A Prayer for
the Women of The Do Daaw Ranch
Father God, thank You for all the women at The Do Daaw Ranch. Give them dreams that are bigger than themselves–so they will have to trust You to make their dream come true. Give them a will and heart to be all You created them to be. Help them to work hard and be successful.
Enable them to be generous to those who are less fortunate. Give them hearts full of love and compassion.
Give them the strength to say “no” to activities that they would later be remorseful about–that they would do what is right for them and for the world around them. Help them to be kind to others.
Protect them from people who would harm them physically, emotionally and mentally.
Let them know that allowing You to direct their way is the smartest thing they can do. In Jesus’ wonderful and powerful name. Amen
Heavenly Father, Thank You that I am unique in Your kingdom. Thank You that You made me special.
Thank You that there is no one like me. Thank You that no one has the same talents, skills, and abilities that I have.
Thank You that no one has what it takes to achieve my destiny – except me!
God, it makes me feel so good to know that no one can replace me in your heart. No one could ever be so special to You or important to You that You wouldn’t still yearn for my company.
The truth is that I am incredibly important to You. I will believe that truth.
I am adorable and treasured in your sight.
You love me just the way I am. You think I am awesome. You are eager to help me become even more than I am right now. You are eager to guide me to become even more joyful, more contented, more mature, and more blessed.
I am uniquely qualified and prepared for each day, because You are living inside me and I am living inside Your love. Amen
Lord Jesus, You said, “I have come to set the captives free.” We are captive and need Your healing touch. Free us, Lord, from our addictions, so that we will be:
…free from the cares and worries that stifle our happiness;
…free from sins that cling to us, and to which we cling;
…free from all compulsive behavior that prevents us from becoming what You, Lord, have planned for us.
Bring us, loving Savior, to the experience of abundant life which You promised. Amen
You don’t recover from an addiction by stopping using. You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use. If you don’t create a new life, then all the factors that brought you to your addiction will eventually catch up with you again.
You don’t have to change everything in your life. But there are a few things and behaviors that have been getting you into trouble, and they will continue to get you into trouble until you let them go. The more you try to hold onto your old life in recovery, the less well you will do.
Here are the three most common things that people need to change in order to achieve recovery.
Avoid High-Risk Situations
Some common high-risk situations are described by the acronym, HALT:
How do you feel at the end of the day? You’re probably hungry because you haven’t eaten well. You’re probably angry because you’ve had a tough day at work or a tough commute home. You may feel lonely because you’re isolated. You don’t have to be physically alone to feel lonely. And you’re tired. That’s why your strongest cravings usually occur at the end of the day. Here’s another way of looking at high-risk situations:
People (People who you use with or who are related to your use. People who you have conflicts with, and who make you want to use. People who you celebrate with by using. People who encourage you to use either directly or indirectly.)
Places (Places where you use or where you get your drugs or alcohol.)
Things (Things that remind you of your using.)
How can you avoid high-risk situations? Of course, you can’t always avoid these situations. But if you’re aware of them, they won’t catch you off guard, and you can prevent little craving from turning into major urges.
Take better care of yourself. Eat a healthier lunch so you’re not as hungry at the end of the day. Join a twelve step group so that you don’t feel isolated. Learn how to relax so that you can let go of your anger and resentments. Develop better sleep habits so that you’re less tired.
Avoid your drinking friends, your favorite bar, and having alcohol in the house. Avoid people who you used cocaine with, driving by your dealer’s neighborhood, and cocaine paraphernalia.
Recovery isn’t about one big change. It’s about lots of little changes. Avoiding those high-risk situations helps you create a new life where it’s easier to not use.
Make a list of your high-risk situations. Addiction is sneaky. Sometimes you won’t see your high-risk situations until you’re right in the middle of one. That’s why it’s important that you learn to look for them. Make a list of your high-risk situations and to keep it with you. Go over the list with someone in recovery so that can spot any situations that you might have missed. Make the list and keep it with you. Some day that list may save your life.
