RECOVERY *

Definition of Recovery: a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
Synonyms of Recovery: rehabilitation, healing, improvement, rallying, renewal, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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Recovery is restoration or return to any former and better state or condition. The process of combating a disorder (such as alcoholism) or a real or perceived problem, rehabilitation, and/or re-establishment. A process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life

The process of participating in a group or program providing treatment and support for a longstanding psychological or behavioural problem / rehabilitation, healing, convalescence, revival, | More…

None of us, perhaps, ever thought we’d end up in recovery. Alcoholism has to do with us trying to find spiritual wholeness— the kind of spiritual wholeness we’re finding now… in recovery. –Keep It Simple | More…

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Recovering is more than abstaining. Recovering is a new way of life that involves our entire being. –Inner Harvest/Elisabeth L. | More…

Recovery is not an end in itself; as we frequently hear in meetings, it’s a bridge back to life. Education is a path that beckons many recovering people. Taking just one step, like signing up for a course, furthers you on your journey. If You Want What We Have/Joan Larkin | More…

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. –Just For Today | More…

Recovery brings us into the sunlight. At first, we can’t see a thing—it’s too bright! The world stretches around us—it’s so big! But our eyes get used to the light, and we feel the warm rays of the sun.

We see we aren’t alone anymore. We relax. We know our spirit is in a better place—a place where we can live! –Keep It Simple | More…

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Our recovery program gives us permission to slow down, to wait for guidance from our Higher Power. Understanding that each of us is a worthwhile human being with a unique purpose is a gift of this program. –Karen Casey | More…

Not so long ago, few of us were capable of having any “problems” in our life. We devoted all of our energy to maintaining our active addiction. Today we have full lives, complete with all the feelings and problems that go with living in reality. –Just For Today | More…

Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have. If you like what you’ve got, you’re gonna love what you get! –Unknown

If you make yourself a doormat, you will be stepped on. –American Proverb. He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe. –Marcus Aurelius

I have learned what a heart full of gratitude feels like. –Anonymous
Within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty; to which every part and every particle is equally related; the eternal One. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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We have been given a treasure of talents which should be accepted with responsibility and gratitude. Love who you are, for who you are, God loves. –Unknown

There is always a need for a message that enhances self-esteem, sheds resentments, or increases spirituality. With the program, much more comes along. Therefore, any thought about recovery can have a great effect. — Dr. Abraham Twerski | More…

In our recovery, we find it essential to accept reality. Once we can do this, we do not find it necessary to drink or use drugs in an attempt to change our perceptions. –Just For Today | More…

Recovery has offered us a chance to be aware of our process of becoming. With each day, each experience, each new understanding, we are advancing along the path of personal growth. Let us remember that each of us has a particular path, like no other.
Thus, our experiences are ours alone. We need not envy what comes to someone else.
Life is unfolding for us. –Each Day A New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…

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Recovery is for doers. Sobriety doesn’t just happen. We create it. We create it by working the Steps and learning from them. –Keep It Simple | More…

We go from anger and resentment to forgiveness, from denial to honesty and acceptance, and from pain to serenity. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and ours will never be complete. But each day brings new healing and the hope for more tomorrow. –Just For Today | More…

We used to put most of our energy into spinning excuses and rationalizations for our failures. Today, we go forward and make use of the many opportunities life presents to us. We may be amazed at what we’re capable of. With our foundation of recovery, success, fulfilment, and satisfaction are within our reach at last. –Just For Today | More…

If we want to be the best we can be, we will pick friends who see the good in life –Today’s Gift | More…

You can close make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you. –Dale Carnegie | More…

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The program has taught us that others are important. Our purpose is to help others. People have become what’s important to us. We help people instead of use them. Friendship is now a way of life. –Keep it Simple | More…

As sobriety ceases to be defined through abstinence alone, you can see why recovery is a lifetime journey. There is always room to grow – always room to integrate another facet o f one’s self and to ‘practice these principles in all our affairs’. –Recovering Spirituality/Ingrid Mathieu Ph.D. p.159-162 | More…

Praying to God won’t keep us sober if we don’t also go to Twelve Step meetings. Praying to God to heal our relationships with others won’t help unless we’re willing to make amends. Health and recovery are a combination of prayer, communication with our Higher Power, and a commitment to do our part. –Body, Mind, and Spirit | More…

Our illness is one big lemon, but our recovery is lemonade. None of us signed up to be drunks or druggies, but we all signed up for recovery.

