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Unread 11-29-2010, 08:36 AM   #51
MaJaBe
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Default November 28th

November 28
Being ourselves


“To be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves.”
Basic Text, p. 36
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Humility is a puzzling concept. We know a lot about humiliation, but humility is a new idea. It sounds suspiciously like groveling, bowing, and scraping. But that’s not what humility is at all. True humility is, simply, acceptance of who we are.
By the time we reach a step that uses the word “humbly,” we have already started to put this principle into practice. The Fourth Step gives us an opportunity to examine who we really are, and the Fifth Step helps us accept that knowledge.
The practice of humility involves accepting our true nature, honestly being ourselves. We don’t have to grovel or abase ourselves, nor must we try to appear smarter, wealthier, or happier than we really are. Humility simply means we drop all pretense and live as honestly as we can.
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Just for today: I will allow knowledge of my true nature to guide my actions. Today, I will face the world as myself.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 08:38 AM   #52
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Default November 29th

November 29
Our Higher Power’s care


“We believe that our Higher Power will take care of us.”
Basic Text, p. 58
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Our program is based on the idea that the application of simple principles can produce profound effects in our lives. One such principle is that, if we ask, our Higher Power will care for us. Because this principle is so basic, we may tend to ignore it. Unless we learn to consciously apply this spiritual truth, we may miss out on something as essential to our recovery as breathing is to life itself.
What happens when we find ourselves stressed or panicked? If we have consistently sought to improve our relationship with our Higher Power, we’ll have no problem. Rather than acting rashly, we will stop for a moment and briefly remind ourselves of particular instances in the past when our Higher Power has shown its care for us. This will assure us that our Higher Power is still in charge of our lives. Then, we will seek guidance and power for the situation at hand and proceed calmly, confident that our lives are in God’s hands.
“Our program is a set of principles,” our White Booklet tells us. The more consistently we seek to improve our conscious appreciation of these principles, the more readily we will be able to apply them.
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Just for today: I will seek to improve my conscious contact with the Higher Power that cares for me. When the need arises, I know I will be able to trust in that care.
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Unread 11-30-2010, 10:51 AM   #53
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Default November 30th

November 30
Sharing the real me


“Sharing with others keeps us from feeling isolated and alone.”
Basic Text, p. 81
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Intimacy is the sharing of our innermost thoughts and feelings with another human being. Many of us long for the warmth and companionship intimacy brings, but those things don’t come without effort. In our addiction, we learned to guard ourselves from others lest they threaten our using. In recovery, we learn how to trust others. Intimacy requires us to lower our defenses. To feel the closeness intimacy brings, we must allow others to get close to us—the real us.
If we are to share our innermost selves with others, we must first have an idea of what those innermost selves are truly like. We regularly examine our lives to find out who we really are, what we really want, and how we really feel. Then, based on our regular inventories of ourselves, we must be as completely and consistently honest with our friends as we can be.
Intimacy is a part of life, and therefore a part of living clean—and intimacy, like everything in recovery, has its price. The painstaking self-scrutiny intimacy calls for can be hard work. And the total honesty of intimacy often brings its own complications. But the freedom from isolation and loneliness that intimacy brings is well worth the effort.
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Just for today: I seek the freedom from isolation and loneliness that intimacy brings. Today, I will get to know “the real me” by taking a personal inventory, and I will practice being completely honest with another person.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 08:04 AM   #54
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Default December 1st

December 1
Life’s rewards


“We begin to pray only for God’s will for us. That way, we get only what we are capable of handling.”
Basic Text, p. 49
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Imagine what might happen if God gave us everything we wanted. A fabulous new car, straight As, a triple salary raise—all ours without effort, just for the asking.
Now imagine the problems that come along with unearned riches, new luxury cars, and unmerited scholastic recognition. What would we do with a huge salary raise that had been granted for no reason? How would we handle our new financial responsibilities? And how would we live up to that raise? Could we ever make it appear that we deserve such pay when we know we don’t?
What about that fantastic new car? Most come with expensive insurance premiums and hefty maintenance costs. Are we prepared to care for what we’ve asked for?
Academic honors? Could we perform like A students after we’d been given high marks we hadn’t earned? What would we do if we were exposed as frauds?
When we talk to God, we need to remember that we live in the real world. We earn rewards and learn to handle them as we do. Confining our prayers to requests for knowledge of God’s will, the power to carry it out, and the ability to live with the consequences will ensure that we get no more than we can handle.
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Just for today: I will pray only for knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry that out in the real world.
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Unread 12-02-2010, 10:45 AM   #55
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Default December 2nd

December 2
Recovery: our first priority


“We have to keep our recovery first and our priorities in order.”
Basic Text, p. 82
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Before coming to NA, we used many excuses to justify our use of drugs: “He yelled at me.” “She said this.” “My partner left.” “I got fired.” We used these same excuses for not seeking help for our drug problem. We had to realize that these things kept happening because we kept using drugs. Only when we made recovery our first priority did these situations begin to change.
We may be subject to the same tendency today, using excuses for not attending meetings and being of service. Our current excuses may be of a different nature: “I can’t leave my kids.” “My vacation wore me out.” “I have to finish this project so I can impress my boss.” But still, if we don’t make recovery our first priority, chances are that we won’t have to worry about these excuses anymore. Kids, vacations, and jobs probably won’t be in our lives if we relapse.
Our recovery must come first. Job or no job, relationship or no relationship, we have to attend meetings, work the steps, call our sponsor, and be of service to God and others. These simple actions are what make it possible for us to have vacations, families, and bosses to worry about. Recovery is the foundation of our lives, making everything else possible.
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Just for today: I will keep my priorities in order. Number One on the list is my recovery.
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Unread 12-06-2010, 09:31 AM   #56
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Default December 3rd

December 3
Vision without limits


“Perhaps for the first time, we see a vision of our new life.”
Basic Text, p. 35
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In our addiction, our vision of ourselves was very limited. Each day, we went through the same routine: getting, using, and finding ways and means to get more. And that’s all we could reasonably expect for the duration of our lives. Our potential was limited.
Today, our prospects are changed. Recovery has given us a new vision of ourselves and our lives. We are no longer trapped in the endlessly gray routine of addiction. We are free to stretch ourselves in new ways, trying out new ideas and new activities. In doing so, we come to see ourselves in a new way. Our potential is limited only by the strength of the Higher Power that cares for us—and that strength has no limits.
In recovery, life and everything in it appears open to us. Guided by our spiritual principles, driven by the power given us by the God of our understanding, our horizons are limitless.
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Just for today: I will open my eyes to the possibilities before me. My potential is as limitless and as powerful as the God of my understanding. Today, I will act on that potential.
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Unread 12-06-2010, 09:34 AM   #57
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Default December 4