Learn to Relax
There are only a few reasons why people use drugs and alcohol. They use to escape, relax, and reward themselves. In other words, people use drugs and alcohol to relieve tension.
The first rule of recovery is that you must change your life. What do you need to change? If you understood the previous paragraph, then you need to change the way you relieve tension. Everyone needs to escape, relax, and reward themselves. Those are essential coping skills for a happy life. But addicts don’t know how to do those things without using.
If you manage to stop using for a while, but don’t learn how to relax, your tension will build until you’ll have to relapse just to escape again. Tension and the inability to relax are the most common causes of relapse.
Knowing how to relax helps. Many clients say that learning how to relax has made a huge difference in their lives. There is only one reason why people don’t relax – because they think they’re too busy to relax. It goes something like this, “I know it makes sense, but I’ve got so many other things I have to do.”
Ask yourself how much time you spend on your addiction. If you add up all the time it takes to get your drug, use it, deal with its consequences, and plan your next relapse, you’ll realize that relaxing for twenty to forty minutes a day is a bargain.
Relaxation is not an optional part of recovery. It’s essential to recovery. There are many ways to relax. They range from simple techniques like going for a walk, to more structured techniques like meditation. Meditation is an important part of that mix because the simple techniques don’t always work. If you’re under a lot of stress, you may need something more reliable like meditation. Use any of these techniques, or any combination. But do something everyday to relax, escape, reward yourself, and turn off the chatter in your mind.
Numerous studies have proven that relaxation reduces the use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.
How Twelve Step Groups Work
You can decide if you have an addiction. You can go to a twelve step meeting and hear other people’s stories and decide if there are any similarities between their stories and yours. You can overcome some of your denial about addiction. You see that addiction can affect anybody. Good people, with good jobs, good families, and a sense of humor, can have an addiction. You may know that intellectually, but you need to believe it. Everybody likes to think that they’re special. But addiction is one of those times when it’s comforting to know that you’re not alone.
You meet people who are going through the same thing. The idea behind twelve step groups is that you feel stronger when you belong to a group of people who are doing the same thing. Everybody’s first reaction to addiction is to deal with it on their own. Addiction is an isolating disease. Twelve step groups give you the chance to reach out and ask for help.
You believe that recovery is possible. You see that other people have recovered from addiction, and you develop confidence that you can change your life. The people who recovered didn’t do anything special. They just followed the few simple principles of twelve step groups. If you follow those principles, you can recover too.
You learn other people’s recovery techniques. Twelve step meetings are a resource. You can ask other people who’ve been in the same boat you’re in how they handled certain situations. You can ask them if what you’re going through is normal. Some days you’ll have an overwhelming urge to use, and it’s good to know that other people have gone through the same thing and how they dealt with it. One of the fears many people have is that their life will be smaller or less interesting without drugs or alcohol. Twelve step groups give you a chance to meet people’s whose live are just as interesting and in many cases bigger and more fun now that they’ve stopped using.
You won’t be judged. Most addicts have difficulty sharing their emotions, partly because they’re afraid nobody will understand them, and partly because they’re afraid that they’ll be criticized. So they bottle everything up inside, which makes them want to use even more. The people at a twelve step group won’t judge you because they’ve have heard it all before. They’ve done it all before. They know that you’re not crazy because of the things you do when you’re using. You’re addicted.
You’re reminded of the consequences of using. I can promise you that this will happen. After you’ve been clean and sober for 6 months or 12 months (it usually happens around those times), you’ll feel stronger than you’ve felt in years. That’s when the voice of your addiction will tell you that you can control your use this time. This time will be different. This time you’ll know what to do. Twelve step meetings give you the chance to hear the stories of the people who’ve just come into the program, or the stories of the people who’ve relapsed and just come back. They will all tell you the same thing. They all felt they could control their use.
If you could control your use, you would have done it by now. Addiction is a disease like heart disease or diabetes. You would never think that your heart disease is gone once you started to feel better, and that you could eat anything or not exercise without suffering more heart disease. Twelve step meetings remind you of that idea.
