November/December 2011 - 12 Step Gazette

November/December 2011 - 12 Step Gazette

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 2Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 3Clean, Sober and Happy THrougH THe HolidaySHow do we do it during this season of “craziness”? All kinds of triggersare going off around us – family pressures, money problems, drinking everywhere,TV commercials, “road (and shopping) rage” and a whole lot more.So, how do we stay focused on what we need to do to stay clean and sober?The answer is the same way we do it the rest of the year. One day at a timeand with plenty of help from our friends. Our support group - our sponsors,our friends and familiar faces at meetings – will all be crucial at this time ofyear. We're bound to be going through some really tough the veryleast, we will be feeling some deep feelings that we're going to need to talkabout. Especially if we want to have a somewhat happy holiday season,which we deserve and which is definitely attainable.Even if we're not at a meeting or our sponsor doesn't answer the phone,we have to remember one very important fact – we have choices today. Notjust a choice if we take a drink or drug or not, but all kinds of choices. Ifwe're feeling pressured or manipulated or uncomfortable we're allowed tospeak up for matter what the situation is. Sometimes we feel(and so do the people around us) that because we're clean and sober now wecan handle all kinds of stuff – sometimes, we can. But if we are not in theright frame of mind to deal with certain things we need to be able to expressthat. The holidays are the hardest time to stay clean & sober for many alcoholicsand addicts. The stress, hustle and bustle and family pressures, alongwith parties involving alcohol are everywhere. This is also the time of yearwhen depression sets in for many people and suicide rates go sky high. Tostay clean & sober during this season is not easy, but with a little help froma higher power and a great support system, it can be done.A fact that occurs in every recovering person’s life is the fact that our sobrietywill be tested. This occurs mostly when our defenses are down, whenwe think we have our recovery in check and when we least expect it. If westay ahead of our disease and have the proper tools at our fingertips ourchances of remaining sober are good. Attending meetings is the first line ofdefense for maintaining sobriety. You can find a recovery meeting every day,multiple times a day all year long. Can’t make it to a meeting in person? Onthe internet there are sober sites and meetings that you can participate in aswell. The second line of defense is to take time to breathe. The SerenityPrayer is a great tool. When it feels like your house has been invaded or theanxiety of going to a holiday function just feels like it’s too much, take aminute to ground yourself and say the Serenity Prayer, and remind yourselfthat this too shall pass. A third line of defense through this long holiday seasonis to try to keep our sense of humor (and if we are taking ourselves tooseriously, we need to lighten up). A sense of humor in recovery is one of the“Attending meetings is the first line of defense formaintaining sobriety. You can find a recovery meetingeveryday, multiple times a day, all year long.”most important tools we can have. This is not to say that we won’t havesome very painful situations. One of those that usually arises around holidaytime is our desire to buy presents for our family and our friends, spendingmoney we don’t have. We need to ask for help on this issue. We have sponsors,friends and fellow members to give us some hints as to what they didwhen they were in these situations. Now that we're finally clean and soberand if we stay on this course of recovery, all those material advantages willmost likely come. We'll have the opportunities to make up for quite a lot ofstuff if we stay in this process. But for now our families may have to settlefor the one thing they probably want more than anything else for Christmas- to get US back! Believe me, our families will be very happy to see the peoplewe used to be before addiction got its grasp on us. Or even better, a brandnew improved version of us; better than they would have ever hoped for!Sometimes, however, there is no getting around the fact that we all haveto suffer pain. Not just people in a 12 step recovery program or those whoare new to sobriety but every single human being on this planet. It is part ofour existence - pain is necessary. But suffering is optional; that is the fate ofthose of us who try to go it alone. If we ask for help, talk about what we'regoing through and work right through the pain instead of trying to avoid it,we will find that something new is happening to us. We're actually startingto grow up! What a great feeling that is and it's sure something to feel goodabout and proud of as we enter and make it through this holiday season of2011 clean, sober and hopefully happy.Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

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Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 5How To Develop An “Attitude of Gratitude”We’ve all heard about how important it is to be grateful – we haveoften felt the feeling of gratitude many times in our lives. We knowthat when something really good happens we get excited – andthankful. But in this process of recovery, in our new life of sobriety,we are encouraged to try to develop a consistent attitude of gratitude.That is a whole different ball game, as they say. And thatgame is only won with a lot of practice, some guidance from ourpeers and a re-training of the way we look at things.Before we start out with some basic methods to help us get grateful,let's take a look at the benefits of achieving this state of mind.After all, nothing motivates recovering addicts and alcoholics likea good reward or payoff – we probably wouldn't do half the thingsthat were suggested to us if the ends were not worthwhile. So, picturethis; we're having one of these days where things are not reallyworking out all that great – at least it seems that way. Let’s say...that we're in sales and we haven't sold anything. If we're in constructionmaybe we just hurt our back. With an attitude of gratitude,these situations won't all of a sudden look any better – but what willhappen is we will add all kinds of other, positive things to our mindsand hearts. For example, “tomorrow is another day”. Or, “thankGod I still have a job”. Or, “maybe it's not as bad as I think”. Witha good attitude, we can take this train of thought all the way to writinga “Gratitude List”. At this point, the 'no sales', 'hurt back' examplestarts to get at least a little easier to live with. So, how do wedo it? How do we re-train our minds? Let's start with some easyexercises. Take a look aroundyou. What do you see? No matterwhere we are or no matterwhat we are doing, we canchoose the way we interpret whatwe see. Here's a somewhat 'offbeat'example. I look around andstart to train myself to look forthose less fortunate. Unlessthey're homeless or in obviouspain, that might seem like a somewhat judgmental task. But it stillworks. If I see somebody who looks miserable or is shabbilydressed I need to stop and think, I'm blessed. But for the grace ofGod go I. We can do this with almost any circumstance. Waitingfor the bus and it's taking forever...we need to think, “Thank GodI'm not detoxing off heroin right now and heading down to get mynext fix – I'd die before this bus gets here!” Let's take another lookaround us – now what do we see? We're in a giant traffic jam, we'relate for an appointment and we're getting really angry. Stop! Think!Maybe we have a cell phone and we can call and explain why we'relate. If we want to develop an attitude of gratitude, we have to startlooking at things around us as “gifts”. The phone, the car, the radio,the ability to talk at all – all things to be thankful for. Yes, trafficjams are frustrating but there's so much luxury, convenience, beautyand humor in the world. We just have to look with different glasses.Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

