Category Archives: recovery

dare to be different

From What…Me Sober? comes this encouraging little passage on taking readings in bite-size portions, rather than take-no-prisoners sessions that seem to dominate traditional meetings.

I read a few pages at most, stopping at what seems a reasonable point. Sometimes I read only a few paragraphs; on one occasion, only a couple of sentences. I find that I’m getting far more out of the basic text of one of my fellowships, for example, than I ever got when reading a chapter at a time.

Ironically, read the whole thing. This is good stuff from one of my favorites.

Daily Reflection 06/04-Letting Go of Our Old Selves

4
June
LETTING GO OF OUR OLD SELVES

Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall walk a free man at last. . . .Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable?

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 75, 76
If you follow one the Daily Reflections from the A.A. website you will see a pattern, which is beautiful. Patterns in and of themselves can be pretty neat. For example, if you create a good pattern of behavior from the onset your brain becomes familiarized with that pattern and your body reciprocates that natural good feeling(releasing of healthy endorphin’s), and your body begins to crave those good behaviors and patterns. However, when you create a bad pattern your body will naturally crave the bad behaviors that are associated with those patterns; no matter how harmful. This is why there is withdrawals from drug and alcohol abuse. This is why there is a program with a network for you.
“Letting go of our old selves” is another way of saying “break the pattern your in”. You have to come to terms with the fact that, for however long you had been drinking or drugging, it was destructive. You must let go of falsehoods such as thinking “maybe I can go drink acceptably after some treatment”. It’s more than that, as well.
I go to an after-care facility where I once received intensive outpatient help on the southside and speak to groups going through early recovery sometimes. I remember a story from about 3-4 years ago where a young lady with no more than 15-20 days of sober time under her belt(praise God) thought that going to the casino until 2 AM was an okay decision to make.
Now, I’m not saying that a recovering addict can never go to a casino, or a horse-race, or something like that. However, early on in recovery you must come to terms with the fact that you have to let go of your old selves. The rationale given from the lady in the group was: “well, alcohol is everywhere and you will have to face it and live your life around it, so why avoid that?”. You can see where the stinking thinking was coming in. I remember mentioning to her how early on it’s probably a good idea to go to places that will not be triggers, will “ring the bell”.
I said: “when you’re still early on, it may be a good idea to  avoid places that result in two different addictions groups”(citing gamblers anonymous and A.A.). The group then spoke about some clean places she could go such as A.A. events, McCallisters, etc. She ended up relapsing a few weeks later. However, she now still comes to the after-care unit and has been clean for over 2.5 years. It appears she just hadn’t met her bottom yet.
Earlier in the week I cited “people, places, and things”. That is a big deal in recovery and I believe that is what A.A. daily reflection is speaking to here. Recovery is a behavioral change. A behavioral recovery. You must have the willingness and acceptance to move into your new life as a clean and sober being.
I quickly realized the positive changes in my life early on in recovery. At the time of my addiction I was significantly overweight and I began exercising 30-45 minutes a day. This led to natural endorphin release and I began to feel healthier and wanted to find out more about this “healthy me”. Slowly, I began to get a life back. I got a career-job, moved out of a parents basement and into an apartment, got engaged, bought a house, got married, had a child, etc. However, what I remember MOST about early on in recovery is how it felt like i was meeting myself for the first time. Little light-bulbs were going off in my brain that had been dormant for nearly a decade.
Where I once sped down a street at lightning speeds, I was now driving the speed limit and embracing the nature around me. Where I once avoided interaction with family due to wanting to hide my shame from being an addict, I now looked forward to moments with my loved ones. My music taste changed. No longer was I simply listening to music for noise, but instead for inspiration.
See, this is what the program means when it discusses “letting go of our old selves”. You have to be willing to admit that how your life was being lived was not working and be open to the positive change within the program. Open to the ability to grow spiritually, physically, and mentally.
If you are struggling to “let go of your old self” or want to make a change in your life. Come see us. We are here for you. God Bless.
Address: 441 S Ritter Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46219

