Step 3: turning it over – Episode 14

Step 3, Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God. How do we understand and use it in our lives?

Swetha, Spencer, and Kelli talk about our experience and understanding of Step 3, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.” Spencer kicks off the discussion by with his initial problem with that step. He did not grow up with an image of a God that he was willing to turn his life over to. Kelli agrees that she felt similarly, and asks for feedback from listeners who came into the program with a helpful concept of God. Her initial reaction was “how can I get around this step?” Swetha also talks about her disbelief in the God of her parents. We all wanted to retain control of our lives.

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Shame – Episode 13

Spencer, Swetha, and guest host Nic talk about shame – what it is, how we feel it, how we used to deal with it, and how we deal with it in recovery. We start by looking at the difference between shame and guilt. When we do something wrong, we feel guilt, and we can deal with it by making amends. When we feel shame, the message we are hearing is “I am a bad person”. We react to shame by hiding it and internalizing it and stuffing it down. We feel that we are not worthy, and that we will lose our friends, be ostracized if we reveal the thing that caused us to feel shameful.

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Detachment – Episode 12

Kelli hosts Swetha and Spencer as they share their experience, strength, and hope about detachment. Kelli opens with a reading that links detachment to self-acceptance and self-care. The first time that Spencer heard about detachment was when his uncle told him, “I hear that you’re supposed to ‘detach with love’”. Spencer had NO idea what that meant. He did not understand how he could detach and love at the same time. When she came into AlAnon, Swetha wanted certain people to just be gone from her life. She received a sheet about detachment, which started “Detachment is neither kind nor unkind…” and felt relief. Kelli thought that “detachment” sounded like giving up on a person. Her black and white thinking told her that she should either love and help (and enable) someone or just leave them. She couldn’t find a middle ground.

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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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