December 4
God’s will, not ours


“We know that if we pray for God’s will we will receive what is best for us, regardless of what we think.”
Basic Text, p. 46
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By the time we came to NA, our inner voices had become unreliable and self-destructive. Addiction had warped our desires, our interests, our sense of what was best for ourselves. That’s why it’s been so important in recovery to develop our belief in a Power greater than ourselves, something that could provide saner, more reliable guidance than our own. We’ve begun learning how to rely on this Power’s care and to trust the inner direction it provides us.
As with all learning processes, it takes practice to “pray only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.” The selfish, ego-driven attitudes we developed in our addiction are not cast off overnight. Those attitudes may affect the way we pray. We may even find ourselves praying something like, “Relieve me of this character defect so I can look good.”
The more straightforward we are about our own ideas and desires, the easier it will be to distinguish between our own will and our Higher Power’s will. “Just for your information, God,” we might pray, “here’s what I want in this situation. Nonetheless, I ask that your will, not mine, be done.” Once we do this, we are prepared to recognize and accept our Higher Power’s guidance.
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Just for today: Higher Power, I’ve learned to trust your guidance, yet I still have my own ideas about how I want to live my life. Let me share those ideas with you, and then let me clearly understand your will for me. In the end, let your will, not mine, be done.
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Unread 12-06-2010, 09:36 AM   #58
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Default December 5th

December 5
Those who want to recover


“We have seen the program work for any addict who honestly and sincerely wants to stop [using drugs].”
Basic Text, p. 10
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How do we know when someone honestly and sincerely wants to stop using drugs? The truth is that we don’t know! Because we cannot read minds or know another’s motives and desires, we simply have to hope for the best.
We may talk to a newcomer at a meeting and think we’ll never see them again, only to find them several years later doing well in their recovery. We may be tempted to give up on someone who keeps relapsing or doesn’t get clean right away, but we must not. No matter how unwilling someone may seem, a simple fact remains—the addict is at a meeting.
We may never know the results of our Twelfth Step work; it is not up to us to gauge the willingness of a newcomer. The message we carry is a part of us. We carry it everywhere and share it freely, leaving the results to a Power greater than ourselves.
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Just for today: I will share my recovery with any addict, anywhere, anytime, and under any circumstances. I will leave the results to my Higher Power.
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Unread 12-06-2010, 09:37 AM   #59
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Default December 6th

December 6
Romance and recovery


“Relationships can be a terribly painful area.”
Basic Text, p. 82
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Love is like an elixir for some of us. The excitement of a new lover, the intrigue of exploring intimacy, the sense of release we get from allowing ourselves to become vulnerable—these are all powerful emotions. But we can’t forget that we have only a daily reprieve from our addiction. Holding onto this daily reprieve must be the top priority in any recovering addict’s life.
We can become too involved in our relationship. We can neglect old friends and our sponsor in the process. Then, when things get difficult, we often feel that we can no longer reach out to those who helped us prior to our romantic involvement. This belief can lay the groundwork for a relapse. By consistently working our program and attending meetings, we ensure that we have a network of recovery, even when we’re deep in a romance.
Our desire to be romantically involved is natural. But we mustn’t forget that, without our program, even the healthiest relationship will not guard us against the strength of our addiction.
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Just for today: In my desire for romance, I will not ignore my recovery.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 10:35 AM   #60
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Default December 7th

December 7
Surviving our emotions


“We use the tools available to us and develop the ability to survive our emotions.”
Basic Text, p. 31
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“Survive my emotions?” some of us say. “You’ve got to be kidding!” When we were using, we never gave ourselves the chance to learn how to survive them. You don’t survive your feelings, we thought—you drug them. The problem was, that “cure” for our unsurvivable emotions was killing us. That’s when we came to Narcotics Anonymous, started working the Twelve Steps and, as a result, began to mature emotionally.
Many of us found emotional relief right from the start. We were tired of pretending that our addiction and our lives were under control; it actually felt good to finally admit they weren’t. After sharing our inventory with our sponsor, we began to feel like we didn’t have to deny who we were or what we felt in order to be accepted. When we’d finished making our amends, we knew we didn’t have to suffer with guilt; we could own up to it and it wouldn’t kill us. The more we worked the NA program, the better we felt about living life as it came to us.
The program works today as well as it ever did. By taking stock of our day, getting honest about our part in it, and surrendering to reality, we can survive the feelings life throws our way. By using the tools available to us, we’ve developed the ability to survive our emotions.
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Just for today: I will not deny my feelings. I will practice honesty and surrender to life as it is. I will use the tools of this program to survive my emotions.
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Unread 12-10-2010, 08:12 AM   #61
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Default December 8th

December 8
Calling a defect a defect


“When we see how our defects exist in our lives and accept them, we can let go of them and get on with our new life.”
Basic Text, p. 35
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Sometimes our readiness to have our character defects removed depends on what we call them. If misnaming our defects makes them seem less “defective,” we may be unable to see the damage they cause. And if they seem to be causing no harm, why would we ever ask our Higher Power to remove them from our lives?
Take “people pleasing,” for example. Doesn’t really sound all that bad, does it? It just means we’re nice to people, right? Not quite. To put it bluntly, it means we’re dishonest and manipulative. We lie about our feelings, our beliefs, and our needs, trying to soothe others into compliance with our wishes.
Or perhaps we think we’re “easygoing.” But does “easygoing” mean we ignore our housework, avoid confrontations, and stay put in a comfortable rut? Then a better name for it would be “laziness,” or “procrastination,” or “fear.”
Many of us have trouble identifying our character defects. If this is the case for us, we can talk with our sponsor or our NA friends. We clearly and honestly describe our behavior to them and ask for their help in identifying our defects. As time passes, we’ll become progressively better able to identify our own character defects, calling them by their true names.
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Just for today: I will call my defects by their true names. If I have trouble doing this, I will ask my sponsor for help.
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Unread 12-10-2010, 08:14 AM   #62
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Default December 9th

December 9
Listening


“This ability to listen is a gift and grows as we grow spiritually. Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift.”
Basic Text, p. 107
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Have you ever watched two small children carry on a conversation? One will be talking about purple dragons while the other carries on about the discomfort caused by having sand in one’s shoes. We sometimes encounter the same communication problems as we learn to listen to others. We may struggle through meetings, trying desperately to hear the person sharing while our minds are busy planning what we will say when it’s our turn to speak. In conversation, we may suddenly realize that our answers have nothing to do with the questions we’re being asked. They are, instead, speeches prepared while in the grip of our self-obsession.
Learning how to listen—really listen—is a difficult task, but one that’s not beyond our reach. We might begin by acknowledging in our replies what our conversational partner is saying. We might ask if there is anything we can do to help when someone expresses a problem. With a little practice, we can find greater freedom from self-obsession and closer contact with the people in our lives.
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Just for today: I will quiet my own thoughts and listen to what someone else is saying.
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Unread 12-10-2010, 08:15 AM   #63
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Default December 10th

