Category Archives: N.A.

This Is Not a Test

This is Not a Test.

“We have found a loving, personal God to whom we can turn.” Page 39.
Basic Text, p. 27. Some of us come into recovery with the impression that life’s hardships are a series of cosmic tests designed to teach us something. This belief is readily apparent when something traumatic happens and we wail, “My Higher Power is testing me!” We are convinced that it is a test of our recovery when someone offers us drugs, or a test of our character when faced with a situation where we could do something unprincipled without getting caught. We may even think it is a test of our faith when we are in great pain over a tragedy in our lives.

But a loving Higher Power does not test our recovery, our character, or our faith. Life just happens, and sometimes it hurts. Many of us have lost love through no fault of our own. Some of us have lost all of our material wealth. A few of us have even grieved the loss of our own children. Life can be terribly painful at times, but the pain is not inflicted on us by our Higher Power. Rather, that Power is constantly by our sides, ready to carry us if we can not walk by ourselves. There is no harm that life can do us that the God of our understanding can not heal.

Just for Today: I will have faith that my Higher Power’s will for me is good, and that I am loved. I will seek my Higher Power’s help in times of need. (c) 2016 NA World Services

Iroquois Prayer of Gratitude
We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with waters.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicine for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters, the beans and the squashes, which give us life.
We return thanks to the wind, which moving the air has banished diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and the stars,
which have given us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that he has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in whom is embodied all goodness, and who directs all things for the good of his children.

Thank you
Thank you

The Science Behind Cultivating the Attitude of Gratitude and How It Works.

The benefits include health and Wellness, better sleep, feeling more alive, reaching out and receiving compassion, even helping build a better immune system. – Derrick Carpenter. Happify. http://www.happify.com/hd/the-science-behind-gratitude/

How do we get on with cultivating an attitude of gratitude?
Freshen up the Thanks.
Make a Game about Noticing New Gratefulness each day.
Get Real about Your Gratitude Practice.
Be Both Optimistic and Realistic.
Make Thankfulness Fun by Mixing it up.
Be Creative in Engaging your Gratitude activities.
Get Social about your Gratitude.
Write a Gratitude letter.
You are on your way to positive life changes to better yourself.

Gratitude
Beastie Boys

Feeling Good

Feeling Good is Not the Point

For us, recovery is more than just pleasure. Page 36.

Basic Text, p. 43. In our active addiction, most of us knew exactly how we were going to feel from one day to the next. All we had to do was read the label on the bottle or know what was in the bag. We planned our feelings, and our goal for each day was to feel good.

In recovery, we are liable to feel anything from one day to the next, even from one minute to the next. We may feel energetic and happy in the morning, then strangely let down and sad in the afternoon. Because we no longer plan our feelings for the day each morning, we could end up having feelings that are somewhat inconvenient, like feeling tired in the morning and wide-awake at bedtime.

Of course, there is always the possibility we could feel good, but that is not the point. Today, our main concern is not feeling good but learning to understand and deal with our feelings, no matter what they are. We do this by working the steps and sharing our feelings with others.

 

Feeling Good Today
Feeling Good Today

Just for Today: I will accept my feelings, whatever they may be, just as they are. I will practice the program and learn to live with my feelings. – (c) 2016 NA World Services

 

Feeling Good
Michael Buble

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by
You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good
I’m feeling good.

Goodwill

Goodwill is best exemplified in service; proper service is “Doing the right thing for the right reason.” Page 34.

Basic Text, p. xv. The spiritual core of our disease is self-centeredness. In dealing with others, the only motive our addiction taught us is selfishness. We want what we want when we want it. Obsession with self is rooted in the very ground of our lives. In recovery, how do we root self-obsession out?

We reverse the effects of our disease by applying a few very simple spiritual principles. To counteract the self-centeredness of our addiction, we learn to apply the principle of goodwill. Rather than seeking to serve only ourselves, we begin serving others. Rather than thinking only about what we can get out of a situation, we learn to think first of the welfare of others. When faced with a moral choice, we learn to stop, recall spiritual principles, and act appropriately

Peace in Goodwill
Peace in Goodwill

As we begin doing the right thing for the right reason, we can detect a change in ourselves. Where once we were ruled by self-will, now we are guided by our goodwill for others. The chronic self-centeredness of addiction is losing its hold on us. We are learning to practice these principles in all our affairs; we are living in our recovery, not in our disease.

