S-Anon – Episode 280

Brian joins The Recovery Show to talk about his experience in S-Anon. What is S-Anon? It is a 12-step program, similar to Al-Anon, for those who have been affected by another person's sexual addiction.

Brian introduces the S-Anon program, and talks about his personal experience of finding recovery in that program. We look at ways in which his experience parallels mine in the Al-Anon program, and how it is different. (Spoiler: it's probably more alike than different, but it takes us a while to get there.)

Readings and Links

Brian read “The S-Anon Problem“.

If you want to know more about S-Anon, or to find a meeting, visit www.sanon.org.

These books were mentioned: Intimacy in Alcoholic RelationshipsFrom Survival to Recovery, and Hope for Today.

Upcoming

Upcoming topics for next week include acronyms and alliterations. What's your favorite Al-Anon acronym? An alliteration that is meaningful to you? (3 C's, 4 M's?) Share what and, most importantly, why. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “S-Anon – Episode 280”

Do you like yourself? – Episode 279

Do you like yourself?
Can you love yourself?
Can you trust yourself?

In a recent meeting, the topic was Step 5, “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” One member shared that she often had a hard time even liking herself, and that this was a barrier to working Step 5. If she hated herself for some of the things she had done, how could she ever admit them out loud?

I definitely identified with that feeling. There are some events in my life that I felt a lot of shame about. That I did not admit in my first 5th step. One, in particular, that I didn’t admit in my second 5th step, had haunted me for over 30 years. Every time I remembered that incident, a flush of shame and self-loathing washed over me. Finally, probably after a meeting in which the reading included the saying that “we are only as sick as our secrets,” I realized I had to talk about it. I met with the person I had done that 5th step with and said “I’ve got some more.”

It wasn’t easy. I had admitted it to my Higher Power and to myself, but never to another person. But it was something I felt I had to do. The amazing thing is that since that time, the memory of this event has lost its power over me! I’m still not pleased that it happened, but I don’t feel the shame that it used to impose on me. That hard admission brought me some peace and some more love and compassion for myself. Even for the 40-years-younger me that made a really poor decision (doing the best with what he had.)

And then, a day later, the sermon topic was “Trust Thyself”. Oh, boy, there’s a message: loving myself and trusting myself, all in the same weekend. You know, the feelings I have that lead me to not like myself and to not trust myself are very similar. You’ve probably heard those messages from the judgey part of yourself, too: “You’re not good enough.” “You can’t do it right.” “You can’t do it at all.” “You’re always wrong.” “You’re so stupid.” “What were you thinking? I can’t believe you’d do that!” And so on, and so on.

In her sermon, our minister presented the “4 Cs” of trusting yourself. Well, I’m a sucker for alliterations, so I perked right up! What are these 4 Cs?

Clarity: Seeing ourselves and the world for what we (and it) really are. In the program, this is Step 4 (probably 5, 6, and 7 too.) Also, Steps 8 and 9 bring more clarity.

Connection: Get out of my isolation. I know that I can’t always see myself clearly, and I need someone else to help me. In other words, go to a meeting, call a friend, get a sponsor (and use them!) And, of course, there’s the connection to a Higher Power we find in Steps 2 and 3!

Compassion: This is also about getting out of myself. When I can have compassion for other people, and when I can identify with their fears and pain, but also their joys and successes, then I can start to see the same in myself. And I can start to have compassion for myself. I would never talk to someone else the way that I sometimes talk to myself.

Commitment: Make a commitment to keep away from the negative self-talk, to continue to work on the first 3 Cs. Step 10 is my commitment to continuing to seek clarity. Steps 11 and 12 are commitments to connection and compassion.

Yup, there’s the recovery part of the program (steps 2-12) captured in 4 Cs. How did this work in my Step 5 experience?

I gained clarity by taking an inventory of the incident. What was motivating me? Which of my needs were involved? I began to understand the “exact nature of my wrongs” in this incident. In talking with my friend, I got a little more clarity as I explained what happened, but I also made connection with another person — I was not alone. That person’s loving acceptance of my sharing deepened that connection, and assured me that I was not a broken person. This helped me to have compassion for my previous self. And you know what? I liked myself a little better. And I trusted myself to be able to do the right thing a little more.

