Being of Service is an important part of our fellowship. It not only helps others – but it helps ourselves. And It’s never to soon to start. One way I can serve is to share with those in need – my experience in recovery, my strength from my higher power, and my hope in a future, free from depression and other addictions – one day at a time – as I continue to work this program.
My highest priority today is emotional sobriety. My pathway there is to commit to respond rationally to interactions and situations rather than react emotionally. I will use the tools that I have acquired in my program to help me: pause, three deep breaths, focus on body sensations, and prayer. I have learned that this is a program that works – if I work it!
I continue to work a 12 step program which freed me from depression nearly 10 years ago. Still I have found myself under extra stress the past few months and falling into some old unhealthy behavior patterns, i.e. cursing and self beratement. So I began seeing a therapist who suggested when an unpleasant feeling arises, e.g. feeling unsettled, that instead of launching into telling myself how inadequate and incompetent I am – redirect my mind to the sensation in my body, mentally name it, and breathe into the feeling. So this morning I woke up and had that sometime familiar feeling – unsettled. I remembered, and paused, and redirected my mind to the sensations in my body: knots in my stomach. I had never noticed that before. I just sat on the couch and breathed and felt those knots. During the day, as I felt uneasy at times, I just focused on those distinct but loosening knots, instead of experiencing an emotional outburst. Mid afternoon they dissipated altogether – and I became my old comfortable self again. So I am learning another tool in my program and will be ready to use it again.
Deciding and working the twelve steps of recovery can appear daunting at times, like climbing a steep mountain. But remembering the twelve promises can remind us, like a rainbow, that it is all worthwhile. And we can do it – one step at a time. Today, I will remember the promises of recovery!
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self- seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Today, before I have an emotional outburst, I have an opportunity to pause, feel, examine, and give a chance for the agitation to actually subside. It can work for I am in a fellowship where: “As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day ‘Thy will be done. ‘” (Big Book of AA page 87)
Today I am only responsible for my actions. No one else is responsible for my actions. And I am not responsible for the actions of anybody else.
I have a tendency to let others define me by what they say and what they do to me. I have a tendency to define myself by what I say and do to me. I have a tendency to define myself by the results of what I say and do to others.
Today with God’s help I will take responsibility for my actions by praying this prayer.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.