"You know the phrase that God only gives you what you can handle? Well, I don't think that is always true for us drinkers. I don't think God gives us this crap, we reach out and take it." - Paula



"I believe there needs to be a balance between finding closure for things in our past and owning responsibility for what we choose to hold on to today." - N



"Forgiveness carries with it no dis-ease." - J


Past Trauma

 "Don't look for the absence of emotion in recovery to determine whether you are doing well. It is normal to experience frustration and uneasiness as you start a new life. Especially when you are "shaking the tree of past trauma" stirring up old emotion is to be expected." - T



"I complicate recovery when I try to earn it rather than accepting it." (Male with muscular dystrophy, drug user.)



"It was depressing to realize after 5 years of drinking that I had not experienced the growth in maturity, intellect or mood that you would expect to see in someone who had just lived 5 years." - B



"Grief gave me a place to put my hurt. The hurt absolved me for being alive. So I held on to it." .....

...The above is from a Mother whose teen committed suicide by overdose and finally understood why she could not let go of her grief.


A New Question

"Some cannot escape the cycle of addiction and continue to drink or use drugs because of regret of things they feel can never be undone. If you ever feel stuck and are looking for an answer to a seemingly unsolvable problem, remember, the trick is realizing that change is not found in an answer but rather in asking a new question." - R



"Struggling in sobriety does not mean you have failed in recovery. Each moment is a chance to start new. You only lose if you refuse tomorrow by staying in the unfinished results of yesterday. If it could of been, you are capable of it now." - Kyle



"Only once I stepped away from the drugs did I start to realize that my bad days now were my good days using". - Lori

- It is amazing what you can get use to and call normal. Complacency can normalize even the most extreme behavior.



"Apathy denies knowledge a heart."


Future Memories

"Changing my future memories from regret to gratitude I found to be no more complicated than a sober act of kindness today." - Roger


What I Learned

"What I learned through my recovery is that sobriety won't make your life better, caring will." - W



"God doesn't watch us fall to shame us. It is during these moments of brokenness that our hearts are most exposed and vulnerable to God's amazing grace." - Ellie



"An initial motive of abstinence must eventually give way to a higher motive of recovery or sobriety will lose its allure." -T



"This is drug & alcohol tolerance: Your body is set up to tolerate stupidity in hopes of maintaining your life. Its job is to adapt and seek a homeostasis as it awaits your understanding of what life is, not what you think it should be." - L.D.



"Limits come from agreements we make with the world about what is possible. Change the agreement and what is possible changes."



"All we own is what we choose to give attention to. What we give attention to gains power in our minds. To give thought or time to the negative increases the chances it will occur. What we choose NOT to focus on can be as important as what we choose to focus on. Focus on the positive don't fight against the negative." - A.



"What a feeling of security that ensues when I realize that God is within me as the substance of awareness and he is your awareness, and her awareness, and the awareness of everything. He is not 'out there' and seperate. We are always connected through basic essence." - Todd



"Emotions are the nerves to the soul."

- Just as the nerves will alert the body when it is in pain and that a change is needed, so to our emotions alert us to a needed life change.


Feeling Good

"When I first started in recovery I would often feel wrong for feeling good." - L

- After years of wrong choices and heartache many in recovery report a struggle with allowing themselves to enjoy success or feeling good. Some say they need a certain amount of days sober to be worthy of some good things. Some are afraid if they get too happy they may relapse. Don't forget that the idea of recovery is to live in the moment more. To be yourself now, not when x,y,z happens, is the objective. You have for so long neglected yourself and put obstacles in your way through alcohol or drug use that it may seem odd to actually feel good. Don't be afraid of success, acknowledge the good moments when they come.



"Life is about learning to live despite the hurt and pain."



"If you don’t have a focus, life will bend to other people’s dreams."

"When I was drinking I thought life owed me and dreams were just another area for resentments. Recovery taught me that change starts in the mind. I still struggle at times with positive focus so to help guide me I now start my day by thinking of three things I am thankful for." - Jay



"Emotion is motion that gives momentum to change."

