Authority and Responsibility – Episode 120

sing joyouslyDo you have trouble letting go of responsibility? Do you take on too much? Or do you give responsibility to someone for something they can’t do? If you’ve ever felt that way, you may find help in Concepts 6 and 7. Concept 6 says “The Conference acknowledges the primary administrative responsibility of the Trustees.” And, Concept 7 states “The Trustees have legal rights while the rights of the Conference are traditional.”

  • How can Concept 6 help me manage my time and accomplish the tasks I need to do?
  • How can I effectively “share the load” with others? What does Concept 6 teach me about that?
  • How do I do my work and allow others to do theirs without interfering or taking it on?
  • Talk about a time when I was overwhelmed by trying to do everything myself?
  • How can clear communication encourage others to help me accomplish a task?
  • How does Concept 6 encourage me to seek the help of those who are qualified for a job?
  • How can Concept 6 motivate me to ask for help when I am frustrated and overwhelmed?
  • How do I determine the difference between legal and traditional rights in my personal life?
  • How can clearly defining my responsibilities keep me from trying to “fix” the lives of others?
  • How can Concept 7 help me clarify my role in difficult situations? (Examples?)
  • How does understanding the rights and responsibilities of each person in a situation help me?
  • How can I apply concept 7 as a parent when making or enforcing rules?

Upcoming topics include laughter. How have you experienced laughter in the program? Did you find it weird at first? How does the ability to laugh at yourself help your recovery? Also, I’m still hoping to hear about your Al-Anon dreams. 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 Authority and Responsibility – Episode 120

Worry – Episode 119

vultureDo you worry a lot? Is it hard to get your mind off the terrible things that might happen? Or maybe it’s just obsessing on the stuff that is wrong in your life today?

  • Think about a time before program when you were worrying.
    • What were you worrying about?
    • How did worrying affect your life at the time? (Inability to get things done, acid stomach, lack of sleep, etc?)
    • Did you get any resolution of your problem from your worrying?
  • Think about a recent time when you could have worried?
    • Did you worry?
    • How was it different from the time before?
    • How did you use program tools in this situation?
    • Were you able to move out of worrying into some productive resolution?
  • What is worry?
  • How does it differ from preparation?
    • Slogan: “Worry is not preparation”.
    • But also: “Preparation is not worry.”
  • Does “Let Go and Let God” mean we shouldn’t do anything?
  • What slogans and steps help you when you find yourself worrying?
  • What would you say to someone who can’t stop worrying about their loved one who still drinks or drugs?

Upcoming topics include laughter, Al-Anon dreams, and Concepts 6 & 7. 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 Worry – Episode 119

Life on Life’s Terms – Episode 118

At the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.Sometimes life throws us a curve ball. How can we accept it and live life on life’s terms?

Due to some technical difficulties, the episode we had planned for this week did not come together. Instead, I’m talking about taking life on life’s terms. Or maybe it’s about acceptance. Or about Higher Power moments.

Upcoming topics include Concepts 6 (The Conference acknowledges the primary administrative responsibility of the Trustees) and 7 (The Trustees have legal rights while the rights of the Conference are traditional). How might we interpret these in our personal lives? Cara suggested the topic of “Al-Anon dreams”. Share your dreams of relapse or recovery with us, and we’ll make it a poly-voice episode. Eric thought that “laughter in recovery” would be a great topic. So do I! What do you think? 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.

Fathers – Episode 117

IMG_0786.JPGFathers Day is a holiday that recognizes fathers and honors fatherhood. What is or was your relationship with your father? Are you a father yourself? How can recovery help us to be better fathers? Or to improve connections with our fathers?

In this episode, Spencer reflects on how his father affected his life, and on how he has been a father to his own children, while walking through the woods and fields behind his church.