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Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 7Gazette’s Humor PaGeEasy To Remember Holiday Jokes To Put A Smile On Your FaceWhat did the mother turkey say to her disobedient children? If yourfather could see you now, he'd turn over in his gravy! ☻ Whichside of the turkey has the most feathers? The outside! ☻ Why didthe Indian chief wear so many feathers? To keep his wigwam! ☻Why did they let the turkey join the band? Because he had the drumsticks!☻ What happened to the Pilgrim who was shot at by an Indian?He had an arrow escape! ☻ What's the key to a greatThanksgiving dinner? The turKEY! ☻ Why did the police arrestthe turkey? They suspected it of fowl play! ☻ How did theMayflower show that it liked America? It hugged the shore! ☻What kind of music did the Pilgrims like? Plymouth Rock. ☻ Howdid Albert Einstein celebrate Thanksgiving? He was very "thinkful"☻ Why did the turkey sit on the tomahawk? To try to hatchet! ☻What happened when the turkey got into a fight? He got the stuffingknocked out of him. ☻ If April showers bring May flowers, whatdo May flowers bring? Pilgrims! ☻ What would you get if youcrossed a turkey with an evil spirit? A poultrygeist! ☻ What areunhappy cranberries called? Blueberries! ☻ What would you getif you crossed a turkey with a baked fruit dessert? Peach gobbler!.☻ Asked to write a composition entitled, "What I'm thankful foron Thanksgiving," a student wrote, "I am thankful that I'm not aturkey.” ☻ What would you get if you crossed a Pilgrim with atype of cracker? A Pilgraham! ☻ What would you get if youcrossed Thanksgiving and Easter? Feaster Sunday! ☻ Why did thePilgrim eat a candle? He wanted a light snack! ☻ What did GeneralPatton do on Thanksgiving? He gave tanks. ☻ A poultry farmertried an experiment to breed turkeys with more legs for greater profits.He created one with 4 legs. "Does it taste alright?" a friend asked.The farmer said, with a sad face, "I don't know - we haven't be ableto catch one!" ☻ Why do turkeys always gobble? They haven'tbeen taught good table manners! ☻ What did the monster say tothe Thanksgiving turkey? Pleased to eat you! ☻ What did the littleturkey say to the big turkey? “Peck” on someone your own size!Why does Scrooge love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Becauseevery buck is dear to him. ☻ What do elves learn in school? TheElf-abet! ☻ Which of Santa's reindeers needs to mind his mannersthe most? Rude-olph. ☻ If athletes get athlete's foot, what do astronautsget? Missile toe. ☻ How do sheep in Mexico say MerryChristmas? Fleece Navidad! ☻ What do you call Santa Claus afterhe's fallen into a fireplace? Krisp Kringle. ☻ What do you call kidsthat are afraid of sitting on Santa's lap? Claustrophobic. ☻ Whatdo you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite.☻ What did Tarzan sing at Christmas time? Jungle Bells. ☻ Whatdo you get if you cross an apple with a Christmas tree? A pineapple!☻ Where did the mistletoe go to become rich and famous? Hollywood.☻ Which part of the turkey tastes the best? The inside. ☻Did Rudolph go to a regular school? No, he was elf-taught! ☻What key has legs and can't open doors? A Turkey. ☻ If the Pilgrimswere alive today, what would they be most famous for? TheirAGE! ☻ Why can't you take a turkey to church? Because they usesuch FOWL language. ☻ Did you know there was a reindeernamed Olive that most people forget to mention? Sure. They mentionher in the "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" song; "Olive, theother reindeer"! ☻ What did the turkey say before it was roasted?Boy am I stuffed! ☻ Where did the first corn come from? The stalkbrought it. ☻ Where do Santa and his elves vote? The North Poll☻ Which elf is the best singer? Elf-is Presley ☻ What do youcall a snowman party? Snow-Ball. ☻ What does a cat on the beachhave in common with Christmas? Sandy Claws. ☻ Did you hearthat one of Santa's reindeer now works for Proctor and Gambel? Itstrue . . . Comet cleans sinks! ☻ A man's in court and the judgesays, "You're accused of Christmas shopping too early." Then hesays, "Wait - that's no crime. How early were you shopping?" Theman answers, "Before the store opened." ☻ What did Adam sayon the day before Christmas? It’s Christmas, Eve. ☻ What happenedwhen Santa’s cat swallowed a ball of yarn? She had mittens!Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

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Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 9Mark Sigmund’sFamous Gratitude Quotes"When it comes to life the critical thing iswhether you take things for granted or takethem with gratitude."-- Gilbert Chesterton"Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, andan antiseptic"-- John Jowett"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is likewrapping a present and not giving it."-- William Arthur Ward“When you are grateful poverty disappears andabundance appears like magic”-- UnknownGratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitudebrings joy and laughter into your life andinto the lives of all those around you.-- Eileen CaddyGratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encountereveryday epiphanies, those transcendentmoments of awe that change forever howwe experience life and the world.-- John MiltonGratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,but the parent of all the others.-- Marcus Tullius CiceroCADC, CCDPThe holidays are quickly approaching, and this can be a particularytough time for recovering addicts. Many of us have gone through roughtimes, and the holiday season can bring up troublesome emotions. Thesetricky emotions can come on strong, especially for those in early recovery.However, there are tools we can use to get through the holiday season unscathedby our addiction. First, we can help other recovering addicts, andget involved in service. The self-centered core of our disease, seems tolose it's power when we help others and contribute to society. By doingthis, we take our minds off our own self-obsession, and problems, whilerestoring clarity to our lives. Just remember, our problems are not that importantanyway! You will be amazed at the serenity you can gain duringthe holidays, just by escaping the self-centered bear trap! Another greattool to utilize is a gratitude list. It has been said that rarely does an addictpick up on a day they are grateful for their recovery. For instance, thisThanksgivng, try to write a gratitude list. What gifts have you gained insobriety? Have you noticed some positive changes in your life? Addictivethinking is all about wanting what we want, when we want it. This skewedthinking causes a loss of gratitude for the good things we have, and feedsthe disease. It is very important to start practicing gratitude, especiallyaround the holidays. Over time, this gratitude will change your perspective,and provide relief. Finally, it is so important to make lots of meetings duringthis time, and to stay in close contact with your sponsor.Mark Sigmund is a counselor at Rehab After Work.Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 10Making aMends during The holidaysThe 12 steps of recovery have two whole steps dedicated to makingamends; eight and nine. No matter which program you are in it'salways a must to work these steps with the guidance of a sponsor.This article is not suggesting you move away from that process - alwaysdiscuss an amend you are about to make with your sponsorfirst. What we ARE going to talk about is that many of us will seefamily members we have wronged at Christmas time.They know what we did, we know it and wouldn't it be nice to atleast mention something to that person (even if we're not officiallyon that step yet); it would be a heckuva lot better than avoiding eyecontact or trying to be friendly without talking about the obvious"elephant standing right next to you both". That elephant beingmaybe you stole that person's checkbook and wrote $500 worth ofchecks and now you're not going to mention it because you're noton that step yet? I don't think that's right. Now that we're clean andsober - we're making meetings and working the steps and startingto be human again, I think Christmas is the perfect time (and thetime of year when the opportunity may actually arise) to make someamends.So we need to mention this to our sponsors and see what theysay - maybe they'll say that if you actually wind up in the same roomwith somebody you wronged, then you could at least make somekind of apology with a promise to do more when you actually get tothe ninth step. However, we do want to be clear that you need toask your sponsor first. I have noticed that many family membersknow more about the twelve steps then we think - so they probablywill be prepared for some comment. They might even feel "miffed"if you DON'T say anything about the screwed up behavior {theydon't know that you're holding back because you're not on that stepyet!}.This may sound a little corny, but I can just picture a Christmasscene complete with family, kids and a recovering addict/alcoholicgiving and getting a nice hug after confessing how sorry they arethat they did whatever - maybe add a tear or two to complete thepicture. Being clean and sober can really produce some great momentsof healing and happiness and this Christmas season might bethe perfect time for them!Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 11“Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product." – Eleanor Roosevelt, wifeof Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States from 1933-1945.She has been called the most important “first lady” of modern times.Sometimes we tell ourselves or others that all we want is to be happy.When we say this, however, we aren’t talking about a goal. Happiness isn’ta goal. It isn’t something that we can single out and put up on the bulletinboard or in our daily reminder as a must-have item. Happiness isn’t somethingwe can seek. Experience alone should tell us that. The harder we tryto achieve happiness, the more elusive it becomes.It’s a lot like love. When we try too hard to have someone love us, justthe opposite is likely to occur. The other person may be scared off by ourintensity or we may be viewed as threatening or too demanding. What wethink are our most attractive qualities may not be what the other person islooking for, if indeed, they’re looking for an attachment at all. Therefore,the harder we try to "make" someone love us, the less likely we are to beloved. And that leaves us with a hole in our affections where we’ve had thegoal of love – or happiness – that keeps eluding us.How, then, are we ever to feel happiness, if it’s not a goal to strive for?The secret is that we have to give up the thought of happiness as a goal. Weneed to learn how to live in the moment, to be truly present in the here andnow. Find satisfaction in what we do, who we are, what we can give to others,and we will find, almost by accident, that such satisfaction makes usfeel good. When we feel good, we can infer that we are experiencing happiness,a contentment of spirit or whatever we want to call it.In other words, happiness comes along as a by-product of our actions.We have to act before we can reap the benefits of our hard work. Let’s saythat one of our goals is to achieve a certain milestone in our sobriety. Whenwe get to our 30-day sobriety milestone — that is an achievement for whichwe can be truly proud. When we receive our 30-day chip and the acknowledgementand support of our fellow 12-step group members, our sponsor,and our loved ones and family members, this is a time when we feel a senseof accomplishment. It feels good to have achieved this milestone as a resultof our hard work. We may describe ourselves as feeling happy on this day.But remember that the happiness came out of our hard work, our action toget to this point. Happiness wasn’t the goal, but the by-product of our actions.Maybe we haven’t had much in the way of success in our lives. We haveto start somewhere, right? Try setting small goals, ones that are achievable.Then work hard to accomplish those goals. Don’t stop there. Create a listof new goals for ourselves, some short-term, some a little ways off, andsome that are long-term goals. Then put a plan together as to how we’regoing to achieve those goals. Be flexible and learn how to revise goals asnew opportunities come our way, as indeed they will. By concentrating ongoal-setting, putting together a plan of action, and setting to work to dowhat’s required, we will be well on our way to achieving our goals. Andwhen we do see our goal realized, we can look forward to the by-productthat may very well be there at the finish line. We may, indeed, find that happinessis what we feel and felt throughout the journey. -Anonymous BlogAre you feeling blocked in your career, creative endeavors eavors or vision?ion?Breakthrough at Caron and JFC Professional Services, Inc.are proud to announce nce a new collaboration to bringSuccess is an InsideJob to Caron’s PA campus.Identify and overcome your fear of success patternsthat interfere with orderail your work life including: For more information, n, please call 212-463-0080.Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 12Finding a Good Balance In Our New LifeFrom the day that we make our first meeting or take our first step out ofrehab, we all are faced with a dilemma. How much time are we supposedto spend with our families, how much effort are we supposed to put intowork and how much effort are we supposed to put into our program? Let’sstart with our recovery/sobriety - because, without that, we won’t have anything.How many meetings should we make in a week? How about onemore than you think you need! Our sponsors probably have said that quote.For the purpose of actually answering some questions that are being raisedin this article, let's say enough that you feel connected ("plugged in"). Weusually need to ask some people in recovery for adviceon this - if we trust our own "still broken" thinking,we could be in trouble. We should keep in mind,however, that if we build a really strong foundationin recovery (making tons of meetings and friends thefirst year and getting involved in a home group andthe 12 steps), we could ease up a little and maybespend some time with our family or work some overtimeto help solidify our job security. This whole conceptof balance is a touchy subject. I used to go toconventions years ago where they always had workshopson how to determine if you have a good balance or not. One thingthat always used to come up (and that still applies) is that service work inthe fellowship is not only aimed at helping a newcomer. Nor should the"others" in the phrase 'helping others' be totally limited to 12 step members.We need to reach out to our family also - spend time with THEM. This becomesespecially important if we're going to be working the 8th and 9thsteps - making amends. There is no better way to show our remorse at theway we treated certain people than to actually spend some time with them.One thing that always seems to happen to us in recovery is that we windup getting "heavier into" the side of the balance sheet that we like more.For example, if we love meetings and hanging out with people in the fellowshipwe are probably going to overdo it sometimes. It's natural to leantowards doing what we love especially when we can justify it by saying;"Well I need to be totally involved - I don't want to relapse!" That's fine ifwe're not short-changing other areas of our lives. But if we are, we need totake a look at it. Sometimes the total opposite is true. Many people in recoveryaren't that thrilled about meetings or getting involved in 'the program'.They have forced themselves to do it but they would rather stay homewith their spouse or kids and kick back and watch abasketball game. Or sometimes in an even worse casescenario, they choose to relax after work by themselvesand watch television. This can often be dangerousfor recovering people. It's okay for us to takecare of ourselves (quiet time is important), but wemust remember that 'an addict alone is in bad company'!Or here's another famous problem: we start tomake money again. I know a heck of a lot of independentcontractors who have gotten clean and sober,became dependable and productive and couldn't pullthemselves off of a job at 7:00 pm to get ready for a meeting.If we're not making as many meetings as we need - we know it. If we'reworking too hard or getting obssessed with making money - we know it. Ifwe're hiding out in meetings because we don't feel like facing some of thetough realities of our lives - we know that too. So if we feel like we mightbe "off balance”, we need to do what we have learned - admit we're havinga problem and ask for help. In this area of our lives we might need only alittle tweak here or an adjustment there and we may find it's not that difficultto achieve a workable, comfortable balance.Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 1312 Step Night Before Christmas(AA Style)'Twas the night before Christmas, we were all in the club,Enjoying a meeting, instead of a pub,The ashtrays were clean, and the coffee was made,The Big Books were out and we all had prayed.When out in the lot, there arose such a clatter,We all jumped up to see what was the matter.The Chair with his Big Book, and I with my smokes,Headed outside to find these two blokes.They came inside and sat at a table;And said that they'd chair, as soon as they're able.To start with, they said, "It's more than not drinking;It's doing your best to fix your sick thinking.""Think, Think, Think!" and the slogans we used,Help keep the newcomer from getting confused.Step 1 is a start, they said we should know,But after Step 2, we'd all be aglow.We made a decision when we got to Step 3;Step 4 was real tough, we all could agree,Step 5 is the one where we let it all out,And after Step 6 and 7, we are left with no doubt.When we got to Step 8, we made our list;And then with Step 9, we have to persist.After Step 9, the promises ring true;We didn't just make that up, right out of the blue.After that, it's on with the rest;The things we must do, to be our best.They put on their coats and got ready to leave;A pretty good end, for this Christmas Eve.As to their names, we only could guess;Must have been Bill W. and Dr. Bob S.The two men hopped into a '35 Ford,And as they pulled out, one of them roared:"We leave this message, for our sisters & brothers:trust God, clean house, and be of service to others.And for all of you people, I just want to say:have a nice holiday, but dont't drink today!-Author Unknown12 Step Night Before Christmas(NA Style)Twas the night before Christmas when all through the roomNot a member was stirring, nor sought to use.Coffee and cookies were set out with care;Knowing more NA members soon would be there.Each grateful member with no trace of vanity,Gave thanks to the Power that restores us to sanity.The leader of the meeting, like all who have missionsPassed out the readings and I got the Traditions.In parking a car, some bumpers were hit,The man who was wrong did promptly admit.And to our wandering grateful eyes did appearOur famous guest speaker, loved far and near.More rapid than eagles the member then came;He hugged them and kissed them and called them by name:Hi, Alice; 'lo, Jimmy; God love you, Harry..Betty and Carol and Birthday boy Larry!Again we all settled, ready to share;The leader of the meeting led the Serenity Prayer.As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane flyWhen they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky.So up with our clean time the members they flew,With Twelve Steps to follow, Twelve Traditions, too.The Seventh Tradition inevitably came.The leader then called on our speaker by name.He wore his red suit, a fur cap and no tie,But soon let us know with a wink of his eye,That Christmas for us, we must not be the same thugIt only means staying away from the first drug.A bundle of joys he told us we'd find,"Read the Basic Text for true peace of mind."At the end of the meeting he led the Prayerand gave us the word: "Continue to share."But I heard him exclaim as he picked up his pack,"Don't ever forget to Keep Coming Back!-Author UnknownEmail: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