December 10
Winners


“I started to imitate some of the things the winners were doing. I got caught up in NA. I felt good...”
Basic Text, p. 153
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We often hear it said in meetings that we should “stick with the winners.” Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Winners are easily identified. They work an active program of recovery, living in the solution and staying out of the problem. Winners are always ready to reach their hands out to the newcomer. They have sponsors and work with those sponsors. Winners stay clean, just for today.
Winners are recovering addicts who keep a positive frame of mind. They may be going through troubled times, but they still attend meetings and share openly about it. Winners know in their hearts that, with the help of a Higher Power, nothing will come along that is too much to handle.
Winners strive for unity in their service efforts. Winners practice putting “principles before personalities.” Winners remember the principle of anonymity, doing the principled action no matter who is involved.
Winners keep a sense of humor. Winners have the ability to laugh at themselves. And when winners laugh, they laugh with you, not at you.
Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Any one of us can be considered a winner. All of us exhibit some of the traits of the winner; sometimes we come very close to the ideal, sometimes we don’t. If we are clean today and working our program to the best of our ability, we are winners!
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Just for today: I will strive to fulfill my ideals. I will be a winner.
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Unread 12-10-2010, 04:36 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaJaBe View Post
December 10
Winners


“I started to imitate some of the things the winners were doing. I got caught up in NA. I felt good...”
Basic Text, p. 153
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We often hear it said in meetings that we should “stick with the winners.” Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Winners are easily identified. They work an active program of recovery, living in the solution and staying out of the problem. Winners are always ready to reach their hands out to the newcomer. They have sponsors and work with those sponsors. Winners stay clean, just for today.
Winners are recovering addicts who keep a positive frame of mind. They may be going through troubled times, but they still attend meetings and share openly about it. Winners know in their hearts that, with the help of a Higher Power, nothing will come along that is too much to handle.
Winners strive for unity in their service efforts. Winners practice putting “principles before personalities.” Winners remember the principle of anonymity, doing the principled action no matter who is involved.
Winners keep a sense of humor. Winners have the ability to laugh at themselves. And when winners laugh, they laugh with you, not at you.
Who are the winners in Narcotics Anonymous? Any one of us can be considered a winner. All of us exhibit some of the traits of the winner; sometimes we come very close to the ideal, sometimes we don’t. If we are clean today and working our program to the best of our ability, we are winners!
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Just for today: I will strive to fulfill my ideals. I will be a winner.
Just for today. I tell myself this when I get up every day. I know I will wake up and the anxiety will hit me and I will havea to get through another day. I am writing this as much to myself as I am to you.......every day, I admit is a struggle. I know that time will make this better.....but.............

.......I pray that I can get by.........as you said,

...just for today.

:')
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Unread 12-13-2010, 02:15 PM   #65
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Default December 11th

December 11
Misery is optional


“No one is forcing us to give up our misery.”
Basic Text, p. 29
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It’s funny to remember how reluctant we once were to surrender to recovery. We seemed to think we had wonderful, fulfilling lives as using addicts and that giving up our drugs would be worse than serving a life sentence at hard labor. In reality, the opposite was true: Our lives were miserable, but we were afraid to trade that familiar misery for the uncertainties of recovery.
It’s possible to be miserable in recovery, too, though it’s not necessary. No one will force us to work the steps, go to meetings, or work with a sponsor. There is no NA militia that will force us to do the things that will free us from pain. But we do have a choice. We’ve already chosen to give up the misery of active addiction for the sanity of recovery. Now, if we’re ready to exchange today’s misery for even greater peace, we have a means to do just that—if we really want to.
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Just for today: I don’t have to be miserable unless I really want to be. Today, I will trade in my misery for the benefits of recovery.
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Unread 12-13-2010, 02:16 PM   #66
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Default December 12

December 12

Fear of change



“By working the steps, we come to accept a Higher Power’s will.... We lose our fear of the unknown. We are set free.”


Basic Text, p. 16


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Life is a series of changes, both large and small. Although we may know and accept this fact intellectually, chances are that our initial emotional reaction to change is fear. For some reason, we assume that each and every change is going to hurt, causing us to be miserable.
If we look back on the changes that have happened in our lives, we’ll find that most of them have been for the best. We were probably very frightened at the prospect of life without drugs, yet it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to us. Perhaps we’ve lost a job that we thought we’d die without, but later on we found greater challenge and personal fulfillment in a new career. As we venture forth in our recovery, we’re likely to experience more changes. We will outgrow old situations and become ready for new ones.
With all sorts of changes taking place, it’s only natural to grab hold of something, anything familiar and try to hold on. Solace can be found in a Power greater than ourselves. The more we allow changes to happen at the direction of our Higher Power, the more we’ll trust that those changes are for the best. Faith will replace fear, and we’ll know in our hearts that all will be well.

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Just for today: When I am afraid of a change in my life, I will take comfort from knowing that God’s will for me is good.
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Unread 12-13-2010, 02:17 PM   #67
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Default December 13

December 13
Membership


“There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using.”
Basic Text, p. 9
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We all know people who could benefit from Narcotics Anonymous. Many people we encounter from all walks of life—our family members, old friends, and coworkers—could really use a program of recovery in their lives. Sadly, those who need us don’t always find their way to our rooms.
NA is a program of attraction, not promotion. We are only members when we say we are. We can bring our friends and loved ones to a meeting if they are willing, but we cannot force them to embrace the way of life that has given us freedom from active addiction.
Membership in Narcotics Anonymous is a highly personal decision. The choice to become a member is made in the heart of each individual addict. In the long run, coerced meeting attendance doesn’t keep too many addicts in our rooms. Only addicts who are still suffering, if given the opportunity, can decide if they are powerless over their addiction. We can carry the message, but we can’t carry the addict.
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Just for today: I am grateful for my decision to become a member of Narcotics Anonymous.
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Unread 12-14-2010, 08:20 AM   #68
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Default December 14th

December 14
Addiction, drugs, and recovery


“Addiction is a physical, mental, and spiritual disease that affects every area of our lives.”
Basic Text, p. 20
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Before we started using, most of us had a stereotype, a mental image of what addicts were supposed to look like. Some of us pictured a junkie robbing convenience markets for drug money. Others imagined a paranoid recluse peering at life from behind perpetually drawn drapes and locked doors. As long as we didn’t fit any of the stereotypes, we thought, we couldn’t be addicts.
As our using progressed, we discarded those misconceptions about addiction, only to come up with another: the idea that addiction was about drugs. We may have thought addiction meant a physical habit, believing any drug that didn’t produce physical habituation was not “addictive.” Or we thought the drugs we took were causing all our problems. We thought that merely getting rid of the drugs would restore sanity to our lives.
One of the most important lessons we learn in Narcotics Anonymous is that addiction is much more than the drugs we used. Addiction is a part of us; it’s an illness that involves every area of our lives, with or without drugs. We can see its effects on our thoughts, our feelings, and our behavior, even after we stop using. Because of this, we need a solution that works to repair every area of our lives: the Twelve Steps.
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Just for today: Addiction is not a simple disease, but it has a simple solution. Today, I will live in that solution: the Twelve Steps of recovery.
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Unread 12-15-2010, 11:39 AM   #69
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Default December 15th