Just for Today: Wherever I am, whatever I do, I will seek to serve others, not just myself. When faced with a dilemma, I will try to do the right thing for the right reason. – (c) 2016 NA World Services

 

Share Your Goodwill

When you have a place to sleep at night,
when you have some food to eat,

when you have a coat to keep you warm,

and shoes upon your feet,
remember there are people
not as fortunate as you.
Remember they might need your help.

You know what you can do.

Hardship

Hardship
We felt different … Only after surrender are we able to overcome the alienation of addiction. Page 33.

Basic Text, p. 22. “But you do not understand!” we spluttered, trying to cover up. “I am different! I really have it rough!” We used these lines over and over in our active addiction, either trying to escape the consequences of our actions or avoid following the rules that applied to everyone else. We may have cried them at our first meeting. Perhaps we’ve even caught ourselves whining them recently.

So many of us feel different or unique. As addicts, we can use almost anything to alienate ourselves. But there’s no excuse for missing out on recovery, nothing that can make us ineligible for the program – not a life-threatening illness, not poverty, not anything. There are thousands of addicts who have found recovery despite the real hardships they have faced. Through working the program, their spiritual awareness has grown, in spite of-or perhaps in response to those hardships.

Our individual circumstances and differences are irrelevant when it comes to recovery. By letting go of our uniqueness and surrendering to this simple way of life, we are bound to find that we feel a part of something. And feeling a part of something gives us the strength to walk through life, hardships and all.

Just for Today: I will let go of my uniqueness and embrace the principles of recovery I have in common with so many others. My hardships do not exclude me from recovery; rather, they draw me into it.  – (c) 2016 NA World Services.

What's Your Story?
What’s Your Story?

What is Your Story? … We are Listening.

Triumph Over Hardship
Noooch

Trust

Trust

“Just for today I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery.” Page 31.

Basic Text, p. 93. Learning to trust is a risky proposition. Our past experience as using addicts has taught us that our companions could not be trusted. Most of all, we could not trust ourselves.

Now that we are in recovery, trust is essential. We need something to hang onto, believe in, and give us hope in our recovery. For some of us, the first thing we can trust is the words of other members sharing in meetings; we feel the truth in their words.

Trust
Trust

Finding someone we can trust makes it easier to ask for help. And as we grow to trust in their recovery, we learn to trust our own.

Just for Today: I will decide to trust someone. I will act on that trust.
(c) 2016 NA World Services

In God We Trust
In God We Trust

Trust
Hillsong Young and Free

Give It Away

Give It Away

We must give freely and gratefully that which has been freely and gratefully given to us. Page 30.

Basic Text, p. 49. In Recovery, we receive many gifts. Perhaps one of the greatest of these gifts is the spiritual awakening that begins when we stop using, growing stronger each day we apply the steps in our lives. The new spark of life within is a direct result of our new relationship with a Higher Power, a relationship initiated and developed by living the Twelve Steps. Slowly, as we pursue our program, the radiance of recovery dispels the darkness of our disease.

One of the ways we express our gratitude for the gifts of recovery is to help others find what we’ve found. We can do this in any number of ways: by sharing in meetings, making Twelfth Step calls, accepting a commitment to sponsorship, or volunteering for support duty. The spiritual life given to us in recovery asks for expression, for “we can only keep what we have by giving it away.”

Just for Today: The gift of recovery grows when I share it. I will find someone with whom to share it. – (c) 2016 NA World Services

Give It Away
Give It Away

If we make it to this point, we have a spiritual awakening. Though the nature of our awakening is as individual and personal as our spiritual path, the similarities in our experiences are striking. Almost without exception, our members speak of feeling free, of feeling more light-hearted more of the time, of caring more about others, and of the ever-increasing ability to step outside ourselves and participate fully in life. The way this looks to others is astonishing. People who knew us when we were in our active addiction, often appearing withdrawn and angry, tell us that we are different people. Indeed, many of us feel as if we began a second life.

Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

 

Give It Away
George Strait

First Step

First Step – an Action Step

Do we understand that we have no real control over drugs? Page 29.

Basic Text, p. 18. At first, many of us may have thought the First Step required no action-we just surrender and go on to Step Two. But Step One does require action!

The action we take in the First Step will be evident in the way we live, even from our first day clean. If we truly believe that we are powerless over our addiction, we will not choose to be around drugs. To continue to live with or associate with practicing addicts may indicate a reservation in our program. An absolute belief that the First Step applies to us will insure that we clear our homes of all drugs and paraphernalia.