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Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 15relaTion-slips?If you've traveled the hall of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) [or NA], you'veprobably heard a few acronyms, ranging from HALT (Hungry, Angry,Lonely, Tired) to GOD (Group of Drunks, or Good Orderly Direction).There are many more, but here's one you might not have heard:Real Exciting Love Affair Turns Into Outrageous Nightmare-SobrietyHangs In Peril [Acronym for Relationship]. OK, not every romantic relationshipends in disaster, and not every relationship is a switched addiction.Even in early recovery, it is possible to navigate a new relationship withoutrelapse, particularly if there is a strong support system in place.But there are good reasons for the suggestion (read: directive) that thenewcomer to recovery should abstain from new relationships for a year.Here we examine some of the more prominent reasons...Distraction - Fact is, any relationship requires time and energy. The personin early recovery has lots to learn about himself and lots to do-such asgoing to meetings, getting a sponsor, working the steps of recovery, doingservice work, getting a job, improving nutrition, exercising, etc. Romancecan get in the way of these things. This is why newcomers are guided toassociate with their own gender (or the gender to which they are not sexuallyattracted). Another good suggestion for them is to sit up front at meetings,limiting the degree to which they will be distracted by who's walking in thedoor, who's talking to whom, who's looking particularly sexy today, etc.Emotional immaturity - There are a gazillion reasons to drink, and thehighs and the lows of a new romance can seem like a perfect excuse to relapse.If emotional growth is stunted during the “using years,” and I believeit is, then your 30-year-old client could be emotionally closer to the agewhen he/she began using. And we know what 14-year-olds are like.Forging healthy relationships takes time and maturity. Yet our clients areoften eager to “fill the hole” that used to be filled with alcohol and drugsandthey usually are ill-equipped to distinguish among infatuation, friendship,sexual excitement and love.Our clients often run from one “intense” love affair to another, expectingeach new relationship to be the “real thing”-the one that will last a lifetime.Just as the addict seeks meaning and pleasure from his drug of choice, heviews relationships in the same way, as something external that will “fixwhat's wrong inside of me.”But can we love another without first loving ourselves? Ayn Rand wrote,“Love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem.” Her words suggestthat we must appreciate ourselves before we can bestow love upon another,and this is asking a lot of the person in early recovery.Written By Brian Duffy. For The Full Article, For THe CHroniC relapser“Numerous failed attempts at sobriety, or a return to drugs/alcohol aftera substantial period of sobriety.“ While this is a simple and obvious criterionof a chronic relapser, the distinction of an individual who has attemptedsobriety and failed is important. Many addicts have a lifetime of drug andalcohol abuse but have never actually attempted to get sober. What makeschronic relapsers distinct is that they have tried and failed.Unable to maintain sobriety despite having a wealth of knowledge aboutaddiction and recovery. Often, chronic relapsers know enough about thedisease concept, the 12 Steps, relapse triggers, the neurological impact ofdrugs, and family roles to teach classes on substance abuse at a treatmentcenter. However, they have no experience in applying this knowledge totheir lives in a way that creates lasting sobriety. Their wealth of knowledgeis something that chronic relapsers will often use as a weapon when lovedones attempt to intervene.Continued substance use despite significant, severe and repeated consequences.This is the baffling and insane feature of addiction in general, butparticularly with chronic relapsers. Despite loss of children, loss of family,homelessness, seizures, heart attacks, diseases, prostitution, incarcerationand overdose, chronic relapsers continue to drink and use drugs. While theymay have an intense and honest desire to stop using, they are powerless tomake that choice.Chronic relapsers often feel hopeless that they will ever find lasting sobriety.Addicts in their first attempt at sobriety, whether in treatment or a12-Step program, often possess great hope and excitement about a new life.With chronic relapsers, however, there is frequently an intense hopelessnessand a cynical outlook on any possibility of permanent sobriety. Upon arrivalat Burning Tree Recovery Ranch (where I work), clients often tell me theyare here just so that when they die of this disease their family will knowthey tried everything and will have peace. Based on their life history, chronicrelapsers are convinced they are beyond repair.They have had multiple treatment episodes, including psychiatric treatment,detox, residential, outpatient, and halfway houses. This often includesrelapse just hours, days or weeks after getting out of treatment. Treatmentproviders need to emphasize the mental and spiritual nature of the disease.Chronic relapsers usually think they know what’s wrong with them, but wehave discovered that despite their wealth of knowledge about addiction,they have no idea what’s actually wrong with them. It is essential that theyunderstand that they have a disease of the mind, body and spirit and thatthe solution, through the 12 steps, is spiritual in nature.Written By Heidi Voet Smith. 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Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 16Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 17In my first quest as Sloganman, I found myself trying to find aneasy way to not have to deal with some of the problems that werefacing me (overweight, trouble breathing, back pain, etc.). I triedevery “acceptance” thing I could think of so I could just shrug myshoulders and not have to do any of the hard work (like diet or exercise).But there it was in neon lights... “Nothing Changes If NothingChanges!” There's also the long version of that slogan, “if wealways do what we always did we'll always get what we always wegot”.And so it is with these slogans and program sayings...we lovethem and we hate them. We love 'em because they're fun to pull outof our pocket when we're having some conversation and we want tomake a “profound” point. We hate them because they seem to boilall of our fancy excuses and smoke screens away and show us a verysimple solution. One thing we have to admit – they are very slickand clever the way they are put together.Years ago these sayings, slogans or clichés (clee-shays) were likethe backbone of AA's daily watchwords, hung up on plaquesthroughout clubhouses and meeting sites. Then NA followed withsome of their own (“Hugs Not Drugs” was an early favorite) andthey really started to gain momentum as serious tools of sobrietyand the recovery process. Lately, some old-timers have sentimentallysaid, “I don't hear those clichés anymore like I used to”. So,this column was born to try and “bring em back!”Check out this comment on slogans; “They're like railings to holdon to while we take the steps”. Very witty stuff. With these shortsayings, it's always fun to just run a bunch of them in a row andlet people pick out the ones they like and want to take home withthem. So let's do that; there's so many that we need a themehere...let's make it change (since that's where this column started).Here's a good one - “If we don't change, our clean (sobriety) datewill!” Here's a bit of a “wise-guy” saying (about staying clean andsober) but it fits here - “You only have to change one thing......everything!”Here's a good one about dealing with the world around us;“Things around us may stay the same – we have to change”.Since we still have room for more, let's pick another topic; takingthat first drink or drug. A couple of classic slogans to start with; 1)“One is too many and a thousand not enough”, 2) “When you gethit by a train it's the engine car not the caboose that kills you”. Howabout our famous, “I can't drink or drug – I'm allergic – I take oneand in a few hours I break out in handcuffs”. This next one presentsa great picture about taking the first one.. “When you dancewith a gorilla it's the gorilla who decides when to stop”.Here's another good topic for slogan hunting; staying in today.Here are some great slogans on that theme...“It's ok to look back justdon't stare.” Here's another good one... “Yesterday is history - tomorrowis a mystery.” Here's a couple more; “Today is a gift; that'swhy it's called the present.” “Today is the tomorrow you worriedabout yesterday so live in the now!” This next one is a great one forthose of us who are stuck in fear or tend to procrastinate..“Enjoy lifetoday, it is not a dress rehearsal.” Here's an early A.A. Classic forthose who wish they could go back to “controlled drinking”; “onceyou're a pickle, you can't turn back into a cucumber.” So there yougo. Some slogans to keep us going with more to come next issue.Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 18“Goombah Logic”A Column By John P.Just Another Day?"It's Just Another Day" you would hear some of the old-timerssaying... "We got loaded on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, NewYears Day, Mon-day, Tues-day, EVERY day”! So, they don't wantanyone thinking any other day is special – we get that – we have tostay clean every day. Newcomers celebrating their first set of holidaysclean and sober can't afford to play with their admission andconviction they made to their recovery. The oldtimers in the roomshave seen some of us come back into the rooms - after they gave into the hype that the holidays were extra pressure - very beaten physically,emotionally and spiritually. How about all the moms anddads, wives and husbands, sons and daughters who were expectingto have a peaceful holiday and were let down again because of aloved one's relapse. So when I hear those statements that the holidaysare just another day, I have to smile. Look, I know that recovery"Is" the most important thing in our lives today but those daysdo stand out not only for addicts but for everyone, especially Christmas(especially where I grew up). When we were young all the anticipation,anxiety and that wonderful feeling of love comes alive.That day family and friends and even complete strangers let downtheir everyday attitudes and become more open and less selfish. Myfirst clean & sober Christmas probably stood out more than my anniversarydate that first year. It is a day for renewal, to allow ourfriends, family and everyone who was shaken by our addictedlifestyle to see and feel our Spirit again and to be part of their lives.We lose our self-centeredness that day and become the loving andgiving people that was lost all those years. And those with familieswhere the pain still lingers, hopefully the significance of that day(the religious and spiritual hallmarks of Christmas) will allow themto put the hurt aside and open up for forgiveness. What better wayto describe a recovering addict who has been saved from the insanityof addiction and born again with a renewed commitment towardslife than the symbolism in the story of Jesus? So when I hear thoseOld-timers saying it's "Just Another Day" I smile and say, “any addictwho can stay clean for one day is a Miracle".Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 19About The Processby Bradley K.Quick Fix!It seems these days that we have a pill for everything. Depressed?Take this. Want to lose weight? Take that. Can't sleep?Take these. Can't stay awake? Drink this. You get the point... Insteadof going through things the old fashioned way, we look forthat quick fix that will solve everything. Instant Gratification .The basic text warns us of that 'magic' person, place or thingthat we think will fix us. We think, "if I just get that girl," or "if Ijust get that car.." Simply put, “If I just get that one thing theneverything will be okay.” As addicts this is one if our main problems.Impatience, self-centeredness and most of all delusion.When we begin to work a program of recovery we find that thementality of instant gratification (I.G.) is a mainstay of addiction.Using drugs is probably the biggest fix there is. Control and manipulationis the name of the game; we feel something we don'twant to feel so we run. In recovery we learn to go through ourproblems and grow from them.The opposite of and solution to I.G. is delayed gratification(D.G.) With D.G. we learn that although in the moment it may beuncomfortable to practice recovery, in the big picture it pays off.The opposite is true for I.G.; it feels good in the moment but doesdamage in the long run. Seeing the big picture and practicing spiritualprinciples against our will is a sign of maturity.Recovery is a decision making process; doing what we don'twant to do and not doing what we want to do. When we stop livingon the edge and stop making decisions on impulse, the rewardsare balance, serenity and joy. When we patiently act oursolution in principles instead of a quick fix the results are positiveand long lasting. Here are some exercises you can try:A) List a situation when you acted impulsively. Explain how itmade sense or felt good while you did it but caused damage (witha relationship, physically, mentally or spiritually)B) Imagine how you could have practiced principles in the samesituation and how it would have changed the outcome.Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 20The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc.&PRO-ACT PresentThe Tree of HopeRecovery from addiction is possible Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 21NA EventsNovember 18th - 20th - Greater Atlantic City Area Convention- Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel - 2 ConventionBlvd, Atlantic City - For more information call 609-214-9164 or 609-334-9932 - To register call 609-412-0095November 24th (Thanksgiving day) - 10:00AM - 4:00PM -Thanksgiving Day Marathon - Academy and Torrey - Food, Fun,Fellowship - Meeting times & topics: 10:00AM Grab Bag,11:00AM Sponsorship & Homegroup, 12:00PM (DoubleSpeaker) Gratitude, 1:00PM Experience, Strength & Hope,2:00PM Relationships & Recovery, 3:00PM AcceptanceFor December Events Please Check or callLou @ 267-975-7255 For Info on Philly Area Unity EventsEvery 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month – G.R.A.S.P (GriefRecovery After A Substance Passing) Support Group- Heldat PRO-ACTs Southern Bucks Recovery Community Centerstarts at 6:30PM. Contact PRO-ACT 215-788-3738 for info.Every Sunday & Monday – Cocaine Anonymous - The CAmeetings that were held at Expresso Yourself are now held atThe Stepping Stones Clubhouse (4945 Friendship St). Sunday’sat 12:00pm - 1:30pm. Monday’s at 7:30pm - 9:00pm.Every Saturday @ 6pm - 7pm - Tune to 900 on the AM dial forRecovery Radio Personality Rick Ford’s show.Every Monday @ 12PM - Takin’ it 2 Another Level Show -Recovery Radio show @ www.stop-recoveryradio.comEvery Tuesday @ 7:30PM – Livengrin Assoc. of Alumni,Family & Friends - General gathering of both Livengrin alumsand all others welcome. Includes speakers, sharing, and opportunitiesto assist soon-to-be or recent Livengrin alumni.Saturday December 31st - 9:00 PM - 1:00 AM - Johnson MemorialUnited Methodist Church @ 3117 Longshore Avenue,Philadelphia, PA 19149 - Second Annual Sober New Year’s EveDance hosted by Baxter and Joseph “Smitty” Smith - Ticketsare $15 for Adults, $8 Kids, 16 & Under and Munchkins are free- There will be music, fun, dancing, food, etc..Starting Point is holding their Capital Fund drive throughDecember. They are asking for a donation to help them continuetheir great work. Call 856-854-3155 for more details.AA EventsThe Bottles and Badges Group for current and former sworn LawEnforcement Officers meets every Wednesday @ 7:00PM at theFOP Headquarters 1336 Spring Garden Street.January 29th - The ROUND UP PLANNING meeting will beheld at the Intergroup Office, 444 N. 3rd Street in Philadelphia at1:00pm. All are welcome to attend and plan this event. Pleasecome out and have a say in Intergroup's biggest event of the year.For more events please check Intergroup’s web page or call 215-923-7900City Of Angels, Hamilton, NJ - Founded in January 2009, offerssupport after recognizing the needs of the addicted and their families.Visit their site at for upcoming events.New Beginnings Transitional Shelter for the Homeless is locatedat 6117 Cedar Ave. in Phila., PA 19143 - 610-905-6016PRO-ACT is having various holiday activities. For more infosee their article on Page 25 of this issue.Every Wednesday @ 7:30 PM - Bristol-Bensalem Nar-AnonMeeting - St. Thomas Aquinas Church 601 Bristol Pike (Rte13.) Croydon, PA 19021 - Enter meeting from rear of churchnear main parking area.Every Saturday @ 11AM - GreySheeters Anonymous Meeting -Located at Starting Point - For Info Call Pam @ 856-307-1988Starting Point, Inc. - 856-854-3155 - Westmont, NJFree Wednesday Lectures at 5:30 and 7:00PMPOSITIVE INVENTORY SERIESNovember 16th: Developing Good Healthy Self EsteemNovember 23rd: No Lecture. Happy Thanksgiving!November 30th: Growing in Maturity and ResponsibilityGRIEF AND LOSS SERIESDecember 7th: Overview of the Grieving ProcessDecember 14th: Journey Through Denial, Anger and BargainingDecember 21st: Journey Through Sadness to AcceptanceDecember 28th: No Lecture. Happy Holidays!For a full list of free Starting Point meetingsvisit their website at www.startingpoint.orgEmail: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 22Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 23Some Tips To Support Your Recovery During The HolidaysTip #1: Be sure to get enough rest. – Let’s face it. When you’re tired,you’re more apt to make snap judgments that may turn out to be wrong, saysomething you wish you hadn’t, or find yourself entertaining thoughts ofgiving into the temptation to drink or do drugs. While being well restedcan’t guarantee that these situations won’t occur, it’s far less likely.Tip #2: Give thanks for your sober days. – It may help to think about thenumber of days or weeks or months you’ve been sober. Just counting upthe days can afford a measure of comfort and peace. This is a big achievement,and one that you’ve worked hard for. Sometimes, just taking the timeto give thanks for all this time you’ve been sober in recovery is enough tokeep you firmly on your path.Tip #3: If you feel you might stumble, call your sponsor. – This tip appliesanytime of the year. Day or night. After all, that’s what your sponsor signedon for when he or she agreed to be your sponsor. One thing to remember