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Old 05-01-2012, 08:06 AM   #1
yukonm
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One Day At A Time- May

May 1

SHARING OUR STORIES

" You leave home to seek your fortune and, when you get it,
you go home and share it with your family."
Anita Baker



For much of my life I tried to be “Strong.” I kept silent about my own suffering and focused instead on others people’s needs and how I could help them. Though I could listen and offer advice, I lacked empathy and understanding.

When my stoic, stubborn, and silent avoidance of my own struggles finally made my life unmanageable, I entered recovery. By listening to stories shared by others, I have been blessed. I have found that none of us walk this path alone. We learn from each other and from the strength of traditions. I have found empathy.

I came to see that my silence was born from weakness, not from strength. It was shame, fear, and pride, which kept me hiding. Now I find great joy and freedom in sharing my story with others. I am particularly grateful to God for the way He used my story with my Dad.

My crisis not only drove me to seek help, but it freed my Dad to get help too. If I had remained silent, not only would I have been destroyed, but I would have robbed my Dad of the acceptance and freedom to admit and seek the help he needed ~ and that has so profoundly changed his life.

One day at a time...
I will recognize that my history and my current experiences are not to be hidden in silence. I will share my story with others.


~Lisa V.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:45 AM   #2
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May 2

HELPING OTHERS

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one life the aching or cool one pain
or help one fainting Robin unto his nest again
I shall not live in vain
Emily Dickinson



Somewhere along the way I found myself to be a caretaker. Injustices, pain, discrimination, bullying; all these things affected me deeply. I carried it too far. It reached a point where I truly believe I began taking better care of others than I did myself. Was this ego? Codependency? Altruism? Or was this a guiltless way I found to deflect my own problems, pain, injustices and needs?

When I was doing my first 4th Step inventory, I learned something very important. As my sponsor read over one "bad thing" I had done after another she cautioned me to take a broader look at myself. Finally, she made me do my entire inventory over and for every 5th character defect or offense to someone, I was required to write something good about myself. She explained that an inventory is never meant to be focused on just the bad ... but the good also. After all, when a store takes inventory on its products, it counts bent cans of beans as well as the perfect cans of beans and crushed boxes of cereal as well as the perfect ones.

This helped me to see that my life's purpose was not just to help others but also to nurture me when my heart was breaking, to make my own life good and to have a nest for myself that was safe and serene. After working the Steps, I know that I'm not living my life in vain and I still want to help others as much as I possibly can, but not to the detriment of myself ... and certainly not to keep me from looking at my own life and my own problems realistically.

One day at a time...
May I help others who are less fortunate than I find their way. And let me also make my own nest as comfortable as it can be.


~ Mari
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:07 AM   #3
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May 3

STEP ONE

"The cause is hidden, but the result is known."
Ovid




When I went to my first meeting and was told about Step One, that I was to admit my powerlessness, it was somewhat of a mystery to me. I thought powerlessness was weakness. It was obvious that the result of my compulsive overeating could be seen by everyone, but to me, I was not sure that powerlessness was the answer to the problem. As I kept going to meetings and listening to people share about powerlessness, read the literature, and talked to my sponsor, I learned that powerlessness was not weakness. In fact, to admit my powerlessness, was to connect me to a power that was greater than I had ever experienced before in my life.

The paradoxes of the program, such as we “lose to win” and “give to receive” are true of admitting my powerlessness to find a greater power. In The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous on p. 5 it reads, “Later we discovered that, far from being a negative factor, the admission of our powerlessness over food opened the door to an amazing newfound power.” What a blessing it is to now know that I am powerless, and have opened the door of a newfound power through the steps, the tools and my Higher Power.




One Day at a Time . . .
I will freely admit my powerlessness and gladly open the door to the newfound power in my life.

~ Carolyn
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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May 4

LIGHT

It's better to light a candle
then to curse the darkness.



Old Chinese Proverb




I have been living with this disease of compulsive eating for as long as I can remember. I remember stealing money out of my mother’s purse to buy sugar-filled soft drinks and candy, and sneaking food out of the cupboard and trying to make it look like nothing was missing. I hid food and ate in isolation, pretending on the outside that nothing was wrong. But I carried this terrible secret -- I lived to eat.

