A Recovery Story – Laura – Episode 176

What is your story? What brought you to recovery? What challenges have you faced? What have you found here?

We had a conversation with Laura about recovery where the local language is not her native tongue. We were guided by these questions.

  • What brought you to Al-Anon?
  • How did you hear about or find the Al-Anon program?
  • How has your life changed since coming to recovery?
    • What have you learned about yourself?
    • How do you live your life differently?
  • What is it like trying to practice recovery in a country that is not your own?
    • Where the common language is not your first language?
    • Where the culture is different from your own?
    • What challenges does this pose?
    • Finding meetings?
    • Getting literature?
    • Finding a sponsor or other “program people” to talk to?
  • How has your sponsor helped you?
  • What would you say to someone in a similar situation who is new to Al-Anon?
    • Who has not yet come to their first meeting?

Our readings are from How Al-Anon Works, p. 30 and One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, October 23.

Upcoming topics include fear and faith, as captured in this statement from the “gifts of Al-Anon”. “Fear will be replaced by faith, and gratitude will come naturally as we realize that our Higher Power is doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves.” 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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Honesty – a workshop – Episode 175

Happiness withinWhat does it mean that this is a program of “rigorous honesty”? How have you been dishonest to others and to yourself? What have you learned about honesty in recovery?

This workshop on honesty was presented by Michele R (AA) and Kim G (Al-Anon) at the 2013 Journey to Serenity Festival (Saskatchewan Al-Anon Adult Children Festival), October 26, 2013.

In the workshop they posed these questions, from various sources, that help me explore my honesty, present and past.

  • How did I fail to tell the truth as a child?
  • What stories do I pass on without checking they are true?
  • How do I compliment people when I feel they’ve done a good job?
  • How can I tell the difference between the way things look to me and the way they really are?
  • In my interactions with others do I tell the truth or do I say what I think they want to hear?
  • What walls have I built to hide the person I am from others?
  • How does honestly sharing the secrets of my past help me recover from the emotional damage I have endured?
  • Where did I critique or put down someone else or try to hide it by saying I’m just trying to be “helpful” or giving “constructive criticism”?
  • Did I try to hide a bad motive under a good motive?
  • Do I spend a good amount of time on things that make the world a more loving place?
  • Where am I spending energy on activities that are draining rather than life giving?
  • Am I committed to participating in a community?
  • Am I willing to receive as well as to give?
  • Is my higher power’s opinion of me the one I value most in my life?

Upcoming topics include a personal story; faith and fear; and “who am I?” 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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Forgiveness is critical to recovery – Episode 174

What does it mean to forgive? Why do we talk of “finding” forgiveness? And who really gains from forgiveness?

  • What does forgiveness mean?
    • Dictionary
      Merriam Webster has this simple definition of the word forgive: “to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone)”
      And also this: “to give up resentment of”
    • To me?
  • How did I understand forgiveness before recovery?
    • Forgiving meant condoning the other person’s actions?
    • If I forgave someone, I had to like them, be ok with their company?
    • They had to apologize first?
    • If I forgave, I had to “forget”?
  • What new understandings of forgiveness did I discover?
  • One of the “gifts of Al-Anon” in From Survival to Recovery is this: “As we gain the ability to forgive our families, the world, and ourselves our choices will expand.”
    • How do I understand this gift?
    • How have I seen it happen in my life?
  • How does forgiveness help me?
  • What if someone did something truly unforgiveable?
    • How can I forgive them or their action?
    • Why would I want to?
  • What story or stories can I share about
    • Finding forgiveness
    • Having difficulty finding forgiveness
    • Forgiving without forgetting.
  • What would I say to a newcomer about forgiveness “the Al-Anon way”?

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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Start where you are – Episode 173

DSC_0379Start where you are. Bring your angry self. Bring your despairing self. Bring your resentful and frustrated self. Bring your confused self. And we will meet you there.

