The 3rd Step Prayer

We just finished the first two steps. He explained the simple method of doing the third step.

We both pray, hold hands, and say this prayer right out of the book, the third step prayer.

This seemed very uncomfortable at the time. In reality I would have declined had I not been "ready" to go on the very beneficial journey of staying sober. We read to each other – God I offer myself to thee, to build with me and to do with me as thou wilt, relieve me of the bondage of self so that I may better do thy will, take away my difficulties so that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of thy power, they love and thy way of life.

You know when I first did this, I could not even pay attention to the words – maybe because I was holding the hand of some ex-convict. Maybe because I wasn’t ready. Maybe because I had to live life and make my mistakes before REALLY needing what I was asking for. To be "Relieved of the bondage of self so that I can better do Gods will" has to be the most important thing I have ever asked for.

All I am saying is "Take me away from me and my personal distractions for a minute so I can focus on my higher power because that’s the better route". Every morning when I wake up, I say this prayer.

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We just finished the first two steps. He explained the simple method of doing the third step.

We both pray, hold hands, and say this prayer right out of the book, the third step prayer.

This seemed very uncomfortable at the time. In reality I would have declined had I not been "ready" to go on the very beneficial journey of staying sober. We read to each other – God I offer myself to thee, to build with me and to do with me as thou wilt, relieve me of the bondage of self so that I may better do thy will, take away my difficulties so that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of thy power, they love and thy way of life.

You know when I first did this, I could not even pay attention to the words – maybe because I was holding the hand of some ex-convict. Maybe because I wasn’t ready. Maybe because I had to live life and make my mistakes before REALLY needing what I was asking for. To be "Relieved of the bondage of self so that I can better do Gods will" has to be the most important thing I have ever asked for.

All I am saying is "Take me away from me and my personal distractions for a minute so I can focus on my higher power because that’s the better route". Every morning when I wake up, I say this prayer.

Sponsorship in AA

See I felt that I could get everything I need from the meeting. He explained to me that going to a meeting and attending it was only a fraction of the part of staying sober. He said that sobriety is a 24 hour a day deal. He made a key point is telling me that my way of thinking stinks. My best thinking got me to that meeting trying to stay sober. He explained to me that I have to stay in touch with someone who has been doing what I was trying to do – for many years.

He told me that if I did not seek help then I would end up trying to handle everything on my own. To be honest, I felt this man had some other motive. I couldn’t understand why he would spend all this time trying to explain sponsorship to me. I just spent a month in drug rehab and I was going to meetings and I felt like I was doing enough.

I was waiting a few weeks and then I went to a step series. They were talking about the importance of sponsorship and working the steps. They told me after the meeting that I needed a sponsor to help guide me through the steps. I was starting to feel less and less comfortable on a daily basis. Perhaps this man was right that I could not handle life on my own and I needed help. Perhaps I was at the point where I had to either work the steps and take the program of recovery to a new level, or just try something else. While walking to my car I bumped into that man again. He asked me how I felt and I was honest. He told me that all I have to do is call him. He offered to help me work the steps. His name was Jim. This was a decade ago. I am still sober. Jim has since passed away but I have a new sponsor. Since then I have had the honor of working with several guys who were once confused and new to the program as I once was.

See I felt that I could get everything I need from the meeting. He explained to me that going to a meeting and attending it was only a fraction of the part of staying sober. He said that sobriety is a 24 hour a day deal. He made a key point is telling me that my way of thinking stinks. My best thinking got me to that meeting trying to stay sober. He explained to me that I have to stay in touch with someone who has been doing what I was trying to do – for many years.

He told me that if I did not seek help then I would end up trying to handle everything on my own. To be honest, I felt this man had some other motive. I couldn’t understand why he would spend all this time trying to explain sponsorship to me. I just spent a month in drug rehab and I was going to meetings and I felt like I was doing enough.

I was waiting a few weeks and then I went to a step series. They were talking about the importance of sponsorship and working the steps. They told me after the meeting that I needed a sponsor to help guide me through the steps. I was starting to feel less and less comfortable on a daily basis. Perhaps this man was right that I could not handle life on my own and I needed help. Perhaps I was at the point where I had to either work the steps and take the program of recovery to a new level, or just try something else. While walking to my car I bumped into that man again. He asked me how I felt and I was honest. He told me that all I have to do is call him. He offered to help me work the steps. His name was Jim. This was a decade ago. I am still sober. Jim has since passed away but I have a new sponsor. Since then I have had the honor of working with several guys who were once confused and new to the program as I once was.