As time goes on, we will not only continue with the basics but add new actions to our First Step repertoire. We will learn to feel our feelings rather than trying to control them. We will stop trying to be our own and only guides on our recovery journey; self-sponsorship will cease. We will begin looking to a Power greater than ourselves more and more for spiritual satisfaction rather than trying to fill that void with something else.

Surrender is only the beginning. Once we surrender, we need to learn how to live in the peace we have found.

Just for Today: I will take all the action necessary to practice the First Step. I truly believe it applies to me. – (c) 2016 NA World Services.

Awesome First Step
Awesome First Step

A First of anything is a beginning, and so it is with the Steps: The First Step is the beginning of the recovery process. The healing starts here; we can not go any further until we work this step.

Step One. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

 

First Step

Chain Reaction album
John Farnham

If you wanna feed all the children
Then start by feeding one
And if you wanna find a mountain
To build your dreams upon
You need love (the heart to care)
Give me strength (the nerve to dare)

Everyday Addict

Every-day Addict

“We can never fully recover, no matter how long we stay clean.” Page 28.

Basic Text, p. 84. After getting a little time in the program, some of us begin to think we have been cured. We learned everything NA has to teach us; we grew bored with the meetings; and our sponsor keeps droning the same old refrain: “The steps – the steps – the steps!” We decide it is time to get on with our lives, cut way back on meetings, and try to make up for the years we have lost to active addiction. We do this, however, at the peril of our recovery.

Those of us who have relapsed after such an episode often try to go to as many meetings as we can, some of us go to a meeting every day for several years. It may take that long for us to understand that we will always be addicts. We may feel well some days and sick on other days, but we are addicts every day. At any time, we are subject to delusion, denial, rationalization, justification, insanity; all the hallmarks of the typical addict’s way of thinking. If we want to continue living and enjoying life without the use of drugs, we must practice an active program of recovery each day.

Just for Today: I am an addict every day, but today I have the choice to be a recovering addict. I will make that choice by practicing my program.  – (c) 2016, NA World Services.

 

Sly Stone
Sly Stone

Everyday People
Sly and the Family Stone

Isolation to Connection

From Isolation to Connection
“Our Disease Isolated us… hostile, resentful, self-centered, and self-seeking, we cut ourselves off from the outside world.” Pg. 24.

Basic Text. p. 4. Addiction is an isolating disease, closing us off from society, family, and self. We hid. We lied. We scorned the lives we saw others living, surely beyond our grasp. Worst of all, we told ourselves there was nothing wrong with us, even though we knew we were desperately ill. Our connection with the world, and with reality itself, was severed. Our lives lost meaning, and we withdrew further and further from reality.

Isolation
Isolation

The NA program is designed especially for people like us. It helps reconnect us to the life we were meant to live, drawing us out of our isolation. We stop lying to ourselves about our condition; we admit our powerlessness and the unmanageability of our lives. We develop faith that our lives can improve, that recovery is possible, and that happiness is not permanently beyond our grasp. We get honest; we stop hiding; we “show up and tell the truth,” no matter what. And as we do, we establish the ties that connect our individual lives to the larger life around us.

We addicts need not live lives of isolation. The Twelve Steps can restore our connection to life and living, if we work them.

Reconnect
Reconnect

Just for Today: I am a part of the life around me. I will practice my program to strengthen my connection to my world.
(c) 2016. NA World Services

Isolation
John Lennon

School of Recovery

School of Recovery

“This is a program for learning.” Page 22.

Basic Text, p. 16. Learning in recovery is hard work. The things we most need to know are often the hardest to learn. We study recovery to prepare ourselves for the experiences life will give us. As we listen to others share in meetings, we take mental notes we can refer to later. To be prepared, we study our notes and literature between “lessons.” Just as students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge during tests, so do we have the opportunity to apply our recovery during times of crisis.

As always, we have a choice in how we will approach life’s challenges. We can dread and avoid them as threats to our serenity or we can gratefully accept them as opportunities for growth. By confirming the principles we’ve learned in recovery, life’s challenges give us increased strength. Without such challenges, however, we could forget what we’ve learned and begin to stagnate. These are the opportunities that prod us to new spiritual awakenings.

We will find that there is often a period of rest after each crisis, giving us time to get accustomed to our new skills. Once we’ve reflected on our experience, we are called on to share our knowledge with someone who is studying what we’ve just learned. In the school of recovery, all of us are teachers as well as students.

Just for Today: I will be a student of recovery. I will welcome challenges, confident in what I have learned and eager to share it with others. – (c) 2016 NA World Services

Tim Minchin
Tim Minchin

School song
Matilda Musical
Spirit Young Performers