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Old 11-14-2017, 08:06 AM   #15
bluidkiti
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November 15

Daily Reflections

VITAL SUSTENANCE

Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without
it than we would refuse air, food, sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse
air, light or food, the body suffers. And when we turn away from meditation and prayer,
we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed
support.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 97

Step Eleven doesn't have to overwhelm me. Conscious contact with God can be as
simple, and as profound, as conscious contact with another human being. I can smile.
I can listen. I can forgive. Every encounter with another is an opportunity for prayer,
for acknowledging God's presence within me. Today I can bring myself a little closer to
my Higher Power. The more I choose to seek the beauty of God's work in other people,
the more certain of His presence I will become.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

I am less sensitive and my feelings are less easily hurt. I no longer take myself so
seriously. It didn't use to take much to insult me, to feel that I had been slighted or
left on the outside. What happens to me now is not so important. One cause of our
drinking was because we couldn't take it, so we escaped the unpleasant situation. We
have learned to take it on the chin if necessary and smile. When I am all wrapped
up in A.A., I do not notice the personal slights so much. They do not seem to matter so
much. I have learned to laugh at self-pity, because it's so childish. Am I less sensitive?

Meditation For The Day

God's miracle-working power is as manifest today as it was in the past. It still works
miracles of change in lives and miracles of healing in twisted minds. When a person
trusts wholly in God and leaves to Him the choosing of the day and hour, there is
God's miracle-working power becoming manifest in that person's life. So we can
trust in God and have boundless faith in His power to make us whole again,
whenever He chooses.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be sure that there is nothing that God cannot accomplish in
changing my life. I pray that I may have faith in His miracle-working power.

************************************************** *********

As Bill Sees It

Vision Beyond Today, p. 317

Vision is, I think the ability to make good estimates, both for the
immediate and for the more distant future. Some might feel this sort
of striving to be heresy against "One day at a time." But that
valuable principle really refers to our mental and emotional lives and
means chiefly that we are not foolishly to repine over the past nor
wishfully to daydream about the future.

As individuals and as a fellowship, we shall surely suffer if we cast the
whole job of planning for tomorrow onto a fatuous idea of providence.
God's real providence has endowed us human beings with a
considerable capability for foresight, and He evidently expects us to
use it. Of course, we shall often miscalculate the future in whole or in
part, but that is better than to refuse to think at all.

Twelve Concepts, p. 40

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Walk In Dry Places

The loss of choice
Freedom
Many alcoholics are vigorous defenders of free choice. We have to concede, however, that our choices are not always limited by the tyranny of others. Our own actions can take away from freedom of choice.
Recovering people in AA have learned that taking even one drink will result in the loss of choice, and it is not just a temporary loss of sobriety that one faces. It's always possible that the person who drinks again may never recovery sobriety.
In the same way, other actions represent loss of choice in our lives. other actions represent loss of choice in our lives. A person who cheats, for example, may learn that he or she has no choice over the unpleasant outcomes that follow.
We can protect our freedom of choice by deciding only to take actions that will strengthen such freedom in the future. At no time should we make any choices that rob us of our precious right to choose.
Every action I take today must help me keep favorable options open in the future. My right to choose was restored by AA, and I must help protect it.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

The best way to know God is to love many things.---Vincent Van Gogh
Now that we're in recovery, we're learning to love people. We're learning to love nature.
We're learning to love new ideas about life. The result? We love the way we feel now that we're taking care of ourselves.
Is our Higher Power really so close? Can we really find our Higher Power just by loving many things? Yes! When we love, we wake up that part of us that is part of all creation---our spirit. We really come to life when we love!
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, remind me that You are near when I love someone or something. The energy of love come from You.
Action for the Day: I will list three things I love that help me know my Higher Power is near me.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Zeal is the faculty igniting the other mind powers into the full flame of activity. --Sylvia Stitt Edwards
When enthusiasm is absent in our lives, no activity appears inviting. In fact, most situations foster fear. With fear, we're ever so familiar. The program we're committed to relieves us of all fear, when we work it. And it offers us the enthusiasm that will guarantee positive outcomes for our efforts, when we look to our higher power for the right attitude.
An open, trusting, sincere relationship with our higher power equals enthusiasm about life. But that relationship takes work on our part. When we've done our homework we discover that no lesson will baffle us. Prayer and meditation make all things understandable and guarantee that we will "pass the course" on life.
I will begin this day, and every day, looking to God for the gift of zeal to live fully every moment, to give fully what I have to give, and to glory fully in all that I receive. My attitude of gratitude will increase my happiness manyfold. I will look to this day with zeal.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