December 15
The joy of sharing


“There is a spiritual principle of giving away what we have been given in Narcotics Anonymous in order to keep it. By helping others to stay clean, we enjoy the benefit of the spiritual wealth that we have found.”
Basic Text, p. 49
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Time and again in our recovery, others have freely shared with us what was freely shared with them. Perhaps we were the recipients of a Twelfth Step call. Maybe someone picked us up and took us to our first meeting. It could be that someone bought us dinner when we were new. All of us have been given time, attention, and love by our fellow members. We may have asked someone, “What can I do to repay you?” And the answer we received was probably a suggestion that we do the same for a newer member when we were able.
As we maintain our clean time and recovery, we find ourselves wanting to do for others the things that someone did for us, and happy that we can. If we heard the message while in a hospital or institution, we can join our local H&I subcommittee. Perhaps we can volunteer on the NA helpline. Or we can give of our time, attention, and love to a newcomer we are trying to help.
We’ve been given much in our recovery. One of the greatest of these gifts is the privilege of sharing with others what’s been shared with us, with no expectation of reward. It’s a joy to find we have something that can be of use to others, and that joy is multiplied when we share it. Today we can do so, freely and gratefully.
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Just for today: I have been given much in my recovery, and I am deeply grateful for it. I will take joy in being able to share it with others as freely as it was shared with me.
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Unread 12-16-2010, 08:58 AM   #70
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Default December 16th

December 16
Where there’s smoke...


“Complacency is the enemy of members with substantial clean time. If we remain complacent for long, the recovery process ceases.”
Basic Text, p. 84
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Recognizing complacency in our recovery is like seeing smoke in a room. The “smoke” thickens when our meeting attendance drops, contact with newcomers decreases, or relations with our sponsor aren’t maintained. With continued complacency, we won’t be able to see through the smoke to find our way out. Only our immediate response will prevent an inferno.
We must learn to recognize the smoke of complacency. In NA, we have all the help we need to do that. We need to spend time with other recovering addicts because they may detect our complacency before we do. Newcomers will remind us of how painful active addiction can be. Our sponsor will help us remain focused, and recovery literature kept in easy reach can be used to extinguish the small flare-ups that happen from time to time. Regular participation in our recovery will surely enable us to see that wisp of smoke long before it becomes a major inferno.
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Just for today: I will participate in the full range of my recovery. My commitment to NA is just as strong today as it was in the beginning of my recovery.
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Unread 12-16-2010, 08:05 PM   #71
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MaJaBe, i belive you are a very inspirational person. I have been reading alot of your posts and your positive attitude impresses me and makes me strive to do better. I have been using the Suboxone program for 4 months, and it has really turned my life around. I ahve a better relationship with my daughter, my husband, my whole family. I don't have to miss family functions anymore jsut becasue i don't have enough pills to get me through the holidays. I am so thankful that for the first time inyears i can go to my mother's for Christmas without being high. I am just thanking God for everything he has blessed me with.
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Unread 12-17-2010, 04:07 PM   #72
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I'm so glad that you found this site, and Suboxone treatment. May I ask what your recovery program consists of? Just curious, don't feel pressured to answer if you don't want to.
I'm glad you like my thread. It's helpful to me as well. This way, I make sure I do my daily meditations.
Have a wonderful day!
J
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Unread 12-17-2010, 04:08 PM   #73
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Default December 17th

December 17
Service motives


“Everything that occurs in the course of NA service must be motivated by the desire to more successfully carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers.”
Basic Text, p. xxvi
––––=––––
Our motives are often a surprise to us. In our early days of recovery, they were almost always a surprise! We’ve learned to check our motives through prayer, meditation, the steps, and talking to our sponsor or other addicts. When we find ourselves with an especially strong urge to do or have something, it’s particularly important to check our motives to find out what we really want.
In early recovery, many of us throw ourselves into service with great fervor before we have started the regular practice of motive-checking. It takes awhile before we become aware of the real reasons for our zeal. We may want to impress others, show off our talents, or be recognized and important. Now, these desires may not be harmful in another setting, expressed through another outlet. In NA service, however, they can do serious damage.
When we decide to serve NA, we make a decision to help addicts find and maintain recovery. We have to carefully check our motives in service, remembering that it’s much easier to frighten away using addicts than to convince them to stay. When we show them game-playing, manipulation, or pomposity, we present an unattractive picture of recovery. However, the unselfish desire to serve others creates an atmosphere that is attractive to the addict who still suffers.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will check my motives for the true spirit of service.
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Unread 12-20-2010, 09:26 AM   #74
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Default December 18th

December 18
The message of our meetings


“The fact that we, each and every group, focus on carrying the message provides consistency; addicts can count on us.”
Basic Text, p. 68
––––=––––
Tales of our antics in active addiction may be funny. Stories of our old bizarre reactions to life when using may be interesting. But they tend to carry the mess more than the message. Philosophical arguments on the nature of God are fascinating. Discussions of current controversies have their place—however, it’s not at an NA meeting.
Those times when we grow disgusted with meetings and find ourselves complaining that “they don’t know how to share” or “it was another whining session” are probably an indication that we need to take a good, hard look at how we share.
What we share about how we got into recovery and how we stayed here through practicing the Twelve Steps is the real message of recovery. That’s what we are all looking for when we go to a meeting. Our primary purpose is to carry the message to the still-suffering addict, and what we share at meetings can either contribute significantly to this effort or detract greatly. The choice, and the responsibility, is ours.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will share my recovery at an NA meeting.
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Unread 12-20-2010, 09:28 AM   #75
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December 19

Walking the way we talk


“Words mean nothing until we put them into action.”