That’s when the happiness began. The sweet joy of recovery becomes our drink—our lemonade. –Keep It Simple | More…

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Recovery from a compulsive illness such as alcoholism often brings “pats on the back.”
We should accept such pats on the back graciously, but without taking the personal credit this sort of praise implies.

We can become addicted to praise seeking, and we may even invite it as a way of building up self-esteem. The real victory may be in learning how to live after we’ve established our initial freedom. We may get few pats on the back for our success in this everyday living, but our healthier lifestyle is reward enough. –Walk In Dry Places/Mel B | More…

Looking normal is very different from being normal. Acceptability in the eyes of the world is a benefit of recovery; it is not the same thing as recovery.

We can enjoy the benefits of recovery, but we must take care to nurture their true source. Lasting recovery isn’t found in acceptance from others, but in the inner growth set in motion by the Twelve Steps. –Just for Today | More…

Recovery is a program that helps you stay clean and sober. Your work in the program is something you do for yourself. –Morning Light/Amy E. Dean | More…

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Though it may be true that not many of our members had much going for us when we got here, the newcomer soon learns that the way we are living today is what counts. Our meetings are filled with addicts whose lives have turned completely around.  Against all odds, we are recovering.

The newcomer can relate to where we’ve been and draw hope from where we are now.
Today, every one of us has the opportunity to recover. –Just for Today | More…

We remind ourselves that the rules of active addiction don’t apply in recovery. Most of our fellow members are doing their level best to live by the spiritual principles we learn in the program.

We remind ourselves that we aren’t 100% reliable, either. We will surely disappoint someone in our lives, no matter how hard we try not to. We realize that we need to trust our fellow members of NA. Our lives are at stake, and the only way we can stay clean is to trust these well-intentioned folks who, admittedly, aren’t perfect. –Just for Today | More…

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Today, I will focus on practicing one recovery behavior on one of my issues, trusting that this practice will move me forward. I will remember that acceptance, gratitude, and detachment are a good place to begin. –Melody Beattie | More…

One of the sad realities of life is that we’re awash in disorder that we can’t fix. We can react by becoming angry or by making quixotic efforts to solve some of these problems.

Our best course, however, is to apply our 12 Step program to life in this world. The Serenity Prayer suggests we accept what we can’t change.

A slogan reminds us to set priorities (“First things First.”)
The Eleventh Step remind us to always seek God’s will. –Walk In Dry Places/Mel B. | More…

Our challenge in recovery is to find out who we are and who we can be and go after that with all our energy. –Answers in the Heart/P. Williamson and S. Kiser. | More…

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Sometimes we struggle with being part of the problem, instead of being part of the solution. This happens when we can’t Let Go and Let God.

To let go takes faith that the outcome will be okay.
When we let go, we let go of our need to always be right.

Letting go allows us to change how we view what’s happening. Often, all we really need is this change of attitude. This is the beauty of faith: it allows us to see the same thing in different Ways. –Keep It Simple |More…

We found that we do not recover physically, mentally, or spiritually overnight. We forget that we spent years abusing our bodies, numbing our minds, and suppressing our awareness of a Higher Power.

We cannot undo the damage in a day.
We can, however, apply the next step, go to the next meeting, help the next newcomer. We heal and recover bit by bit-not overnight, but over time. –JFTNA | More…

Today, I will focus on practicing one recovery behavior on one of my issues, trusting that this practice will move me forward. I will remember that acceptance, gratitude, and detachment are a good place to begin. –Melody Beattie | More…

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We suffer from an illness.
We go to Twelve Step meetings because we know who we are.

We know why we need our Higher Power to guide us. In this journey, we are followers, not guides; it’s a journey that will change us.

We don’t know how recovery will change us, but we know it will.
Part of how we get strong for our journey is by knowing who we truly are: alcoholics. –Keep It Simple | More…

We don’t have to settle for the limitations of the past.
We can examine and re-examine our old ideas

We don’t have to be the lifelong victims of past experiences.
We are free to discard the ideas that inhibit our growth.

We are capable of stretching our boundaries to encompass new ideas and new experiences. We are free to laugh, to cry, and, above all, to enjoy our recovery. –Just For Today | More…

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Many of us face seemingly insurmountable difficulties, perhaps because of our compulsion or simply through misfortune. Whatever the scale of our problems, One Day at a Time and First things First, are keys to handling them.

