Triggers – Episode 92

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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

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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.
Continue reading Trust – Episode 91

Tradition 10 – Episode 90

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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

Taking Care of Myself – Episode 89

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always in the presentWhen you get sick, do you try to just “keep on going”? When you are overcommitted, do you try to “do it all”? What happens when you do that? Today, I want to talk briefly about taking care of myself.

In Al-Anon, we are told that we need to take care of ourselves first. What does this really mean? How does it change the way we live our lives? This week, I had an opportunity to practice self-care, because I caught a cold. I am pretty sure that this cold was my body’s way of telling me that I needed to slow down a little, that I was trying to do too much in my life, and that my health was being affected by that. I took a couple days off work, although I worked some from home. The big difference was that when I needed to lie down or take a nap, I could. I was also not inflicting my sniffling and coughing, not to mention germs, on my co-workers. Because of the cold, and because of a commitment I had made for the weekend, I was not able to plan for the podcast episode that I had wanted to create this weekend. Instead, I am reflecting on how self-care has been a part of my life this week, and how I had to change my plans to take care of myself.

 

Upcoming topics include trust, Tradition 10, care-taking, 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.

 

 

Intimacy – Episode 88

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siblingsHave you lost the ability to share intimately with another person? Have you found people in the program that you can trust with your secrets? What are your barriers to intimacy with your loved ones? Mara and Spencer talk about Intimacy.

We used these questions to inform our conversation.

  • What is intimacy?
    • Vocabulary.com says this: Intimacy is closeness with another person, like the intimacy that develops between friends as you tell one another your life’s story and all your secrets and dreams for the future.
  • Do I have any intimate relationships in my life today? Have I had any in the past?
  • How do I deflect or avoid intimacy?
  • What keeps me from being intimate with my loved ones? My friends? My family?
  • How have I learned to be intimate in Al-Anon?
    • “Safe place”
    • to be vulnerable
    • sharing by others
    • sharing with others
  • How have I developed an intimate relationship with my sponsor?
  • How am I deepening the friendships and loving relationships in my life? What might help me do so?

Questions from Blueprint for Progress:

  1. How do I define intimacy?
  2. What actions encourage intimacy and which ones don’t?
  3. Which of my actions are helpful in bringing me closer to another person?
  4. With whom was I intimate when I was growing up?
  5. How have I shared important information with someone I didn’t trust?
  6. Where do I get examples of positive, intimate relationships?
  7. In what ways have I been intellectually or spiritually intimate with the alcoholic?
  8. What activities help me show how much certain people mean to me?
  9. What kind of examples do my actions convey about the importance of close relationships?

For me, intimacy is tied in with trust and fear. Here are some questions from those sections of the Blueprint:

  1. What is my history of trusting myself?
  2. How do I determine if someone is trustworthy?
  3. How do I determine if someone has lost my trust?
  4. How do I react when frightened?
  5. What provokes my fears?
  6. How do my fears affect the way I make decisions?
  7. How do my fears of the alcoholic affect the way I interact with him/her?
  8. How do I include my Higher Power when I feel afraid and what is the result?

Upcoming topics include trust, enabling, triggers, and Tradition 10. 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 Intimacy – Episode 88

Unmanageability – Episode 87

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DSC_5239Do you find yourself running in circles? Do you obsess over things you can’t change? Do you lie awake worrying? Spencer and Ruth talk about what it’s like when our lives are unmanageable, and how we have found a better way to live.

We started with the outline below, but actually ended up structuring our conversation around some of these questions from the book From Survival to Recovery.

  1. When difficulties occur, do you need someone to blame, even it is yourself?
  2. Do you feel uncomfortabe or draw a blank when asked whar it is you really want?
  3. Does a dark cloud of despair or a creeping depression sometimes seem to apeer from nowhere to weigh you down?
  4. Do you feel guilty or selfish whenever you say “no”?
  5. Are you lonley and isolated? Do you feel like an outsider in the midst of a crowed?
  6. Can you identify only one or two extreme feelings, such as anger or fear?
  7. Do you think in all-or-nothing terms? Is life either wonderful or miserable, with litte in between?
  8. Are you numb or flat, with no extremes in you feelings whatsover?
  9. Does your memory fog out or have giant holes where you remember nothing?
  10. Do you feel suicidal or have a need to hurt yourself or others?
  11. Do you tolerate unacceptable behavior even after you have said you wont?
  12. Do you have difficulty relaxing and having fun. Would you not regonize fun, even if it was right on front of your nose?
  13. Are you frequently impatient with yourself or others?
  14. Do you think you are the only person in the world you can depend on?
  15. Do you feel compelled to do things for other people they could do for themselfs?
  16. Do you do things you don’t want to do, rather than risking disappointing people?
  17. Do you have difficulty trusting your won perception? Do you need to prove you are right and others are wrong in order to convince yourself?
  18. Do you feel embarresed or ashamed because of someone else’s behaviour?
  19. Do you startle easily?
  20. Do you think the best way to take care of your needs is not to have any?

