2 Years – Episode 99

4529789618_fca6f88bf4_bIf you’re new, do you wonder why members have been coming for years? Doesn’t there come a time when we’ve learned it all? What do we gain from keeping on keeping on?  It amazes me that The Recovery Show is 2 years old this week!

Spencer thinks back over the last 2 years, about the journey, about what this podcast has meant for him, and maybe for you. Here’s a rough outline.

  • How and why did we come to start the podcast?
  • Early experiences podcasting.
  • Guest hosts.
  • Including your voices.
  • Losing my co-hosts.
  • Focusing on the podcast
  • Providing value.
  • Your feedback and support.
  • Challenges.
  • “electronic” co-hosts.
  • Value to my program.

Next week will be episode 100. We’ve invited some past co-hosts to reflect on their experience participating in The Recovery Show.

Upcoming topics include growth in the program, discovering ourselves, and healthy support vs caretaking. As we approach the end of the year, and the start of the new year, what “resolutions” are we thinking about for 2015? We’d love to hear from you. 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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Tradition 12 – Anonymity – Episode 98

DSC_5353Do you wonder how much to reveal about your situation? Are you afraid someone will “out” you? Do you have “idols” in the program? We’ll address these questions and more as we talk about Tradition 12, Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities.

Ruth and Spencer had these questions around which we structured our conversation.

Ruth started by asking, “Spencer you said this is your favorite tradition. Would like to tell us why?”

  • How do you understand the principle of anonymity?
    • How do you practice this principle?
    • Inside the “rooms” of Al-Anon?
    • In the wider world?
  • How can I protect anonymity when I meet someone outside the meeting?
  • How can I protect anonymity when I meet someone in the meeting who I already know outside the meeting?
  • How do we practice anonymity in the podcast?
  • How does anonymity change the way I feel about myself?
  • How can I practice anonymity without being “invisible”?
  • How can I share my experience, strength, and hope without telling others what to do?
  • Do I put people on a pedestal? Why? What happens?
  • How does focusing on personalities hinder my growth?
  • How is it different when instead, I listen to everybody, even the people I don’t “like”?

Upcoming topics include growth in the program, discovering ourselves, and healthy support vs caretaking. As we approach the end of the year, and the start of the new year, what “resolutions” are we thinking about for 2015? Join the conversation. 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 Tradition 12 – Anonymity – Episode 98

Gratitude 2014 – Episode 97

A power greater than ourselves provides the beauty of a flower.Can you be grateful for painful events? How do you cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”? Can gratitude help you sleep better? Join Spencer and Wendy as we talk about our experience with gratitude.

We used these questions to guide our discussion.

  • What does “gratitude” mean to you?
  • Do you see gratitude differently now than before you came to Al-Anon?
  • Do you practice an “attitude of gratitude”?
  • How has this changed your life?
  • Have you found gratitude for painful occurrences in your life? How or why?
  • What are you grateful for today?

We also found a couple of interesting articles about gratitude. Powerful Lessons in Gratitude starts “As I write this, I am coming to terms with the death of a good friend of mine who was killed in a tragic accident over the weekend. … However, I realize that even in death we have the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of life.” Both of us have found gratitude in the middle of pain and loss, and that gratitude has helped us to live our lives with greater serenity and even joy.

Another interesting article is 8 reasons to love gratitude, which has this list of benefits. The benefits are backed up by scientific study, believe it or not.

  1. It can make you happier.
  2. It can reduce blood pressure.
  3. It makes hearts healthier.
  4. It’s associated with better sleep.
  5. It helps people exercise more.
  6. It helps make vets more resilient.
  7. It can help your relationship.
  8. Even a little bit helps.

Spencer was happy to hear that he doesn’t have to practice gratitude every day in order to gain its benefits!

Our topic for next week is Tradition 12, which states “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities.” 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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Isolation – Episode 96

aloneDo you revert to isolating in times of increased stress and difficulty? Do you find it harder to work your program at these times? Today we will talk about what isolation has meant to us.

Spencer and guest host Harriet discuss this topic, suggested by Harriet, following this outline and questions.

