Just for Today – Responsibility

“A lot happens in one day, both negative and positive. If we do not take the time to appreciate both, perhaps we will miss something that will help us grow.” – IP No.8, Just For Today

Responsibility, responsibility-the responsibilities of life are everywhere. We’re “supposed to” wear seat belts. We’re “supposed to” clean our homes. We’re “supposed to” do certain things for our spouse, our children, the people we sponsor. On top of all this, we’re “supposed to” go to meetings and practice our program as best we can. It’s no wonder that, sometimes, we want to run from all these tasks and escape to some far-off island where we’re not “supposed to” do anything!

At times like these, when we’ve become overwhelmed with our responsibilities, we have forgotten that responsibility need not be burdensome. When we have a desire to run away from our responsibilities we need to slow down, remember why we have chosen them, and pay attention to the gifts they bring. Whether it’s a job we normally find challenging and interesting, or a partner whose personality we are usually excited by, or a child whom we naturally like to play with and care for, there is joy to be found in all the responsibilities of our lives.

Just for Today: Each moment is special. I will pay attention, grateful for my responsibilities and the special joys they bring.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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A squirrel at work!

Here’s what I look like doing my new job!

Squirrel hard at work at a computer

Hacker Squirrel!!! =)

So far I’m having a blast!  It feels so good to be helping people use their technology, or fix it when it’s broken.

An unfortunate side effect has been a lot less free time to post here, but I expect within another month things will calm down and I can resume a more normal posting schedule.  I just wanted to check in with everyone and let you all know that I’m doing well!  Just super busy! =)

-P. Squirrel out!

Just for Today – Alone no more

“We gradually and carefully pull ourselves out of the isolation and loneliness of addiction and into the mainstream of life.” – Basic Text, p. 37

Many of us spent much of our using time alone, avoiding other people-especially people who were not using-at all costs. After years of isolation, trying to find a place for ourselves in a bustling, sometimes boisterous fellowship is not always easy. We may still feel isolated, focusing on our differences rather than our similarities. The overwhelming feelings that often arise in early recovery-feelings of fear, anger, and mistrust-can also keep us isolated. We may feel like aliens but we must remember, the alienation is ours, not NA’s.

In Narcotics Anonymous, we are offered a very special opportunity for friendship. We are brought together with people who understand us like no one else can. We are encouraged to share with these people our feelings, our problems, our triumphs, and our failures. Slowly, the recognition and identification we find in NA bridge the lonely gap of alienation in our hearts. As we’ve heard it said-the program works, if we let it.

Just for Today: The friendship of other members of the fellowship is a life-sustaining gift. I will reach out for the friendship that’s offered in NA, and accept it.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Just For Today – Courage

“Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future.” – Basic Text, p.96

Narcotics Anonymous is no place for the faint of heart! Facing life on life’s terms without the use of drugs isn’t always easy. Recovery requires more than hard work; it requires a liberal dose of courage.

What is courage, anyway? A quick look at a dictionary will tell us. We have courage when we face and deal with anything that we think of as difficult, dangerous, or painful, rather than withdrawing from it. Courage means being brave; having a purpose; having spirit. So what is courage, really? Courage is an attitude, one of perseverance.

That’s what an addict in recovery really needs-perseverance. We make that commitment to stick with our program, to avoid using, no matter what happens. A courageous addict is one who doesn’t use, one day at a time, no matter what. And what gives us courage? A relationship with a Higher Power gives us the strength and the courage to stay clean. We know that, so long as we are in our God’s care, we will have the power we need to face life on its own terms.

Just for Today: I have a Higher Power who cares for me, no matter what. Knowing that, I will strive to have an attitude of courage today.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Squirrel in Transition

Fatty squirrel

Must have been something I ate!

Today is one of the happiest, most unique days I have had in a long time!  As I sit here, I have only one day remaining at my current place of employment.  As of tomorrow, I will be resigning and moving on to bigger and better things.

When I first found out I was going to quit, I thought it was going to be an epic, file cabinet tipping moment where I storm out in a triumphant rage.  What has actually happened has been infinitely better.  I wrote a short, simple resignation letter and gave my two weeks notice, and for the past two weeks everyone has been so much nicer to me!  That’s something I never expected.  I guess when you’re all rats (or squirrels) on a sinking ship, you tend to turn on each other.  But now that I am leaving, everyone is treating me really well and I feel appreciated (for once!)

I’m thrilled to be starting my new job just one day after I quit my old one.  I’m not used to such smooth transitions – usually I’ll work for a couple years, quit or get fired, and have months of unemployment before I can find something else.  This is only the second time I’ve resigned with another job all lined up.  It feels good, like I’m starting to gain some stability in my life.

I just wanted to share with everyone how happy I am about this transition!  I guess I’m about as happy as that phatty squirrel! =)

P. Squirrel out!

Just For Today – Living in the now

“Living just for today relieves the burden of the past and the fear of the future.” – Basic Text, pp. 94

Thoughts of how bad it was-or could be-can consume our hopes for recovery. Fantasies of how wonderful it was-or could be-can divert us from taking action in the real world. That’s why, in Narcotics Anonymous, we talk about living and recovering “just for today.”

In NA, we know that we can change. We’ve come to believe that our Higher Power can restore the soundness of our minds and hearts. The wreckage of our past can be dealt with through the steps. By maintaining our recovery, just for today, we can avoid creating problems in the future.

Life in recovery is no fantasy. Daydreams of how great using was or how we can use successfully in the future, delusions of how great things could be, overblown expectations that set us up for disappointment and relapse-all are stripped of their power by the program. We seek God’s will, not our own. We seek to serve others, not ourselves. Our self-centeredness and the importance of how great things could or should be for us disappears. In the light of recovery, we perceive the difference between fantasy and reality.

Just for Today: I am grateful for the principles of recovery and the new reality they’ve given me.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Just for Today – Attitudes

“We can also use the steps to improve our attitudes.” – Basic Text, p.55

Ever have a day when everything seems to be working against you? Do you go through periods when you are so busy taking people’s inventories you can barely stand yourself? What about when you find yourself snapping at your co-worker or loved one for no reason? When we find ourselves in this bleak frame of mind, we need to take action.

At any point in the day, we can set aside a few moments and take a “spot inventory.” We examine how we are reacting to outside situations and other people. When we do, we may find that we are suffering from a plain old “bad attitude.” A negative outlook can hurt our relationship with our Higher Power and the people in our lives. When we are honest with ourselves, we frequently find that the problem lies with us and our attitude.

We have no control over the challenges life gives us. What we can control is how we react to those challenges. At any point in time, we can change our attitude. The only thing that really changes in Narcotics Anonymous is us. The Twelve Steps give use the tools to move out of the problem and into the solution.

Just for Today: Throughout the day, I will check my attitude. I will apply the steps to improve it.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved