The Slogans

The Slogans are simple statements that can be used in crisis situations, so that we have some basic guidelines. 

David A-S (NY)
How many times have the Slogan got me out of a pickle? I don’t know. More times than I can count. They have certainly saved my life on many occasions, by showing me that I could change my direction in mid path, mid-sentence. The addict taught me that there was only one way to do anything. It said that that was the "easy way" but it always turned out to be the hard way. The Slogans showed me that it was neither a matter of hard nor easy, but rather a matter of appropriate. Oh, how the addict within me hates that word. Such a pansy word! We’ve all heard it ad nauseam, and have certainly being at the receiving end of it’s manipulative possibilities. But it is the best word that fits to describe the Slogans for me. Another way to put it might be "the correct portion". Getting to know the correct portion of emotions, disclosure, boundaries or involvement for any situation is a fine art indeed. There are many slogans, all of them helpful. I will treat only a few here. 

One Day at a Time
This Slogan burst so many of my grandiose balloons about Tomorrow, and brought me face to face with the present moment. I was in shock at first but so relieved immediately after. The idea of living just one day at a time had never occurred to me before I came into Program. I was always worrying about all the things I had to do two, three weeks in advance. As a result, I was always muddled. Now I break things down and plan ahead. I do what I can each day to work towards each plan. At the end of the day I give thanks for all I have been able to do and go to sleep peacefully, knowing that tomorrow I can do the same again. 

Easy Does It
As I have the inclination to want to do everything all at once, I have to constantly remind myself that I can put only so much food on a plate. Easy Does It helps me to slow down and assess just where I am and how far I’ve come, which is always further than I imagine before I stop to consider my progress. This analogy may not work for everyone, but it always helps me to ask "Do I want my plate to look like a beautifully arranged Japanese do I want a heaped plate of Chinese food?" 

First Things First
Knowing what comes first and why seems like a Chinese puzzle that has no answer. But if I draw on the two Slogans above, it certainly makes it easier to understand what might conceivably be attended to first. I’ve found that looking into my immediate needs like Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, first certainly helps and makes it possible for me to attend to practically anything else afterwards. 

Let Go and Let God
When it comes down to it, I am a loner I guess. Letting anyone into my life seems like an invasion even if I have invited them in the first place. Allowing God to take over seems like a tall order. I have found that I’ve had to use many and varied ways to let go and let God. Sometimes it has meant repeating the Serenity Prayer. Sometimes it has meant getting really angry, sometimes not. Sometimes I’ve sat down to pray and meditate, sometimes I’ve cried. Sometimes it helped to call my sponsor, sometimes it helped to do a Fourth Step. Sometime I put it in my God Box. Sometimes I talked and talked about it. Ultimately it has always worked out better to let go than to try to get my way at all costs. After a while (sometimes this meant years!) my way began to look embarrassing. (Sorry Frankie!!) 

Count Your Blessings
I can have a Pity Party at the drop of a hat, but stopping to Count my Blessings is always a difficult thing. However, I have learnt now that when I start to despair because I am comparing, the best thing to do is to pull out a piece of paper and a pen and to start writing a gratitude list. This immediately brings perspective, distance and clarity into my life and makes me truly grateful for all the tings I have and don’t have in my life. "Man’s rejection is God’s protection".

How Important Is It?
This Slogan has literally saved my life a number of times. I have been so close to doing or saying something that would have endangered my life had I gone with the original reactive impulse. Stopping to consider the importance and consequence of my action (never as grand as I first imagine) helped me to step aside and let it all pass by me. How grateful I am to be able to ask myself this question before I put my foot in my mouth. 

Let It Begin With me
It’s easy for me to complain about just about anything, however I am often blind to my part in the problem. When I take a simple action towards effecting a change it always surprises me how much the situation seems to change, or at least my negative response to it changes because I feel involved. So many of my problems result from my feeling left out, and the only way to remedy that is to include myself by letting it begin with me. 

Don’t Take It Personally
There was a time when I was convinced that people at the other end of the room who were laughing, were laughing at me. It’s hard to shake off this feeling, but I’ve learnt in recovery not to make assumptions, since they only hurt me, by limiting or misdirecting me. It is always best to go directly to the source, and ask directly whatever it is I want to know. Even when people directly criticize or gossip about me, I need not necessarily assume that they are right. It may be just how they are feeling at that moment, and Feelings are Not Facts. What’s more What Other People think of Me Is None of my Business!!