Recovery Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day: “Someone who knew what he was talking about once remarked that pain was the touchstone of all spiritual progress. How heartily we A.A.'s can agree with him.”
Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, pp. 93-94

Pain and desperation are an alcoholics best friend. Why? Because they are the only things sharp enough to cut through our pride and ego! As much as I dislike going through any type of emotional pain or discomfort, I know that this too shall pass; it always does. Everything has a beginning, middle and an end. If I’m in pain, I’m in the middle, closer to the end. I also know and accept that my painful experiences in the past have all turned out to be some life lesson learned, usually leading to some type of spiritual experience. The result for me is that as difficult life situations occur, the more faith I develop. I often remind those I sponsor that we don’t have emotional breakdowns; we have emotional breakthroughs. Another way to look at it is that emotional pain is just fear leaving your body. So, if I’m in pain, I know that I am knocking on the door of a spiritual experience; I just have to maintain faith that in the end, I will be okay. God didn’t take me this far just to dump me! It’s an epiphany to get to that place where we realize that life doesn’t happen to us, but for us. We are in fear or faith. Today, I choose to live in faith and trust that God’s plan for me has always been better than my own. :two_hearts:

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I asked myself, “Why can’t the Twelve Steps work to release me from this unbearable depression?” By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis Prayer: “It is better to comfort than to be comforted.” Suddenly I realized what the answer might be. My basic flaw had always been dependence on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security, and confidence. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionists dreams and specifications, I fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.”
As Bill Sees It, Free of Dependence, p. 63

Sadly, the disease of alcoholism is very related to so many other mental and biological issues. So many of us struggle with degrees of depression, and that includes our founder Bill Wilson. Those that have been afflicted share about the intense darkness and inability to see any way out of their depression, even if they may have worked through depression before. In that state, checking out seems like the only answer, but that is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I can’t begin to say I completely understand the depths of depression, but my heart goes out to all those that are tortured by this chemical imbalance. I nearly lost someone to depression whom I love with all my heart, so I would literally do anything for someone who is suffering. Our book on page 133 makes it very clear that we should not hesitate to utilize outside help when deep emotional issues such as depression occur. Asking for help is essential to our recovery, and this lifesaving proposition can also translate out to all areas of our lives. :two_hearts:

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Quote of the Day: “In making amends, we should be sensible, tactful, considerate, and humble without being servile or scraping. As God’s people, we stand on our feet; we don’t crawl before anyone.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, p.83

Without question, for me, the 9th step results had the most surprising and unexpected benefits of any of the steps. In nearly every occasion, I went in thinking it wouldn’t go well, and it inevitably ended up going fine, or much better than I could have imagined. In fact, most of my amends resulted in some form of a spiritual experience. The freedom I gained from making amends was nothing short of remarkable. It took great courage to humble myself before others while making my amends, but it was well worth it. However, as the amends passage above states, “we don’t crawl before anyone.” We do the best we can with amends, but if the other person is not receptive, we don’t grovel or push. We try to make it right, but there are times that the demands become demeaning, in which case, we would be wise to check with our sponsor for a second opinion. If we stay humble and considerate, the amend is more likely to have a positive outcome. One thing is certain - do not overlook the 9th Step; we have to clean up the wreckage of our past, because our life depends on it. :two_hearts:

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He’s back :slightly_smiling_face:

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Quote of the Day: “In shame and despair, I went to my first AA meeting. By some minor miracle, I was able to suspend opinion, analysis, judgment, and criticism, and instead to listen and hear. I heard someone say that AA works for those who work for it, those who put action into the program. . . I heard that I should forget about yesterday and instead concentrate on today and staying away from the first drink today – right now. I tried it and it worked.”
Came To Believe, p. 42

As most of us, I had severe reservations that AA could help me from my obsession to drink. I had tried to stop on my own so many times, I truly thought I was hopeless. By some minor miracle, I was able to accept that “my way” wasn’t working. I had the “Gift of Desperation” (G.O.D). Once that surrender was made, I became “open” to a new way of living. Openness, which is being open to new ideas and beliefs, and a cornerstone of our recovery, was an essential mindset completely foreign to me. However, wanting a new way of living means nothing if it’s not put into action. Our recovery and happiness are directly proportional to how active we practice the principles of the program in every day living. We also need to accept that we can’t rest on our laurels; staying open to learning and growth keeps us engaged in the program and helps maintain lasting peace and serenity. :two_hearts:

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Quote of the Day: “I have more than enough to handle today, without dragging along yesterday’s baggage too. I must balance today’s books, if I am to have a chance tomorrow. So, I ask myself if I have erred and how can I avoid repeating that particular behavior. Did I hurt anyone, did I help anyone, and why? Some of today is bound to spill over into tomorrow, but most of it need not if I make an honest daily inventory.”
Daily Reflections, p. 287

When I came into the program, I was literally being crushed by the volume of baggage I was carrying around. At that time, I saw no way of getting out from under it, and I certainly didn’t want to share any of it with others. From the podium, I heard countless speakers wade through their troubled pasts with what I perceived as great ease and honesty. I wanted that so badly! Slowly, you helped me unpack my baggage, one small piece at a time. Once I was able to process my past, I was ready to start each day anew with a much healthier attitude. Today, I try my best to not create another debris field behind me, and I’m able to process each day by being open and honest with others I trust. The icing on the cake of course is my constant discourse with God that concludes each day with a nightly inventory. It is a true blessing that we have found a fellowship that loves us until we can forgive and love ourselves. :two_hearts:

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Quote of the Day: “Sometimes, the body can speak an eloquent language all its own. I see and feel that in meetings. So coming to regular meetings of AA is a priceless experience for me on a great many levels – mental, spiritual, social, emotional, and now possible physical. Listening quietly is already a joy to me, and if it calms me down and lowers my blood pressure in the process, that’s just another great reason to keep coming back.”
Thank You For Sharing, p. 13

For most of us, the mere act of stepping into an AA meeting brings an immediate sigh of relief. Literally, after the first handshake at the door, I can exhale away all my stress. Once the sharing starts, whatever is going on in life seems to fade into a manageable notion. Our focus quickly shifts from our own petty selfishness to concern and thought for others. We empathize and relate to the speaker or shares, and we often find ourselves laughing at ourselves. When I was new, I noticed that most of the people had a smile and glow about them; it was almost as if they had found the secret to life. Now, as I have put together some time, I’m usually one of those contently smiling in meetings. I truly do believe we have found the key to life, and it all starts with altruistic service, and the loving fellowship in the rooms of AA. :two_hearts:

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Quote of the Day: "When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot.”
Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, p. 91

We often find that our pride and ego inject us into unwanted conflict. Once harsh words are spoken, we can’t put the genie back in the bottle. If we act out on our anger, “they” have conquered us. Every minute I spend angry, I waste 60 seconds of happiness. Thank God that our book tells us to “…pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.” (p. 87). The simple act of pausing when faced with conflict can make a huge difference in our continued relationships with others. Another great acronym is WAIT – Why Am I Talking. I no longer have to show up for every fight I’m invited. Through the fellowship, I’ve learned that no one can make me angry without my permission. For this Irishman with a short fuse, this became a turning point in my life. Life became so much easier when I started to look for the good in everyone and everything, rather than arching up in defense of petty nonsense. I feel so blessed to have a fellowship that gives us such simple and effective tools for living. :two_hearts:

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