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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
11/24/09 12:44 P

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November 23, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Don't forget that the world record is 24 hours."

I remember when I was new watching people take cakes for 5 years, 7 years and more, and thinking that they had something I didn't - the ability to stay sober. When I shared about this, I was told that we all have the same amount of time - today. As I kept going to meetings, I started to see people with long term recovery go out and learned how important it was to value and concentrate on today.

As I got a few years under my belt and began trying to figure out what to do with my life, I once again got impatient when I saw that others had accomplished so much and seemed to have many of the things that I wanted, too. When I shared this, I was once again reminded that the world record was just 24 hours and that if I set a goal and took the next daily action, then I could also accomplish anything I set my mind to.

Over the years I've come to see the immense wisdom and simplicity in today's quote. When tasks or goals seem impossible to accomplish or overcome, I remind myself that while I may not be able to keep it up or do it over a lifetime, I can do it just for today.

And what I've found is that when I take the right action, one 24 hour day at a time, obstacles are overcome and dreams do come true.



Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
11/16/09 1:59 P

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November 16, 2009

Quote of the Week



"Things might not get better for me, but I can get better despite things."


When I was a newcomer, I was convinced that because I was now sober, things in my life would get better. I was sure my career would finally get on track, my relationships would improve, etc., and I knew that as those things came together, I would finally be happy. In fact, I secretly felt like I deserved for things to improve now that I was being "good". Boy was I wrong.

What actually happened was that my life started to spiral out of control. It was as if things had a natural momentum to them, and even though I wasn't acting the same way, the wreckage of my past was beginning to catch up with me. As I grew more and more miserable, my sponsor taught me something that set me free.

I remember he sat me down and asked me if I could make it through the day without a drink or a drug. I told him I could, and that's when he taught me that while I may not be able to control all the things in my life, I could control the most important thing of all - my sobriety and my recovery. He told me that if I took care of that, then all the other "things" would work out. While at first I didn't believe him, it turns out he was right.

Today I know that while things may not always get better for me, I can get better if I focus on the one thing that matters.

Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
11/3/09 12:25 A

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November 2, 2009

Quote of the Week

"I may not know how to make it better, but I sure know how to make it worse."


I remember how bad things were before recovery, and how easy it was for me to make them worse. If my job wasn't going well, I'd cop an attitude, show up late, or start slacking off (more than I already was!). If my relationship wasn't going the way I thought it should, I'd shut down and withhold - all with the justified thought, "I'll show her." No matter what was going wrong, I always found a way to make it worse.

When I entered recovery, my sponsor taught me that what happened in my life was my responsibility. He showed me how I had a part in everything that happened to me and how my solutions often became worse than the original problem. It took many years for me to accept this and many more to learn how to make better choices. Thank God I had the twelve steps to teach me how.

I once heard someone say that the program was the life manual they always wished they had when growing up. I completely relate to this because now I, too, know how to handle situations that used to baffle me. Best of all, though, by staying focused on my part I know how to make things better.

Today I have a choice between making the situations in my life better or worse, and most of the time I make the right choice.
________________________________



Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
9/21/09 2:26 P

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September 21, 2009

Quote of the Week



"Everyone wants to feel better, but no one wants to change."


Before recovery, I did a lot of things to feel better. I moved, changed jobs, girlfriends, cars, tried different combinations of drugs and alcohol, took up yoga, joined a gym - the list is endless. While these things worked briefly, inevitably I would be left feeling that giant hole inside of me, a hole that always made me miserable.

When I entered recovery, I had the same initial relief as when I tried other new ways to distract myself. After a while though, it, too, began to wear off and I could sense the hole returning. I met with my sponsor and he told me I was feeling this way because I was resisting and refusing to change. "But I'm sober!" I told him. "Yeah, but you're still trying to do things your way. Until you surrender and really work the steps, you'll just be the same old you - only you'll be miserable and sober this time."