As my disease progressed, I acted out in other compulsive ways, and surrounded myself with people who cared nothing for my welfare. I kept running faster and faster, and eating more and more, as my disease sucked all of the energy from my spirit. I sank deeper into the darkness of despair and depression, cursing all those I blamed for my unhappiness.

Through the grace of my Higher Power, my life became so painful that I had to seek help outside of myself. I found this program, and a candle was lit. While my recovery has been rocky over the last 10 years, that candle of progress and hope continues to light my way. No matter how bad things get now, I know that I have my Higher Power and my program friends to lean on. The wonderful people I have met through the program have saved my life, and have shown me the path to peace and abstinence. While I don’t always choose to follow that path perfectly, I continue to recover, and to find everyday joys that make life worth living.

One day at a time . . .
I will keep the light of recovery burning.


Suzanne
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:07 AM   #5
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May 5

CHOOSE HAPPINESS

"Some cause happiness wherever they go;
others whenever they go."
Oscar Wilde



If happiness were to be found on a coin, anger and frustration would be on the other side of that coin, for they are all the children of expectation. As adults, we try to recapture those special moments and feelings of our childhood by recreating them. We use them as a model for happiness, only this time we are the adults and operating the controls. Unfortunately, our expectations are not grounded in reality. Reaching that level of childhood bliss is usually either impossible or fleeting. How can you as an adult compete with the happiness of being a child?

My experience is that we usually have a set-point for happiness. And though we can feel joy and sadness, we return to that same level of happiness afterward. There are things, however, that can help change that set-point. We can come to believe that a power greater than ourselves can feed our spirit, help keep us living in the moment, and enjoying the kind of peace and wisdom that only our Higher Power can provide. It helps ground us in the truth and gets rid of unrealistic expectations. It helps to relax us as opposed to letting our mind bounce back and forth from past to future and pain to fantasy. We learn to accept our life - just as it is. Today. Now

What choices have I been making to choose happiness? I choose to go to meetings and give shares. I choose to abstain from compulsive overeating. I choose to set time for myself every day where I can organize my affairs, and help ward off stressful situations. I also try to spend time with myself in ways that will feed my soul and spirit, not just keep myself entertained until I go to bed. I give to service to others, but remember that I need to take care of myself, for when I am not strong; I have no strength to give.

One day at a time...
Today I will choose happiness.


~ Marilyn S.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:11 AM   #6
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May 6

EXPECTATIONS

“The best thing about the future
is that it only comes one day at a time."
Abraham Lincoln



Being a rational, logical person I have always worked from the premise that If I did something then the following would be the outcome and maybe in the scientific world that may have been true. But in the real world of relationships and people it certainly doesn't work like that as I have discovered since coming into program. As it says in the Big Book "serenity is inversely proportional to one's expectations" and I know now how true this is.

Just recently after having set a boundary with my son I was expecting all sorts of repercussions and imagined him trying to talk me out of my decision and the result was that I lost my serenity and became really anxious. Of course the truth was nowhere like I had imagined and the situation ended very differently from what I had expected. This was a lesson to me once again that things don't turn out the way we expect them to but the way they are meant to.

One day at a time...
When I let go of any expectations I have of how a situation is going to turn out, I get to keep my serenity and the situation turns out the way it's supposed to.


~ Sharon S.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:12 AM   #7
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May 7

SUBLIMATION

"People who are happy don't use food to
sublimate. Food is supposed to be good for
you - not make you feel good!"
Gary Null

All compulsive overeaters use food to sublimate. Sublimation in layman’s terms is any habit or technique we use to alter or change our reality - for better or worse! Sublimation methods of choice are a great gauge to measure mental and physical health. Poor choices are using food, gambling, television, alcohol, drugs, shopping, excessive sleep or too many passive activities. Healthy choices are meditation, visual imagery, prayer, journaling, yoga, physical exercise, relaxation exercises, deep breathing, etc. Anything from lawn mowing to vacuuming could be an act of sublimation - IF done with high level of awareness and concentration. A person who's high up the ladder spiritually sees Higher Power in all things at all times. Since we sublimate regardless, the trick is to make it a consciously controlled positive sublimation rather than subconscious negative sublimation.

One day at a time...
I will consciously incorporate positive, healthy methods of sublimation.