Basic Text, p. 58


––––=––––

The Twelfth Step reminds us “to practice these principles in all our affairs.” In NA, we see living examples of this suggestion all around us. The more experienced members, who seem to have an aura of peace surrounding them, demonstrate the rewards of applying this bit of wisdom in their lives.
To receive the rewards of the Twelfth Step, it is vital that we practice the spiritual principles of recovery even when no one is looking. If we talk about recovery at meetings but continue to live as we did in active addiction, our fellow members may suspect that we are doing nothing more than quoting bumper stickers.
What we pass on to newer members comes more from how we live than what we say. If we advise someone to “turn it over” without having experienced the miracle of the Third Step, chances are the message will fail to reach the ears of the newcomer for whom it’s intended. On the other hand, if we “walk what we talk” and share our genuine experience in recovery, the message will surely be evident to all.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will practice the principles of recovery, even when I’m the only one who knows.
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Unread 12-20-2010, 09:31 AM   #76
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December 20
Overcoming self-obsession


“In living the steps, we begin to let go of our self-obsession.”
Basic Text, p. 97
––––=––––
Many of us came to the program convinced that our feelings, our wants, and our needs were of the utmost importance to everyone. We had practiced a lifetime of self-seeking, self-centered behavior and believed it was the only way to live.
That self-centeredness doesn’t cease just because we stop using drugs. Perhaps we attend our first NA function and are positive that everyone in the room is watching us, judging us, and condemning us. We may demand that our sponsor be on call to listen to us whenever we want—and they, in turn, may gently suggest that the world does not revolve around us. The more we insist on being the center of the universe, the less satisfied we will be with our friends, our sponsor, and everything else.
Freedom from self-obsession can be found through concentrating more on the needs of others and less on our own. When others have problems, we can offer help. When newcomers need rides to meetings, we can pick them up. When friends are lonely, we can spend time with them. When we find ourselves feeling unloved or ignored, we can offer the love and attention we need to someone else. In giving, we receive much more in return—and that’s a promise we can trust.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will share the world with others, knowing they are just as important as I am. I will nourish my spirit by giving of myself.
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Unread 12-24-2010, 09:09 AM   #77
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Just for today! I'm feeling some guilt for having the 12th Step book & not reading & putting it together & let it help me! I don't know what my problem. I made excuses for not attending meetings. My drug addiction; (over 40 yrs.) have so much been embedded within; it makes me worry sometimes. Would this madness even come to a stop? My brother who past in 2003 was 11 yrs. clean before his death! I want so much to be free! I can see the good which would come whenever I can get in treatment again. I just can't wait till the 30th. Please pray for me!
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Unread 12-27-2010, 07:23 PM   #78
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Ok, I promise I'll get my Just for Today thread all caught up on Tuesday or Wednesday. I may just go ahead and do it through the 2nd, as I return to full time work on the 3rd. These will be hand-typed, no cutting and pasting like I normally would. That's love, people! LOL
Best,
J
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Unread 12-28-2010, 12:40 PM   #79
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Default December 21

December 21
Acceptance and change


“Freedom to change seems to come after acceptance of ourselves.”
Basic Text, p. 58
––––=––––
Fear and denial are the opposites of acceptance. None of us are perfect, even in our own eyes; all of us have certain traits that, given the chance, we would like to change. We sometimes become overwhelmed when contemplating how far short we fall of our ideals, so overwhelmed that we fear there’s no chance of becoming the people we’d like to be. That’s when our defense mechanism of denial kicks in, taking us to the opposite extreme: nothing about ourselves needs changing, we tell ourselves, so why worry? Neither extreme gives us the freedom to change.
Whether we are long-time NA members or new to recovery, the freedom to change is acquired by working the Twelve Steps. When we admit our powerlessness and the unmanageability of our lives, we counteract the lie that says we don’t have to change. In coming to believe that a Power greater than we are can help us, we lose our fear that we are damaged beyond repair; we come to believe we can change. We turn ourselves over to the care of the God of our understanding and tap the strength we need to make a thorough, honest examination of ourselves. We admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being what we’ve found. We accept the good and the bad in ourselves; with this acceptance, we become free to change.
––––=––––
Just for today: I want to change. By working the steps, I will counter fear and denial and find the acceptance needed to change.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 12:41 PM   #80
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December 22

A new way to live




“When at the end of the road we find that we can no longer function as a human being, either with or without drugs, we all face the same dilemma.... Either go on as best we can to the bitter ends—jails, institutions, or death—or find a new way to live.”


Basic Text, p. 87


––––=––––

What was the worst aspect of active addiction? For many of us, it wasn’t the chance that we might die some day of our disease. The worst part was the living death we experienced every day, the never-ending meaninglessness of life. We felt like walking ghosts, not living, loving parts of the world around us.
In recovery, we’ve come to believe that we’re here for a reason: to love ourselves and to love others. In working the Twelve Steps, we have learned to accept ourselves. With that self-acceptance has come self-respect. We have seen that everything we do has an effect on others; we are a part of the lives of those around us, and they of ours. We’ve begun to trust other people and to acknowledge our responsibility to them.
In recovery, we’ve come back to life. We maintain our new lives by contributing to the welfare of others and seeking each day to do that better—that’s where the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Steps come in. The days of living like a ghost are past, but only so long as we actively seek to be healthy, loving, contributing parts of our own lives and the lives of others around us.

––––=––––

Just for today: I have found a new way to live. Today, I will seek to serve others with love and to love myself.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 12:42 PM   #81
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Default December 23rd

December 23
New ideas


“We reevaluate our old ideas so we can become acquainted with the new ideas that lead to a new way of life.”
Basic Text, p. 94
––––=––––
Learning to live a new way of life can be difficult. Sometimes, when the going gets especially hard, we’re tempted to follow the path of least resistance and live by our old ideas again. We forget that our old ideas were killing us. To live a new way of life, we need to open our minds to new ideas.
Working the steps, attending meetings, sharing with others, trusting a sponsor—these suggestions may meet our resistance, even our rebellion. The NA program requires effort, but each step in the program brings us closer to becoming the kinds of people we truly want to be. We want to change, to grow, to become something more than we are today. To do that, we open our minds, try on the new ideas we’ve found in NA, and learn to live a new way of life.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will open my mind to new ideas and learn to live my life in a new way.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 12:43 PM   #82
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Default December 24th

December 24
The group


“The Twelfth Step of our personal program also says that we carry the message to the addict who still suffers.… The group is the most powerful vehicle we have for carrying the message.”
Basic Text, p. 68
––––=––––
When we first come to Narcotics Anonymous meetings, we meet recovering addicts. We know they are addicts because they talk about the same experiences and feelings we’ve had. We know they are recovering because of their serenity—they’ve got something we want. We feel hope when other addicts share their recovery with us in NA meetings.
The atmosphere of recovery attracts us to the meetings. That atmosphere is created when group members make a commitment to work together. We try to enhance the atmosphere of recovery by helping set up for meetings, greeting newcomers, and talking with other addicts after the meeting. These demonstrations of our commitment make our meetings attractive and help our groups share their recovery.
Sharing experience in meetings is one way in which we help one another, and it’s often the foundation for our sense of belonging. We identify with other addicts, so we trust their message of hope. Many of us would not have stayed in Narcotics Anonymous without that sense of belonging and hope. When we share at group meetings, we support our personal recovery while helping others.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will reach out to another addict in my group and share my recovery.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 12:45 PM   #83
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Default December 25th