  • What is isolation?
    • Closing myself off from the outside world
    • Looking outward to fix an inward problem
    • Rejecting reality
  • What did isolation look like a year ago, now, etc.
    • Can take many forms, and could look like:
    • Pretending (hiding)
    • Self criticism (finding evidence that fits my conjecture that I’m  broken and alone)
    • feeding an obsession
    • Compulsive show watching (often a familiar show I’ve already watched, maybe b/c I need to have some certainty)
    • Compulsive podcast listening (not to broaden my perspective but to drown out my thoughts or emotions)
    • Avoiding connection with friends or Al-anon members (Anything that takes me further into my closed system)
    • Food
    • Being compulsively busy
  • Why do I isolate?
    • Shame (I hide my worst parts)
    • Disconnect between mind body and spirit.  I look outside myself to find the answer
    • I’m having a feeling I’d rather not be having and am afraid to look at myself
    • I believe my own conjecture
  • What helps?
  • Accepting where I am and my current reality
  • Trying one thing different to break my cycle
    • I need to make peace within myself before I can genuinely connect with others.  I think I need to share w others, but until I’ve reconciled within myself, I can be isolating right in the middle of a conversation
    • Writing— before I’m too far gone
    • Step 5 — a member or friend who I can share with (to acknowledge where I am)
    • A meeting
    • Meditation – breathing exercise
    • connection with a pet
    • Prayer
    • Brene Brown’s TED talks
    • This podcast- suffering is optional, 3 A’s, self-care
    • Inventory—why am I isolating?
    • Service
    • Self-care and self compassion

Our topic for next week is gratitude. 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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Tradition 11 – Episode 95

DSC_5860Do you switch the tv-channel when the commercial kicks in? Are you tired of being reminded of something which you know would be good for you but you just don’t want to, and now giving in would just feel odd? Do you wonder why some annoying people always have to emphasize where and how they get their stuff? But are you curious why that person, despite all the obvious problems in their life, has a smile on their face? And how do we practice anonymity in our podcast?

Ruth and Spencer talk about Tradition 11, “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and TV. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all AA members.” We used these questions to guide our discussion.

– There is a lot in this this tradition and I would like to start with the last sentence: the anonymity of the alcoholic. Why it is important, for them for us. How was it when we were new, or even before before we learned about the concept if the desease.

  • If we break our anonymity we may break the one of our relatives too.
  • How can we share our story without breaking the anonymity?
  • Various aspects of anonymity: our background, education, finance, status … not just names.
  • As important as it is to experience people who have what you want to have, it is important not to connect people with program (principles over personalities).
  • What can we do, what do you do to let people know about AlAnon?

I asked on twitter: how would you translate the 11th tradition into your personal life and I get a very good response from “the bubble hour”: “attraction not promotion means we can stand on our integrity in all things, without controlling outcomes or people.”

  • How do we practice Tradition 11 in this podcast?
  • We share only our own experience, strength, and hope.
  • We do not use our full names, and some of us use pseudonyms.
  • We don’t try to “sell” Al-Anon.
  • We often use phrases such as “loved one” when we mention the alcoholic(s) and/or addict(s) in our life.

A Slogan for Tradition 11: “Take what you like and leave the rest”

How do we practice this tradition in our life?

  • Being an example.
  • Act as we expect to be treated (“Golden rule”)

Upcoming topics include isolation 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 Tradition 11 – Episode 95

Spiritual Practice – Episode 94

peace at sunset

How do you feed your spirit? Do you struggle with prayer and meditation? What does it mean to be “spiritual?”

 

Spencer shares his thoughts about spiritual practices, and invites you to share your own spiritual practices by voice mail or email.

  • What is a spiritual practice?
  • What is the purpose/goal of spiritual practices?
    • Connection with the divine, something greater than myself.
    • Centering.
    • Feeds my spirit/soul.
  • What practices are suggested in the 12 steps?
  • What is prayer?
  • What is meditation?
  • What are some (other) examples of spiritual practices?Sitting/walking in nature.
    • Attitude of gratitude
    • Deep breath
    • Dance
    • Song
    • Journaling

Our topic for next week is Tradition 11, which says “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and TV. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all AA members.” Join our conversation. 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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Not God – Episode 93

fateDo you sometimes feel responsible for the whole world? Would other people be happy if they would do things your way? An critical part of our recovery is that we recognize that we are not God.