Thank God my sponsor was willing to tell me the truth, and thank God I was ready to hear it. Deep down I knew I was the common denominator in all the things I had tried that didn't work, and once I got to step four and honestly looked at my part in things, I finally realized what had to change - me. While thoroughly working the steps, the promises began to come true for me, and today I am not the same man who entered the rooms all those years ago. Today I am happy, joyous and free.

And that is worth changing for.

Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
9/7/09 11:50 A

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September 7, 2009

Quote of the Week



"GOD - Good Orderly Direction."


Like many newcomers, I had a lot of conflicting feelings and ideas about the God concept in early recovery. I didn't trust the God I had grown up with and so had a hard time turning my will and life over to Him. I was growing pretty discouraged when, once again, my sponsor came to my aid.

He told me to first stop trying to figure out who or what God was. "Your job is simply to come to believe that there is a power greater than you out there somewhere. Who or what that is isn't important. What's important is that it's not you." That put me in my place. "How do I do that?" I asked.

The answer, he told me. was to take Good Orderly Direction. He suggested that I start by attending regular meetings, and that I refrain from drinking or using between those meetings. Next, he said I should begin reading the literature and start working the steps. He encouraged me to begin sharing my feelings honestly with him and with others in recovery. "If you continue to go in a Good Orderly Direction, you'll come to know God," he said.

It took me years, but he was right: GOD has led me to God.
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Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
8/31/09 3:06 P

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August 31, 2009

Quote of the Week



"Just because you're having a bad day doesn't mean you're having a bad life."


It's amazing the way my mind used to work. When things were good, it told me they wouldn't last. When things were bad, it told me they were going to get worse. When I was having a bad day, it told me every other day was going to be just as bad and that no matter how hard I tried, my life would end in failure.

When I entered recovery, the first thing I learned was that alcoholism was a disease of perception. I was told that what was happening in my head didn't always reflect what was happening in my life, and I was given tools to help me tell the difference. Gratitude lists helped me see the good as well as the bad; running my thinking by others helped me see past my insanity, and working with others always helped me feel better no matter what was going on.

It took a long time to develop a new perspective on my thinking, but by being willing to change and by working hard at it, I now know that most of what my mind tells me is a lie. To counter this today, when I wake up I turn my thoughts over to my Higher Power, and I let Him direct my thinking. If I'm having a bad day, I know I can start it over at anytime, and I do that by saying to myself, "Thy will, not mine be done." This always works.

Today I know that if I'm having a bad day, it doesn't mean I'm having a bad life. It just means it's time to turn it over.


Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



 current weight: 127.0 
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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
8/24/09 2:13 P

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August 24, 2009

Quote of the Week


"I'd rather go through life sober believing I'm an alcoholic, than go through life drunk, trying to prove I'm not."


I love it when newcomers share at meetings that they don't think they are alcoholics. Sure they like to party, they admit, and perhaps they had a DUI or two, or lost a job or made a bad scene, but they can control their drinking when they have to. Eventually someone points out that people who don't have a drinking problem are rarely at meetings trying to defend or explain their drinking!

For a long time I also resisted the idea that I might be an alcoholic. The longer I stayed sober and learned about the disease, and the more I compared my behavior with the alcoholics around me, the more I had to admit that I probably was one, too. Rather than be a sentence, though, this turned out to be the key that set me free.

Today, I've stopped debating whether I'm an alcoholic or not, and I choose to live a sober life. It's kind of like that saying about whether to believe in God or not: "I'd rather live my life believing that there is a God and find out in the end there isn't, than live my life believing there isn't a God and end up finding out there is."

In the end, it's about living a good life, and that's what sobriety allows me to do.

Note, for me, this is about my emotional eating as well. Works the same way.


Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



 current weight: 127.0 
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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
8/10/09 2:57 P

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August 10, 2009

Quote of the Week



"You're not who you think you are."


I was in a meeting the other day when a woman shared that early in recovery she told her sponsor she was going to commit suicide. "If you did that you wouldn't be committing suicide, you'd be committing homicide," he said. "What do you mean?" she asked. "You have no idea who you are yet, so you'd be killing someone else. That's why it'd be homicide." Boy did I relate.