December 25
Anonymity and self-will


“The drive for personal gain... which brought so much pain in the past falls by the wayside if we adhere to the principle of anonymity.”
Basic Text, p. 76
––––=––––
The word anonymity itself means namelessness, but there’s a larger principle at work in the anonymity of the NA program: the principle of selflessness. When we admit our powerlessness to manage our own lives, we take our first step away from self-will and our first step toward selflessness. The less we try to run our lives on self-will, the more we find the power and direction once so sorely lacking in our lives.
But the principle of selflessness does a lot more than just make us feel better—it helps us live better. Our ideas of how the world should be run begin to lose their importance, and we stop trying to impose our will on everyone and everything around us. And when we abandon our “know-it-all” pretensions and start recognizing the value of other people’s experience, we start treating them with respect. The interests of others become as important to us as our own; we start to think about what’s best for the group, rather than just what’s best for us. We start living a life that’s bigger than we are, that’s more than just us, our name, ourself—we start living the principle of anonymity.
––––=––––
Just for today: God, please free me from self-will. Help me understand the principle of anonymity; help me to live selflessly.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 12:46 PM   #84
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Default December 26th

December 26

Never-failing Power



“As we learn to trust this Power, we begin to overcome our fear of life.”


Basic Text, p. 25


––––=––––

We are people accustomed to placing all our eggs in one basket. Many of us had one particular drug of choice that was our favorite. We relied on it to get us through each day and make life bearable. We were faithful to that drug; in fact, we committed ourselves to it without reservation. And then it turned on us. We had been betrayed by the only thing we had ever depended on, and the betrayal left us floundering.
Now that we’ve stumbled into the rooms of recovery, we may be tempted to rely on another human being to meet our needs. We may expect this from our sponsor, our lover, or our best friend. But dependence on human beings is risky. They fall short of perfection. They may be on vacation, sleeping, or in a bad mood when we need them.
Our dependence must rest on a Power greater than ourselves. No human force can restore our sanity, care for our will and our lives, or be unconditionally available and loving whenever we are in need. We place our trust in the God of our understanding, for only that Power will never fail us.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will place my trust in a Power greater than myself, for only that Power will never let me down.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 12:47 PM   #85
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Default December 27th

December 27

God could restore us to sanity




“The process of coming to believe restores us to sanity. The strength to move into action comes from this belief.”


Basic Text, p. 25


––––=––––

Now that we’ve finally admitted our insanity and seen examples of it in all its manifestations, we might be tempted to believe that we are doomed to repeat this behavior for the rest of our lives. Just as we thought that our active addiction was hopeless and we’d never get clean, we might now believe that our particular brand of insanity is hopeless.
Not so! We know that we owe our freedom from active addiction to the grace of a loving God. If our Higher Power can perform such a miracle as relieving our obsession to use drugs, surely this Power can also relieve our insanity in all its forms.
If we doubt this, all we have to do is think about the sanity that has already been restored to our lives. Maybe we’ve gotten carried away with our credit cards; but sanity returns when we admit defeat and cut them all up. Perhaps we’ve been feeling lonely and want to go visit our old using buddies. Going to visit our sponsor instead is a sane act.
The insanity of our addiction recedes into the past as we begin experiencing moments of sanity in our recovery. Our belief in a Power greater than ourselves grows as we begin to understand that even our brand of insanity is nothing in the face of this Power.

––––=––––

Just for today: I thank the God of my understanding for each sane act in my life, for I know they are indications of my restoration to sanity.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 12:48 PM   #86
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Default December 28th

December 28
Depression


“We are no longer fighting fear, anger, guilt, self-pity, or depression.”
Basic Text, p. 27
––––=––––
As addicts, many of us experience depression from time to time. When we feel depressed, we may be tempted to isolate ourselves. However, if we do this, our depression may turn to despair. We can’t afford to let depression lead us back to using.
Instead, we try to go about the routine of our lives. We make meeting attendance and contact with our sponsor top priorities. Sharing with others about our feelings may let us know we aren’t the only ones who have been depressed in recovery. Working with a newcomer can work wonders for our own state of mind. And, most importantly, prayer and meditation can help us tap the power we need to survive depression.
We practice acceptance and remember that feelings like depression will unquestionably pass in time. Rather than struggle with our feelings, we accept them and ask for the strength to walk through them.
––––=––––
Just for today: I accept that my feelings of depression won’t last forever. I will talk openly about my feelings with my sponsor or another person who understands.
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Unread 12-29-2010, 09:36 AM   #87
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Default December 29th

Alright, this one is typed by hand, and I don't know how to make the fancy little seperating things, so it won't look as pretty, but here it is:

Through Others' eyes December 29

"When someone points out a shortcoming, our first reaction may be defensive...[But] if we truly want to be free, we will take a good look at input from fellow addicts." Basic Text, p. 36

At some point in our recovery, we come to the awkward realization that the way we see ourselves is not necessarily the way others do. We are probably neither as bad, as good, as beautiful, nor as ugly as we think we are- but we are too close to ourselves to really tell for sure. That's where our friends in the program come in, caring enough to share with us what they see when they look in our direction. They tell us the good things about ourselves we might not know-and they tell us the hard things, too, that we might not be able to see.
We may react defensively to such "help"-and, in some cases, justly so. However, even malicious remarks about our supposed shortcomings can shed light on aspects of our recovery that we cannot see ourselves. Wherever a useful insight comes from, for whatever reason it is offered, we cannot afford to discount it.

We don't need to wait for others to spontaneously offer their insight. When we spend time with our sponsor or other NA members we trust, we can make the first move and ask them to tell us what they see about particular areas of our lives to which we are blind. We want a broader vision by seeing ourselves through the eyes of others.

Just for Today: I seek to see myself as I truly am. I will listen to what others say about me, and see myself through their eyes.
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Unread 12-30-2010, 10:27 AM   #88
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Default December 30th

December 30
Action and prayer


“...growth is not the result of wishing but of action and prayer.”
Basic Text, p. 37
––––=––––
Sometimes it seems as if our recovery is growing much too slowly. We struggle with the steps; we wrestle with the same problems; we labor under the same uncomfortable feelings day after day. We wish that recovery would move a little faster so we could find some comfort!
Wishing doesn’t work in recovery; this isn’t a program of magic. If wishes cured addiction, we all would have been well long ago! What does give us relief in recovery is action and prayer.
Narcotics Anonymous has worked for so many addicts because it is a carefully designed program of action and prayer. The actions we undertake in each of the steps bring more and more recovery to each area of our lives. And prayer keeps us connected to our Higher Power. Together, action and prayer keep us well-grounded in recovery.
––––=––––
Just for today: My recovery is too precious to just wish about it. Today is a good day for action and prayer.
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Unread 01-03-2011, 09:23 AM   #89
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December 31
Being of service


“Working with others is only the beginning of service work.”
Basic Text, p. 59
––––=––––
We’re in recovery now. Through living the program, we’ve attained some stability in our lives. Our faith in a Higher Power has grown. Our individual spiritual awakening is progressing comfortably. So now what? Do we simply sit still and enjoy? Of course not. We find a way to be of service.
We tend to think of service only in terms of committee service or holding a position at some level, but service goes far beyond this understanding. In fact, we can find opportunities to be of service in nearly every area of our lives. Our jobs are a form of service to our communities, no matter what our occupation. The work we do in our homes serves our families. Perhaps we do volunteer work in our communities.
What a difference our service efforts make! If we doubt this, we can just imagine what the world would be like if no one bothered to be of service to others. Our work serves humanity. The message we carry goes beyond the rooms of recovery, affecting everything we do.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will look for opportunities to be of service in everything I do.
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Unread 01-03-2011, 09:24 AM   #90
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Default January 1st

January 1

Vigilance




“We keep what we have only with vigilance...”


