Tradition 7 – Episode 79

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How is Al-Anon funded? Why don’t we take outside contributions? What if we all lived our lives that way? Tradition 7 states “Every group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.”

Spencer and Ruth discuss these questions and others as we explore our understanding of Tradition 7.

  • The statement of this tradition is pretty clear. Why do you think we have this tradition?
  • How does Tradition 7 relate to Tradition 6, which says, in part, “Our Family Groups ought never endorse, finance or lend our name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim.”
  • Are there other ways, besides financial, in which our groups are self-supporting?
  • How can I be of service to my meeting(s)? How have I been of service?
  • How do I use this tradition in my personal life?
  • How am I self supporting
    • Financially?
    • Socially?
    • Spiritually?
    • Emotionally?
    • Mentally?
    • Physically?
  • How have I felt when I was dependent on others?
  • Have I expected that “the world” owed me? In what ways? How did I feel? How did I act?
  • How has my self-worth depended on being needed by others?
  • Do I take responsibility for my feelings and my actions? Do I blame others for how I feel?
  • How do I contribute to my own well-being?
  • How can I be fully self-supporting?

Our topic for next week is What does it mean to work the steps?. 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 7 – Episode 79

What does it mean to “work” the steps?

The topic of our next episode, number 79, is What does it mean to “work” the steps? Please share your experience, strength, and hope about this question by sending email to feedback@therecoveryshow.com, by calling our voice mail number 734-707-8795, or by using the voicemail button at the right.

Here are some thought questions that you can use as prompts for your sharing:

  • When you first heard the phrase “work the steps”, what did you think it meant?
  • Have you worked the steps once? More than once?
    • If more than once, how did your understanding of “working the steps” change?
    • How did you work the steps? From a book? With a sponsor? As part of a group?
  • Some steps have clear actions in them (“took an inventory”, “made a list”), and some do not (“came to believe”, “became entirely ready”).
    • Would you say that some steps are “action steps” and some are not?
    • Or, do you believe that all the steps have actions in them?
  • If you are a sponsor, how do you guide your sponsees in working the steps?

 

Stay or Go? – Episode 78

DSC_5860Are you in a relationship with an alcoholic or addict? Have you ever thought, “My life would be so much easier without this person?” Have you wondered how you could ever leave them? Today, we have 4 personal stories from individuals who faced that hard question, Stay or Go?

Spencer starts with his experience. He struggled for years with that question. When he came into the program, he was grateful to hear that he should not make any big decisions in his first year. It took a couple of years and some hard work to decide to stay in his alcoholic marriage.

Ruth was in her relationship for a long time before she came to see that he was an alcoholic. She found Al-Anon then. After some more time, she realized that she could not continue in that relationship and made the hard decision to end it.

Jennifer has stayed with her alcoholic husband, so far. She has hope that he will find long-term sobriety, but fears for the effects of his drinking on their young children if he cannot.

Julia recently ended her relationship with her alcoholic boyfriend. She came to see that the relationship was not healthy for her, and that she could not stay.

 

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 Stay or Go? – Episode 78

Why I came to Al-Anon. Why I stay? – Episode 77

4490727456_8e816c6c02_bHave you wondered why someone would choose Al-Anon? Or why those “long timers” keep on coming?

Spencer and Amy tell their stories of coming to Al-Anon, and the reasons they’re still coming years later. We used this outline to guide our conversation.

  • What brought you to Al-Anon originally?
    • What was your situation?
    • Was there active alcoholism in your life at the time?
    • What was your relationship to the alcoholic(s) in your life?
    • How did you “hit bottom”?
  • What was your first meeting like?
    • What did you expect?
    • How were your expectations met?
    • How were they not met?
  • Did you keep coming back after your first meeting?
    • Why or why not?
  • How and when did you start to understand what the program was about?
  • What did it mean to you?
  • Did you find help for the situation that brought you to Al-Anon?
    • Was it the kind of help you had expected?
  • How long have you been in Al-Anon?
  • Is the original situation the same?
    • How or how not?
  • What keeps you coming to Al-Anon?
    • Do you still have active alcoholism in your life?
    • Did you “discover” more alcoholism around you?
  • Are you still dealing with the same issues as when you came in?
  • Do you attend Al-Anon primarily to help you deal with the alcoholism in your life, past or present?
  • Do you attend because of the growth and change in yourself you have found here?
  • Do you attend because if you don’t, you get crazy again?
  • Do you attend to pass the help on to others who are still suffering?

Our topic for next week is “Stay or Go?” Why would someone stay in a relationship with an alcoholic? What led others to decide to leave the relationship? If you would like to share your experience, please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading Why I came to Al-Anon. Why I stay? – Episode 77

Loss – Episode 76

What do you do when you lose someone close to you? How can I use the tools we have learned in the program to get through a loss? I was inspired to this topic by a tragic, accidental death in the past week. It brought me to reflect on the nature of loss, on how loss affects me and those close to me, and how my response to loss is so different now than it was before I came into the program. I used this outline as a guide for my musings.

