others, the burden of our secret was lifted from us.
The same principle applies to whatever secrets may burden us. Yes, we’re as sick as our secrets. Only when our secrets stop being secret can we begin to find relief from those things that cause us shame.

Just for today: My secrets can make me sick only as long as they stay secret. Today, I will talk with my sponsor about my secrets.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

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August 5

The shape of our thoughts

“By shaping our thoughts with spiritual ideals, we are freed to become who we want to be.”
Basic Text, p. 105

Addiction shaped our thoughts in its own way. Whatever their shape may once have been, they became misshapen once our disease took full sway over our lives. Our obsession with drugs and self molded our moods, our actions, and the very shape of our lives.
Each of the spiritual ideals of our program serves to straighten out one or another of the kinks in our thinking that developed in our active addiction. Denial is counteracted by admission, secretiveness by honesty, isolation by fellowship, and despair by faith in a loving Higher Power. The spiritual ideals we find in recovery are restoring the shape of our thoughts and our lives to their natural condition.
And what is that “natural condition”? It is the condition we truly seek for ourselves, a reflection of our highest dreams. How do we know this? Because our thoughts are being shaped in recovery by the spiritual ideals we find in our developing relationship with the God we’ve come to understand in NA.
No longer does addiction shape our thoughts. Today, our lives are being shaped by our recovery and our Higher Power. :heart:

Just for today: I will allow spiritual ideals to shape my thoughts. In that design, I will find the shape of my own Higher Power.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

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August 6th

The joy within

“Since the beginning of our recovery, we have found that joy doesn’t come from material things but from within ourselves.”
Basic Text, p. 107

Some of us came to Narcotics Anonymous impoverished by our disease. Everything we’d owned had been lost to our addiction. Once we got clean, we put all our energy into recovering our material possessions, only to feel even more dissatisfied with our lives than before.
Other members have sought to ease their emotional pain with material things. A potential date has rejected us? Let’s buy something. The dog has died? Let’s go to the mall. Problem is, emotional fulfillment can’t be bought, not even on an easy installment plan.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with material things. They can make life more convenient or more luxurious, but they can’t fix us. Where, then, can true joy be found? We know; the answer is within ourselves.
When have we found joy? When we’ve offered ourselves in service to others, without expectation of reward. We’ve found true warmth in the fellowship of others—not only in NA, but in our families, our relationships, and our communities. And we’ve found the surest source of satisfaction in our conscious contact with our God. Inner peace, a sure sense of direction, and emotional security do not come from material things, but from within. :heart:

Just for today: True joy can’t be bought. I will seek my joy in service, in fellowship, in my Higher Power—I will seek within.

Have a beautiful day, clean & sober my friends.

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