Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What does your program look like?

I start “working my program” each morning by getting out of bed.  There have been times even in sobriety that I was unable to do this due to severe depression.  Every morning I kneel and say the 3rd and 7th Steps prayers and the Serenity Prayer.  Later, usually while sitting on my back patio sipping on my first cup of coffee, I read one or two daily meditations.  Currently, I am reading from Each Day a New Beginning, a daily meditation book for women by Karen Casey (Hazelden Press) and The Song of the Bird by Anthony de Mello.

On good days I sit quietly after reading each meditation and listen.  I listen for God to speak to my heart about anything from guidance on a particular situation to what I should blog about that day.  But mostly I listen for whatever he would have me hear at that exact moment and for what I should do when I go back inside to the “real world” of taking care of kids and pets, housework, relating to my husband, family, and friends, receiving phone calls from the women whom I sponsor, and participating my hobbies.

I call my sponsor one or two times a week as well as see her at my home group meeting.  I currently sponsor three women, two of which usually attend my home group meeting.  The same two call me several times a week.  The third is a newcomer who I see and hear from sporadically despite my requests to hear from her daily.

On good weeks, I go to one or two meetings in one program (one of which is always my home group) and one or two meetings in another program.  This mostly depends on my husband’s work schedule since I have small kids at home.  My home group is a 12 Step meeting.  The other meetings I go to alternate their format each week between book studies, speakers, and topics.
Over the last four months, blogging has become a part of my program.  I write, read, and comment to increase my connection with others in recovery.

I wish I could say that each night I worked Step 10 by reviewing my day and list things well done and things not so well done.  I also wish I could say that each night I thank God for keeping me sober but I can‘t.  I used to write these thoughts in my journal each night before going to sleep.  I stopped doing this when my last manic episode started back in March.  My mind and body became too fast for me to sit still and reflect on the day's events.  Now I am taking a new medication that makes me too sleepy to do this at night.  No worries. I will pray, trust, and keep trying.

Pray, trust, and keep trying.  Pray, trust, and keep trying.  I like that mantra.  Simple. (But not easy.)

What does your daily recovery program look like?  Thanks for sharing!


  1. Pray, trust, and keep trying is all any of us can do. Always am inspired by your posts. Keep on blogging! Thank you for sharing your life with us! :-)

  2. marie, when you mentioned the beginning of your maniac episode i immediately wondered if you suffered from bi-polar and not just depression? i only ask because i have a 'real life' friend who speaks to me about these kinds of things...her ups and lots of downs :(
    i love your openness in sharing your much needed solitude, a pulling away from the everyday to get your marching orders for the day, if there be an particular direction that you'll need to go. how beautiful that you have 'quiet' time, knowing within yourself how important it is! and, how hard it is to find when you have little ones about!!
    i am so, so glad that the new meds you are taking are working out well!!
    big (((hugs))) for a wonderful lady who gives back, in gratitude for what you've recieved!

  3. Carrie: Thanks for the words of encouragement. Your poetry inspires me!

    sheri: What a compassionate soul you seem to have! Thanks for the comments. My doctor's suspects a mild form of bipolar in me. I get what she calls "hypomanic" -project oriented (creative juices flow freely), can't sleep, and have a lot of nervous energy I can't seem to get rid of and my mind races from one thing to another at record speed. Luckily, I don't have the type of manic episodes that cause me to go out and spend tons of money and engage in reckless and life-threatening behaviors (although when I was drinking that was a different story. And when I was drinking I hadn't been diagnosed with bipolar, only depression.) I see many people with dual diagnoses - I think there is something to that whole self-medicating with alcohol theory. Of coarse I didn't know it at the time, but I believe this was one of the reasons I started drinking at 14 years old -to cope with the symptoms of an undiagnosed mental illness. Plus, the fact that I grew up in an alcoholic home, related to many alcoholic individuals. I was prime pickings for this disease. All it needed for me to do was take that first drink, which I did. The rest, as they say, is history!

  4. The only real constants in my day are (1) go to meetings (2) don't drink between them.
    The rest of what happens is up to my HP.

  5. My morning looks much like yours, I wake up and get on my knees and pray, then I get up move around a bit and get ready for the day. I sit back down with a cup of coffee and my readings and I read daily reflections, a book called God Calling and a bit from the bible.

    I sit and contemplate what I've read just listening for what God leads me to consider more deeply.

    I read and comment on blogs as I can (I used to have a much better grasp of that being a regular piece of my morning, but it seems to ebb and flow with family and work considerations.

    My recovery includes at least 4 meetings per week, I chair a Big Book meeting online 2-3 days per week (that isn't considered a part of my 4 meetings) and we host a fellowship dinner in the back yard of our home each Friday night.

    I chat with sponsees 2-3 times per week and with my sponsor 2-3 times per week.

    I see my sponsor and sponsees once a week at my homegroup or my secondary (sponsors homegroup)group meeting.

    I tend to fall asleep praying at night.

    It doesn't always look that perfect, it ebbs and flows, but that's the foundation I have and it's the average day for me now.

    My husband is in recovery too so much of this journey we share.

  6. thanks for sharing ! sounds similar
    to my day-

  7. When I first started my recovery, I read everything. I had a mountain of books by my bed. My sponsor noticed this and told me with confidence, "as you get more sobriety you will slow down on that pile". She of course was right. I still (usually before bed) read the "Language of Letting Go", 24 Hours, and Daily Reflections. When I have quiet time (rare) I sit at my desk, and go through my God box, praying, and talking with HP. I also do a meditation from a book called "Solo". It's the ancient form of read, apply, pray, and live. It helps me gain a different perspective of God through meditation and the bible. I would love to do this every day, but it doesn't always work like that. So I go to meetings, and blog to keep my mind in the realm of recovery throughout my busy day. If I miss one or two things I no longer beat myself up over it. I also try to talk to God while I'm getting ready for work, and try to say thank you each night. And for a while I didn't read anything that wasn't AA or recovery related. Now I read what I enjoy, fiction, non-fiction etc....I had to realize that reading for fun was something I enjoyed and it helps me take care of me......

  8. Thanks for sharing everyone! I am always learning from wonderful people like you!


Thank you for sharing!