Today, we can deal only with today’s problems. One of today’s problems, of course, may be worrying about the future. A good method of handling that problem is to turn our concern about it over to our Higher Power.–Walk In Dry Places/Mel B. | More…

We now have a program that tells us how to make life better. Some days, it even feels like heaven!

But we have to work our program to make our own heaven. Working the program isn’t too hard; and it makes us feel so good.

So, why don’t we do it all the time? Maybe we’re a little afraid of heaven. It’s time to learn to love having a better life!–Keep It Simple | More…

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None of us, perhaps, ever thought we’d end up in recovery. Alcoholism has to do with us trying to find spiritual wholeness— the kind of spiritual wholeness we’re finding now… in recovery. –Keep It Simple | More…

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The Seven A.A. Tools of Recovery  
Abstinence, Meetings, Sponsor, Telephone, Literature, Service, and Anonymity.

Abstinence – We commit ourselves to stay away from the first drink, one day at a time.

Meetings –    We attend A.A. meetings to learn how the program works, to share our experience, strength and hope with each other, and because through the support of the fellowship, we can do what we could never do alone.

Sponsor –  A sponsor is a person in the A.A. program who has what we want and is continually sober. A sponsor is someone you can relate to, have access to and can confide in.

Telephone – The telephone is our lifeline — our meetings between meetings. Call before you take the first drink. The more numbers you have, the more insurance you have.

Literature – The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is our basic tool and text. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and A.A. pamphlets are recommended reading, and are available at this meeting.

Service – Service helps our personal program grow. Service is giving in A.A. Service is leading a meeting, making coffee, moving chairs, being a sponsor, or emptying ashtrays. Service is action, and action is the magic word in this program.

Anonymity – Whom you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our program. | The St Louis Gambler and The railroad Man | More…

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We learn to become flexible…  As new things are revealed, we feel renewed. The winds of life blow new airs our way each moment, and with them new fragrances, new pleasures, varied, subtly different.

As we bend with life’s wind, we feel and hear and touch and smell and taste all it has to offer us. And as new winds blow, we feel renewed. –Just For Today | More…

We learn that a simple, loving hug can make all the difference in the world… When those we love are grieving, simply being present is perhaps the most compassionate contribution we can offer.

We can rest assured that a loving Higher Power is working hard at healing the spirit; our only responsibility is to be there. Our presence, a loving hug, and a sympathetic ear will surely express the depth of our feelings, and do more to reach the heart of a human being in pain than mere words ever could. –Just For Today | More…

None of us, perhaps, ever thought we’d end up in recovery. Alcoholism has to do with us trying to find spiritual wholeness— the kind of spiritual wholeness we’re finding now… in recovery. –Keep It Simple | More…

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Once we gave up the drugs, the sense of emptiness returned. At first we felt despair because we didn’t have any solution of our own to that miserable longing.

But we were willing to take direction and began to work the steps. As we did, we found what we’d been looking for, that “something different.”

Today, we believe that our lifelong yearning was primarily for knowledge of a Higher Power; the “something different” we needed was a relationship with a loving God. The steps tell us how to begin that relationship. –Just For Today | More…

We have lost a lot of misery. In its place inside us, a spirit grows. . .as love is added. In recovery, we’ve found ourselves again. We see we have something to offer this world — ourselves. –Keep It Simple | More…

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If we dwell on the past or the future, we put ourselves back into the torture chamber. We stop changing. Boredom, pain, and futility take over again. We have been … We will be … We no longer are.

The 24-hour program disappears. Anxiety, anger, and a desire for revenge replace spiritual experience. Awareness and surrender cease. We are on a dry drunk.” –Awareness,” Spiritual Awakenings/Grapevine | More…

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. Wow, you mean I don’t have to be sick and tired anymore? –One Day At A Time | More…

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Sometimes, after we begin recovery, things in our life seem to get worse for a time. Our finances, our relationships, or our health may seem to deteriorate.

This is temporary; this is a normal part of recovery and healing. Keep working at recovery, and the trend will reverse. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

Sometimes we still stumble; at times we even fall. Sometimes we feel like we can’t move forward in our lives, no matter how hard we try.

No longer do we say, “I’m a failure and I’m going nowhere.” Usually, it’s more like, “Rats!  I hit that same bump in the road of life again.