You have a safe place to go. Twelve step meetings are a safe harbor when you want to be out of harm’s way. If you’ve had a bad day you can go to a meeting and spend a couple of hours knowing that you won’t be able to use. By the end of the meeting you’ll almost certainly feel better and more motivated for recovery.
Twelve step groups are a source of hope, strength, safety, and guidance.
What Twelve Step Groups Do Not Do
They do not define you as weak or powerless. Instead they encourage you to take control of your life by recognizing your addiction and overcoming it.
They are not based on shame and labeling yourself in a negative way. Instead they encourage you to take responsibility for your life and to realize that you can stop your addiction. Twelve step groups encourage you to recognize that an addiction is a medical disease and that you are powerless to change your genetic make up and the way that you respond. But they also encourage you to realize that you have the power to change other parts of your life so that you don’t relapse in the future.
Twelve step groups encourage you to take a look at your life and see how you got into trouble in the past so that you don’t fall into the same traps in the future. Twelve step groups encourage you to ask for help, whereas your addiction encourages you to avoid help.
An addiction requires lying. You have to lie about getting your drug, using it, hiding its consequences, and planning your next relapse. An addiction is full of lying. By the time you’ve developed an addiction, lying comes easily to you. After a while you get so good at lying that you end up lying to yourself. That’s why addicts don’t know who they are or what they believe in.
The other problem with lying is that you can’t like yourself when you lie. You can’t look yourself in the mirror. Lying traps you in your addiction. The more you lie, the less you like yourself, which makes you want to escape, which leads to more using and more lying.
Nothing changes, if nothing changes. Ask yourself this: will more lying, more isolating, and more of the same make you feel better? The expression in AA is – nothing changes if nothing changes. If you don’t change your life, then why would this time be any different? You need to create a new life where it’s easier to not use.
Recovery requires complete honesty. You must be one-hundred percent completely honest with the people who are your supports: your family, your doctor, your therapist, the people in your twelve step group, and your sponsor. If you can’t be completely honest with them, you won’t do well in recovery.
When you’re completely honest you don’t give your addiction room to hide. When you lie you leave the door open to relapse.
One mistake people make in the early stages of recovery is they think that honesty means being honest about other people. They think they should share what’s “wrong” with other people. But recovery isn’t about fixing other people. It’s about fixing yourself. Stick with your own recovery. Focusing on what you don’t like about others is easy because it deflects attention from yourself.
Honesty won’t come naturally in the beginning. You’ve spent so much time learning how to lie that telling the truth, no matter how good it is for you, won’t feel natural. You’ll have to practice telling the truth a few hundred times before it comes a little easier. In the beginning, you’ll have to stop yourself as you’re telling a story, and say, “now that I think about it, it was more like this…”
Show common sense. Not everybody is your best friend. And not everybody will be glad to know that you have an addiction or that you’re doing something about it. There may be some people who you don’t want to tell about your recovery. But don’t be reluctant to tell the people close to you about your recovery. You should never feel ashamed that you’re doing something about your addiction.
The Chance to Change Your Life
Your addiction has given you the opportunity to change your life. Changing your life is what makes recovery both difficult and rewarding. Recovery is difficult because you have to change your life, and all change is difficult, even good change. Recovery is rewarding because you get the chance to change your life. Most people sleepwalk through life. They don’t think about who they are or what they want to be, and then one day they wake up and wonder why they aren’t happy.
If you use this opportunity for change, you’ll look back and think of your addiction as one of the best things that ever happened to you. People in recovery often describe themselves as grateful addicts. Why would someone be grateful to have an addiction? Because their addiction helped them find an inner peace and tranquility that most people crave. Recovery can help you change your life.
After 5 years of abstinence relapse is rare. A study followed 268 Harvard University undergraduates, and 456 non-delinquent inner-city adolescents. The study concluded that after 5 years of abstinence relapse is rare.