~ Rob R.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:51 PM   #8
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May 8

POSITIVE THOUGHTS

“I’ve always believed that you can think positive
just as well as you can think negative.”
James Arthur Baldwin

What did I think about before I was in recovery? I worried about what others thought of me. I thought of what and when I could eat next. I picked apart the way others' bodies looked, while being jealous of them. I didn't know that thinking of negative things brought my energy level down. I thought self-discipline meant disciplining myself -- which meant mentally beating myself up.

My Higher Power has shown me a way of thinking that was new to me, but is age old -- positive thoughts. Thinking positive brings me to a level of serenity. When my mind wanders, I can bring it back. When I find myself obsessing over something negative, I can work the first three steps with it. I am powerless over negativity. I have a HP who can remove it from me. I choose to let my HP direct my thoughts. And then let myself to think of something else.

One day at a time...
I choose to think positively. The result is serenity.

Nancy F.

May 9

OPEN MINDEDNESS

Let go of your attachment to being right,
and suddenly your mind is more open.
You're able to benefit from the unique viewpoints of others,
without being crippled by your own judgment.

Ralph Marston


Before joining this program much of my life was taken up with defending myself against those who would hurl abuse. I kept everything and everybody at arm's length in a bid to protect my increasingly fragile and sensitive self-assurance. As time marched on, and my disease became parasitical, the walls around me grew higher and isolation drew me inwards.

Ironically, the fortress I was building didn’t protect me from myself and I soon became my own worst enemy. My self-loathing and my unceasing search for perfection led me deeper into a self-induced state of depression. Keeping everybody out and locking myself in became an exhausting exercise.

On entering the 12 Step program I soon realized that the fortress I had so carefully built to protect myself against the outside world was also preventing any kind of light, warmth and love from entering in.

As my journey of recovery progressed, brick by brick the walls came down and afforded me the nourishment I needed to blossom and grow. In learning to accept myself, I found that what others thought of me paled into insignificance. I learned that there was a wealth of experience, strength and hope which would help me along the journey. I learned that I could take what I needed and put down the remainder, without the resentment, anger, fear or pain, which previously would have sent me running for cover.

One Day at a Time . . .
I aim to be willing to keep my mind open, to accept what I need to continue my journey, and to leave the rest.

~ Sue G ~

May 10

GOOD DAYS
BAD DAYS

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Thank You, God, for always loving and accepting me right where I am, and working with me, even when I am not willing to give You much to work with. It is so comforting to know that wherever I am, whether I am willing and open, or have once again shut myself off from the Light of Your Spirit, You will meet me there and provide whatever is necessary for me to keep on.

Thank You for forgiving me those times when I am not willing enough to put forth any effort--some days I just want to skate, God--some days I just want to wallow in it. Why else would I resist changing into what You would have me be? Some days I am lazy and comfortable just where I am.

One Day at a Time . . .
God, Help me to be willing to reach out to You, good day or bad. Keep me mindful that my conscious contact with You makes even the best day better, and the worst day tolerable.

~ Jeanine ~

May 11

COURAGE

“The courage of life is often less a dramatic spectacle
than the courage of the final moment;
but it is no less than a magnificent mixture
of triumph and tragedy.”

John F. Kennedy


As a little girl, I often daydreamed of a knight in shining armor who would ride bravely into my life and rescue me from my fears and insecurities. This knight would be fearless; un-phased by fire-breathing dragons, deep dark caves, or howling winds. He would have courage where I had only fear.

The knight never came. I began to look for other rescuers in my friends, rolemodels, teachers, and church. Still I could not find what I sought. My fears continued to scream in my soul ... and I felt so weak. I turned to food in an attempt to silence the monsters in my belly.

Sometimes my fear and hopelessness were so desperate that I almost ended my life – yet something inside of myself stopped me from doing so. Something inside of me clung to life and eventually brought me to The Recovery Group.

In this group of amazing people I immediately noticed the courage they exhibited in confronting the challenges in their lives and in choosing to learn and grow from every failure and every success. I marvel at the courage with which they keep moving towards more and more healing, in spite of their fears.

They have courage in spite of their fears.

The open, honest sharing of dear friends in recovery has taught me that even I had courage all along. Courage is not the absence of fear;
if there were no fear, there’d be no need for courage.

