Monday, August 29, 2016

Step Work


We admitted we were powerless over chemical substances - that our lives had become unmanageable.

Psalm 107 v 14
He brought them  out of darkness, the utter darkness and broke away their chains.

By Joseph Dickerson / Recovery Connections 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

View this email in your browser

Best of the week from Choose Help

Emotions in Early Recovery: "You Can't Heal What You Can't Feel"

Emotions in Early Recovery: "You Can't Heal What You Can't Feel"
During early recovery we often find ourselves raw. But you can't heal what you can't feel. There are no quick fixes. Learn how to let it go.
I've shared with lots of folks in early recovery the adage, "The good thing about being sober is that you feel more ...and the bad thing about being sober is that you feel more."
We numbed ourselves so much for so long. In early recovery (and at other points in our journey when stress and fears run high) we find ourselves emotionally raw. Experiencing the highs and lows of our emotions can be completely overwhelming. Whether you're on a "pink cloud" or in a dark place, the good news is that this too shall pass.

Add This to Your Toolbox:


It stands for HungryAngryLonely and Tired.
H.A.L.T. works both as a preventative measure and a diagnostic tool. Recovery wisdom dictates that we must not allow ourselves to accrue too much of theseand that when we find ourselves overwhelmed we can ask which of these we are. It's simple and effective. It's also something our emotions can throw a wrench into.
  • We come to see that what we hunger for is much more than just food.
  • We realize that anger never travels alone and that there is always at least one other emotion present (Hint: It's usually one that requires vulnerability to express and anger masks it). 
  • We know that even in the company of good people we can be lonely when we shut down or deny ourselves opportunities to connect.
  • Tired is perhaps the hardest one. It's more than fatigue, it's being drained physically, emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually. It's an emptiness that demands to be filled and a spirit that must be replenished. 
We urge folks to consider what sustains them and to consider that growing spiritually is the key to manageability.

Identifying and Coping

Most of us in early recovery are immature emotionally. We may be very good at managing external things, yet struggle to regulate our internal experiences (emotions, thoughts, memories). We often feel "squirrelly" or "antsy."
Anxiety is extremely common in recovery. We struggle to feel safe inside our own skin. Many of us experience social anxiety, obsessions, compulsions, and occasionalbouts of panic. Sobriety forces us to be acutely aware of the very things we've been running and hiding from.
There is no way to let go of pain in a way that doesn't hurt. There's no way to face fear without being afraid and there's no way to release anger without getting angry.
Identifying and coping are key. I recommend to those I serve that they check in with themselves frequently. This is as simple as asking...
  • "what am I doing?" and
  • "how am I doing?"
If we are completely honest with ourselves, we can then ask, "What would I recommend to a friend in my shoes?"
Reaching out, using healthy self talkjournaling, prayer and meditation are foundational to our stability.

"I Let It Go"

This expression most often means that we're ignoring it and trying our best to pretend we're not messed up about it. Acceptance and forgiveness hinge upon releasing our resentments.
Again, there is no way to let go of pain in a way that doesn't hurt. There's no way to face fear without being afraid and there's no way to release anger without getting angry. You have to feel it to let it go. The most frustrating aspect of this is that letting it go is rarely a one time event. It took us years to get here and there are no quick fixes.

"I Gave It to God"

In order to "turn it over" we must first be willing to let it go (see above). I respect what any person's faith dictates. My Pentecostal friends have an expression that, "God is a gentleman." To me this means that our Higher Power won't force a course of action that impinges upon our free will. Surrender is equal parts desperation and willingness. In addition to experiencing and expressing our emotions, turning things over to our Higher Power requires acceptance of powerless and acknowledging that only with grace will we achieve our goals.
When we ask our Higher Power to remove things like past pain or character defects, we receive the needed assistance. This most often comes in the form of people placed in our paths to guide us through the next part of the journey. There does not seem to be any instant gratification. Transformation is a process.

Read in browser »

share on Twitter Like Emotions in Early Recovery: "You Can't Heal What You Can't Feel" on Facebook

Recent featured articles:

Relapse Prevention: How to Relax with Imagery
SMART Recovery: A Free Science-Based Alternative to the 12 Steps
Gut Bacteria Protect Your Mental Health. Learn How to Protect Your Microbiome
The Four Ds – a Simple Relapse Prevention Strategy
Avoiding Methadone Overdose During the Dangerous First 2 Weeks
And, as always, thank you for reading!
All the best to you and yours,

Martin Schoel,
founder of Choose Help
P.S. If you’d like to dive into the conversation, make sure to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook (40K+ people do).
Do you or someone you know need rehab?
Click or 'Tap' to speak with us now:
(877) 333-5266
Google Plus
Copyright © 2016 Choose Help, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this newsletter because you are a member of Choose Help or you signed up on

Our mailing address is:
Choose Help
11301 Olympic Blvd. #351
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
August 26, 2016
Don't forget to register for PRO- ACT Recovery Walks! 2016     Click here to register!
Hope Against Overdose 
August 31st, 2016
1286 Veterans Highway, Ste. D6, Bristol, Pennsylvania

Saturday, September 17
PRO-ACT Recovery Walks! 2016
Penn's Landing, Philadelphia
Registration begins at 7:00 amWalk begins at 9:00 am
Post-Walk Program begins at 10:15 am

Stand Against Stigma--Walk for Recovery!
Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc., 252 West Swamp Road, Unit 12, Doylestown, PA 18901
Sent by in collaboration with
Constant Contact

Thursday, August 25, 2016
JUST FOR TODAY August 25 , 2016

STEP 12 Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.(AA Big Book)

Psalm 96:3 is part of a hymn lifting up the Lord and praising Him for all that he has done. Much like we are eager to tell people when we are in love, the same should be true of God. We are so filled with love for Him and the blessings of the Spirit that we cannot keep silent.(GODS BIG BOOK)
By Joseph Dickerson /Recovery Connections 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

JUST FOR TODAY August 23 , 2016

STEP 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
(AA Big Book)

1 Corinthians 13 : 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
(GODS BIG BOOK) By Joseph Dickerson / Recovery Connections 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

Step work 8 22

JUST FOR TODAY August 22 , 2016

Step 10 Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
(AA Big Book )

Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. 
(GODS BIG BOOK ) By Joseph Dickerson / Recovery Connections 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Step work Aug 20

JUST FOR TODAY August 20 , 2016

STEP 9 Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Matthew 18:15
If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
By Joseph Dickerson / Recovery Connections 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Step work just for today

JUST FOR TODAY August 19 , 2016

STEP 8 Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
(AA Big Book)

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. ...
(GODS BIG BOOK ) By Joseph Dickerson / Recovery Connections