Our program emphasizes action in our attempt to stop drinking. Those of you who are new to AA, what are you doing to help resist the temptation to drink? Those who have been around a while, what did you actually do in the early days, weeks, months to help you to keep the top on the bottle? What action do you take now? When life gets tough and you feel discouraged or at the end of your tether, what do you do these days to protect your sobriety?
I used to walk to the phone box to talk to another alcoholic. I asked for help (not as often as I could have done!) I walked the dog, again and again and again! I started to knit or do anything that would keep my hands busy. I ate chocolate and drank gallons of tea. I had a sponsor who regularly told me to wash the kitchen floor , I resisted that one but often had to comply!
I still drink gallons of tea and walk the dog and Ive added a few more things to do to keep me sober and peaceful these days. Im learning to meditate, I try to keep interested in various things like playing with the computer, drawing and painting, taking photographs and many more. Some of these things I used not to allow myself to do.
These are just a few examples but there was one thing that helped me above all else.
This piece of AA literature, the Just for Today card, was in the starter pack I was given at my first meeting. Ive shared about it before but I think its worth referring to it again. I carried it with me everywhere and it was my first line of defence when that urge to drink appeared.
I love the bit that reminds us that we can do something for 12 hours that would appall us if we had to keep it up for a lifetime. Of course, at first I tried to follow all the suggestions every day until a friend suggested I concentrate on one each day. So I cut them up and put them in a jar, taking out one at a time. I hope you will find some of them helpful.
Just for Today
Just for today I will try to live through this day only and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today I will be happy. Most folk are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Just for today I will adjust myself to what is and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my luck as it comes and fit myself to it.
Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways. 1) I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anybody finds out, it will not count. 2) I will do at least two things I dont want to do , just for exercise. 3) I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt but today I will not show it.
Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit, not find fault with anything and not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.
Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests, hurry and indecision.
Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.
Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.
So, please share with us what action you take to keep sober and to keep growing in sobriety.