THERE IS A SOLUTION

Of necessity there will have to be discussion of matters medical, psychiatric, social, and religious. We are aware that these matters are from their very nature, controversial. Nothing would please us so much as to write a book which would contain no basis for contention or argument. We shall do our utmost to achieve that ideal. Most of us sense that real tolerance of other people’s shortcomings and viewpoints and a respect for their opinions are attitudes which make us more useful to others. Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.

pp. 19-20

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

Women Suffer Too

Despite great opportunities, alcohol nearly ended her life. Early member, she spread the word among women in our pioneering period.

Terrified, I looked around. I was in a large, dark, rather poorly furnished room—the living room of a basement flat. Cold chills started chasing up and down my spine; my teeth were chattering; my hands were shaking so I tucked them under to keep them from flying away. My fright was real enough, but it didn't account for these violent reactions. I knew what they were, all right—a drink would fix them. It must have been a long time since I had my last drink—but I didn't dare ask this stranger for one. I must get out of here. In any case I must get out of here before I let slip my abysmal ignorance of how I came to be here, and she realized that I was stark, staring mad. I was mad—I must be.

pp. 200-201

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten - "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it."

Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time factor does distinguish one from another. There's the spot check inventory, taken at any time of the day, whenever we find ourselves getting tangled up. There's the one we take at day's end, when we review the happenings of the hours just past. Here we cast up a balance sheet, crediting ourselves with things well done, and chalking up debits where due. Then there are those occasions when alone, or in the company of our sponsor or spiritual adviser, we make a careful review of our progress since the last time. Many A.A.'s go in for annual or semiannual housecleanings. Many of us also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.

p. 89

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"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at
someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
--Buddha

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new
eyes.
--Marcel Proust

Today I am learning to think and act in a positive way that is healthy for my mind, body
and spirit.
--Ruth Fishel

"The wisest person is not the one who has the fewest failures but the one who turns
failures to best account."
--Richard R. Grant

"I don't stay clean on yesterday's recovery."
--unknown

"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work
is the same."
--Carlos Castenada

"It may be that one reason a dog is a good friend is his tail wags and not his tongue."
--unknown

Remember that God values you for who you are, not what you do.
--unknown

***********************************************

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

COMFORT

"No man knows of what stuff he
is made until prosperity and
ease try him."
-- A. P. Gouthey

I must be careful that I do not get too comfortable and self-confident. I must be careful
that I do not plateau at this stage of my journey into sobriety and relax in past
achievements. Sometimes I hear the disease of addiction saying to me, "You've done all
you need now relax; take it easy."

Sometimes the sick voice says, "Listen to the stupidity of these newly recovering
people: avoid them!" "You don't need meeting now just sit and talk with your
friends." Historically I know that when things are going well for me, that is when I
need to be careful. A complacent and indulgent sobriety is dangerous. It leads to the
disarming slip of arrogance and false pride.

I need to remember the pain of my yesterdays; I need to hear the newly recovering; I
need to hear the pain if I am to continue to gain. My disease will forever speak, but
will I listen?

Teach me to embrace a humility that enables me to enjoy a realistic sobriety.

************************************************** *********

"You hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel."
Psalm 73:23-24

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my
thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:9

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone
who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man, who looks at his face in
a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks
like.
James 1:22-24

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Daily Inspiration

If you give up and let things just happen to you, you will open the door to a helpless, passive existence and bring on needless sorrow. Lord, open my eyes to see that You and I can determine the outcome of my day and the direction of my life and that the result of refusing to let my environment control me is a tremendous inner strength , a joyful spirit and a constant reason to smile.

Often times that which we find difficult is that which teaches. Lord, may I always be able to see the good that comes from even my trials.

************************************************** *********

NA Just For Today

Letting Go

"Take my will and my life. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live."
Basic Text p. 25

How do we begin the process of letting our Higher Power guide our lives? When we seek advice about situations that trouble us, we often find that our Higher Power works through others. When we accept that we don't have all the answers, we open ourselves to new and different options. A willingness to let go of our preconceived ideas and opinions opens the channel for spiritual guidance to light our way.

At times, we must be driven to the point of distraction before we are ready to turn difficult situations over to our Higher Power. Anxiously plotting, struggling, planning, worrying - none of these suffice. We can be sure that if we turn our problems over to our Higher Power, through listening to others share their experience or in the quiet of meditation, the answers will come.

