leave the raft behind – a meditation

the river



Once you have crossed the river, leave the raft behind.

– The Buddha


As I was growing up, and later as I struggled to survive in an alcoholic relationship, I learned coping skills. While those skills might have helped in the past, they are now at the root of many of my character defects. As I continue to grow in recovery, I must leave these old skills behind. This is sometimes a scary thing to do. Despite the problems they cause me, they are comfortable and comforting, something I can turn to in times of stress. But I have found that my higher power does not leave me bereft and alone. Instead, new, healthier skills develop to take the place of the old, discarded ones. Moving forward in this way is not always comfortable, but I now can have faith that the destination will be a better, happier, more serene place for me, and for those I love. And I know that if I encounter a new river to cross, that I can build a new raft with the tools I am learning in recovery.

A meditation for February 18, 2013.

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Enabling – Episode 11

Swetha, Spencer, and Kelli talk about enabling. We start by defining our understanding of the term, enabling. Early on, Swetha wondered whether anything nice she did for someone was enabling. Her sponsor helped her by giving her this definition: “getting between someone and the consequences of their choices or actions.” Kelli also had this confusion. Her codependency had distorted her thinking so that she always thought she was being helpful, whether she was really just being nice, or she was enabling. The concept of enabling did not come naturally to her, because of the codependency in her family growing up. Spencer is pretty sure he had no idea what “enabling” meant before coming to the program. If he drove to the store to buy more wine, so that his loved one would not be driving drunk, he thought he was doing a good thing, even though he might have resented doing it at the same time. He struggled with the difference between enabling and keeping his family safe, at times.

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Podcast news and a new topic

Dear listeners:

We plan to record two episodes this Sunday (February 17), because a couple of us are traveling next weekend so we won't be able record the show then. We want to give y'all a chance to send us your thoughts on the topic of the second show, which will be Detachment. If you have questions or experience, strength and hope to share about detachment, please email feedback@therecoveryshow.com or call our voice  mail at 734-707-8795. Thanks!

In other news, we have written a short informational page about how to listen and subscribe to The Recovery Show. We noticed that we don't seem to be getting a lot of downloads to Android phones, so we put together step-by-step instructions for subscribing on an Android phone. Specifically, we used a Samsung Galaxy S3 with the BeyondPod app, but the experience should be similar on other phones or tablets, and with other apps. If you've been listening on your phone by tapping the button on the web page, check out our instructions. After you subscribe, the app should download each episode to your phone, so you can listen anywhere without using up your data plan. We've also got very brief instructions for using iTunes and the Podcast app on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

As always, if you have suggestions for improving our content, we'd love to hear from you.


how much love – a meditation

how much love?



It is not how much we do

but how much love we put into the doing.

— Mother Teresa



Last year, I made a commitment to myself that I would mean Thank You when I said it. This is quite different for me from saying thank you when I mean it. I used to say “thanks” without much thought or intention. I came to realize that in so doing, I robbed it of any meaning. Now, when I get off the bus and thank the driver, I also focus for a moment on a feeling of gratitude for having been transported to my destination. When I thank a server in a restaurant, I remind myself to be thankful that I have been served. I hope that my gratitude comes through to the other person and that it might lift their day a little. Regardless,  it lifts my spirit, and keeps me living honestly and with integrity.

To me, meaning thank you when I say it is an example of what Mother Teresa is telling us to do when she says “[it is] how much love we put into the doing.”

A meditation for February 11, 2013

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What is Al-Anon? – Episode 10

Spencer, Swetha, and Kelli talk about their experience with Al-Anon, attempting to address the question “What is Al-Anon?” We start by talking about what brought us to the program. Swetha’s boyfriend suggested the program to her, but she didn’t think at first that she qualified. Kelli’s boyfriend’s sponsor told her that if she was going to stay in that relationship she needed to go to Al-Anon. Spencer came into Al-Anon when he realized that his attempts to fix his loved one’s “drinking problem” were making him miserable. He was desperate and figured it might help.

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