 

 


IMG_0778.JPGUpcoming topics include worry and obsessive thinking. 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 Fathers – Episode 117

Gather your chairs in a circle – Episode 116

unityA couple of weeks ago, at church, we honored our graduating high school seniors. The sermon that day was in the form of advice to those setting out into adult life. What caught my ear was the second point, to “gather your chairs into a circle.” What does this mean, and how does it relate to recovery?

  • We are in community when we “gather our chairs into a circle.”
  • We sometimes “turn our chairs away” and isolate ourselves, especially when life is hard.
  • I did this.
  • At most of my meetings we sit in circles or around a table, facing each other.
  • In our circle we are not alone.
  • In our circles we discover shared experience and share strength and hope.
  • So come into the circle, or find some others and gather your chairs into a new circle.

I also talked a bit about stress and how it has affected me recently. I have been putting my very busy work ahead of “the rest” of my life. When I come home, I just want to “veg”. I feel overwhelmed by all the things I have to do, and so I shut down and don’t start any of them, because it’s “hopeless” to think I could ever do them all. Which, of course, leads to guilt over not having done them. How am I working my way out? First and foremost, recognizing the problem. Admitting it, asking for help. “Doing the next right thing.” Shedding some responsibilities, and deciding what is most important, and putting that first.

In “my life in recovery”, I mentioned an episode of the podcast Podcast Answer Man, which touched me deeply.

Upcoming topics include worry, obsessive thinking, and some more Concepts of service. 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 Gather your chairs in a circle – Episode 116

Public outreach – Episode 115

the seaOur 12th Step encourages us to “carry the message to others.” How have you done that? How can we reach out to sufferers who don’t even know about Al-Anon?

Spencer and Eric talk about our experiences with public outreach, roughly following this outline.

  • How did you first get involved in public outreach?
  • What have you or members of your group done as part of your public outreach?
  • What resources are available to help you in doing outreach?
  • Why do you believe that public outreach is important?
  • How have you preserved your anonymity “at the level of press, radio, TV, and films”?
  • How have you cooperated with other recovery groups and programs in your area to carry the message?
  • Have you been involved in other forms of service? In your district? In your group(s)? Personally?
  • How does service help to carry the message?
  • How have all these forms of service supported and enhanced your recovery?

We mentioned many resources for outreach. Here are some of them:

Upcoming topics include worry, obsessive thinking, and caretaking. 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 Public outreach – Episode 115

Participation, harmony, and being heard – Episode 114

In your interactions with others, how do you find harmony? Do you sometimes feel that you are not heard? How do Concepts 4 and 5 help? Concept 4 says “Participation is the key to harmony.” and concept 5 states “The rights of appeal and petition protect minorities and insure that they be heard.”

  • How do you understand Concept 4, “Participation is the key to harmony”?
  • What can I do to participate more fully?
  • When I participate in a group, do I feel more a part of it?
  • When I feel part of a group, is it easier for me to be in harmony with its workings?
  • Do I participate actively in my Al-Anon group? In other groups in my life?
  • How do my relationships benefit when I participate fully in all areas of my life?
  • How do I let others participate?
  • What if I disagree with a decision of the majority? Can I still be heard?
    • In Al-Anon?
    • In my workplace?
    • In my family?
    • With my friends?
  • How willing am I to listen to Al-Anon? my family? at work?
  • How do the “rights of appeal and petition” help me find my voice when I am in the minority?
  • Why is it important that minority opinions be expressed and heard?
  • How has learning that I have a right to speak up changed the way I feel about myself?
  • When is it just as important to keep my opinion to myself as it is to share it?
  • How can concept 5 help me change how I feel about people who disagree with me?
  • What can I do when I react negatively to someone’s opinion?
  • How can I use steps 1-3 and “Let Go and Let God” in conjunction with these two concepts?
  • Final words?

Upcoming topics include service and obsession. 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 Participation, harmony, and being heard – Episode 114

Fun – Episode 113

Family-1How do you have fun? Do you have fun? Has your concept of fun changed in recovery?