There is no point in living a frantic existence. Charging through life like the house is on fire exhausts us and gets us nowhere. In the long run, no amount of manipulation on our part will change a situation. When we let go and allow ourselves access to a Higher Power, we will discover the best way to proceed. Rest assured, answers derived from a sound spiritual basis will be far superior to any answers we could concoct on our own.

Just for today: I will let go and let my Higher Power guide my life.

pg. 333

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Growing is like running a twenty-six mile marathon. If we give up on the twenty-fourth mile, we will never know what it feels like to finish the race. --Anonymous
There will be times in our growth when we will want to give up. Our pain seems to have no end to it. In a sense, we are like the runner of a marathon on her twenty-fourth mile. She may think she cannot finish the race; she may lose her ability to see things as they are.
If she can remember previous successes, she will no doubt make the decision to go on, to at least give the race her best shot. It does not matter how may people come in before or after her. It matters only that she has not given up. When she crosses the finish line, the pain turns quickly into joy.
When we refuse to give up, we give ourselves an accomplishment we can rejoice in, the reward of knowing we have done our best.
What can I finish that I gave up on earlier?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
To wait for moments or places where no pain exists, no separation is felt and where all human restlessness has turned into inner peace is waiting for a dream world. --Henri J. M. Nouwen
Anytime we do a spot check on our anxiety or personal restlessness we will probably find some. As long as we are aware and alive we can expect to have some discomfort, some fear of loss, some doubt. Our program does not totally rid us of these pains. Perhaps our old ways sought absolute peace or escape through abuse of chemicals or food or gambling or sex, but the serenity we seek in our recovery comes through honesty with ourselves and acceptance of the incompleteness of our lives.
When we make room for the pain in our lives, we allow the river of our emotions to flow. It will carry us along to other feelings like happiness and peace. Conflicting feelings can exist side by side in our lives, and when we try to control true feelings of restlessness or pain, we dam the flow of emotions and block the pleasant ones as well as the difficult ones.
I am moving to a real world where I know and accept my feelings.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Zeal is the faculty igniting the other mind powers into the full flame of activity. --Sylvia Stitt Edwards
When enthusiasm is absent in our lives, no activity appears inviting. In fact, most situations foster fear. With fear, we're ever so familiar. The program we're committed to relieves us of all fear, when we work it. And it offers us the enthusiasm that will guarantee positive outcomes for our efforts, when we look to our higher power for the right attitude.
An open, trusting, sincere relationship with our higher power equals enthusiasm about life. But that relationship takes work on our part. When we've done our homework we discover that no lesson will baffle us. Prayer and meditation make all things understandable and guarantee that we will "pass the course" on life.
I will begin this day, and every day, looking to God for the gift of zeal to live fully every moment, to give fully what I have to give, and to glory fully in all that I receive. My attitude of gratitude will increase my happiness manyfold. I will look to this day with zeal.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Benefits of Recovery
There are two benefits from recovery: we have short-term gains and long-term gains.
The short-term gains are the things we can do today that help us feel better immediately.
We can wake up in the morning, read for a few minutes in our meditation book, and feel lifted. We can work a Step and often notice an immediate difference in the way we feel and function. We can go to a meeting and feel refreshed, talk to a friend and feel comforted, or practice a new recovery behavior, such as dealing with our feelings or doing something good for ourselves, and feel relieved.
There are other benefits from recovery, though, that we don't see immediately on a daily or even a monthly basis. These are the long-term gains, the larger progress we make in our life.
Over the years, we can see tremendous rewards. We can watch ourselves grow strong in faith, until we have a daily personal relationship with a Higher Power that is as real to us as a relationship with a best friend.
We can watch ourselves grow beautiful as we shed shame, guilt, resentments, self-hatred, and other negative buildups from our past.
We can watch the quality of our relationships improve with family, friends, and spouses. We find ourselves growing steadily and gradually in our capacity to be intimate and close, to give and receive.
We can watch ourselves grow in our careers, in our ability to be creative, powerful, productive people, using our gifts and talents in a way that feels good and benefits others.
We discover the joy and beauty in ourselves, others, and life.
The long-term progress is steady, but sometimes slow, happening in increments and often with much forward and backward movement. Enough days at a time of practicing recovery behaviors and piling up short term gains leads to long-term rewards.
Today, I will be grateful for the immediate and long-term rewards of recovery. If I am new to recovery, I will have faith that I can achieve the long-term benefits. If I've been recovering for a while, I will pause to reflect, and be grateful for my overall progress.


