Just For Today | By: Dennis Cockerham

Just For Today | By: Dennis Cockerham

Sept. 14, 2021

Just For Today 

An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham 

( Just for today:

Secrets are reservations)

 I  have a secret.  I did not know. I speculated and I judged from a distance. And I was wrong on all accounts.

I came home yesterday. To home did not create. To a love I did not fully comprehend. 2 sacrifices made on my behalf. To witness 1st hand the frustration the agony and the persistence that I myself do not know.

 My wife taking care of me the family the home and my 91 year old grandfather.

 Humility service caring recovery… God in action.

I cried this morning. In the backyard she has provided for me.

 Happy tears.

 God is love.

 She is a love God gave me.

Right sized…

 A secret no more!!!

just for today

Sept. 13, 2021
Just For Today
An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham

( Just for today:
Something different )

I have found that it is not the thinking, the talking, or the feeling. It is the Doing !

If I want something different than I have to Do something different, regardless of all else.

Today, something different for me…

Today I go home !

Sept.12, 2021

Just For Today 

An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham 

( Just for today:

New Horizons )

Today I woke up and I am not in prison.

Today I woke up and I came outside on my own free will and I spoke to God.

Today I pack my stuff, getting it ready to go home tomorrow

Today I make my wife my Best Friend and a priority in my life.

Today I know that I have a job interview this week at Keystone Treatment Center this week.

I heard in a meeting last night:

  Some people work a program of recovery to live their lives clean.

 Others work a program of recovery to get clean so they can live their lives.”

I have done one. Today I start the other !

Sept.11, 2021
Just For Today
An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham

(Just for today:
Bend with the wind)

I realize that prison is a lot like living in active addiction.
You become rigid. Life does not present so many choices. Flexibility in patterns are rare. Every day is pretty much the same as the last one.
This becomes the normal. Not just in activities, but emotions and thinking as well.

Yesterday I had a furlough away from the 1/2 house for a job interview. My wife picked me up and drove me there.

Wow !!!!

All the people, all the activity, all at the same time !

I could not sleep last night. I had a headache all night long.
Hot shower and ibuprofen did nothing.
I had a hangover..without using at all !!!
I realize now that I have become rigid. I was overloaded. I have lost my Flexibility.
In the awareness that my recovery has given me, I see that this is not just confined to yesterday.
It is a part of me.

I can overload. I have limits. I need to keep it simple. I have a tendency to take on the world all at once and alone.
I don’t have to do that anymore. Nor do I have the ability.
I am going to need more help and support than I realized.
Withdrawal is also experienced in reverse. Being released from prison and re-entery the world.
I need help to regain my fexibility .

Sept. 10, 2021

Just For Today 

An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham 

(Just for today:

I will offer my presence, a hug, and a sympathetic ear to someone I love.)

3 1/2 Years…

I was in prison

And you answered my calls.

I was in prison

And you came to visit.

I was in prison

And you listened to my pain.

I was in prison and you came and gave me a hug.

I was in prison

But I was Not Alone !

I was loved

I am loved

My Higher Power

Through each of you.

Thank you

You make a difference 

And I love you too!

Sept.9, 2021

Just For Today 

An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham 

 (The unrealistic expectations we put on others)

 I have discovered that my perception of the expectation of others changes the less I try to blame them.

In my life these expectations have been a little different because I blamed others and I never believed in them at all. I expected them to let me down. It was their fault.

 This defaulted pattern of thinking gave me the reasons I needed not to depend and trust on them. It gave me the excuse I needed not to ask for help. To depend on only me.

 I now see that wherever I place expectations it is also where I have preplanned to place blame.

My part is accepting this truth. My responsibility is knowing my part.

I can only change me and I am responsible for that change.

 I do that by asking for help, not blaming.

Sept.8, 2021
An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham

(Just for today:
” We need not lose faith when we become rebellious.)

I have plans. I have ideas. I believe in them because they are mine. I defend them because I believe in them. I rebel against anything that challenges them.
It does me good to remember where these plans come from.

I have had plans and ideas before. I believed them too. I defended them too.
That hasn’t worked out for me so far.
It is time to surrender my planning.
To god.
To the program.
To my wife.

Already I forget.
” Being human we will wander off course.”

Today I remember.
Now I must do.

Sept.7, 2021
Just For Today
An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham

( Just for today:
Resentments and Forgiveness. )

Right now…at this VERY moment I am trying to focus and write this. Other residents are talking. Too loud for me to catch my thoughts, but not to fast for me to catch a resentment.