Basic Text, p. 60


––––=––––

How do we remain vigilant about our recovery? First, by realizing that we have a disease we will always have. No matter how long we’ve been clean, no matter how much better our lives have become, no matter what the extent of our spiritual healing, we are still addicts. Our disease waits patiently, ready to spring the trap if we give it the opportunity.
Vigilance is daily accomplishment. We strive to be constantly alert and ready to deal with signs of trouble. Not that we should live in irrational fear that something horrible will possess us if we drop our guard for an instant; we just take normal precautions. Daily prayer, regular meeting attendance, and choosing not to compromise spiritual principles for the easier way are acts of vigilance. We take inventory as necessary, share with others whenever we are asked, and carefully nurture our recovery. Above all, we stay aware!
We have a daily reprieve from our addiction as long as we remain vigilant. Each day, we carry the principles of recovery into all we do, and each night, we thank our Higher Power for another day clean.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will be vigilant, doing everything necessary to guard my recovery.
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Unread 01-03-2011, 09:25 AM   #91
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Default January 2nd

January 2
Take a deep breath and talk to God


“Sometimes when we pray, a remarkable thing happens: We find the means, ways, and energies to perform tasks far beyond our capacities.”
Basic Text, p. 46
––––=––––
Coping successfully with life’s minor annoyances and frustrations is sometimes the most difficult skill we have to learn in recovery. We are faced with small inconveniences daily. From untangling the knots in our children’s shoelaces to standing in line at the market, our days are filled with minor difficulties that we must somehow deal with.
If we’re not careful, we may find ourselves dealing with these difficulties by bullying our way through each problem or grinding our teeth while giving ourselves a stern lecture about how we should handle them. These are extreme examples of poor coping skills, but even if we’re not this bad, there’s probably room for improvement.
Each time life presents us with another little setback to our daily plans, we can simply take a deep breath and talk to the God of our understanding. Knowing we can draw patience, tolerance, or whatever we need from that Power, we find ourselves coping better and smiling more often.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will take a deep breath and talk to my God whenever I feel frustrated.
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Unread 01-03-2011, 09:27 AM   #92
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Default January 3rd

January 3
Our greatest need


“We eventually redefine our beliefs and understanding to the point where we see that our greatest need is for knowledge of God’s will for us and the strength to carry that out.”
Basic Text, p. 48
––––=––––
When we first arrived in NA, we had all kinds of ideas of what we needed. Some of us set our sights on amassing personal possessions. We thought recovery equaled outward success. But recovery does not equal success. Today, we believe that our greatest need is for spiritual guidance and strength.
The greatest damage done to us by our addiction was the damage done to our spirituality. Our primary motivation was dictated by our disease: to get, to use, and to find ways and means to get more. Enslaved by our overwhelming need for drugs, our lives lacked purpose and connection. We were spiritually bankrupt.
Sooner or later, we realize that our greatest need in recovery is “for knowledge of God’s will for us and the strength to carry that out.” There, we find the direction and sense of purpose our addiction had hidden from us. In our God’s will we find freedom from self-will. No longer driven only by our own needs, we are free to live with others on an equal footing.
There’s nothing wrong with outward success. But without the spiritual connection offered by the NA program, our greatest need in recovery goes unmet, regardless of how “successful” we may be.
––––=––––
Just for today: I will seek the fulfillment of my greatest need: a vital, guiding connection with the God of my understanding.
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Unread 01-04-2011, 10:18 AM   #93
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January 4
The love of the fellowship


“Today, secure in the love of the fellowship, we can finally look another human being in the eye and be grateful for who we are.”
Basic Text, p. 92
––––=––––
When we were using, few of us could tolerate looking someone in the eye—we were ashamed of who we were. Our minds were not occupied with anything decent or healthy, and we knew it. Our time, money, and energy weren’t spent building loving relationships, sharing with others, or seeking to better our communities. We were trapped in a spiral of obsession and compulsion that went only in one direction: downward.
In recovery, our journey down that spiral path has been cut short. But what is it that has turned us around, drawing us back upward into the open spaces of the wide, free world? The love of the fellowship has done this.
In the company of other addicts, we knew we would not be rejected. By the example of other addicts, we were shown how to begin taking a positive part in the life around us. When we were unsure which way to turn, when we stumbled, when we had to correct a wrong we’d done, we knew our fellow members were there to encourage us.
Slowly, we’ve gotten the feel of our freedom. No longer are we locked up in our disease; we are free to build and grow and share along with everyone else. And when we need support to take our next step, it is there. The security we’ve found in the love of the fellowship has made our new lives possible.
––––=––––
Just for today: I can look anyone in the eye without shame. I am grateful for the loving support that has made this possible.
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Unread 01-05-2011, 08:24 AM   #94
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January 5
Recovery at home


“We can enjoy our families in a new way and may become a credit to them instead of an embarrassment or a burden.”
Basic Text, p. 104
––––=––––
We’re doing great in recovery, aren’t we? We go to a meeting every day, we spend every evening with our friends in the fellowship, and every weekend we dash off to a service workshop. But if things are falling to pieces at home, we’re not doing so great after all.
We expect our families to understand. After all, we’re not using drugs anymore. Why don’t they recognize our progress? Don’t they understand how important our meetings, our service, and our involvement with the fellowship are?
Our families will not appreciate the change NA is working in our lives unless we show them. If we rush off to a meeting the same way we rushed off to use drugs, what has changed? If we continue to ignore the needs and desires of our partners and children, failing to accept our responsibilities at home, we aren’t “practicing these principles in all our affairs.”
We must live the program everywhere we go, in everything we do. If we want the spiritual life to be more than a theory, we have to live it at home. When we do this, the people we share our lives with are sure to notice the change and be grateful that we’ve found NA.
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Just for today: I will take my recovery home with me.
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Unread 01-06-2011, 09:18 AM   #95
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Default January 6th

January 6
“How does it work?”


