by Kathleen C.

Which is my favorite Alcoholics Anonymous wallet card? Every one. I stash them in my desk drawer and purse, where I used to hide my booze and drugs.

The life preserver card is “Just for Today.” This scrap of precious cardboard encourages me to “live through this day only … be happy … learn something useful … do somebody a good turn, and not get found out … look as well as I can … act courteously … have a quiet half hour all by myself … not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful.” It reminds me to accept everything, especially myself, to try to do better and to appreciate the gifts of a sober life.

We pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action

The card I give away by the handful, especially to newcomers (or used to, before Shelter in Place), is “Sought Through Prayer.” One morning a speaker started to talk about the spiritual part of the program. “Wait a minute,” he chuckled. The spiritual part is the program.” And here it is, all on one card. Arrayed in elegant gold are the Serenity Prayer, the Third Step Prayer, the Seventh Step Prayer and the Eleventh Step or St. Francis Prayer. When a newcomer asks me how she should pray, I hand her this card and suggest that she try reading it aloud every morning. I do.

we constructively review our day

The card I keep on my nightstand is “The 24-Hour Program.” In silver and black it offers my sobriety schedule: “On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day, we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action … humbly saying to ourselves many times each day, “Thy will be done.”

“When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life?” The best of AA, on three little cards, keeping it simple.

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