Intimacy – Episode 141

Family-1Intimacy requires dialog, transparency, vulnerability and reciprocity; it is sustained through well-developed emotional and interpersonal awareness; it comes from a center of self-knowledge and self differentiation; and it evolves through reciprocal self disclosure and candor.

Spencer recently was a speaker at an open panel meeting titled “The Effects of Alcoholism and Addiction on Intimacy and Sexual Relationships”. Hear his sharing about how his ability to be intimate was damaged by alcoholism, and how he is rediscovering intimacy in recovery.

Tom and Grace also attended the panel, and we talk about what we expected, what happened, and how it touched us.

Grace shares her experience as an organizer of the meeting. We recognize that these topics are not ones that we frequently talk about in our meetings. Intimacy and sex are severely affected in alcoholic relationships, and we need to be talking about them more than we do.

One upcoming topic is recovery in divorce. 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.
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Sponsorship: a prompt – Episode 140

siblingsDo you have a sponsor? Do you sponsor others in the program? How has your sponsor supported your recovery? How has being a sponsor supported and enriched your recovery? Tell us about it!

Two of us share our experience as a sponsor, and of being sponsored, and then challenge you to share your experience, strength, and hope with us.

Upcoming topics include the first gift of Al-Anon: “1. We will become mature, responsible individuals with a great capacity for joy, fulfillment, and wonder. Though we may never be perfect, continued spiritual progress will reveal to us our enormous potential.” How do you see this gift appearing in your life? 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. See our contact page for detailed information about how to join our conversation.
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It’s a We program – Episode 139

the seaThe first word of the first step is “We”. It is often said “this is a ‘we’ program.” What does that really mean? How do we find recovery from sharing our experience, strength and hope?

    • All the steps (not just the first) start with “we”.
      • The AA big book prefaces the steps with “Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:”
      • The foreword to the 3rd edition of the AA “big book” says “… at its core it remains simple and personal. Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope.
      • We know who we mean
        • Tradition 3 says “… The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.”
        • Tradition 5: “… welcoming families of alcoholics …”
      • Fellowship
        • This word appears over 60 times in the text of How Al-Anon Works.
        • You may have first heard this word in the suggested opening words at your first meeting:

          We welcome you to [this] Al-Anon Family Group and hope you will find in this fellowship the help and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy. We who live or have lived with the problem of alcoholism understand as perhaps few others can. We, too, were lonely and frustrated, but in Al-Anon/ Alateen we discover that no situation is really hopeless and that it is possible for us to find contentment, and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not. We urge you to try our program. It has helped many of us find solutions that lead to serenity. So much depends on our own attitudes, and as we learn to place our problem in its true perspective, we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives.

      • How it works
        • My experience
        • First meeting: no longer alone (I was “one more”)
        • Early meetings: finding commonality
        • Wanting “what you had”. Others had walked this path before me.
        • Getting a sponsor: A personal companion on the journey. A voice that is not mine.
        • Working the steps in a group: coming to trust. I’m not uniquely broken. Letting go of shame.
      • Step 12: “… to carry this message to others”
        • We do this. Not professionals, not specialists, but us, and only us.
        • Leading the “newcomers’ meeting”. Sharing our experience, giving those new to the program a place to share theirs and to ask questions.
        • Being a sponsor
      • I say “we” because I heal when you share your experience, strength and hope with me. I heal when I become part of “we”. And we know who we mean. And each day, we become (at least) one more.

    Upcoming topics include the first gift of Al-Anon: “We will become mature, responsible individuals with a great capacity for joy, fulfillment, and wonder. Though we may never be perfect, continued spiritual progress will reveal to us our enormous potential.” How do you see this gift appearing in your life?

    A suggested topic is “recovery after divorce.” Please share your experience so others can benefit.

    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.
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    Families – Episode 138

    unityAnother conversation about families. What did you learn from your family of origin? How have you found new ways to relate to families in recovery?

    Tom joins us, and talks about what his family was like growing up, what he brought from that into his adult life, what he rebelled against, and how he is using his recovery programs to find a more balanced way of living and relating to his families — his family of origin and his recovery family.

    As with last week’s conversation, we were guided by these questions:

    • Describe, generally, what kind of family you grew up in.
      • Was there (active) alcoholism or addiction?
      • Was there codepenency?
    • What did you learn in your family of origin?
      • About relating to other people?
      • About keeping secrets?
      • About love?
    • How did these affect your life before recovery?
      • Your relationships?
      • Your ability to take life on life’s terms?
      • Your desire/need to control others and your environment?
      • If you are a parent, what patterns from your parents did you bring into your new family?
      • etc?
    • Alcoholism is described in our literature as a “family illness”. In what ways do you now understand this description?
    • How has alcoholism or addiction affected you and your family (current or family of origin)? How has your perception of this changed in recovery?
    • How has recovery helped you to develop / discover new ways of being in family?
    • How has recovery helped you to be with your family of origin?
    • How do you use the principles of the program (including traditions and concepts) in your family or other relationships today?

    An upcoming topic is the first “gift of Al-Anon”.  It says “We will become mature, responsible individuals with a great capacity for joy, fulfillment, and wonder. Though we may never be perfect, continued spiritual progress will reveal to us our enormous potential.” How do you see this gift appearing in your life? Or are you still waiting for it? Another topic I’m thinking about is “We”. What does it mean to you that this is a “we” program? How does hearing the experience of others and sharing your own lead to recovery? To me, this is both the core and the mystery of our program.

    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.
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    Family – Episode 137

    DSC_4706What did you learn from your family of origin? How have you found new ways to relate to your family in recovery?

    Spencer and Mara talk about family, guided by these questions.

    • Describe, generally, what kind of family you grew up in.
      • Was there (active) alcoholism or addiction?
      • Was there codepenency?
    • What did you learn in your family of origin?
      • About relating to other people?
      • About keeping secrets?
      • About love?
    • How did these affect your life before recovery?
      • Your relationships?
      • Your ability to take life on life’s terms?
      • Your desire/need to control others and your environment?
      • If you are a parent, what patterns from your parents did you bring into your new family?
      • etc?
    • Alcoholism is described in our literature as a “family illness”. In what ways do you now understand this description?
    • How has alcoholism or addiction affected you and your family (current or family of origin)? How has your perception of this changed in recovery?
    • How has recovery helped you to develop / discover new ways of being in family?
    • How has recovery helped you to be with your family of origin?
    • How do you use the principles of the program (including traditions and concepts) in your family or other relationships today?

     

    Upcoming topics include “We”, and the “gifts of Al-Anon.” 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 “Family – Episode 137”