"Those that seek to find happiness in the future may miss it as happiness is mostly realized in memories of moments gone by."



"Fear lives between an idea and action. To combat fear, act without delay for it is in the hesitation that doubt arises and fear consumes." -B


Black & White Thinking

"Black and white thinking is an addicts attempt to mentally anchor themselves when they feel they are losing control of their lives. The more out of control the more black and white they get." -G



"In recovery I have come to understand that a strong negative personality trait can be life's way of overcompensating for a mental or emotional weakness."



"A second ago was a moment before I decided to drink my last drink.
A moment before a second ago I was drunk and unable to stand on my feet.
What a second can make a moment from now I'll now see through my newborn son's eyes.
Because a moment ago a second did come and I chose a sobering life." -J


Thankful Prayers

"For me the difference between asking prayers and thankful prayers is:

Asking assumes I don't have, thanking assumes I do.

... God did not forget to give me any of the necessary coping needed to survive in this life. 'Thankful prayers' remind me of this." -NZ


Withdraw, Use and Blame

"I now realize that being angry at God was a way for me to perpetuate the pain and continue the drugs. I also had to remain angry to keep people away and from knowing who I really was. I had the mentality that the world owed me and that I was entitled to a life like everyone else even if I didn't do a damm thing to earn it. If I didn't get what I thought I deserved instead of changing I would 'withdraw, use and blame'." - P.H.



"Looking back I cannot say I was ever in denial. The knowledge has always been there just not the actual acceptance. Having accepted I have a problem now gives me the ability to separate out what issues are actually mine and which ones are not." AR



"Quality treatment must encourage growth within each individual it encounters. It must empower and enable people to NOT keep coming back." -T


Freedom & Power

"My freedom came when I knew I could leave the marriage; My power came when I realized I didn't have to." - B



"Looking back I find that it was through my failures that I found my purpose." G.L.


Selfish Thinking

"For some the 'just do it for me' phrase is fine but when I was drinking I did not like myself much so that wouldn't work. I needed a bigger reason to change and my family was it. I needed something worth changing for. Everything can't be about me anymore. When I was drinking everything was viewed with selfish eyes and everything was viewed as how it effected me. Now, in recovery, I must watch how I hold on to problems. If I focus too much on my own struggles I move right back into the selfish thinking I was in when drinking." - L



"People always told me to pray but after a night of drinking I would feel unworthy of talking with God. I thought I had to sober up first and have a few days under my belt before I could ask God for help. But as I continued to struggle with recovery and relapse I began to realize that maybe I was wrong. Maybe worthiness is not an end result but obtained by showing up to the day and giving it my best (relapse or no relapse). I am probably not the first one who has a hard time getting things right. And I am certainly not the first to get knocked down a few times. I guess I can show more worthiness in how I stand back up than how I fall down. My new commitment is to not make my worthiness dependent on some future sobriety date but to show up to the moment in the best way I can. I'm sure God won't mind that. Thanks for letting me vent." - M


The Will

"Frustration in recovery occurs not from the waiting but from the misguided belief that asserting one's 'Will' should all of a sudden matter. Life is under no obligation to us and our power comes from understanding this fact." M

....In addiction recovery, frustration can occur because many are still under the mindset of wanting things now (instant gratification). When change isn't immediate there is a tendency to try to bend a situation to meet our needs.


"The Nudge"

"Those awful aching moments
I use to feel with dread and fear
Drinking them to silence
Not wanting to know or hear

I understand them now
That which I ignored
The stirring deep inside me
Was God nudging me to be more"
- s



"His outbursts are not toward me but to protect himself. He lives in a world of constant mental chaos and instability in which he does not know what is real or imagined. Over the years he has been to many treatment centers and counselors. Many have told me to put him in a home and move on, but I just can't do that. What I have come to understand is that his anger is his attempt to communicate with the world. His anger makes him real and allows him to feel. His anger does not let me or the world forget him."

.... The above is from a Mom with a 18 year old schizophrenic son with extensive drug abuse history and a history of acting out.


Higher Power

"The more I implement the third step in my life, the less fear I have and the more trust sets in as a comfortable way of being in the world. I can live more comfortably in the day. It is my will, which is my thoughts and desires that lead to fear as they are conflictive with other players on the stage, God, and even with other thoughts themselves. As the personal will is allowed to be softly acknowledged, let go and I begin to see from a Higher context with which I intend to align, I realize that I cannot be in conflict. The more I know my Higher Power, the better I know my true self. My Higher Power knows better what is my happiness, peace, and joy, than little i does. Take shelter in the Highest.".


Sobriety & Relapse

Sobriety is like going to sleep one night and then waking up in another country that speaks a completely different language. At first it may seem cool, but then the novelty wears off and you realize how much work it will take to fit in....... And the idea of relapse? Well, we always cuss in our native tongue.



"You want to see someone who is successfully working their 'recovery' then look for the one who is hurting." - S



".....There has to be a "disease" component to
alcoholism/addiction - no "healthy" person could do the horrendous things
they do to themselves and the ones they love, if they weren't "sick"?"
(A mother who has seen both the sorrow of addiction and the salvation from it.)



Codependency = all roads, no walls.


Family Anger

"Well, I'm not as angry anymore so things are harder to talk about. It was easier for me to bring things up with him when I was angry............. Initially the anger increased after he stopped drinking. I think this is because it was not a way I knew. For all these years he drank, I hurt, and this hurt eventually became anger. It protected me from his unpredictability and gave me a kind of foundation to work from when dealing with everything. I mean I couldn't walk around hurting all the time - I would of been a babbling mess. So basically, I have had to reinvent myself because I depended on my anger for so long to get me through his drinking that I lost me." (Wife of recovering alcoholic)



"I am Meshell-
choosing to hide(use)in my shell
all the while resenting where I dwell
perhaps the poem I spit keeps me caught up in this shit
'cause I can never tell if I create or am this hell
I can't claim I'm unique
to play dead when I am weak
and If I pound the wall of loneliness
without fear of what I'll find
can I relax and reach another's hand
or will the coward crawl back inside?"



"Seeing my Mom die in front of me and the doctors turn off the machines was true powerlessness. Not like the powerlessness I created in my head when I was cutting or using drugs .... For the first time I had to sit with an awful feeling in me and know that no amount of cutting or drugs could take the feelings away or bring my Mom back. I was truly powerless. I now know the difference between true powerlessness and the self created powerlessness from using drugs."


Addictive Thinking

Addictive thinking is clever. Its trick is to have the drug or alcohol user miss the moment by focussing on regrets of the past or fears of the future.


Pain & Dignity

"Be gentle with other people's pain. To take it from them diminishes their dignity (to handle it themselves) and to ignore it increases their distrust (that you know their reality)."


My paradox

"It is revealing how after all these years of not drinking I still get hit with moments of regret and guilt. I have changed, I know this as my actions tell me so. However, the troubling paradox I return to is this: If it was not for who I was I couldn't be who I am, but I do not like who I was. I do not know why these moments of painful memory arise accept to break me down - to teach. So I allow myself moments of quiet reflection and I hurt. And after I've hurt for a time I find my soul starts to rise once again. Stripped of my intellectual defenses I begin to let go and understand what I have done and what I now need to do."