Courage means making the choice to move forward in spite of our fears.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will honor the courage I have. I will thank God for giving me the strength to move forward in spite of fear. I will celebrate the courage I see in my friends and I will encourage them on their journey.

~ Lisa V.

May 12

WORRY

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
It's already tomorrow in Australia.
Charles Schultz


Worry...that's a topic I'm really good at! Since working the Twelve Steps, however, I am beginning to see some things about worry that, hopefully, will soon make it a thing of the past in my life. After all, why should I worry? What has worry ever done for me, except mess up my life?

I am seeing that when I am worrying about something, I have not turned it over to my Higher Power, and I am continuing to act from my own self-will. Or, I did turn it over to my Higher Power, but didn't really trust Him to take care of it, and so I took it back!

I had a breakthrough, just a couple of days ago, concerning worry. I was concerned about a decision my husband and I had to make and it was so far beyond my ability to see into the future that I gave up and prayed for help. Somehow I let go and let God. Suddenly a beautiful stillness and peace came over me. I felt calmer than I had in years ... very calm and still and at peace. I felt completely reassured that God was handling my "decision" and that God was completely competent to do so.

One Day at a Time . . .
I abandon worry. I let go and let God, and enjoy the serenity and peace of trust in God.

~ Lynne T.

May 13

SERENITY

“The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity
but the achievement of serenity with and above it.”
Reinhold Niebuhr

When I started coming to Recovery Group meetings, I heard the word "serenity" used frequently. I waited for someone to turn the serenity light switch on for me. I thought if I kept coming, the guy in charge of lights would turn mine on, and then I would possess and understand serenity! But the people in the meetings kept telling me, "You need to work the steps." I began to work them with a vengeance, the way a compulsive person -- such as I am -- tends to function.

With each passing day I have begun to feel more comfortable living in my own skin. My fears, worries about the future, and anxieties have all decreased. I have made a more personal connection with my Higher Power. I have begun to develop friendships with other people in Recovery Group. The loving friendships here have had a huge impact on how I feel about myself. They have caused me to experience more self-love and self-acceptance. I have come to the point where I now know that no matter what happens, things will eventually work out for the best for me.

One day at a time...
I will continue to attend meetings to experience serenity.

~ Karen A.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:14 AM   #9
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May 14

LOOKING AT THE STARS

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
Oscar Wilde

Before I made the Twelve Steps part of my life, I considered myself to have been in the gutter. My weight had doubled, I was in a major depression, and I was going through the motions of life. Those looking at me from afar saw only a perfect marriage, a perfect career, a perfect home, and perfect children. Although I was blessed, the disease I suffered from day in and day out made it quite obvious to anyone who truly knew me that I was not "looking at the stars." It took my first sponsor to start the healing process for me.

As I began to work Steps One, Two and Three, I felt "different." Nothing had changed . . . everything had changed. It's hard to describe because outwardly I looked the same ... but my entire being opened up. Weight began to come off because I was able to focus on a plan of eating. I found my feelings returned ... the ability to love and accept love came back. My spirituality blossomed once again. I truly felt alive.

One day at a time...
I want to remember each time I find myself in the gutter and giving up hope ... to look at the stars ... and remember that my program works if I will just work it.

~ Mari
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:37 AM   #10
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May 15

KIND WORDS

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless.”
Mother Teresa



How many times are we gifted with newcomers to our meetings? They are so easy to see as they huddle in the back of the room -- usually as close to the exit as possible. Their oversized coat is a good giveaway, especially in July. Their eyes show the fear and anxiety that we all felt. Sure, we made it, and so can they.

I remember the elder who first said those magical words to me -- those two simple words -- "Welcome Home." The warmth and safety those words held were immense. I felt that my body was huge, and I was embarrassed in a room full of people who looked very similar to me…but my eyes could not see that. They were filled with tears because of those two words. Welcome home. Whoever that person was, I have two words for you, "Thank you.”

What can you do to make a newcomer feel welcome to your meeting? Let us not forget that all-important first hug. I remember mine; do you remember yours? It felt good, I'll bet. So welcome the newcomer and let them know they are home.

One day at a time...
I will do my part to welcome the newcomer into our fellowship.


~ Danny
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