Trust (JFT, Jan. 31)

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

Basic Text, p. 93

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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 couldn’t trust ourselves.

Now that we’re 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.

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.

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Just for today: I will decide to trust someone. I will act on that trust.

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Giving it away (JFT, Jan. 30)

“We must give freely and gratefully that which has been freely and gratefully given to us.”

Basic Text, p. 49

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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 H&I or phoneline duty.  The spiritual life given to us in recovery asks for expression, for “we can only keep what we have by giving it away.”

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Just for today:  The gift of recovery grows when I share it.  I will find someone with whom to share it.

‘Full House’ star beating addiction

From Yahoo! Parenting:

She stole America’s heart as Stephanie Tanner, the spunky middle daughter on the hit show Full House, but after the series ended when she was 13, actress Jodie Sweetin struggled with addiction for years.

Now she’s been sober since 2011

— and she credits the change to her role as a mother.

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Sweetin, who played Stephanie Tanner, having one of those famous Full House heart-to-hearts with her dad, Danny, played by Bob Saget, in a 1987 episode. (Photo: ABC via Getty Images)

In a new interview with People, Sweetin says earning five years of sobriety has given her an “amazing” life.

Things weren’t always so easy for the child star. In her 2009 book, UnSweetined, Sweetin detailed how she first got drunk at onscreen older sister Candace Cameron Bure’s wedding: “I probably had two bottles of wine, and I was only 14. That first drink gave me the self-confidence I had been searching for my whole life. But that set the pattern of the kind of drinking that I would do.”

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Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber), Stephanie Tanner (Sweetin), and DJ Tanner (Cameron Bure) are all grown up on Fuller House. (Photo: Fuller House/Instagram)

‘the addiction memoir for the next generation’? (‘Interview’ magazine)

Meet writer Sam Lansky…

EXCERPT from Interview magazine: The Gilded Razor (Gallery Books) opens on a 17-year-old Lansky, a certified child of uptown privilege, preparing for a prospective college visit with his father at Princeton. Needless, to say, Princeton, is not in the cards. What ensues instead are drugs (prescription and non-prescription), sex (a proclivity for random meet-ups with older men), and an obsession with being the glamorous New Yorker a young Lansky idealizes to the point of self-erasure.

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Another such EXCERPT…

LANSKY: “The delineation between drugs is so frequently classist and racist and not actually aligned with the experience of taking those drugs. Adderall is like a white-collar vitamin. Cocaine is a party drug for rich and beautiful people.

Meth is this white trash scourge.

They all look the exact same way in the brain. If you look at neurological scans of people on those drugs they’re identical. They work on the same neurotransmitters. They vary in potency depending on what you were doing and how pure it is, but it’s the same shit. And yet identifying that you had a cocaine problem, it’s like, “Join the club.” You live in New York. If you tell people that you used to do meth, they freak out. It’s all so politicized in this way that had nothing to do with what those drugs actually are like which I think is fascinating”

An every-day addict (JFT, Jan. 28)

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

Basic Text, p. 84

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After getting a little time in the program, some of us begin to think we have been cured. We’ve learned everything NA has to teach us; we’ve grown 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.

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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.

Learning how to live again (JFT, Jan. 27)

“We learn new ways to live. We are no longer limited to our old ideas.”

Basic Text, p. 56

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We may or may not have been taught right from wrong and other basics of life as children. No matter, by the time we found recovery, most of us had only the vaguest idea of how to live. Our isolation from the rest of society had caused us to ignore basic human responsibilities and develop bizarre survival skills to cope with the world we lived in.

Some of us didn’t know how to tell the truth; others were so frank we wounded everyone we talked to. Some of us couldn’t cope with the simplest of personal problems, while others attempted solving the problems of the whole world. Some of us never got angry, even when receiving unfair treatment; others busily lodged complaints against everyone and everything.

Whatever our problems, no matter how extreme, we all have a chance in Narcotics Anonymous to learn how to live anew. Perhaps we need to learn kindness and how to care about others. Perhaps we need to accept personal responsibilities. Or maybe we need to overcome fear and take some risks. We can be certain of one thing: Each day, simply by living life, we’ll learn something new.

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Just for today: I know more about how to live than I did yesterday, but not as much as I’ll know tomorrow. Today, I’ll learn something new.

An added gift (JFT, Jan. 25)

“We see it happening among us every day. This miraculous turnabout is evidence of a spiritual awakening.”

Basic Text, p. 51

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We watch them walk in to their first meeting defeated, their spirits broken. Their suffering is obvious, and their desire for help even more apparent. They collect a welcome chip and go back to their seats, shaken by the effort.

We see them again, and they seem a little more comfortable. They’ve found a sponsor and are attending meetings every night. They still won’t meet our glance, but they nod their heads in recognition as we share. We notice a spark of hope in their eyes, and they smile uncertainly when we encourage them to keep coming back.

A few months later, they are standing straight. They’ve learned how to make eye contact. They’re working the steps with their sponsor and are healing as a result. We listen to them sharing at meetings. We stack chairs with them afterward.

A few years later, they are speaking at a convention workshop. They’ve got a wonderful, humorous personality. They smile when they see us, they hug us, and they tell us they could never have done it without us. And they understand when we say, “nor could we, without you.”

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Just for today: I will find joy in witnessing the recovery of another.