Kids and Drugs…Don’t Ignore the Signs of Abuse

Photo: Jaypeg21Finding out my 14 year old niece had been experimenting with drugs was shocking, and although she has sworn she won’t use again…how can we as parents know that our kids are safe from drugs?

Her Rights to Privacy?

I’ve decided that her privacy rights are less important than ensuring that she is drug free, and although it’s never fun or pleasant to invade someone’s personal space, if that’s what it takes to keep her safe, then that’s what I’ll do.

The years of adolescence are a period of transition and often a period of experimentation; and this is of course simply the normal progression and maturation into adulthood. But this willingness to experiment, coupled with a perception of immortality, makes the likelihood of trying and potentially abusing drugs very high.

Most kids don’t do drugs, a lot do but never have a problem, and a small percentage of kids will sadly suffer the devastation of addiction, at a time of life that can be tough enough as it is. You want to be there for your kids, but as they age and separate in their quest for autonomy, it can be increasingly tough to feel confident that you really know your kids, and more importantly, know what they’re up to. All you can do as parents is to educate your kids about the dangers and keep on the lookout for any of the warning signs that may point to drug abuse; and should anything indicate drug use, be ready to take the steps necessary to protect your kids. You want to trust you kids and give them the personal space they crave, but if you’re concerned about drug use, it’s better to have them seething as you search their room, then possibly let them continue on the road to destruction.

As a recovering drug and alcohol addict, I’ve always been confident that I’d know of any drug or alcohol use pretty quickly

I know how addicts behave, and I’m far too familiar with the effects of most drugs – but I guess I wasn’t as perceptive as I thought. My 14 year old niece (I’m her legal guardian) recently jumped out of the car after school only to have a bottle of Visine tumble out of her pocket onto the seat.

We both saw it, and although she tried to act nonchalant, I know that normal kids have no need for eye drops, and remember all to well hastily fixing my own eyes before walking past my parents when I was a kid. After a long and serious talk, she eventually confessed to using marijuana with her friends, and although adamant that it was no big deal, has agreed to stop using.

I know that this doesn’t necessarily mean that she will, but at least I now know she’s vulnerable to drugs and abuse, and I am going to be watching her pretty carefully for the next few years. Now if she hadn’t confessed to her usage, this would have left me in a very uncomfortable position. I don’t believe that she has a need for Visine other than to hide the symptoms of drug use, but I have no other solid evidence to confirm my suspicions. At this point, you can either accept them at their word, or invade their privacy to get concrete evidence one way or the other.

Not an easy or fun decision; but I know how destructive drug use can become, and as such I know what I would have done.

I thought I was safe

She’s a good student, and doesn’t display any of the normal and stereotypical behaviors of drug use, and so I thought she was in the clear. Everyone needs to talk to their kids about drugs, but just as importantly, don’t assume that simply because your child looks and acts the same, that they are not using drugs.

Anyone can fall victim to drug abuse, and sometimes behavioral changes, failing grades, and failing health don’t appear until the abuse has already become severe. It is far better to discover drug abuse in the early stages, and so parents must be vigilant and observant for any indications of use. With cheap drugs like meth and school-yard heroin now available, it wouldn’t take much experimentation to destroy a life full of promise, and although education helps, it’s not always enough.

Be there for your kids, and be aware of the signs and symptoms that may indicate drug use. Teens value privacy, but you’ve got to keep them safe, and if you need to invade their personal space to ensure they’re drug free, then maybe it needs to be done.

Photo: Jaypeg21Finding out my 14 year old niece had been experimenting with drugs was shocking, and although she has sworn she won’t use again…how can we as parents know that our kids are safe from drugs?

Her Rights to Privacy?

I’ve decided that her privacy rights are less important than ensuring that she is drug free, and although it’s never fun or pleasant to invade someone’s personal space, if that’s what it takes to keep her safe, then that’s what I’ll do.

The years of adolescence are a period of transition and often a period of experimentation; and this is of course simply the normal progression and maturation into adulthood. But this willingness to experiment, coupled with a perception of immortality, makes the likelihood of trying and potentially abusing drugs very high.

Most kids don’t do drugs, a lot do but never have a problem, and a small percentage of kids will sadly suffer the devastation of addiction, at a time of life that can be tough enough as it is. You want to be there for your kids, but as they age and separate in their quest for autonomy, it can be increasingly tough to feel confident that you really know your kids, and more importantly, know what they’re up to. All you can do as parents is to educate your kids about the dangers and keep on the lookout for any of the warning signs that may point to drug abuse; and should anything indicate drug use, be ready to take the steps necessary to protect your kids. You want to trust you kids and give them the personal space they crave, but if you’re concerned about drug use, it’s better to have them seething as you search their room, then possibly let them continue on the road to destruction.