Spencer talks about ways in which he has tried to “play God” in the past, about how those increased the unmanageability of his life, and about how the realization that he is not God has simplified his life and provided serenity. He worked from the outline below, illustrating the points with stories from his life.

  • What do I mean when I say I am not God?
  • I can’t control or change other people
  • Things outside my “hula hoop” are not my responsibility
  • I don’t know what is best for others
  • I don’t always know what is best for me
  • Why would I think I am?
  • How did my actions suggest I thought so?
  • When do i struggle with wanting to play God?
  • How is it a relief when I remember that I am nobody’s higher power?

Upcoming topics include Tradition 11 and “Is it caretaking or healthy support?” 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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Triggers – Episode 92

grasshopperDo words and events throw you into your past? Do you get angry when it’s inappropriate? What are triggers and how do they affect us?

Spencer and Akilah talk about our experience of triggers and how the 12 steps have lessened their impact on our lives. We had a few basic questions to guide our conversation:

  • What does “trigger” mean to you?
  • What triggers have you recognized in yourself?
    • How do you react to these triggers?
  • How has the program helped you to reduce or eliminate your triggers?
    • Taking an inventory?
    • Finding acceptance?
    • Making amends?
    • Trusting in my Higher Power?

Harriet and Julia also shared some of their experience with being triggered by voice mail and email.

Harriet talked about a book by Charles Whitfield, A Gift to Myself: A Personal Workbook and Guide to “Healing the Child Within”, and particularly mentioned a chapter titled “Visiting my Family of Origin”.

Upcoming topics include “Is it caretaking or healthy support?” and Tradition 11, which says “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and TV. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all AA members.” 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 Triggers – Episode 92

Trust – Episode 91

Family-1Are you afraid to trust others? Do you hesitate to share personal details? Are you trustworthy? Mara and Spencer talk about Trust.

We used these questions to guide our discussion:

  • When do I have trouble trusting?
  • How do I know I can trust someone?
  • Do I have a Higher Power I can trust?
  • Can I trust myself?
  • Can others trust me?
  • What is my history of trusting myself?
  • In what ways am I trustworthy both to myself and to others?
  • In what ways have I been untrustworthy in some of my activities?
  • How do I determine if someone is trustworthy?
  • How do I determine if someone has lost my trust?
  • What behaviors do I have that inspire trust?
  • What behaviors do I have that inhibit trust?
  • What important things do I trust to my Higher Power?
  • What am I reluctant to give over to my Higher Power at this time?

Upcoming topics include “is it caretaking or healthy support?” and “triggers”. 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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Tradition 10 – Episode 90

conflictHas someone brought their different political or social opinions into a meeting? How did that feel for you? Or even outside of meetings, can an opinion of another person disturb you? Today, we talk about Tradition 10, which says “The Al-Anon Family Groups have no opinion on outside issues; hence our name ought never be drawn into public controversy.”

Ruth and Spencer talk about Tradition 10, about how they see it work in their meetings, and how they can use it in their personal lives. We had some questions to guide our conversation.

Can you recall a situation in a meeting were this happened, where someone brought outside issues into the meeting?

How did you, how did the group dealt with it?

Is there a Al Anon position on outside topics?

How do you feel when someone isn’t sharing your opinion on something?

Why do we have this tradition?

How can you apply tradition 10 to your personal life

Questions from Reaching for Personal Freedom workbook:

  • How does tradition 10 remind me to keep the focus on myself instead of others?
  • How do I connect tradition 10 to detachment?
  • How can tradition 10 help me to respond in a loving way when others say insulting or hurtful things to me?
  • How can tradition 10 help me to not just keep my opinions to myself, but to let them go from my mind?
  • When has practicing the spiritual principle of Tradition 10 helped me to love family members and friends without getting involved in their personal situation and decisions?
  • In what ways can Tradition 10 help me when my family members are going through difficult or sad situations?

Our topic for next week is trust. How do you know you can trust someone? When do you have trouble trusting? Do you have a Higher Power you can trust? Can you trust yourself? Can others trust you? 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 Tradition 10 – Episode 90