Today I am learning to think and act in a positive way that is healthy for my mind, body and spirit. --Ruth Fishel

*************************************

Journey to the Heart

The Light Will Illuminate Your Path

It was almost eleven o’clock at night. I was driving down a highway in Colorado on the west side of the mountains. I was exhausted, driving and driving, hoping I was going somewhere, hoping the road led to someplace where I could rest and replenish myself. Whenever I would become fearful, wondering if I had taken complete leave of my senses, i’d look up in the sky. A crescent moon was snuggled between two mountians. It seemed to urge me on, beckoning me to drive toward it.

Finally, I reached the place marked by the moon. It was a lodge not listed in any directory, in a town not even on any map. It had a mineral bath on the grounds and, yes, an available room.

Sometimes when I’m driving late at night on a strange road and I’m not sure which turn to take, I look for a light. The moon might be setting above a particular place, lighting it with its glow. The lights of a city might brighten one direction more than another. A certain road appears lighter, feels better, feels right.

Often that’s what happens in our lives. When we get to a fork in the road and we’re not certain which direction to go, there’s usually one path that appears lighter than another. Sometimes the light is dim. Sometimes it can only be seen with the eyes of our soul, the eyes of our heart. But it’s also a light that can be clouded and blocked by fear, tenseness, and lack of faith.

Relax. Tune into your body. Trust your heart. Look around. When you don’t know which way to go next, wait. Soon a path will open up. It will appear lighter. It will feel right.

When in doubt, go toward the light. When you get to a fork in the road, choose the way that feels lightest. The light will take you to the next place. The light will lead you home.

*************************************

More Language Of Letting Go

Teach others they can,too

One good way to help ourselves believe we can is by helping others learn they can,too.

Some of us call this “being of service.”

In Twelve Step programs, they call this “carrying the message.” No matter how much recovery time we have, we can share our experience, strength, and hope with others. We can tell them how we were set free, how it felt in the beginning, and how it feels now, so they’ll believe they can do it,too.

I’ve found even in skydiving that it helps me to share my experience, strength, and hope with skydivers newer to the sport than I am. When I am telling them that it’s okay, that they can do it, I’m really telling myself I can do it,too.

Often in my everyday life, the things I’m telling others they need to do, or can learn, are the very things I need to be telling myself. Repetition forms belief. If we tell others, we’re telling ourselves. The belief in them grows stronger. The belief in us is strengthened,too.

Some people say, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” That may be true. But sometimes when the student appears, it’s because the teacher is ready to learn the lesson,too.

Sometimes helping others is how we help ourselves. And giving it away is often how we get to have some ourselves.

God, help me be of service. Help me remember the value of serving others– that it strengthens and uplifts them and blesses and helps me,too.

*****

Summon Your Aliveness
Being Fully Present by Madisyn Taylor

When we live fully in the moment there is an aliveness that comes easily.

When we are fully present, we offer our whole selves to whatever it is that we are doing. Our attention, our integrity, and our energy are all focused in the moment and on the task at hand. This is a powerful experience, and when we are in this state, we feel completely alive and invigorated. This kind of aliveness comes easily when we are absorbed in work or play that we love, but it is available to us in every moment, and we can learn to summon it regardless of what we are doing. Even tasks or jobs we don’t enjoy can become infused with the light of being present. The more present we are, the more meaningful our entire lives become.

Next time you find yourself fully engaged in the moment, whether you are making art, trying to solve an interesting puzzle, or talking to your best friend, you may want to take a moment to notice how you feel. You may observe that you are not thinking about what you need to do next, your body feels like it’s pleasantly humming, or your brain feels tingly. As you enjoy the feeling of being located entirely in the present moment, you can inform yourself that you may try to recall this feeling later. You might try this while driving home or getting ready for bed, allowing yourself to be just as engaged in that experience as you were in the earlier one.

The more we draw ourselves into the present moment, the more we honor the gift of our lives, and the more we honor the people around us. When we are fully present, we give and receive aliveness in equal measure. For today, try to be fully present in your daily activities and watch a new reality open for you. Published with permission from Daily OM

*************************************

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

As a newcomer, I was told that my admission of my powerlessness over alcohol was my first step toward freedom from its deadly grip. I soon came to realize the truth of that fact. In that regard, surrender was a dire necessity. But for me that was only a small beginning toward acquiring humility. I’ve learned in The Program that to be willing to work for humility — as something to be desired for itself — takes most of us a long, long time. Do I realize that a whole lifetime geared to self-centeredness can’t be shifted into reverse in a split second?