As a recovering drug and alcohol addict, I’ve always been confident that I’d know of any drug or alcohol use pretty quickly

I know how addicts behave, and I’m far too familiar with the effects of most drugs – but I guess I wasn’t as perceptive as I thought. My 14 year old niece (I’m her legal guardian) recently jumped out of the car after school only to have a bottle of Visine tumble out of her pocket onto the seat.

We both saw it, and although she tried to act nonchalant, I know that normal kids have no need for eye drops, and remember all to well hastily fixing my own eyes before walking past my parents when I was a kid. After a long and serious talk, she eventually confessed to using marijuana with her friends, and although adamant that it was no big deal, has agreed to stop using.

I know that this doesn’t necessarily mean that she will, but at least I now know she’s vulnerable to drugs and abuse, and I am going to be watching her pretty carefully for the next few years. Now if she hadn’t confessed to her usage, this would have left me in a very uncomfortable position. I don’t believe that she has a need for Visine other than to hide the symptoms of drug use, but I have no other solid evidence to confirm my suspicions. At this point, you can either accept them at their word, or invade their privacy to get concrete evidence one way or the other.

Not an easy or fun decision; but I know how destructive drug use can become, and as such I know what I would have done.

I thought I was safe

She’s a good student, and doesn’t display any of the normal and stereotypical behaviors of drug use, and so I thought she was in the clear. Everyone needs to talk to their kids about drugs, but just as importantly, don’t assume that simply because your child looks and acts the same, that they are not using drugs.

Anyone can fall victim to drug abuse, and sometimes behavioral changes, failing grades, and failing health don’t appear until the abuse has already become severe. It is far better to discover drug abuse in the early stages, and so parents must be vigilant and observant for any indications of use. With cheap drugs like meth and school-yard heroin now available, it wouldn’t take much experimentation to destroy a life full of promise, and although education helps, it’s not always enough.

Be there for your kids, and be aware of the signs and symptoms that may indicate drug use. Teens value privacy, but you’ve got to keep them safe, and if you need to invade their personal space to ensure they’re drug free, then maybe it needs to be done.

Scientists Learn Why Some People Are More at Risk for Addiction

Scientists have long been aware of dopaminergic changes in the brains of drug addicted patients, but no one really knew whether those brain differences pre dated and increased the likelihood of addiction, or were caused as a result of drug use through addiction. Researchers at the University of Cambridge now have the answer, and their findings are exciting addictions researchers considering the treatment implications of this new data.

Using animal subjects and PET brain scanning, researchers where able to identify statistically significant differences in the brains of animals that were later to prove more susceptible to cocaine addiction. The animals more susceptible to cocaine addiction had fewer dopamine receptors in a certain region of the brain, and this finding is consistent with "after" studies of drug addicted humans who also show this reduction in dopamine receptors.

While research is in the very early stages, scientists say that this discovery could prove ground breaking for the treatment of addiction, and that future recovery techniques may be far more effective and less intrusive than current techniques. Researchers also speculate that these brain changes will be seen not only with drug addiction, but with all sorts of compulsive and unhealthy behaviors, such as gambling and sex addiction as well.

When researchers have a better understanding of the gene expressions that indicate this brain sub set, prophylactic treatments may even be possible, minimizing the possibility of abuse in susceptible individuals before it occurs. Good news on the horizon for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.

Scientists have long been aware of dopaminergic changes in the brains of drug addicted patients, but no one really knew whether those brain differences pre dated and increased the likelihood of addiction, or were caused as a result of drug use through addiction. Researchers at the University of Cambridge now have the answer, and their findings are exciting addictions researchers considering the treatment implications of this new data.

Using animal subjects and PET brain scanning, researchers where able to identify statistically significant differences in the brains of animals that were later to prove more susceptible to cocaine addiction. The animals more susceptible to cocaine addiction had fewer dopamine receptors in a certain region of the brain, and this finding is consistent with "after" studies of drug addicted humans who also show this reduction in dopamine receptors.

While research is in the very early stages, scientists say that this discovery could prove ground breaking for the treatment of addiction, and that future recovery techniques may be far more effective and less intrusive than current techniques. Researchers also speculate that these brain changes will be seen not only with drug addiction, but with all sorts of compulsive and unhealthy behaviors, such as gambling and sex addiction as well.

When researchers have a better understanding of the gene expressions that indicate this brain sub set, prophylactic treatments may even be possible, minimizing the possibility of abuse in susceptible individuals before it occurs. Good news on the horizon for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.