Sometimes I think I need to be “ready” before I can do something, before I can make a change. But that’s not true of our program. I was able to start where I was, and I can still start where I am. How does this work? How was I able to “start where I am” at each point along the path of recovery? Because recovery is a process, not an event.

  • Walking into my first meeting.
    • You met me where I was. You didn’t require that I know anything, that I agree to anything, you just welcomed me.
  • Step 1: We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
    • My first challenge – what does “powerless” mean? Can I admit that I am “powerless”? How do I recognize the unmanageability of my life? Is this where I am right now?
  • Step 2: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
    • I start into this step where I am: questioning the very existence of a Higher Power. Some start into this step with a vengeful, angry God. No matter where we start, we can find an understanding of this step.
  • Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
    • If my starting point is “the meeting is my HP”, I can look for guidance and wisdom in the meeting, and try to follow that.
  • Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
    • This step has always met me where I was. As my starting point has changed, the inventory has also changed. My new point of view has revealed other aspects of myself, which were not visible earlier.
  • Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
    • My first starting point for this step was “no way!” My second starting point was “there’s some stuff I’m just not going to talk about.” I *think* that, at this time, I’ve admitted all my wrongs, but I might be wrong about that.
    • Each time, there was power in the step, no matter where I started, and how “well” I did it. The point is to take the step, not to take it perfectly.
  • Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
    • Again, my starting point has “moved” with time. I’ve gone from “well, of course” to “um, not that one!” to “please help me to become willing”.
    • I didn’t understand this step the first time I “took” it, but I did it anyway.
  • Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
    • What does this step mean if I don’t have a concrete idea of G-o-d?
    • But, I found that, when I ask for help, I find it, and I change.
  • Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
    • The literature suggested that I can group my list into: people I am willing to make amends to, people I might be willing to make amends to, and those people who I was not willing to make amends to.
    • I started there, and found that my lists changed as I moved into Step 9.
  • Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
    • Do the easy ones first, and don’t worry about doing it perfectly!
  • Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
    • I started doing this step before I actually got to it. Because I didn’t want to add new things to my “Step 4 inventory.”
  • Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
    • Wow. What is prayer? How do I do it? You suggested I start with the Serenity prayer. And I was able to do that.
    • Meditation? How? When? “Just try. Sit with me. Breathe.” It’s a start.
  • Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
    • My awakening came gradually, as I moved in recovery, I became more awake, where I was.
  • Sponsorship!
    • I was not “ready” (in my mind) to be a sponsor the first time I was asked. But I said “yes” and did the best I could.
  • Gratitude
    • Finding gratitude in small things helped to to develop an “attitude of gratitude”.

So, start where you are, and we will meet you there and welcome you into the beginning of your path to 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.

Why The Recovery Show – Episode 172

img_1195Why is there The Recovery Show?

September 30 is International Podcast Day, which “is dedicated to promoting Podcasting worldwide through education and public engagement.” … Well, that got me thinking about why I do this podcast, why I (with others) have created 172 episodes of The Recovery Show over the past 3 ½ years. So, here are some of those reasons.

  • I can do it.
    • Technical knowledge
    • Teaching background
  • Step 12 encourages me to “carry this message to others”.
  • How did it happen?
    • My sponsor asked me to participate in his podcast (AA focused recovery at recoveredcast.com)
    • I wanted to bring a little more Al-Anon content to his podcast and he said “why don’t you start your own?”
    • 2 friends agreed to help
  • It deepens my own program of recovery.
  • I have met (at least virtually) people from all over the US and the world.
  • You let me know that it is valuable to you.
  • You support me.
    • Financially
    • Through your sharing (email and voice mail)
    • By giving me topic ideas and music suggestions.
    • By participating in the show.

This is a “we” program. I cannot do my recovery alone and I cannot do this podcast alone. Even though it is often me, sitting in front of a microphone by myself, you are there with me, sitting across the desk from me, as I talk. And, I think, that is the bottom line of why I continue to produce this podcast. It brings us together in recovery; it connects me to you, and you, and 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 “Why The Recovery Show – Episode 172”