The original outline:

  • How did you feel/react when you heard that your life was unmanageable?
  • In what ways has your life been unmanageable?
    • Trying to change things.
    • Trying to control outcomes
    • Trying to change somebody else
    • Worrying
    • Obsessing
    • Not taking care of my own “stuff” because I’m in someone else’s.
    • Priorities out of order
  • What are symptoms of unmanageability?
    • Anger
    • Not eating
    • Not sleeping
    • Over-working
    • Paralyzed inside
    • Depression
    • Isolation
    • Physically sick
  • How do I deal with these things differently today?
    • Recognize when something is outside my control and “put it down.”
    • Prayer
    • Ask for help — talk to a “program friend” or sponsor.
    • Go to a meeting.
    • Do what I can now, then let go of worry and obsession.
    • Take care of myself — remember to eat and sleep.
    • Inventory — what is my part, what is not?
    • Understand my options
    • Recognize that I have choices.
    • Don’t pick up the rope.
    • Gratitude
    • Slogans that help
      • First things first.
      • Do the next right thing.
      • Let go and let God.
      • One day at a time
      • Just for today
      • How important is it?
  • How do I know that my life is manageable?
  • I have time for “me”
  • I’m not always jumping from one “crisis” to the next
  • I can recognize my choices and make them rationally
  • I recognize others’ humanity and have compassion for their struggle
  • I recognize that it is not my job to “fix” others

Our topic for next week is Intimacy. Which is to say, deeply sharing our feelings and thoughts with another person. Intimacy is closely tied with trust, emotional safety and vulnerability. We welcome your thoughts, You can join the conversation. Please leave a voice mail or send us an email with your experience or questions about Intimacy. Have you lost the ability to share intimately with another person? Have you found people in the program that you can trust with your secrets? What are your barriers to intimacy with your loved ones?

We are also still working on an episode about “triggers”. If you would like to share your experience with triggers and being triggered, and on how working the program has helped you to deal with them, please call or email.

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 Unmanageability – Episode 87

Tradition 9 – no organization – Episode 86

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PodHow can we function without organization? Tradition 9 says, “Our groups, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.” This seems somehow contradictory. What does it mean?

Spencer and Ruth talk about Tradition 9, following these questions:

  • What does it mean that our groups are not organized?
  • How do we get things done without “organization”?
  • When might we create “service boards” or committees?
  • How does this tradition connect to Steps 2 & 3?
  • How can I apply this tradition in my daily life?

Upcoming topics include “Is it caretaking or healthy support?” and “Triggers”. If you would like to share your experience with triggers and being triggered, and perhaps how working the program has helped you to deal with them, 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 9 – no organization – Episode 86

Alcoholism – a Personal Journey – Episode 85

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find meWhat did you think when you first heard the statement that alcoholism is a disease? Did is seem like a cop-out? Did you feel that your loved one just needed to drink normally!? Today, Spencer explores his personal journey of coming to an understanding of this cunning, baffling, and powerful thing called alcoholism.

Here’s a rough outline of the journey in bullet points:

  • Alcoholism? Is that a thing?
  • Alcoholic? Certainly not!
  • The poster.
  • Early explanations
    • Genetics
    • Brain chemistry
    • Recovery and relapse
  • Open talks
    • Eye opening
    • Coming to see the arc of the story — one story in many lives
    • Finding hope
  • Disease concept
    • Brain chemistry?
    • A disease that denies itself
    • Chronic, Progressive, Fatal unless arrested
    • No known “cure” but can be treated
    • Like cancer in remission
    • Lifetime treatment (like diabetes)
  • Compassion

Upcoming topics include “Caretaking or healthy support?”, “Triggers”, and Tradition 9 (Our groups, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.) 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 Alcoholism – a Personal Journey – Episode 85

The 4 Ms – Manipulation Managing Mothering Martyrdom – Episode 84

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I see youHave you found yourself trying to do it all? Did you take care of your loved one’s problems? Do you try to force things to work out your way? Have you ever felt totally unappreciated?  The 4 M’s are Managing, Manipulation, Mothering, and Martyrdom.

Join Erika and Spencer as we talk about our experience with the “4 M’s” and how the program has helped us to rely less on these crutches.

  • How do/did I try to manipulate others?
    • “Setting up” a situation
    • passive/agressive behavior
  • How do/did I try to manage and control my live and the lives of those around me?
    • How have I taken on responsibilities that were not mine?
    • Have I ever been called a control freak?
  • How do/did I mother others by “cleaning up” their problems, by doing things for them, etc?
  • How have I played the martyr. What did I hope to gain?
  • What tools does Alanon give us?
  • Inventory – recognizing my behaviors.
  • Loving detachment
  • Self care

Our topic for next week is alcoholism. Other upcoming topics include “is it caretaking or support?” and Triggers or being triggered. 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 The 4 Ms – Manipulation Managing Mothering Martyrdom – Episode 84

Tradition 8 – Episode 83

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unityDo you find yourself looking for the “experts” in your meetings? Do you sometimes feel like you have nothing to offer? How do we help one another in Al-Anon? Today, we’re going to talk about Tradition 8, which states “Al-Anon Twelfth Step work should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”

Spencer and Ruth talk about Tradition 8, guided by these thought questions.

  • How does the reading match with my experience in Al-Anon?
  • Why do we have this tradition?
  • What are the advantages of a “fellowship of equals”?
  • What are the disadvantages?
  • Do I look to certain members as “experts”?
    • How can this be a problem for me?
    • How can this be a problem for them?
  • Do I sometimes feel reluctant to share because I’m not an “expert”?
  • Am I sometimes reluctant to share my problems because I feel I have to be “perfect” in my program?
  • How can I share with others without trying to fix them?
  • Am I sometimes “Mr or Ms Alanon”?
  • How/when am I judgemental?
  • How/when do I take others’ inventories?
  • What about paid employees (“special workers”)?
  • Final thoughts?

Our topic for next week is “The 4 M’s: Managing, Manipulation, Mothering, and Martyrdom”. 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 8 – Episode 83