January 10, 2011

January 10: Living in Today

(Adapted for personal use from Courage to Change in Alanon.)

 Today's reading describes my relapse experience to a "T:" 

"When I succumb to worry, I open a Pandora’s box of terrifying pictures, paranoid voices and relentless self-criticism. The  more attention I play to this mental static, the more I lose my foothold in reality.   Then nothing useful can be accomplished."  

If only I could  turn back time to reclaim the minutes, hours, and days I’ve sacrificed to worry and fear. It's embarrassingly easy to look back and recognize my participation in Thanksgiving's landslide, all because I did not pay attention to signs of relapse!    With just the right amount of awareness at the right time,  I could have  experienced insight and joy at my ability to overcome adversity, instead of giving into self-doubt.  

What has helped me keep me from obsessing on my slip this past month, is the  gentle resolve  "to break the cycle of worry and fear,  by learning to focus all my attention on this very moment."

I'm grateful that in my early days of recovery, I gradually learned to "turn away from distructive thoughts and concentrate instead on the sights and sounds around me."  I found self-mastery by remaining aware of light and shadows around me, the floor  beneath my feet, the rhythm  of everyday living—each piece of the here and now.These bits of reality help rescue me from the “what ifs” and “should haves” by anchoring me in the present. 

Prayer and meditation, the slogans, and phone calls to friends on my recovery path have all been sources of serenity that bring me back to this moment.  As I shut out the noise of negative thinking, I am most receptive to my Higher Power’s will, and therefore much more able to work my own way through difficult times.

I have been given this day to work with. It is enough.  When tempted to worry or regret,  I  can use meditation to help me "gently bring my mind back to today and sanity."

“The past has flown away. The coming months and years do not exist. Ours only is the present’s tiny point.”


  1. Hello Good to read you post on Syd's blog.
    The 12 step buddhist meditation meeting does not have a book but we follow the big book, alanon literature and buddhist texts. I highly recommend Kevin Griffins book One Breath At A Time: Buddhism and the 12 Steps

    Meditation teacher and author Griffin discovered that his Buddhist practice deepened as a result of the 12-step program that freed him from addiction. In examining the relationship of Buddhism and the steps, he learned to escape spiritual traps endemic to the culture of addiction, namely, instant gratification and nihilism. He writes that many addicts are dissuaded from attending 12-step meetings because of the Christian tenor exemplified by faith in a Higher Power.

  2. I think about how much time I spent worrying about the well being of others, neglecting myself and my own emotions. I am glad to have been shown a better way in Al-Anon.

  3. Di-Git... I have been considering your recommendation and sources. Praying on what I need to do for myself... and looking for a mentor in my face-to-face life too. We'll see which comes first.. Appreciate your input, the book had been unknown to me until you shared...


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~