isthat you’re not putting your sponsor out by calling. The relationship youhave with your sponsor is a special one. You both are committed to yoursobriety.Tip #4: Have back-up plans ready. – It’s amazing how a simple tip canmake all the difference. If you’re prepared with a reasonable response whenyou’re at a party and getting ready to leave and someone asks you to stay,it’s not only less stressful, it’s also essential. You’ve got an easy out, noone’s feelings are hurt, and you’ve been true to your sobriety.A Single Father’s Christmas PresentBy: Charles HorochiwskyI wake Christmas morning year after year,not a present to open again is my fear.There’s no one to place it under my tree,this year was no different, no present for me.How could I be so blind in the headas I looked at my little boy lying in bed?He was wrapped in pajamas, twirled up in a sheet,and all that stuck out was his head and his feet.He sprang out of bed, with a spirit so free,and he opened his gifts as he sat by the tree,I knew at that moment - I was able to seethat he was my present tucked under the tree.Tip #5: Go late and leave early. – Here’s another tip that may work foryou. It’s simple, really. Just go as late as you can to the party without beingirresponsible and leave well before the party’s end. What you’re doing, ineffect, is putting in an appearance. That’s all that matters to most hosts anyway.You’ve been invited. You show up, talk to a few folks, and leave. Endof story.Tip #6: Spend your time with fellow 12-step members. – Who understandsthe impact of the holidays on sobriety better than your fellow 12-step members? And, what better place to be than at a 12-step meeting whenyou feel the pressures of the holiday season? The truth is that those in recoveryaren’t any more immune to depression and loneliness than someonewho’s never had a problem with alcohol. Thousands of people of all agesare alone or infirm or depressed during the period from Thanksgiving toNew Year’s, or around birthdays of now-deceased relatives or friends. Butthe difference is that you, since you are in recovery, have an automatic supportnetwork in your 12-step sponsor and group members.Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 24How to slow down your thinking (and focus your mind)...Technique One: Breathe Slowly. Begin by inhaling a deep breaththrough your nose and as you slowly exhale through your mouth, mentallyrepeating the word “relax.” Next focus your awareness on what has capturedyour attention. What are you thinking or worrying about? Explorewhat has captured your attention and then repeat the breathing exerciseabove to release it with your exhale. Tip: You can visualize that as you exhale,you are breathing out the thoughts and feelings from your mindthrough your mouth, like bubbles floating off into the distance.Technique Two: Write. This exercise will help you gain clarity and perspective.Find some paper and write down your thoughts. As you write,remind yourself… “I have these thoughts… I am not my thoughts; I havethese feelings… I am not my feelings.” Let the words flow out of you andwrite them down without editing. Tip: An important fact, you can not writeas fast as you can think, so when you write down your thoughts you willslow down your thinking automatically. This is one of the benefits of journalingand why it is considered a meditative experience. It slows your minddown and focuses your attention quickly.Technique Three: Hum. Take a few moments and hum the lyrics of afavorite song. Concentrate on remembering the lyrics and feel the vibrationof humming in your throat, face and chest. This will benefit you in twoways: 1. Concentration and remembering the song will focus your mind. 2.The vibration of humming will ground you into the sensation of your physicalbody.Technique Four: Visualize. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply threetimes and mentally (silently) say the word “relax.” Imagine a “basketballsize” sphere of white light hovering about twelve inches above your head.Focus your mind to visualize the minutest detail. Imagine that you see itand feel the warmth radiating down on the top of your head. Next imaginethis sphere slowly lowering and touching the crown of your head.The Choice Is Yours - Motivation by Ralph MarstonIf you wish to live a day filled with anger, you can choose to be angry. Orif you wish to live a day filled with joy, you can choose to be joyful. Thisday does not make the choice for you, and no other person makes that choiceeither. The choice is entirely up to you. Why can some people be happyeven when times are hard while others are filled with despair even when allis well? It is the individual, internal choice, not the external circumstance,that ultimately determines how life is experienced. In fact, it is more thanthat. Because whatever is going on in your own mind and feelings will soonbe happening in your outer world. This day is yours to choose. This life isyours to choose. As long as you have the choice, you might as well choosethe very best. Decide how you truly wish to live, the choice is yours.Series Of Miracles - Motivation by Ralph MarstonToday is nothing less than a miracle. Your life is even more of a miracle.Feeling the warm sun on your face seems like such a simple thing. And yetthat simple little experience is made possible by unimaginably complex andprofound factors, all coming together in a single moment. And then, whenone amazing moment is finished, another has just begun. Even the mostseemingly ordinary life is a series of magnificent miracles, each one followingquickly after the one before. It is all too easy to take it all for granted.And just the fact that you can take it for granted is itself an amazing thing.You can never fully appreciate all that goes into the wonder in which you'reimmersed. And because of that, there is no limit to how much you can treasureit all. Even when you are continually thankful, there is always more forwhich to be thankful. Even when you know you have it good, you don't everfully know how good you have it. Celebrate the miracles that come in everymoment within the overall miracle that is your life.Copyright 2010 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. www.dailymotivator.comEmail: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 25Make the Holiday Meaningful to Your Recovery (From PRO-ACT)In a perfect world the holidays are a time to revel in your recovery. Theyare a time for celebration, family, gratitude, spirituality, and a time to honorthe past and welcome the future - all ingredients for marking a successfulmilestone in your recovery. But for many in recovery it can be a difficulttime, especially if you are in early recovery. The holidays are challengingwith commitments and the excesses of food and drink. Financial problemsas well as family issues can be triggers for relapse.The best approach is to have a plan.Parties and Alcohol - If parties and alcohol are going to be an issue,take a friend, or talk with your host and make certain there is somethingnon-alcoholic for you to drink. Make plans to leave early if you think theparty will last long and make you uncomfortable. Make certain you dosomething fun afterward. And have faith that your friends and family wantto support you in your recovery.Finances - If finances are difficult try doing things that are not expensiveand are well connected to the deeper meaning of the holiday season.Family - If things become stressful, utilize the tools you’ve learned andcall a friend or your sponsor if you feel you’re going to relapse.Volunteer and Help Others - Although there is need all year long theThanksgiving and Christmas holidays are periods of high demand. Volunteerat a food bank, make dinner for someone needy. There is always roomat PRO-ACT for volunteers in all our centers to help someone along in theirrecovery.Have Fun and Attend Recovery Events - Shop with your recoveryfriends or go see a holiday show. PRO-ACT has several events you can attend.Community Appreciation Day - Volunteer at our Philadelphia RecoveryCommunity Center for our Annual Appreciation Day Dinner on November23rd. You can make or serve food. Contact Maria Cintron at 215.223.7700if you want to help.Santa Claus is Coming… - Join us for hot cocoa and cookies on Sunday,December 11. Call the Women’s Recovery Center for more information.215.489.6120.The Tree of Hope - Join us for an evening of hope on December 14,6:30pm in the Bucks County Courthouse Lobby, Doylestown. The TreeCelebrates freedom from addiction and those in recovery, Dedicates hopeto those still struggling and Commemorates lives lost to the disease. Enjoyfellowship, music, personal testimony and light refreshments. For more informationgo to Your Recovery During the Holidays - Respect the work youhave done so far, call your friends, keep to your plan, ask for help, celebratethe holiday and celebrate your recovery. PRO-ACT has a 24 hour hotlineif you need information or help. 800-221-6333Dr. Drew Leaves ‘Celebrity Rehab’As the face of some five different television shows,Dr. Drew Pinsky is giving Ryan Seacrest a run for hismoney as one of the hardest working men in showbiz.But the celebrity doc is now taking a few of those commitmentsoff his crowded plate. Dr. Drew is officiallyleaving VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” (both “Rehab” and“Sober House” had been on hold while Pinsky devotedhis time to other projects). “Rehab” premiered in 2008 and followed agroup of celebrity addicts as they sought treatment from Dr. Drew and hisstaff at the Pasadena Recovery Center. The program itself became somewhatof an addictive reality show, and that’s probably why VH1 is reluctantto check out of “Rehab” entirely. TMZ reports the network is looking tokeep the show alive, without Dr. Drew on board, in a tweaked format. Sadlyfor “Rehab” fans the emphasis will move into troubled relationships withcouples coming in to deal with their problems in front of the cameras.Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 26HOLIDAY THOUGHTS BY VINCE DIPASQUALEAs we enter the month of November, our thoughts turn to the holiday season.We watch the leaves change colors and feel the brisk fall air. What abeautiful time to observe Mother Nature putting on her finest show. Evennature understands the meaning of gratitude and service. We are alwaysbeing taught that these wonderful gifts, gratitude and service, are the foundationof life.Gratitude: There are so many things in life to feel good about. As wewalk the journey of life hopefully each moment is a teachable one for us.The greatest of all gifts God gives us is the gift of life. Each day is so special.When you awaken in the morning get on your knees and say thankyou for the gift of life. Each morning check the obituary column in thepaper. If your name isn’t on it you are having the most wonderful day whereeverything else can be dealt with. We should have gratitude for three dailygifts. First, we are given the gift of powerlessness. There is so much in lifethat is not in our control. Let’s learn to let go and let God. Secondly, weare given the gift of struggle. Everything in life that’s worthwhile involvesstruggle. Remember the slogan, “No pain, no gain”. The fruits of our laborare a gift to earn and pay through hard work. When we work or invest ourtime in something we will get rewards. The promises of our program, teachus that life is an adventure that is never done. Thirdly, be open to the journeyand the gift of humility. Each experience in life is a teachable moment. Arewe open to the lessons? Remember nothing happens by accident. We areall part of the universe’s plan. Let’s pray that we will always have an openmind and know that we are all in the process of life’s adventure. Gratitudeis the process by which we slowly discover our gifts and continue each dayto celebrate the wonder of life. If we truly live the spirit of gratitude andcontinue growing, we are then ready for the spirit of service. The spirit ofservice is often emphasized in December because of all the holidays thatoccur at that time. Giving to others and helping our fellow human beingsis a hallmark of this season. This opportunity for service, along with thecelebration of life, leads us into the big holiday season. We have Hanukkah,Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve and Day and within these holidaysnumerous ways to celebrate. The world comes alive with lights andfamily gatherings. The world turns this special time into a crazy whirlwindtime of shopping, preparing food and spending time with family.Let’s pause and take a moment to look inside to see the real meaning ofthis season. Let’s meditate on the struggle for personal freedom, the simplicityof a child, and the abundance of God’s gifts. These are summed upin each of us embracing the spirit of life. This season is not about externalor material things. This season is about faith and hope.Finally, we celebrate the New Year. I would like to invite all of us to takepart in a simple tradition as this year ends and a new one begins. Take thetime to reflect and make New Years Eve an occasion to meditate on thespirit of gratitude. Reflect back on the year and make it a time to do a yearly4th Step. Try to look at everything that we experienced, the positives andnegatives, as teachable moments. This should be a day to rethink and reflect.What a beautiful way to start the New Year by being open to God’swill. Thank God for the season of joy and love. Say goodbye to the oldyear and welcome in the new year. However you choose to celebrate thisseason, have a happy, blessed and peaceful holiday. Relax and be happy.Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 27“Dumb Criminal” SpotlightWhen a woman called a local Mississippideputy asking him if he wantedto buy painkillers, the deputy thoughthe was being prank-called. So he ignoredthe call, Hinds County Sheriff'sDepartment's spokesman Jeff Scottsaid. But the woman kept calling, andthe deputy continued to ignore thecalls, Scott said. Then the womanstarted text-messaging him. Eventually,investigators arranged to meether and wound up arresting JudyWeible, 61, of Pearl with 30 hydrocodonepills, Scott said. Weible is charged with possession of a controlledsubstance with intent to distribute and possession of paraphernalia. "I cannotrecall a situation where someone has called a narcotics officer and offeredto sell them narcotics," Scott said, adding that usually the narcoticsagents are the ones who initiate contact. The investigator who, for securityreasons, cannot be identified by name said Weible told his colleague shewanted to sell 30 pills for "$60 and some green." "She followed our directionsto the T. At that point we approached her and talked to her, and shebasically said, 'Well, I've got it right here,' " the investigator said. "Whenare you going to have someone calling and calling and begging you to buythese pills?" "It'll never happen again in a million years, but if it did, it wouldmake my job a lot easier." During the time task force members had herphone, she continued to receive text messages asking to buy the drugs, Scottsaid. "If it wasn't so sad it would be hilarious," Scott said. "I would thinkyou'd have a better chance of winning the lottery than accidentally callinga police officer to sell some drugs," Scott said. "I couldn't make that up."Recovery House Listings Pages 27, 28 & 29Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 28Recovery House Listings Pages 27, 28 & 29To Advertise Your Recovery HouseCall Bruce at 215-317-8774 oremail inquiries to 12stepgazette@comcast.netEmail: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 29CELL PHONES - FASTEST GROWING ADDICTION?Experts say constant use of mobile devices hasn't been diagnosed as anaddiction - yet. But some contend that it's fast on its way to being classifiedas a disease similar to drug addiction, alcoholism or gambling.For most people, heeding warnings to turn off cell phones in hospitals orat the movies is as simple as pressing a button. But for a growing numberof people across the globe, the idea of being out of touch, even just for a90-minute movie, is enough to induce anxiety, says a University of Floridapsychologist who studies addictions to the Internet and other technologies.Although cellular phones and personal digital assistants such as the Black-Berry were created to make modern life more convenient, they're actuallybeginning to interfere in the lives of users who don't know when to turnthem off, says Lisa Merlo, an assistant professor of psychiatry in the UFCollege of Medicine. "It's not so much talking on the phone that's typicallythe problem although that can have consequences too," Merlo said. "(It's)this need to be connected, to know what's going on and be available to otherpeople. That's one of the hallmarks of cell phone addiction."Unlike addictions to alcohol, drugs or even gambling, it can be hard topinpoint problematic cell phone use. Almost everyone has a cell phone anduses it regularly. But if someone can't get through dinner without sendingText Messages or furiously typing on a personal digital assistant during ameeting, it may be time to take a step back, Merlo said. Another great causefor cell phone addiction is people who use them as an escape from boredom.With all the "apps" that are constantly coming out, it's often more interestingfor people to play around on their cell phone than to engage in a face to faceconversation they are in.How people respond to being separated from their cell phones or PDAsis another clue. Defining whether something is an addiction or not can be avery tricky situation. Often, the first step of 12 step programs is the key toanswering that question. If you or somebody you know feels powerless andunmanagable without constantly having their phone it could be a problem.Recovery House Listings Pages 27, 28 & 29Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 30Horoscopes For Nov & Dec 2011Aries (March 21 - April 19) - NOVEMBER - A stronger need for personalfreedom takes hold this month, dear Aries. You resent any feeling of beingcaged or enmeshed in routines, rules, and regulations. You are putting morefaith in your instincts and your judgment. The result is more spontaneityand possibly more adventure or risk-taking in your life than there has beenrecently. DECEMBER - Do not hesitate to help elders with legal documentsthat are too confusing for them. Plans to make physical improvementsmay lead to psychological changes, too. You may find yourself in aromantic situation. Your passionate nature may make you jealous if yourmate has been too busy to take care of your needs. Your luckiest eventsthis month will occur on a Friday.Taurus (April 20 - May 20) - NOVEMBER - Your attention turns to debts,loans, and shared finances this month, dear Taurus. Taking charge of yourfinances, particularly those to do with a partner or from a source other thanyour basic