Keeping Recovery in the Present Tense

What’s Today’s Verb Tense?

Rereading Step Ten at a recent 12 &12 meeting, I see how reminders of what I hear at meetings take on fresh usefulness —like Keep recovery in the present tense — written in red ink.  

My scribblings show me I am still a faster forgetter than I am learner!

Working this step, keeps me in the present and dependent on the God of my understanding because I need help coping with all the stuff  that daily life deposits on my doorstep.  

When in doubt about how to handle stuff  I do not  — cannot embrace — I can pray, 

“‘Not my will, but Thine be done.’ And we can often ask ourselves. ‘ Am I doing to others as I would have done to me — today?’”  (page 93)

In red ink, I wrote: Ask +wait for the answer. 

Right. So . . . 

When I step in it — also written in red: 

Don’t beat myself up for failing to avoid  it, or slide into self- pity. 

These are  two free tickets  to emotional dry benders — which can lead to the bottle. (12 &12, page 90)

Present  Tense Advice:  Don’t wander about in the past or wonder too much about the future.   

 Getting upset means something has gotten to me. (12 &12, page 90) That some thing is ruling my emotions. Usually it acquires its power through FEAR:

  • False Evidence Appearing Real  or 
  • False Expectations Appearing Real

What do I do with new — or recurring —  unwanted evidence or unmet expectations? 

They are all  part of what I decided — decide — to turn over to God.  If I said or did something based on false assumptions:

Quit trying to justify myself. 

Admit it, and ask for forgiveness. 

Life is getting way too short to spend any  time excusing myself! It always has been. 

Now if — when — I get slammed with something not in my inventory, what do I do?  Well, that goes over to the care of  my Higher Power, too. 

Step Ten reminds me when stuff happens, Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen [or text]. (12&12, page 93)

The first thought I have, should be discarded.

The golden years deposit stuff — old loved ones create new challenges — life on life’s term scares the you-know-what out of me. But, keeping recovery in the present tense,  today I will enjoy sobriety and serenity.  

Be Teachable

Think about the people who can’t or won’t enjoy this simple pleasure.  


If I am upset because of people, places or things, check my part. 

Forgiveness is not pretending like it didn’t happen or it didn’t hurt. That’s lying. Forgiveness is the decision to release a debt regardless of how you feel. Pastor Tony Evans


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Keeping Recovery in the Present Tense