Recovering Together

Together We Work 12 Steps in our Quest for Serenity

We realized that we were powerless

We admitted we were powerless over our emotions — that our lives had become unmanageable.  Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Having completed the first three steps, we continue to work the remaining twelve steps together, sharing our recovery, along the way. 

Today – I Will Let Go

“Let Go and Let God”, commonly heard in 12 step meetings because it is so commonly our challenge. All too often we discover how we are powerless over our emotions when we insist on holding on to to our “righteous indignation”. Such emotion is the dubious luxury of others. But as for me, today, I choose to “Let Go and Let God”.

I’m Working On It

Today, first thing, I rolled out of bed onto my knees and said the Third Step Prayer, “God I offer myself to Thee to do with me as Thou wilt…”. This was not so much due to my diligence to work the program as it was to feeling somewhat committed to do what I’ve recently asked my new sponsee to do. Still, I found it helpful – as I have found so many practices that I have recently begun again after finding myself slowly dropping them over the past couple of years – practices such as daily prayers and meditation, attending 12 step meetings, actively working steps with a sponsor, service. It was clear that as I dropped these practices my spiritual fitness suffered. I had grown more and more restless, irritible, and discontent. But a few months ago, as I began renewing my efforts to work a rigorous program I found serenity returning. And today I pray that I remain, as the AA Big Book says, “desperate” enough for this peacefulness, to diligently continue the work.

Today – I Will Fellowship

We hear in 12 step fellowships that “Recovery is a three legged stool: principles, fellowship, and Higher Power. If one of the legs is broken, the stool falls.” How true this is for many of us.  Fellowship is certainly an important element of our recovery program.  And those of us who have discovered that we were powerless over out emotions without help from a Higher Power are especially tempted to isolate at times.  Today, I choose to be part of a fellowship – and to fellowship.  I will reach out to others in my fellowship and allow others to reach out to me and in that reach – we will discover a strength from our Higher Power working in us together.  

Today – I will Serve

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.

Today – I Will Respond

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 Have Knots In My Stomach

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.

Today – I Will Remember

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 – I Will Pause

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 Responsible

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.