Join Spencer and Brooke as we talk about fun, and hear the contributions a couple of listeners sent in via email.

  • What does “fun” mean to you?
  • How did you think about having fun before recovery?
  • Could you have fun by yourself or did it have to involve others?
  • What have you learned about having fun in your recovery?
  • What do you to for fun?
  • Are you able to have fun even when life is not perfect?

Our topic for next week addresses participation, harmony, and being heard in decision making. Specifically, we will talk about Concepts 4 and 5, which say, respectively, “Participation is the key to harmony” and “The rights of appeal and petition protect minorities and insure that they be heard.” 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 Fun – Episode 113

Do you drink? – Episode 112

Do you drink? Did you drink with your alcoholic loved one? How has recovery changed how you drink? How you think about drinking? Did you stop drinking? Why?

Spencer talks about his personal experience with drinking, about how he drank with his loved one, and about how that changed with recovery and how his feelings about drinking have become complicated.

A listener asked about the topic of sponsorship, which we discussed in episode 25 and in a round table.

An upcoming topic is “fun”. How do you have fun? What does fun mean to you? Is the way you are able to think about fun changed in recovery? 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 drink? – Episode 112

Prayer – Episode 111

AcceptanceDo you pray? What is prayer? How can it support your recovery?

In this episode, Spencer shares his personal journey to and understanding of prayer.

  • I did not grow up with a tradition of prayer.
    • My idea of prayer as a young person: “God, please give me a pony.”
    • It didn’t work!
  • I did not grow up with an understanding of or belief in God.
    • So prayer is meaningless, right?
  • The 12 steps challenged me to find meaning in these concepts: God and Prayer.
  • What is prayer? How do we pray? Why do we pray?
  • Serenity prayer — helped me to get through difficult moments/hours/days.
    • My first experience of non “pony” prayer.
    • I say “God, grant me the serenity…”
    • The atheist version: “Please grant me the serenity…”
  • Going beyond the serenity prayer…
    • 3rd & 7th step prayers from AA big book.
    • “God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!”
    • “My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.”
    • Another version of 3rd step prayer: “God, help me remove the blinders of self-will. Help me see what is true. Teach me so that I can be of service. Free me from fear, from hate, from greed, from discontent so that I may contribute myself to your work. Allow me to see what you would have me do and grant me the strength to follow through.”
  • Anne Lamott suggests that there are 3 “essential” prayers: Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
    • The serenity prayer is a “Help” prayer, as are the 3rd and 7th step prayers.
    • When I express gratitude, whether to God or the universe, I am praying “Thanks”.
    • a prayer of gratitude, sung this morning at church
      • We give thanks for this precious day / for all gathered here and those far away / for this time we share with love and care / Oh, we give thanks for this precious day.
    • A “Wow!” prayer: e.e. cummings, “i thank You God for most this amazing day
    • Another Wow! prayer: Hallelujah Chorus, which we sang together after the service this morning.
  • A fourth kind of prayer, which I might call “Be well”. Every Sunday, we sing our children to their classes with this: Go now in peace / Go now in peace / May the spirit of love surround you everywhere / everywhere you go.
  • Why do I pray?
    • “Prayer doesn’t change the world, prayer changes me.”
    • A prayer that I say every morning (when I remember): “Lord, help me to hold myself and others to a standard of grace, rather than perfection.” Why? Because it addresses (at least) two of my character defects: perfectionism and my expectation that others will do things my way. (Thus: part of my seventh step practice.)
    • It reminds me that others are also children of God, that they have inherent worth and deserve respect, and that I am not in control.
    • Prayer reminds me that I am not alone and that I need not solve all my problems by myself.
    • Prayer gives me a way to focus on that which is important to me.
    • Prayer gives me a way to express my hopes and fears.

Upcoming topics include Fun! How do you have fun? How have you learned to have fun?  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 Prayer – Episode 111