income, becomes necessary. DECEMBER - You should getinvolved with activities that can be enjoyed by both young and old alike.Be careful how you deal with colleagues. You are best not to confront situationsthat deal with in-laws or relatives. You may blow situations out ofproportion when dealing with the one you love. Your luckiest events thismonth will occur on a Saturday.Gemini (May 21 - June 20) - NOVEMBER - Relationships heat up thismonth, dear Gemini. There is a provocative energy surrounding you thattends to pull previously buried issues with others to the surface for resolve.You might have more energy and confidence to pursue a new relationship.DECEMBER - You will accomplish the most through putting your effortsinto moneymaking ventures. New friendships will develop through groupevents. Networking will be a necessity. Your luckiest events this monthwill occur on a Monday.Cancer (June 21 - July 22) - NOVEMBER - Energy is dynamic thismonth for work and health matters, dear Cancer. It's a good time for applyingyourself to projects that require attention to detail, as well as for researchingand implementing new health routines and programs forself-improvement. DECEMBER - Your sensitivity toward those you lovewill capture their hearts. Dinner, theater, or a comedy club may be just theplace. Lovers may no be truthful. You may come down with minor infectionsif you have allowed yourself to get rundown. Your luckiest eventsthis month will occur on a Thursday.Leo (July 23 - August 22) - NOVEMBER - Romantic and creative activitiesheat up this month, dear Leo. You are considerably bolder this monthafter a period of introspection. Your zest for life and your tendency to takerisks - emotional, romantic, and creative - increase. DECEMBER - Exhaustioncombined with overindulgence could result in minor health problems.Be prepared to take advantage of your good fortune. You will be ableto get good advice if you listen to close friends or relatives you respect.Try not to make waves. Your luckiest events this month will occur on aSunday.Virgo (August 23 - September 22) - NOVEMBER - Improvements inyour love relationships and partnerships are likely this month, dear Virgo.A partner is easier to understand from the 7th forward, and love dynamicsare more direct and straightforward from the 18th. DECEMBER - Youwon't have much time for your mate this month. Make arrangements tospend quality time together. You can make progress professionally. Youneed to pamper yourself for a change. Your luckiest events this month willoccur on a Wednesday.Libra (September 23 - October 22) - NOVEMBER - Your intellect is energizedthis month, dear Libra. Learning, sharing knowledge, and communicatingwith more confidence all figure strongly in November. At timesyou can speak quite rashly or you could find that you're impatient withslowness or passivity in others. Use this increased mental energy productively.DECEMBER - You will meet some interesting people if you attendpromotional functions. Social activities will be satisfying. You may needto lend an ear to an old friend. Confusion regarding other people's moneyand joint ventures will come to a head. Your luckiest events this monthwill occur on a Monday.Scorpio (October 23 - November 21) - NOVEMBER - It's a strong monthfor personal influence, dear Scorpio, particularly after the 18th, when youcome across more smoothly and warmly. You can tackle challenges andproblems more effectively than usual. DECEMBER - Your doubt couldlead to insecurity. Your ability to visualize will help you convince othersof the possibilities. New romantic partners will evolve through group endeavors;however, the association may not be likely to last. Unexpectedevents may be upsetting. Your luckiest events this month will occur on aTuesday.Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21) - NOVEMBER - Renewedstamina, energy, and confidence are with you this month, dear Sagittarius.You are more assertive and direct when you are going after what you want.However, until the 22nd, part of you craves some solitude as you instinctivelypull back from putting your heart into new endeavors. DECEM-BER - Don't exhaust yourself or minor health problems will set in. Youmay experience financial loss if you don't use good judgment. Secret affairsmay be tempting. You may find that you're being used. Your luckiest eventsthis month will occur on a Monday.Capricorn (December 22 - January 19) - NOVEMBER - Social relationshipsare once again in focus this month, dear Capricorn. Tricky or complicateddealings with others tend to clear up after the 18th, when yourcommunication skills improve and your dealings with others are more directand straightforward. DECEMBER - Expect your workload to beheavy. You will have some wonderful ideas that should bring you extramoney. Don't let your personal partner hold you back or slow you down.You need to do your own thing and work on making yourself the best youcan be. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Tuesday.Aquarius (January 20 - February 18) - NOVEMBER - Your instincts forfinances improve this month, dear Aquarius, and you might enjoy a pay orincome increase. Career and professional matters are in strong focus, andyou're ready to take charge of this area of your life. DECEMBER -Someone you live with may cause drastic alterations in your usual routine.Older family members may take advantage of you by making you feelguilty. Your time, not your cash, will do a lot more for your relationship.You may be fortunate while traveling. Your luckiest events this month willoccur on a Wednesday.Pisces (February 19 - March 20) - NOVEMBER - A mostly feel-goodmonth is in store for you, dear Pisces. Both your rulers, Jupiter and Neptune,turn direct this month, pointing to increased confidence, energy, andclarity. You have a lot of energy for career matters. DECEMBER - Tryto be considerate in your personal obligations. You should expect to havechanges in your home. You'll find involvement in large groups gratifying.You may find that doing odd jobs around the house will be appreciated byloved ones. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Sunday.Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 31“Holiday” Word SearchAll Puzzle Answers on Page 34Spot The Fifteen DifferencesacceptancecookiescryingemotionsfamilyhappinesslaughtermeetingsprayersharinggslogansspiritualstuffingwarmthamendscookingdecorationsexperiencefeelingshelpinglightsmoviesrecoveryshoppingsnowstarstreeswisdomcharitycouragedessertfaithgratitudehopelovepatienceserenitysingingsobrietystressturkeywonderfulEmail: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 32Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 33CLASSIFIEDSCreate your heading and choose your words. Good for two whole months at a great price. $30 complete.Email or call Bruce @ 215-317-8774 for more information.Coming Soon!A Recovery House For Couples!Located in Levittown. One or both persons can be in recovery andget started on a solid foundation. Call Lisa for more information at267-980-5623Choices BookstoreEstablished in 1989, carries books and gifts in theareas of wellness, self-help, spirituality and recovery.www.choices-nyc.com220 E. 78th St, New York, NY - 866-245-4818COMMUNITY YOGA NIGHTat the brand new FISHTOWN PYD(pilates, yoga, dance)404 E. Girard Ave, Phila PA 19125Every Tuesday- 6p-7:15pm$8 per personOpening Special: Schedule a onehour massage or reiki session - $44offer good till December 31, 2011For more info contact Nanci610-914-5467 | www.fishtownpyd.comEmail: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 34Livengrin’s 45th Anniversary Celebration Featuring Comedian Richard LewisWith an amalgam of serious issues, offbeat humor and great dining,Livengrin Foundation celebrated its 45th year of addiction treatmentservices with a gala event September 22. As keynote speaker, comedianRichard Lewis departed from his usual comedy-club act to deliver a personal,poignant view of one man’s journey into recovery. Dr. TomMcLellan of the University of PA was honored for his lifetime achievementas an addiction researcher and policy shaper. Earlier in the day,Lewis visited Livengrin’s main campus at Bensalem, Bucks County, tospeak with patients and tour the facilities whose mission he championedlater that night before more than 275 Livengrin friends and supporters.Comedian Richard Lewis was asurprise guest for patients atLivengrin, with a high-impactmessage of their need to pursuetreatment and lifelong recovery.Lewis onstage at the Crystal TeaRoom in Philadelphia.Livengrin honoree Dr. Tom McLellan(right) and his wife visit backstagewith Lewis.Touring the new rehab residenceswith the staffAnswers to find the difference puzzle from Page 311) time on clock, 2) hairpin missing, 3) cookie on pan yellow,4) extra banana, 5) knobs are hearts, 6) 2 people underknobs, 7) smiley face on plate, 8) mountain in frame on left,9) cat gets lollipop, 10) extra pink object on green, 11) girl getssock, 12) grandmom tie different, 13) icing on cake less twirls,14) girl not tongue licking, 15) ruffles on curtainPuzzle Answers From Page 31Lewis backstage at the galawith CEO Rick Pine andboard officers Dr. EileenBonner and Ben Ciliberto.Hilarious podcasts from the world of recovery on the West Coast. Not to be missed!Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

Issue # 32 November/December 2011 Page 35Email: Phone: 215-317-8774 Website:

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