It really happens that fast. And it starts so simple. I could dismiss it, I tell myself, but that is a lie.
The fact that is raised my frustration and an emotion was attached to it, says that at best…I will pocket it. Then I will have easy access to it ‘when’ it happens again.

I have just pre-planned a future problem. Created it for myself and planted the seed of resentment.

Not this day!

Today I write.

I too, can be noisy. I too, am currently confined to the sleeping area while the vending machines are refilled for our use.
I have my own individual sleeping schedule, my own time-line for my day, and I want the vending machines full.

I still don’t like the noise, but it carries a lot less weight then it did before.

Sept.6, 2021

Just For Today 

An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham 

( Just for today:

Regular Meeting Attendance)

” Addiction is not about the drugs. It is a disease of self.”

Jimmy K. Founder of Narcotics Anonymous. 

Meetings keep me connected to other recovering addicts. They protect me from myself.

Without connection, I lose my protection !

In All My Affairs:

 Staying connected to my wife is my protection from running away. From running back to prison.

 Without protection I lose my connection.

It is not just about me… It is about us!

Sept.5, 2021
Just For Today
An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham

( Just for today:
Not Hopelessly Bad)

Hopelessly bad
I used to think that. I just always had so many problems.

Not holding down a job because I needed to make more time to get high.
I had employment problems.

Stealing to buy drugs.
I had money problems.

Staying away from home in order to hide that I was getting high.
I had relationship problems.

The electricity being shut off because I needed the money for more drugs.
I had utility problems.

Selling the family vehicle because I needed the money for more dope.
I had transportation problems.

Never once did I admit that I had a drug problem.

Recovery means to me that I never have to pick up again.
No matter what!

I am not hopelessly bad.
I am an addict.
There is a difference.

Sept. 4, 2021
Just For Today
An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham

(Just for today:
I will clear away what is cluttering my spirit by making the amends I owe.)

I spoke at the county lock up and holding center for juveniles the other day.
There was a lot of questions and talking about where their parents were and what they did to them.
I recognized myself right away.
I told them that as long as they continue to have someone to blame then they would continue to have a reason to keep doing the exact things that got them there.

I was abused as a kid and that was not my fault or my choice, But somewhere along the line I took over and I was the one abusing me but still blaming them.

Today I have let go of the blame and I am living the amends.
In doing so I no longer carry the burden of my past into my today.
Because of this my spirit is free to be…
To start fresh
Each day
Just for today.

Sept. 3, 2021
Just For Today
An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham

(Just for today:
Humility expressed by anonymity)

I agree that boshing about my recovery as if it were my own doing, That is just not true.It is dishonest. And dishonesty only brings more of the same.. If I could have done it myself I would have done it a long time ago.

I told the judge at the time of my sentencing that I was not looking for a cookie a handout or pet on the back because I finally figured out how to live my life.

But in my very next breath upon arriving in prison there was no Narcotics Anonymous program at either of the institutions I was incarcerated in.

I’m happy to say that there was a program in both those institutions when I left.

Inmates attending 2 meetings a week, getting sponsors, and working the steps. We had Birthday nights, we had activities, and we had fellowship.

And we had all of this because I did not keep my anonymity!

I told them that I was a member of Narcotics Anonymous. I told them that it saved my life and that it could save other lives as well. I told them that I needed this program to continue my recovery. For the very reason that I could not do it alone !

I am happy to say that today the Federal Bureau of Prison now recognizing Narcotics Anonymous as an Evidence Based Activity.

As it should !

Sept 2, 2021
Just For Today
An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham

(Just for today:
The guidance I need to become a new person is ready at hand.. Today I will draw further away from my old and closer to my higher power.)

Sunday night I asked my wife a question.. She gave me an an answer. But I did not believe that I knew how she really felt.

So I spoke to God I asked him and I told him I would like to know this.

Shortly thereafter I called my wife to wish her a good night before bed…
And to my surprise she let me know exactly what I had asked.


I find out that home confinement is possible for me but somebody must move out first.
Only days notice given.

I pray…
Please help God
love acceptance change.

Within one day a new apartment is found and the move is accomplished. I am going home on time .

I pray gratitude.. Thanks!
Now what can I do for you God?
How can I be of some service. Please let me know.

A member of the staff here at the 1/2 House approached me. Asked me if I would Go to the juvenile detention center and speak today.

All of this since Sunday!

Ready at hand.
Further from old
Closer to my Higher Power.