“I used to think that I had all the answers, but today I am glad that I don’t.”
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What are the two favorite words of most addicts? “I know!” Unfortunately, many of us arrive in NA thinking we have all the answers. We have a lot of knowledge about what’s wrong with us. But in and of itself, knowledge never helped us stay clean for any length of time.
Members who have achieved long-term recovery will be the first to admit that the longer they are here, the more they have to learn. But they do know one thing: By following this simple Twelve-Step program, they have been able to stay clean. They no longer ask “why”; they ask “how.” The value of endless speculation pales in comparison to the experience of addicts who’ve found a way to stay clean and live clean.
This doesn’t mean we don’t ask “why” when it’s appropriate. We don’t come to NA and stop thinking! But in the beginning, it’s often a very good idea to reword our questions. Instead of asking “why,” we ask “how.” How do I work this step? How often should I attend meetings? How do I stay clean?
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Just for today: I don’t have all the answers, but I know where to find the ones that matter. Today, I will ask another addict, “How does it work?”
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Unread 01-07-2011, 02:01 PM   #96
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Default January 7th

January 7
“Recovery”


“Narcotics Anonymous offers addicts a program of recovery that is more than just a life without drugs. Not only is this way of life better than the hell we lived, it is better than any life that we have ever known.”
Basic Text, p. 107
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Few of us have any interest in “recovering” what we had before we started using. Many of us suffered severely from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Getting high and staying high seemed like the only possible way to cope with such abuse. Others suffered in less noticeable but equally painful ways before addiction took hold. We lacked direction and purpose. We were spiritually empty. We felt isolated, unable to empathize with others. We had none of the things that give life its sense and value. We took drugs in a vain attempt to fill the emptiness inside ourselves. Most of us wouldn’t want to “recover” what we used to have.
Ultimately, the recovery we find in NA is something different: a chance at a new life. We’ve been given tools to clear the wreckage from our lives. We’ve been given support in courageously setting forth on a new path. And we’ve been given the gift of conscious contact with a Power greater than ourselves, providing us with the inner strength and direction we so sorely lacked in the past.
Recovering? Yes, in every way. We’re recovering a whole new life, better than anything we ever dreamed possible. We are grateful.
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Just for today: I’ve recovered something I never had, something I never imagined possible: the life of a recovering addict. Thank you, Higher Power, in more than words can say.
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Unread 01-10-2011, 08:24 AM   #97
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Default January 8th

January 8
Growing up


“Our spiritual condition is the basis for a successful recovery that offers unlimited growth.”
Basic Text, p. 44
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When our members celebrate their recovery anniversaries, they often say that they’ve “grown up” in NA. Well, then, we think, what does that mean? We start to wonder if we’re grownups yet. We check our lives and yes, all the trappings of adulthood are there: the checkbook, the children, the job, the responsibilities. On the inside, though, we often feel like children. We’re still confused by life much of the time. We don’t always know how to act. We sometimes wonder whether we’re really grownups at all, or whether we’re children who’ve somehow been put into adult bodies and given adult responsibilities.
Growth is not best measured by physical age or levels of responsibility. Our best measure of growth is our spiritual condition, the basis of our recovery. If we’re still depending on people, places, and things to provide our inner satisfaction, like a child depending on its parents for everything, we do indeed have some growing to do. But if we stand secure on the foundation of our spiritual condition, considering its maintenance our most important responsibility, we can claim maturity. Upon that foundation, our opportunities for growth are limitless.
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Just for today: The measure of my maturity is the extent to which I take responsibility for the maintenance of my spiritual condition. Today, this will be my highest priority.
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Unread 01-10-2011, 08:26 AM   #98
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Default January 9th

January 9
Returning our sponsor’s kindness


“Our earliest involvements with others often begin with our sponsor.”
Basic Text, p. 57
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Our sponsors can be abundant sources of recovery information, wisdom, and loving words. They’ve done so much for us. From the late night telephone calls to the hours spent listening to our recovery writing, they’ve believed in us and invested their time to prove it. They’ve lovingly and firmly shown us how to be honest. Their boundless compassion in times of turmoil has given us the strength to go on. Their way of helping has prompted us to seek our answers within ourselves, and we’ve become mature, responsible, confident individuals as a result.
Though our sponsor has given so generously and has never demanded repayment, there are things we can do to show our appreciation. We treat our sponsor with respect. They are not trash cans designed for us to dump our garbage in. They have their times of trial, just as we do, and sometimes need our support. They are human, have feelings, and appreciate our concern. Maybe they would like to receive a card in the mail or a phone call expressing our love.
Whatever we do to return our sponsor’s kindness will enhance our personal recovery, not to mention the joy we’ll bring to our sponsor.
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Just for today: My sponsor has cared for me when I couldn’t care for myself. Today, I will do something nice for my sponsor.
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Unread 01-10-2011, 08:27 AM   #99
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Default January 10th

January 10
Gratitude


“I’m very grateful to have come to believe.”
IP No. 21, The Loner
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Belief in a Higher Power can make all the difference when the going gets tough! When things don’t go our way in recovery, our sponsor may direct us to make a “gratitude list.” When we do, we should include our faith in a Power greater than ourselves on the list. One of the greatest gifts we receive from the Twelve Steps is our belief in a God of our own understanding.
The Twelve Steps gently lead us toward a spiritual awakening. Just as our addiction progressed, so does our spiritual life develop in the course of working the program of Narcotics Anonymous. The steps are our path to a relationship with a God of our understanding. This Higher Power gives us strength when our road gets rough.
Are we grateful for our deepening relationship with a Higher Power? Do we remember to thank God for each day clean, no matter what has happened that day? Do we remember that, no matter how deep our despair or how great our joy, the God of our understanding is with us?
Our recovery is a gift, a gift that we sometimes take for granted. Each day we stay clean, we can rejoice in our Higher Power’s care.
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Just for today: I am grateful for my relationship with a Higher Power that cares for me.
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Unread 01-11-2011, 07:14 AM   #100
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Default January 11th

January 11
Faith


“As we develop faith in our daily lives, we find that our Higher Power supplies us with the strength and guidance that we need.”
Basic Text, p. 94
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Some of us come into recovery very frightened and insecure. We feel weak and alone. We are uncertain of our direction and don’t know where to go for answers. We are told that if we find some faith in a Power greater than ourselves, we will find security and guidance. We want that feeling of safety and strength. But faith doesn’t come overnight. It takes time and effort to grow.
The seed is planted when we ask our Higher Power for help and then acknowledge the source of our help when it comes. We nurture the tiny seed of faith with the sunlight of our prayers each day. Our faith grows, a reward for living life on its own terms. One day we realize our faith has become like a huge spreading tree; it doesn’t stop the storms of life, but we know that we are safe in its shelter.
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Just for today: I know that faith in my Higher Power will not calm the storms of life, but it will calm my heart. I will let my faith shelter me in times of trouble.
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