Finding A Healthy Solution

From Each Day A New Beginning, April 11:

“’An element of recovery is learning that we deserve success, the good things that come to us, and also that pain is a reality. We have the strength to deal with that reality, and it will pass.’ ~Dudley Martineau

Many of us didn’t understand the changing variables in being human. Our coping skills were at a minimum until we discovered what alcohol or pills, even food, could do for us. And then, a drink or two—or six, maybe—got us through many a lonely evening.

The desire for an easy solution might still haunt us, but time, new experiences, and program friends have taught us that our past habits weren’t really easy solutions. In reality they increased our problems and led us nowhere.”

Some of us who love addicts have found comfort in substances ourselves. But when I make an effort to walk the spiritual path I have chosen, I no longer seek those easy solutions. As they say in the rooms, “My best thinking got me here.” I need to remember that and cease thinking that I have the best answers. Putting my faith in something greater than myself, I can let go of my human frailties. And all will be well.

The Comfort Of Faith

From Each Day A New Beginning, November 24:

“’If onlys are lonely.’ ~Morgan Jennings

“The circumstances of our lives seldom live up to our expectations or desires. However, in each circumstance we are offered an opportunity for growth or change, a chance for greater understanding of life’s heights and pitfalls. Each time we choose to lament what isn’t, we close the door on the invitation to a better existence…

The experiences we are offered will fail to satisfy our expectations because we expect so much less than God has planned for us in the days ahead…

I will breathe deeply and relax. At this moment my every need is being attended to. My life is unfolding exactly as it should.”

I’ve wrestled with my faith most of my life, always too self-reliant for my own good. But as I’ve watched my daughter succumb to heroin addiction, it has been a great comfort to me to learn how to harness a newfound belief in the power of something outside of myself, something I can turn to in my despair and know that something beautiful will come out of it. And it has: my whole life, and how I choose to live it now, is a miracle.

Just For Today

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, but only saps todays of its strength.” ~A.J. Cronin

Wow, it takes tremendous discipline to stay grounded in the present. To live “just for today.” On any given day, how do my thoughts wander back to past times, and the inevitable regrets that crop up from time to time? And if I’m not looking backwards, I’m projecting into a future that hasn’t even happened yet. This is natural for some of us who have an addicted loved one. It’s called “anticipatory grief,” and it’s meant to prepare us for the worst.

And though it may be a way to soften future blows, the act of being there in a sad future keeps me from smelling the roses under my nose.  Today the sun came up over the mountain and last night there was a beautiful crescent moon. My friend has pneumonia and I’m going to take her flowers in the hospital. I’m reminded to be grateful for my good health. My friends and family in our recovery program are a great comfort to me as I move forward in my life.

When I remember to stay focused on the present day and all the blessings that fill my days, I can step out with confidence and faith in my Higher Power, assured that all is well.

Laughter is Contagious

From Hope for Today, April 6:

“I also used humor as a manipulative tool to get people to like me. …My sense of humor wasn’t spontaneous or appropriate. I used it to please people. When no one was around to please, however, I was miserable…

Today my sense of humor is a natural reflection of who I am. I experience the world through smiles and laughter rather than through bitter smirks. I share joy with others rather than seek company for my misery. I help others heal rather than attack them. I allow my sense of humor to unfold naturally, just the way it was meant, and I watch the wonderful results as my Higher Power works through me toward a higher good.”

No Casseroles

NAddiction is a terrible thief, stealing Angie away from us in the night. She had her whole life ahead of her.

There’s still so much shame and stigma in this country around it. Some people think it’s caused by bad parenting. Others say it’s a moral failure. Many believe it’s a choice.

Are they kidding? Who is their right mind would choose to stick a needle in his arm and live in the gutter like a wild animal?

If my daughter had cancer, friends and family would express sympathy, put their arms around me and ask if they could help.

Not so when it’s addiction. Many people look the other way, afraid to mention it. They’re not judging, necessarily; just keeping their distance.

 It’s the modern leprosy.