Sept.1, 2021
Just For Today
An interpretation
By: Dennis Cockerham

( Just for the day: I am grateful for the values that I have developed. I am thankful for the ability they give me to make wise, loving decisions as a responsible, productive member of my community. )

I never want to forget that I spent 45 years living in destructive patterns. I will not pretend that they all have disappeared so quickly.

Today I realize that I do not/should not rely solely on myself. I do not have all of the answers and don’t have to. It was my answers…my best thinking that led me to using to begin with.
Using was not my problem. It was my solution. And my solution did not work!
Today I share, I listen, and I get feedback. Today I value the insight and the suggestions of others. Especially when I think that I am making wise and loving decisions.

Today I value the ability to ask for help.

just for today

Aug. 31, 2021
Just for today
An interpretation
By: Dennis Cockerham


(Just for today: Recovery has given me freedom. I will greet the day with hope, grateful that anything is possible.)

It is hard to believe that not so long ago I woke up just to get high. My day was all about finding getting and using drugs.. If it didn’t involve drugs then it didn’t involve me.

As a consequence not so long ago I woke up in prison.

Today I wake up I make hot coffee in a coffee pot and I eat a hot breakfast of sausage and eggs and I am sharing this message from my cell phone, not the prison computers!

Recovery is possible
I am proof
And for that I am grateful.

Just For Today | By: Dennis Cockerham

Aug.30 2021
Just for today
An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham

( Just for today:
If I change my actions my thoughts will follow.)

Like Magic!

It is what I do and how I live that controls how I think and how I feel.

This was so new to me! Many treatments counselors and facilities…
All trying to fix my thinking with more thinking. It just never worked. Like taking water to a flood zone.

If I want to feel good, I need to do something that makes me feel good. No matter what I am thinking.

If I want to be loved trusted accepted and forgiven, then I must love trust except and forgive.

I never went to prison because of how I felt or what I thought…

I went for what I did.

My life is the accumulation of the actions I take.
If I want to think or feel something different…
Then I must do something different!

Just For Today | By: Dennis Cockerham

August 29, 2021

Just for today
An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham

(Just for today:
Don’t Look Back.)
I have heard it said that the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror for a reason.

But, have you ever noticed that most whiplash victims were hit from behind?

Looking forward keeps us centered on where we are going not where we have been, I agree.

Yet where I have been is what got me to where I am.

Understanding this gives me the ability to consciously choose the direction that I wish to go from here.

Every vehicle still comes equipped with a rearview mirror…
That is for a reason as well!

Just For Today | By: Dennis Cockerham

Aug. 28, 2021

Just for today:
An interpretation By Dennis Cockerham

( Just for today
I can disarm the secrets in my life by sharing them with one human being.)

I believe, like any step we take in life, we start with one.

But I have found that power can be extended.

I have maintained the image of a value system that truly is not me.

I lied and I hid the truth from everybody, not just one.
And in doing so,
This energy
This effort
It perpetuated and allowed me to repeat the same patterns over and over.

I don’t want that anymore!
I tell this to ALL!
I am NOT a true criminal or convict. I do not, nor did I follow the code. I spoke to the police and should I need to, I will call them in the future.
Exposing this truth to everybody…

This closes doors on my path back to prison.
No criminal wants to deal with a ‘snitch’

And I no longer want to deal with or become a criminal!

“…the secrets have lost their power…”

Just For Today | By: Dennis Cockerham

August 27th, 2021
Just For Today:
An interpretation By: Dennis Cockerham

( Just for today
Choosing Life )

Today I woke up early and I went to breakfast here at the halfway house. Hot scrambled eggs and real pork sausage! What a big difference between the cold green eggs in prison and that slightly aged turkey sausage.
This was the real stuff! But it didn’t end there.

On a cart next to the food window there were loaves of bread and bagels. And not far from there on two different counters…
they had TOASTERS!

I have not had toast or the option to toast anything for three and a half years.
To think about such things and not take them for granted, puts my recovery in perspective.

Choosing life
Choosing recovery

It is as simple as being able to choose toast!

Just For Today | By: Dennis Cockerham

Aug 26, 2021
Just for today
An interpretation by: Dennis Cockerham

(Just for today: I will remember to review my day. If I have harmed another, I will make amends. I will think about how I can act differently.)

I would revise this as such:
I will review my day and I will think about how I acted.

The word recovery means to me that I am trying to recover something. So I take the time each day and I ask myself exactly what that is. What are my goals? What are my values? And have my actions of today aligned with each of those.

In prison you learn this truth:

Each day is precious.
Each day is a gift.

I know of no way better of retaining this knowledge than by keeping a daily inventory.

Just For Today | By: Dennis Cockerham

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