Today I Pray

May I search for my own humility as a quality that I must cultivate to survive, not just an admission that I am powerless over my compulsive behavior. Step One is just that — step one — in the direction of acquiring an attitude of humility. May I be realistic enough to know that this may take half a lifetime.

Today I Will Remember

Pride blew it; let humility have a chance.

*************************************

One More Day

There is always room for improvement, you know — it’s the biggest room in the house.
– Louise Heath Leber

Acceptance of criticism is very hard, even when it’s given constructively. As small children we have bristled at suggestions about our drawings or toy houses we made. We liked things to be the way we wanted them to be.

Not everyone is so talented or sensitive that they can offer criticism without it hurting. We do ourselves justice when we learn to listen to most criticism. Of course, we remain the right to disagree.

We understand that criticism is often tempered with love and understanding. A Receptiveness to criticism helps us become less rigid and more willing to change.

I can accept criticism and try to change when it will benefit me.

************************************

Food For Thought

Loving Truth

Since it is truth that sets us free - free from our addiction and free from crippling fear - we come to love this truth, even when it hurts. It was mainly our fear that kept us from recognizing the truth about ourselves. We needed help and support from a Higher Power before we could face reality. Now that the OA program sustains us, we can devote our time and energy to striving for truth in all that we think, say, and do.

Our devotion to truth may bring us into conflict with those around us. What we need to remember is that we are not responsible for convincing anyone else of what we believe to be true. We are honest about where we are, but we do not expect or demand agreement from anyone else. Since each of us has a different perspective, we can only know the truth, as we each understand it. Loving truth means that we acknowledge it to be too big for any one of us to grasp completely.

Increase my devotion to Your truth.

*****************************************

One Day At A Time

STEP TWO
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting a different result."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

While in the grip of my disease I tried many things to deal with my compulsive overeating. I tried many, many diets, fasting, exercise programs, treatment, therapy, church and even resorted to weight loss surgery. I did the same thing over and over again – I tried outward solutions to fix an inward problem. And the sad thing was I somehow thought that I would get different results: a permanent change of my compulsive overeating. But it did not work that way. It was acting with insanity. I was frustrated and very, very sad. All along, I knew there was something wrong with me, that I was not “normal”, but I didn’t know what to do about it.

Then the blessing of the program came to me. I learned about Step Two: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” I came to believe that was true. I finally was doing something different. Never before had I approached my compulsive overeating on three levels all at the same time. I had never seen my disease as a physical, emotional and spiritual disease that needed addressing at the same time, one day at a time. I began to slowly learn how to do this through the steps and the tools, with the help of sponsors and friends in the program. I found myself doing something different and getting different results. I found my sanity returning, piece by piece.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will do something different, knowing I will get different results.
~ Carolyn

*****************************************

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics, but it's application presented difficulties beyond our conception. What with our ultra-modern standards, our scientific approach to everything, we are perhaps not well equipped to apply the powers of good that lie outside our synthetic knowledge. - Pg. xxvii - 4th. Edition - The Doctor's Opinion

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

Whatever time it is that we are reading this, we may feel anxious about what the rest of the day will bring. But our program is a 'now' program. Later will bring what later will bring, right now we're clean and sober!

I will meditate briefly on the phrase 'Be Here Now' to better understand my new way of life.

Being in the Moment

Today, I see that the only real point of power is in the present, which is to say that life cannot be lived backward or forward, but only in the context of today. If I truly let myself have this moment and all that it contains, I will be in quiet possession of great eternal wealth. All that is, is in this moment where all the waters meet and all the wisdom of the ages lies; it is the now that calls me to it with open arms. I work out my past, not because it is right or good or proper, but because it allows me to be in fuller possession of my present. By releasing and returning to me those parts of me that remain prisoner in my own psychic and emotional jail, I can have access to the now. I allow myself this moment.
- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

We not only attempt geographical 'cures' while drinking, but often while clean and sober too. When you make a move 'for the better,' unless you can honestly say you are running to something positive, then you are running from something that you haven't faced.

No matter how fast or how far I go, I can't outrun myself.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Not drinking is a symptom of your recovery.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I am learning to think and act in a positive way that is healthy for my mind, body and spirit.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

Laughter is the music of Alcoholics Anonymous. - Angie D.
__________________
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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