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.
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.
Kelli, Swetha, and Spencer discuss Step 2: “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Spencer talks about the first 3 words of the step: First, he “came”. After some time in Al-Anon, he “came to.” As he started to recover, he “came to believe.” Swetha found it easy to believe in a power greater than herself, because she was doing a lousy job of taking care of things. For her, a higher power is anything that restores her to sanity, whether it’s a meeting or a sunset. Kelli had no definition of a higher power when she came into the program, and those first three words gave her space and time to find her path.
We discuss resentment. How do we understand it? How does it affect us? How do we recognize resentment? What tools have we learned to deal with it?
Swetha, Liz, and Spencer discuss resentments. We find some commonality in defining resentments as anger over something that happened in the past. Sometimes it’s “righteous indignation” about someone else’s behavior, about some injury that someone else did to us.
In this podcast, Spencer, Mark, and Swetha discuss letting go as a path to serenity and happiness. But if we do, to whom are we letting go?
Spencer, Mark, and Swetha discuss letting go. We talk about how we were or weren’t able to let go of things in our life before we came to the program. Spencer identified the slogan “Let go and let God” as a tool that he could adopt early on. At first he could only use “Let go”. He kept telling himself to “Let go” when he was tempted to try to control his loved one’s drinking. Mark shared that, before he entered the program, he did a lot of “letting go” — letting go of his needs and responsibilities, really letting go of almost everything other than his attempts to control his son’s drinking. His fear for his son overwhelmed him, and all he could do was try to control. Swetha “let go” of everything that didn’t happen the way she thought it should and that she couldn’t control, ignoring and denying unwanted reality, or else accepting defeat. Mark agreed that he was also letting go of reality, because he couldn’t face it.