Pretty soon I’ll learn to slow down or avoid it entirely.” Until then, we may continue to fall down occasionally, but we’ve learned that there’s always a helping hand to set us on our feet again. –Just For Today | More…

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Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his family back. His recovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his relationship with God, however he may define Him. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.270)

Top Five Things Coming Your Way in Long-Term Recovery.
In recovery, the word “TIME” stands for Things I Must Earn.
1. You get yourself back.
2. You get your family back.
3. You’ll get your money back.
4. You get your career back.
5. You’ll get your dignity back. –Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation/Michael Graubart | More…

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Four Paradoxes in Recovery
1. We suffer to get well.
2. We surrender to win.
3. We die to live.
4. We give away to keep. –Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation/Paul Anderson | More…

Nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics . . . Doing the right things for the right reasons, this is my way of controlling my selfishness and self-centeredness. I realize that my dependency on a Higher Power clears the way for peace of mind, happiness and sobriety. –Daily Reflections | More…

Who have we been, and who have we become?  Recovery means more than cleaning up—it means powering up. We have done more than shed some bad habits; we are becoming new people, guided by a Higher Power –Just For Today | More…

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Addiction gave a pattern, a dark, diseased meaning to our lives. The Recovery Program gives us a new pattern of living to replace our old routines.

What is this new pattern of living?  Instead of isolation, we find fellowship. Instead of living blindly, repeating the same mistakes again and again, we regularly examine ourselves, free to keep what helps us grow and discard what doesn’t.

Rather than constantly trying to get by on our own limited power, we develop a conscious contact with a loving Power greater than ourselves. Our life must have a pattern.  To maintain our recovery, we must maintain the new patterns our program has taught us. By giving regular attention to these patterns, we will maintain the freedom we’ve found from addiction, and keep hold of the meaning recovery has brought to our lives. –Just For Today | More…

Physical Recovery = Step One – We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable. Mental Recovery = Step Two – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Spiritual Recovery = Step Three – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Thank you Charley Brockwell, AA #6 | More…

The rewards of our new life are apparent to us because of how we feel, and apparent to others by what they can see. This program gives us guidelines for experimenting with our life for growth, and we continue growing every day. We feel these changes in ourselves, and we see them in the other men and women in this program. –Touchstones 29/07 | More…

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There are two benefits from recovery: we have short-term gains and long-term gains. The short-term gains are the things we can do today that help us feel better immediately.

There are other benefits from recovery, though, that we don’t see immediately on a daily or even a monthly basis. These are the long-term gains, the larger progress we make in our life.

The long-term progress is steady, but sometimes slow, happening in increments and often with much forward and backward movement. Enough days at a time of practicing recovery behaviors and piling up short term gains leads to long-term rewards. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

I am becoming a more comfortable version of myself, not the neurotic, boring person that I thought I’d be in recovery. Life is certainly different when we have the rooms to return to.

Through the love we find in NA, we begin to believe in ourselves. Equipped with this belief, we venture forth into the world to discover new horizons. Many times, the world is a better place because an NA member has been there. –Just For Today | More…

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I can remember when I felt so isolated and alone. I used to look at people talking with their friends, families playing in the park, lovers holding hands, and I felt so different and awkward.

I always looked at life from the outside. I was the guy without an invitation to the party. The symptoms of addiction!

Sobriety led me into fellowship with others; it brought me into the family of recovering people. Today I am not alone. I have over a million brothers and sisters living a day at a time in a spiritual program.

I have countless thousands finding joy, peace and serenity in sister programs. Today I belong in this world.–Father Leo | More…

We live our program in one-day portions – and our actions today have immediate consequences. The rewards of recovery are granted every day. We begin with the gift of a new day and new possibilities. –Touchstones | More…

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We cannot bring everyone with us on this journey called recovery. We don’t have to wait for those we love to decide to change as well.

Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to grow, even though the people we love are not ready to change. We may need to leave people behind in their dysfunction or suffering because we cannot recover for them. We don’t need to suffer with them.

The potential for helping others is far greater when we detach, work on ourselves, and stop trying to force others to change with us. Changing ourselves, allowing ourselves to grow while others seek their own path, is how we have the most beneficial impact on people we love.

We’re accountable for ourselves. They’re accountable for themselves. We let them go, and let ourselves grow. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More….

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