  • The story.
  • How did I deal with loss in the past?
    • Stuff it
    • Ignore it
    • Numb it
    • Isolate
  • Other kinds of loss?
    • Loss of dreams
    • Loss of friendship
      • Separation and divorce
  • Fear of Loss
  • How has the program helped me to deal with loss?
    • Feel it.
    • Acceptance.
    • Gratitude for what was.
    • Grief process — acknowledge it.
    • Less guilt.
  • How to deal with loss and grief
    • Take care of self
    • Prayer
    • Ask for help
    • Talk about it
    • One Day at a Time
    • Letting go

Our topic for next week is how I came to Al-Anon and why I keep coming. On June 22, we will talk about the question “Should I stay or go?” 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 Loss – Episode 76

Recording Episode 76 – Loss – Live

We will be recording Episode 76 – Loss, live on Sunday, June 8 starting at 2PM EDT (which is 18 GMT). Please join us using this “listen live” link (also in the right sidebar). If you are on an iPhone, iPad or iPod, you will need to install the Mixlr app, then search in it for “The Recovery Show.” Once you have found us, you can click or tap on “Follow” so you don’t have to search again (you will need to create a Mixlr account to follow us).  If you want, you can have Mixlr send you notifications when we go online, after you follow us.

Tradition 6 – Episode 75

Tradition 6 says “Our Family Groups ought never endorse, finance or lend our name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim. Although a separate entity, we should always co-operate with Alcoholics Anonymous.” What does this mean? How do we understand and apply it? How do we use it in our personal life?

Spencer and Ruth talk about Tradition 6, guided by these questions:

  • Why do I think we have this tradition?
  • What is “our primary spiritual aim”?
  • What are some examples of “outside enterprises”?
    • Religions
    • Treatment programs
    • Other 12-step programs
  • What are some hazards of promoting, endorsing, or talking about such “outside enterprises” in our meetings?
  • In what ways does Al-Anon “cooperate with AA”?
  • How can I apply this tradition in your personal life?
    • Am I allowing material or financial concerns to gain priority over my personal spiritual needs and serenity?
    • Am I allowing personal problems or successes to overwhelm me?
    • Am I letting them get in the way of how I treat others?
  • How do these slogans relate to Tradition 6?
    • Easy Does It
    • Keep It Simple
    • Live and Let Live
    • Let Go and Let God

 

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 Tradition 6 – Episode 75

Faith over Fear – Episode 74

Does fear keep you from acting? Can you move forward in faith instead? This week, we talk about faith over fear.

Spencer and Adrienne talked about their experience with fear and faith, reflecting on these questions and others.

  • How has fear been a factor in your life to date?
  • In what ways did fear direct your actions (or inactions) in the past?
  • How have you experienced faith in recovery?
  • Which steps are acts of faith for you?
  • How does working the steps help you to learn to have faith?
  • How can you move in faith rather than sitting in fear today?

An upcoming topic is Tradition 6, which says “Our Family Groups ought never endorse, finance or lend our name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim. Although a separate entity, we should always co-operate with Alcoholics Anonymous.” 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 Faith over Fear – Episode 74

faith over fear – a meditation

how much love?

 

 

“Today, I am choosing faith over fear”

 

 

Recently, a friend shared in a meeting, saying,

Growing up in an alcoholic home, I learned to fear change. I have lived my life in fear. Fear has driven my decisions. Because of fear, I thought I had no choices. Today, I know that I do have choices. Today, I do not have to have fear as my constant companion. Today, I can choose faith over fear.

I did not grow up with alcoholism, but I have often let fear drive my life. I have stuck to a job, even when it’s not the right one for me, because I feared not having a job. Fear of the unknown kept me stuck in the status quo. Almost every major change in my life was forced on me, because I was graduating college, because the funding for my job ran out, or because I was fired. I have ignored opportunities because I feared rejection. I hung in the corner at parties because you might not want to talk to me, or dance with me. Fear has kept me in a cage of my own making.

Recovery is showing me that I can break out of that cage. I can take a chance, I can make a choice for me. When fear tells me to “sit down”, I can reach out to my higher power for the strength to stand up. When fear says “you are worthless”, I can look at myself with eyes opened by my inventory and know it for a lie. When fear says, “you will fail”, I can choose faith instead, and walk into the unknown, confident in the guidance and support of a higher power who loves me and wants the best for me. When pain comes into my life, as it inevitably will, faith says, “this too shall pass.” I have learned that I have a choice, that I can choose faith over fear.

How do you choose faith over fear? When has faith let you move where fear would have rooted you in place? Share your experience, strength, and hope by email to feedback@therecoveryshow.com, by voice mail at 734-707-8795, or use the voicemail button on this page.

A meditation for May 22, 2014.

Continue reading faith over fear – a meditation

Tradition 5 – Episode 73

Have you wondered what Al-Anon is about? Why do we keep coming when we feel better? What does Al-Anon tell us about our alcoholic friends and relatives? These questions and more are addressed by Tradition 5. “Each Al-Anon Family Group has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps of AA ourselves, by encouraging and understanding our alcoholic relatives, and by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics.”

Ruth shares her experience with being welcomed into the fellowship of Al-Anon, and about how she came to understand what it means to “encourage” her alcoholic loved one. Then Spencer shares his musings on this tradition, roughly following this outline.

  • What does it mean to “understand and encourage our alcoholic relatives”?
  • How can we gain understanding of alcoholism?
  • How does this help us?
  • How can I “encourage” my alcoholic relative(s)?
  • In what ways did Al-Anon welcome me?
  • How do I welcome others?
  • How do I give comfort to others?
  • Why is it important for me to work the 12 steps?

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 5 – Episode 73