Mary Pearl T on Step 10 – 288

Step 10 says “We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” Mary Pearl T gives us her usual insightful and humorous take on this step.

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Marc and Michele’s son is in prison – 287

Is someone you love facing jail or prison because of their drinking or addiction? How do you live through something like that? Michele and Marc share their experience, strength, and hope. Their son started drinking and using drugs in high school, and it's been quite a ride since then. He is now in prison. They describe their journey and what it's like for them now.

Readings and Links

Marc opened with a reading from the Nar-Anon daily reader, Sharing Experience, Strength, and Hope, July 24.

Michele read from April 18 of that book.

In response to a topic suggestion of “principles before personalities”, I referred to our episode 98 on Tradition 12.

A listener suggested a topic about adult children who are still actively using, and I pointed to the Parents' Roundtable, episode 22.

Upcoming

We have a topic suggestion of quotes, proverbs, and parables. We'd love to hear about the ones that are meaningful to 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 “Marc and Michele's son is in prison – 287”

Mary Pearl T on Steps 8 and 9 – 286

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Mary Pearl does her usual in-depth, funny, and moving presentation of these steps.

Readings and Links

A caller recommended the May 20 reading from Hope for Today.

Feedback

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.

Contentment and even Happiness – 285

The Suggested Al-Anon Welcome says, in part “… it is possible to find contentment, and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is drinking or not.” How can this happen?

I was recently talking with an Al-Anon friend whose loved one had relapsed. My friend wondered if it was possible to have a life that wasn’t full of anger and sadness even though there was active drinking in their home again. I tried to speak from my own experience, because I had been in that place for a couple years. I did find “contentment and even happiness” while my loved one was still drinking. How did I do that?

In my first year in Al-Anon, my wife had 8 months of continuous sobriety before relapsing. So I was at least able to start to get into the program before I was challenged to really apply the tools and principles I had been learning. It would be another 2 ½ years before she “hit her bottom” and found long term sobriety (one day at a time).

Before Al-Anon, my soul was full of anger, despair, resentment, fear, frustration, and rage. I felt that I was a failure, and didn’t understand why she couldn’t just drink “normally”. Was that too much to ask? And obviously it was my job to make that happen! Except that nothing worked.

During the next 2 ½ years, there were short periods of sobriety, or at least not drinking. But emotionally, I was in a very different place than I had been. I was definitely unhappy about the drinking, and felt frustration and anger with each relapse. But I didn’t carry those feelings with me all the time. What made the difference?

Recently, I heard her tell a friend, “I was a low bottom alcoholic”. Those words surprised me (13 years later!) I knew it was bad for her at the end, but I didn’t really know how bad. From my perspective, she had gotten to a point in her life where she had nothing to do but drink. We still had a house to live in, cars to drive, and enough money to put food on the table.

But during those months, I hadn’t put my life on hold to try to fix her. I was getting sleep, I was doing things I liked, and I definitely had periods of contentment and happiness. Also sadness that the person I loved might be drinking herself to death (and some fear that it would come to that.) Looking back, I think those gift of the Al-Anon program came from:

Acceptance and compassion

  • Alcoholism is a disease. I can’t cure it. I can’t control it. Lots of AA speaker talks (probably at least 100) convinced me of this.
  • I came to understand that she hated what was happening at least as much as I did. She was also powerless over it. (vision of her in the passenger seat, screaming, with her alcoholism driving).

Detaching with love

  • Worth a whole episode (12, 188)
  • I cannot tie my happiness to someone else’s behavior.
  • I can love someone, even when they are not behaving as I want them to.
  • 2 kinds of detaching:
    1. Detach my loved one’s self from their actions in my head.
    2. Detach myself from them. (Stay inside my hula hoop.)
  • Don’t “nag”. Only makes them mad and me frustrated.

Taking care of myself

  • Physical health, but maybe more importantly emotional and spiritual health. (Prayer and meditation.)
  • Do nice things for myself. Give myself permission to enjoy life.
  • Work the steps!
  • Live one day at a time.
  • Attitude of gratitude.

Surround myself with support

  • Go to meetings.
  • Call friends / sponsor.
  • Read the literature.

The last few months weren’t the best time of my life, but they also were, by far, not the worst. Using the tools and principles of the Al-Anon program, I made a life that didn’t depend on my loved one’s sobriety. But also, it didn’t exclude her, and I was able to be there on that day when she woke up in the morning and said “I don’t want to drink today, and I don’t want to drink tomorrow either.” (I also know that my happiness was not depending on that event coming to pass. I am certainly immensely grateful that it did!)

Readings and Links

We read from Courage to Change, August 1.

I talked about the reading about Concept 8 in Paths to Recovery.

Erin sent a link to a STOP acronym on Pinterest.

Contact us

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.

 

Acronyms and Alliterations – Episode 284

Do you QTIP? Have you practiced the 3 A's? Spencer and Eric, with support from many listeners, talk about some of the acronyms (such as HALT or FEAR) and alliterations (3 C's, 4 M's) that help us to remember the important principles of the program. As Eric says, “these are like pocket change — they're easy to pick up and use.”

Acronyms

    • FEAR – Face everything and recover
    • PAUSE – Please assist until serenity enters
    • FEAR – False evidence appearing real
    • LOVE – Let others voluntarily evolve
    • JADE – (don’t) Justify, argue, defend, or explain
    • WAIT – Why am I talking (thinking)
      • Neutral responses (scroll to the bottom of episode 249)
    • HALT(S)
    • NUTS – Not Using The Steps (Slogans)
    • TRUST – try really using step three!
    • THINK is it..?: Thoughtful. Honest. Intelligent. Necessary. Kind.
    • HOPE: Happy. Our. Program. Exists.
    • DETACH: Don’t. Even. Think. About. Changing. Him/Her.
    • HOW: Honest. Open. Willing.
    • STEPS: Solutions. To. Every. Problem.
    • QTIP: Quit. Taking. It. Personally.
    • FINE
    • PISO: Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional
    • Eric would write this on his hand.
    • GOD: Good Orderly Direction
    • UTT: Use the tools
    • ODAT: One Day at a time
    • ANGER = A Negative Grudge Endangers Recovery
    • ASK = Ask Seek Knock
    • CHANGE = Choosing Honesty Allows New Growth Everyday
    • COOL = Creative Opportunities Offer Love
    • EGO = Easing God Out
    • FAITH = Finding Answers In The Heart
    • FEAR = Forgetting Everything Is Alright
    • FEAR = Future Events Aren’t Real
    • FROG = Fully Relying On God
    • GIFTS = Getting It From The Steps
    • HOPE = Helping Ourselves Purge Emptiness
    • HOW = Honest, Open, Willing
    • MYOB = Mind Your Own Business
    • PUSH = Pray Until Something Happens

Alliterations

  • 3 A’s – Awareness, Acceptance, Action
  • 3 P’s – Perfection, Procrastination, Paralysis
  • 4 M’s – Manipulation, Managing, Mothering, and Martyrdom
  • 3 C’s – Didn’t cause it, can’t cure it, can’t control it. (But I can contribute to the problem.)
  • 6 P’s: perspective, pain, prayer, patience, process and payoff.
  • 3 C's –  Have I Criticised, Have I Condemned, Have I Complained?
  • 3 G's – Get off his back, Get out of his way and Get on with your life
  • 4 P's     Why we don't forgive?..: Protection, Power, Pride, Punishment
  • 3 S's –   Selfish, Self-seeking, Self-centred

Readings and Links

We read from Courage to Change, March 26

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 “Acronyms and Alliterations – Episode 284”