A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He descended a bit more and shouted to a man on the ground, Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am. The man on the ground below replied, You're in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude. You must be a sponsor, said the balloonist. I am, replied the man, how did you know? Well, answered the balloonist, everything you told me, I believe, is technically correct, but I've no idea what to make of your information and the fact is I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all. If anything, you've probably delayed my trip. Well, said the man on the ground, you don't know where you are or where you're going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you've no idea how to keep, and you expect other people to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault.
To renounce the alcoholic world is not to abandon it, but to act upon principles I have come to love and cherish, and to restore in others - who still suffer - the serenity I have come to know. When I am truly committed to this purpose, it matters little what clothes I wear or how I make a living. My task is to carry the message, and to lead by example, not design.
It doesn't bother me That less than brimming is my cup. Today is crowned with great success! Look at me! I'm up! My first blessing of the day: I'm up! I'm up, and I'm sober; And if nothing of the good happens For the rest of the day, Before I put my head on a pillow tonight, I can say, 'Thank you God, for those two blessings.'
I feel that any form of so called psychotherapy is strongly contraindicated for addicts. The question Why did you start using narcotics in the first place? should never be asked. It is quite as irrelevant to treatment as it would be to ask a malarial patient why he went to a malarial area.
It is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality. There are more television addicts, more baseball and football addicts, more movie addicts, and certainly more alcohol addicts in this country than there are narcotics addicts.
If an addict who has been completely cured starts smoking again he no longer experiences the discomfort of his first addiction. There exists, therefore, outside alkaloids and habit, a sense for opium, an intangible habit which lives on, despite the recasting of the organism. The dead drug leaves a ghost behind. At certain hours it haunts the house.
In this country, don't forget, a habit is no damn private hell. There's no solitary confinement outside of jail. A habit is hell for those you love. And in this country it's the worst kind of hell for those who love you.
We start believing that someone knows how we feel, and let them overrule our judgments so we will take action. The beginning is when a person partakes of one alcoholic talking to another alcoholic to help them reduce their feelings of difference at least enough so that they will begin to take actions they do not yet believe in. When that moment comes, sobriety begins.
To possess your soul in patience, with all the skin and some of the flesh burnt off your face and hands, is a job for a boy compared with the pains of a man who has lived pretty long in the exhilarating world that drugs or strong waters seem to create and is trying to live now in the first bald desolation created by knocking them off.
One of the most gracious dispensations of God concerning His saints is their lovely unawareness of sanctity. The nearer they move to Him, the more conscious are they of sin. If it were impossible at times not to note their own growth in grace, it were impossible also to forget that it was all by His power. If they could be persuaded to admit their progress and talk of it at all, the language of their heart would be this: 'If God could do this in me, He could do it in anyone
The various problems the addict describes may sound like too much for anyone to bear. On closer analysis, though, an addict's problems are not that different from the nonaddict's problems. But the addictive thinker's perception is that they are radically different: Other people get a break once in a while, but not me. Never. Recovering addicts may bring their unrealistic expectations into sobriety. They may believe that other people in recovery have had an easier time. My problems are the worst, they think. My spouse used to complain when I drank, and now I hear about my going to meetings every night. The supervisor watches me like a hawk. My oldfriends don't call anymore.... As recovering addicts come into regular contact with others in recovery, however, they begin to see that everyone else doesn't have it better and, in fact, other people are a lot like they are. Every aspect of recovery is subject to growth. Accepting life on its own terms, accepting powerlessness, surrendering to a Higher Power, taking and sharing a moral inventory, making amends
Treating mental illness saves all of us money. Take addiction. We heard testimony that for every dollar spent on addiction treatment, we save $7. That