I remember early in recovery struggling to find the real me. At first I thought I was the result of my past actions, and my self-loathing was so intense that I was sure no one would accept or like me. As I worked through that and began feeling better about myself, my ego took over and my mantra became, "Don't you know who I am?" and "Where's mine?!"

It took me a long time to realize I wasn't as good or as bad as I thought I was. With over a decade in recovery and with a multitude of personality shifts, I've come to realize that identifying with my thoughts is a waste of time. I now know that at my core I am simply a channel of God, and the more I focus on being of service the more I come to know my real self and true purpose.

Today I understand what they mean when they say - You're not who you think you are.


Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
8/3/09 1:16 P

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August 3, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Don't count the days, make the days count."

Can you remember counting the days in early recovery? I sure can. I remember how difficult it sometimes was to make it through the weekend or even the evening, and I can still feel how grateful I was to have made it through another day. Those 30 day, 60 day and 90 day chips were a BIG deal to me, and with each chip I felt a growing relief, as if I had escaped from prison and was still free.

As the months turned into years, my focus shifted and I began to wonder what I wanted to do with my life. This was a new thought for me and it was difficult at first to overcome years of self-loathing and low self esteem. But after a while I began to dream of what I might become and what my Higher Power had in store for me, and once I settled on a direction I began living my life with purpose.

Today my days are filled with the joy of living. My focus is off survival and thoughts of myself, and instead I focus on what I can pack into the stream of life. I no longer wake up and say, "Oh, God, not another day!" But rather, "Thank God, I have another day!" I'm grateful that I no longer count the days, but rather, I look for ways to make the days count emoticon

Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
7/27/09 10:19 P

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July 27, 2009

Quote of the Week



"I don't believe in miracles, I depend on them!"


If you had asked me before recovery if I believed in miracles, I would have laughed in your face. "Look at my life!" I would have said. "There are certainly no miracles happening here." On hindsight I wasn't aware of how miraculous it was I hadn't killed myself or anybody else yet, or how the miracle of recovery was about to happen for me.

During the first few years of recovery, the occurrence of miracles was subtle at first, and I sometimes missed them. My physical sobriety was something I struggled with and then eventually took for granted, but it was surely my first miracle. Later, the miracles of emotional recovery and the emerging awareness of, and appreciation for, my spiritual self were also examples of the miracles taking place in my life. And, of course, I was always surrounded by the many miracles happening in the lives of those in the rooms around me.

These days I've come to rely on the existence of miracles even though they may not always look like I expect them to. Today I realize it's enough to just believe in them, to show up and be of service, and to let God do the rest. Then I just sit back and let the miracles happen.

Today, I believe in miracles. emoticon

Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
7/20/09 12:07 P

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July 20, 2009

Quote of the Week



"I don't react to the present the way I reacted to the past."


Last week I had a God shot that revealed the miracle of recovery in my life. An emotionally charged situation came up that used to trigger a wounded, withdrawn and resentful reaction, but as it unfolded I noticed something wonderful happening inside me - I was aware that I could choose a different, healthy way of responding. What a change that was!

Before recovery, I was a literal slave to the old, hurtful wounds of my past. I was like Pavlov's dogs - as soon as a stimulus was presented, I reacted automatically, and my reactions almost always made the situation worse. Not only was I not aware that I had a choice, I also had no idea there might be a better, more appropriate way of responding. And that's what the miracle of recovery has given me.

Through years of working the program, running my thinking and ideas by my sponsor before I took action, and praying for an intuitive idea or the right action and then waiting for inspiration, I have developed the space to consider my options and then choose the most appropriate way of responding. This new way of reacting has freed me, and allowed me to live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life.

Today, I don't react to the present the way I reacted to the past.


Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
7/13/09 2:55 P

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July 13, 2009

Quote of the Week



"God never gives me more than I can handle - I just wish He didn't trust me so much!"


When I was new, I was told I'd have to learn to live life on life's terms without drinking. How was that going to happen I thought? I was convinced I could never stay sober through life's tougher times like what would happen if my son was killed? Or if I was diagnosed with cancer? Or if my house burned down? There was no way I could stay sober through any of that.