- Emotion is energy or a movement that will bring us to some sort of action (good or bad). Pain is a form of an emotion that will make you aware of what disturbs you. When you are disturbed you will be motivated to change. Love is similar in that it also disturbs you (positively) in order to motivate and move you closer to a potential. Initially, you may lump all emotions into one catagory (as bad). The recovery process will help you identify and differentiate the different emotions you experience so you can utilize them in a proactive way.


The Phantom

"I remember after I stopped drinking that I would often wake up and feel like I had a hangover even though I had not drank the night before. This 'phantom hangover' would actually cause me much guilt until I reminded myself that I no longer drank. I would also experience 'phantom feelings' of hurt and anger that would pop up out of the blue (even though I had not done or experienced anything to cause hurt or anger). Things could be going along really well in my life and then my defensiveness could rise up all of a sudden because of fear that I did something wrong. These 'phantom thinkings' lingered for a while as I found my new life. If these "phantoms" I experienced are any indication of how drinking can alter the mind, I would say that I was one messed up dude in how I looked at things when I was drinking. Recovery teaches us to challenge old thinking patterns and I believe these 'phantom' pop ins are to remind us how much of life we did contrive." -Mark


An Emotion Analogy

I have learned not to put too much stock in each passing emotion I have. When I was using drugs, I either did not allow myself to feel or I would over dramatize every little whiff of a feeling that would come my way. Through recovery, I have now learned to go with the flow more and in the process take myself a little less serious. Whenever I feel my emotions are getting the best of me I like to remember the analogy below. Enjoy!" - Lee

Emotions are like a fart.
1) They are embarrassing to have in public.
2) They are temporary and will come and go.
3) Sometimes one will sneak out when you least suspect.
4) It is rude to blame them on others.
5) Some people are a little more liberal with them than others.
6) The more you hold them in the more they will hurt.
7) Sometimes it is best to just let 'em rip.
8) If not handled right, they can distance you from others.
9) They are unique to the individual but recognized by all.
10) The best place to share them is with friends.



"Our dreams fertilize the soil in which recovery grows. For there is no future in maintenance; only in creation is there hope." - Grace



"To not have to review all my yesterdays, today, is a wonderful thing. It is freeing to be able to wake up every morning and not have to think back with regret or fill in the blanks of what might of happened and who did I offend while drinking." - E.S. sober 8 months



"Willingness is about movement (or action), not about a feeling. I believe one of the major hurdles to recovery is that people often expect they should feel like quitting before they actually do quit. I don't believe this is accurate. Many I have met in the rooms have not necessarily felt like quitting alcohol or drugs but because of some current life realities understood that it was best they try. It is ironic how after years of covering up feelings with alcohol or drugs all of a sudden you should make feelings matter. DONT. Your feelings are all mangled and messed up. Don't trust them right away. Save all that feeling process stuff for later in recovery. There will be times you don't feel like being sober or working on your recovery. This doesn't mean your willingness is gone. Ignore your feelings. You do a lot of things every day that you don't feel like doing. Remember what your life realities are that brought you here. Willingness is about movement. Where do you start? I like what they say about just doing the next best thing in front of you." JMO, thanks. -MH



"When I was drinking there was this cloud of deceit that floated in front of me at all times. It was my drama distractor. To get to me one would have to penetrate this cloud." - Barb

- When someone sobers up and enters recovery and they start to see all the deceit and drama they have created it can be overwhelming. Don't let the past get the best of you by focusing too much on it right away. Remember that drinking or using drugs is just one aspect of your life and not all of you. Focus on developing the positive aspects of yourself whenever the past creeps in.



Try not to complicate what the most obvious can direct you toward.

"I remember when I started my recovery and I was attending a group in rehab. The topic of discussion one day was on identifying our shortcomings. I remember this day because it was the second day I was there after years of drug use. I heard about some pretty deep and revealing shortcomings of each group member. The point was for the group members to challenge each other in hopes it would encourage deeper exploration and acknowledgement of possible shortcomings. When it got around to me, I really didn't feel like talking so I passed. I mean it was a little overwhelming for me to try to discuss my shortcomings the second day I was there. Anyways, it is not like I did not know my shortcomings, they were pretty obvious to me as I sat there shaking and sweating from withdrawal." -W.V.