Daily Reflection 6/1

Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84
What a terrific reflection from the A.A. website today. This hits home for me. Early on in my recovery from narcotics addiction I remember telling the person who was heading the meetings how everything looked and smelled different to me in recovery. Sure, my senses were more locked in because I was no longer dulling them with drugs or alcohol. However, it was as much the program that led to this new outlook on life and the beauty that surrounded me.
The reflection discusses how our attitude and outlook upon life WILL change. That is because addiction is a behavioral disease. For however long you, or someone you loved, was “out there” having their affair with the drug or the drink, the mind had been hijacked. The painstaking grip and hold of alcohol and drug addiction steps over all things that are important. The part of the human brain it affects is the flight/fight response which is your survival instincts.
I have a nearly two-year old daughter and when she is hungry, WATCH OUT, she will let you know. The reason a baby or child screams so loud for hunger or rest is because these are survival instincts and even the youngest of child can recognize the need for these items within their life. A drink and/or a drug is so powerful it can step over an instinct that the addict had from the moment they were born.
When you become active in your recovery you will realize changes in certain aspects of your every day life. I’ll tell a little story about my own personal changes, behaviorally, that happened early on in recovery.
When I was “out there” with my drink/drug, I would be out until all hours of the night and sleep until 10:00AM-11:00AM regularly. Wake up and rinse, repeat. About 30 days into my recovery I realized just how important the behavioral change was, the OUTLOOK on life.
The problem with this was that my mind had been hijacked. How can I trust myself to make the right decision when for the last decade the driving force behind my decisions were not my own mind but the drug that I had deluded my mind with?  I couldn’t.
That’s why EARLY in recovery what I would do is the opposite of what my mind told me. This helped to simplify my recovery(don’t confuse that for being easy). If my mind was telling me to stay up late, I would go to bed early. If my mind was telling me to procrastinate mowing the grass or turning in a job application, I would hop on the lawn-mower or immediately call an employer.
I had to “reset” my mindset to change my outlook on life. What I had done for 10 years never worked but my mind was still hijacked. Therefore, the only way to utilize that to my benefit was to GAIN MY AWARENESS of my powerlessness over the drug, and with that awareness be able to recognize “stinking thinking” and to do the opposite. It paid off.
There is a saying in A.A. and N.A. It goes by H.A.L.T. Never get too “Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired”. This is the power of the program with people. Have like-minded people to call, get to a meeting, eat three meals a day, realize your powerlessness over other people and when a situation used to anger you, simply walk away. These are some of the changes that will happen in recovery.
In 2009, I was sitting in a work-release facility at 240 lbs, jobless, questioning my life and purpose. By the time the summer of 2010 came along I was working for a nationwide company and running in my first Indianapolis mini-marathon. I remember noticing the little things around me. Simple things. Wind blowing in the trees, the smell of a grill. These things may seem insignificant, however, when you’ve dulled those senses for so long it helps you to appreciate the beauty of those “little things” you notice when you return to being aware. When you return to life.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction I challenge you to make a phone call, go to a meeting, anything. Trust me when I tell you that if you decide recovery isn’t for you, the drink or drug isn’t going anywhere. However, every person deserves an opportunity to experience the REAL BEAUTY in life. When you change your mindset and outlook on life, you will experience true peace and serenity.
If you need us, we are here. All you’ve got to do is call or come. Life is waiting.
Club East
Address: 441 S Ritter Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46219

Daily Reflections: 05/31/2016

. . . our Society has concluded that it has but one high mission – to carry the A.A. message to those who don’t know there’s a way out.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151
Another Holiday weekend has concluded and, by the Grace of God, it has concluded clean and sober.
Reflecting on the life-long journey of an active recovery over a holiday weekend can be somewhat challenging. No doubt many will have “euphoric recall” taking place within their mind as they hear the buzz of the race cars on the radio and feel the heat of the beaming sun touching their face. It is at these times the wisdom of A.A. shines through.
We know we are not alone on this journey of sobriety. We have a club to hold us accountable, as well as ourselves. However, It’s having that companionship within the A.A. program that helps us get to “the second thought” in those moments of doubt and gain clarity and peace in our sobriety.
For myself, I went nearly a decade without actually embracing a holiday weekend with family and friends. Sure, I was there. But was I ever REALLY there? Doubt it. I was merely a physical presence with minimal mental awareness to share in the joy of time together. I’m certain many can relate to that feeling.
I share this as I read the daily reflection because it is OUR job to share this feeling and carry the A.A. message to those who are not aware that there is a way to live life and embrace those moments; to feel them.  To live life on life’s terms and to thrive in recovery.
If you or anyone you know is looking for a community of like-minded people seeking a clean and sober lifestyle, call us. Phone:(317) 356-2802

drain bamage

Wonderfully uplifting post from Vodka Goggles on making to the 2-year mark. Her reflection includes this passage that is only too common:

Two years ago when I was still drinking at my worst, I would do this back breaking labor knowing that I was going to stop on the way home and buy enough booze to make me pass out cold.  Then get up and repeat. It was what I thought kept me going.  I realize now that I was slowly killing myself.

Take just a minute or two and read the whole thing. This is why we’re here and why we keep coming back through the doors.

Source: Drain Bamage