As the months and then years went by, I began experiencing life without drinking. First I lost my job. Then my dad had a major stroke and was confined to a nursing home. Then my first major relationship in sobriety broke up. By not drinking through these things, I learned how to turn to and trust in my Higher Power, and I learned I could make it through.

Today I know how to handle life on life's terms. While I may not always like what life has in store for me or others, I know that God will always give me the strength, the wisdom or the acceptance to get through it. Today I've come to rely on God to help me make it through life, and I know that he relies on me to make it through sober.

While I know God never gives me more than I can handle, sometimes I just wish He didn't trust me so much!


Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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46A39P's Photo 46A39P Posts: 5,210
6/30/09 8:22 A

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Thank you Elayne. Enjoy your trip. I will miss you.

I don't belong to a program, did it on my own. But do have therapy today thank God!

Hugs,

Jean

I made it through yesterday and didn't give in to the temptation. It was a pretty strong urge, but I fought it.

SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
6/30/09 12:07 A

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I'm sorry that you are going through a difficult time concerning your brother, but you know NOTHING is worth taking a drink over. It won't fix anything. You will be in my prayers. May your temptation be gone. Can you go to a meeting? Call someone in the program?

I will be away from June 30 to July 11, but I'll keep you and your brother in my prayers.

Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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46A39P's Photo 46A39P Posts: 5,210
6/29/09 3:04 P

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Thank you so much. This hit home and is a message I really needed to hear.

I found out some devastating news about my brother a few days ago and have been a mess since. I've been tempted to drink but am fighting it.

I'm trying to cope and find strength.

SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
6/29/09 1:51 P

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June 29, 2009

Quote of the Week

"God didn't save me from drowning so he could club me to death on the shore."


When I crawled into recovery I was as desperate as a drowning man. My life had been overwhelmed by the tidal wave of addiction and despair, and the life boat I was clinging too was rapidly filling with water. In the final moments I reached out for help, and God pulled me to safety.

Once I was on shore and drying out in the rooms of recovery, I found myself drowning again, this time in the wreckage and unmanageability of my life. I constantly worried about how I would repair relationships, repay debts, and about what would become of me. Sometimes I was so convinced things wouldn't work for me that a drink looked pretty good. And that's when I heard today's quote.

For me, this quote is all about faith. Today - as well as in early recovery - when I get overwhelmed with fear that things won't work out, I remember that I have been pulled out from the ocean, restored to sanity, and that my job now is to trust that the "next right thing" will manifest when the time is right. It always has, and my living faith tells me it always will.

"God didn't save me to let me down later."
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Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



 current weight: 127.0 
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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
6/22/09 12:20 P

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June 22, 2009

Quote of the Week



"The less full of ourselves we are, the more room there is for others."


During my first year of recovery I worked as a municipal bond broker, and I hated every minute of it and barely made enough money to survive. As I drove to a meeting one night I was obsessed over a big deal I had just talked someone into, and I was worried sick that the prospect might cancel the order. As I drove along consumed with self-centered fear, I had a moment of clarity.

From out of nowhere my thinking shifted to today's quote - I had heard it a few weeks before - and I suddenly knew exactly what it meant. I realized that if I arrived at the meeting obsessed with this deal then I wouldn't be present for the people at the meeting who needed my time and attention. In that instant I had my first God shot, and I've remembered that lesson to this day.

Today I realize that thinking less about myself not only helps me to feel better, but it does something even more important - it allows me to be present for others and so enables the miracle of God and the program to work through me. I also know that my only hope for long term recovery and happiness depends on my continued ability to be of service to others.

That's why today I try to make more room for myself by being less full of myself!
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Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



 current weight: 127.0 
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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
6/8/09 2:07 P

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June 8, 2009

Quote of the Week

"I didn't cause it; I can't control it, and I can't cure it."


It's really frustrating having close friends and family members who are active in their disease. Despite my best intentions to help them, they still end up using and drinking, and I end up even more frustrated than before. In addition, they often lash out at me and come to resent my sincere attempts to save them from the pain and misery they are putting themselves through.