Readings and links

I read from Courage to Change, May 22 and January 24.

After the service, I was talking to the  minister and she mentioned Brené Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. I was pretty sure I had mentioned that here, and indeed: episode 122, Imperfection.

Upcoming

Thinking about acronyms and alliterations as a topic. You know, acronyms like QTIP, FEAR, etc. Alliterations like “3 As”, “4 Ms”, etc. What is your favorite Al-Anon acronym or alliteration? Why? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Do you like yourself? – Episode 279”

What do we do here? – Episode 278

What is this podcast about? We’re not Al-Anon, exactly. What are we?

I got a letter from a listener who asked some questions. It made me think that maybe it's time (again?) to talk about what The Recovery Show is, and what it isn't.

  • Why did we create The Recovery Show?
    • We had been sharing Al-Anon ESH on Recovered podcast.
    • We wanted to bring Al-Anon message “full time”.
  • What is our intent?
    • Share our and others’ experiences in recovery.
    • Illustrate how Al-Anon recovery works in *our* lives.
    • Explore recovery concepts.
    • Explain the Al-Anon program.
  • Some questions and observations from the email:
    • “do you ever worry that your seemingly more “relaxed” discussions might lead to confusion among the listeners and to inadvertent undermining of normal operations of meetings?”
    • “Service and “The Rules” is not a ratings winner, but maybe there is some way to explore it that gives it the proper context and proportion.”
    • “when I encountered The Recovery Show I was struck by the ways it more closely tracked the familiar 12-Step meeting format, but also the ways in which it appeared to depart from that model.”
    • “my program-monitor-radar-alarm went off, particularly about what I perceived as cross-talk.”
    • “The Recovery Show is decidedly NOT holding itself out as an Al-Anon Family Group”
  • What we do here is very much like the conversations we might have when we go out for coffee after a meeting, or when meeting with a sponsor, or (in my case) in at least one of the AWOL groups I have been a part of.
  • I have attended a few “cross talk” meetings in my time in the program, and what we do here is similar to the best of those.

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “What do we do here? – Episode 278”

Bob S Jr Talk – Episode 277

The son of “Doctor Bob”, Bob S., Jr., in a talk from an Al-Anon conference in 2003.

A listener wrote about coincidences and recommended episode 489 of This American Life, “No Coincidence, No Story!”

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Bob S Jr Talk – Episode 277”

Would you rather be right or happy? – Episode 276

sing joyously

  • What is your first thought when you hear this question?
  • Do you believe that “right” is “truth” and that there is only one possible “right answer” (way to do something, opinion about a topic, etc.)?
  • Do you have “black and white” thinking?
    • Why?
  • What would it take to see the world in shades of gray (or colors)?  Red is no more “right” than blue, for example.
  • What does the word “happy” mean in this context?
  • When has holding onto a position hurt more than letting go would have hurt?
  • Is Right and Happy possible?  Sometimes. But in dealing with difficult people, sometimes, it’s just not worth the fight, conflict, escalation…
  • A lotta references to “conflict” and controversy are relevant in readings, and traditions, as well as arguments.
  • Can you “Live and Let Live” even if you are “right”?
  • Have you come to learn that most times, “urgent things are seldom Important, and Important things are seldom urgent”? (calling 911 for a paper cut…)
  • Slogans
    • How Important is it?
    • This Too Shall Pass
    • Is It Worth My Serenity?
  • Perspective episode also comes to mind, and First Things First… And Force vs Power
  • Sayings;
    • QTIP
    • Don’t
      • Take the bait
      • Pick up the rope
      • Be a willing participant in a toxic dance
    • “I don’t need to win anything today…”

Readings and Links

We opened with a reading from Courage to Change, October 29. We also mentioned the June 3 reading.

We read from How Al-Anon Works on dealing with conflict (p. 98 in the soft cover edition), and Eric read about acceptance from …In All Our Affairs, p. 96.

We were inspired by a Psychology Today article Right vs. Happy. And Eric ended with a quote from Chief Joseph.

Coming next

Our topic for next week is new topic. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email
feedback@therecoveryshow.com
with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here. Continue reading “Would you rather be right or happy? – Episode 276”