Thank God for Al-Anon. When I crawled into those rooms of recovery I learned a whole new way of life, a whole new language, and I was given a new set of tools for dealing with the addicts and alcoholics in my life. One of the first things I learned was that "I didn't cause it; I can't control it, and I can't cure it."

With the help of my sponsor and my Higher Power, I came to divorce myself from the responsibility I always felt because I finally understood that I didn't cause someone to have the disease. Next, by looking at my repeated failed attempts to control someones behavior, I was able to admit that I couldn't control it either. Once I accepted these two things, I humbly realized that no matter how much I wanted to, I also didn't have the power to cure it.

Today I realize that the most help I can be to others is to set an example of recovery and be there for them when they are finally ready to help themselves.


Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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6/1/09 11:04 P

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June 1, 2009

Quote of the Week

"You can't experience victory if you refuse to surrender."

Boy, that surrender thing was (and sometimes still is) a hard thing for me to accept. I mean, how could I possibly win or succeed at something if I'm told to give up and surrender? I've always been taught that the things worth having were worth fighting for, yet the program told me to surrender. What was up with that?

I remember trying to figure this out when, during a meeting, I heard someone define surrender this way: "Surrender means laying down your arms and joining the winning side." Suddenly it made sense. I looked around at all the winners who had surrendered and overcome their addiction, and I realized that if I stopped fighting, stopped resisting, and surrendered too, then I could recover as well.

Today I have come to see the wisdom in the saying, "We ceased fighting anything or anyone." I now understand that the majority of my pain and discomfort comes from fighting and resisting things as they are, and that immediate peace and serenity are mine the moment I surrender. Once surrendered, I can pray for the right thought or action, and the solution always comes if I remain open to it.

Today I understand the saying, "You can't experience victory if you refuse to surrender."
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Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



 current weight: 127.0 
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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
5/25/09 2:51 P

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May 25, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Don't ruin an apology with an excuse."


Before recovery, I was full of excuses. I didn't do this because... I acted this way because she did that. He deserved it so I gave it to him, etc. On the rare occasion when I was cornered and couldn't justify my behavior, I'd make an apology - but I'd always qualify it with an excuse or at the very least a reason. The bottom line was that I could always place the blame outside of myself.

As I worked through the steps of the program, I discovered a fourth column in the fourth step called, "my part." This column formed the basis of my amends during the ninth step and taught me the proper definition of an apology.

My sponsor told me that when making an amends or an apology, I was to focus strictly on my part, ask if there were any other wrongs I was unaware of, and then ask what I could do to make things better. "You've done enough damage," I can still hear him tell me. "Whatever you do -

"Don't ruin your apology with an excuse."
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Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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SENIORSAXLADY's Photo SENIORSAXLADY Posts: 41,910
5/19/09 1:58 P

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May 18, 2009

Quote of the Week

"I want my Higher Power to live in my heart full time, but He'll only take a 24-hour lease.


It's amazing how good I feel when I get connected to my Higher Power. I do this when I pray and meditate in the mornings, or when I speak to or help someone in the program, or when I attend meetings. I love the peace I feel, the sense of belonging I have and the feelings of being comfortable in my own skin.

It's also amazing how I can wake up the next day and feel so disconnected. I've often asked my sponsor why I can't stay connected, and he tells me it's the same reason I can't stay full after I've eaten a meal. When I ask him to explain, he says:

"Because we are spiritual beings, we all have a hunger to connect with our source. Once connected, we are filled with the peace and serenity that is the nourishment of this union. As we go about our day expending energy - the biggest energy drain caused by thinking about ourselves - we quickly become depleted and hungry. That's why we need to continually take actions to restore our connection and move God back into our hearts."

"Even though my Higher Power will only take a 24-hour lease, I can take actions to renew it daily."

Elayne from the west coast of Fl.

"Music is the original mood-altering, non-fattening wonder drug. Ask your doctor if Music is right for you."



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