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.
We talk about expectations, how they can lead to resentment and disappointment, how we recognize them, and let go of them.
In this episode of The Recovery Show, Swetha, Kelli, and Spencer discuss expectations. Swetha wonders about the distinction between boundaries, expectations, and rules. She suggests that her boundaries are what she needs, her expectations are what she wants, and rules are an agreement about how people in a relationship will behave. Spencer notes that his expectations are frequently unexpressed – he expects others to read his mind, and to just somehow know what he expects them to do. Usually, people don't meet his unstated expectations, leading to resentment. Kelli feels that boundaries are about things “in her hula hoop”, and expectations are “outside her hula hoop”. Kelli relates the question to the Al-Anon Steps, Traditions and Concepts.
Do we have choices in our lives? What kinds of choices do we have? How have we found choices in recovery? Kelli, Swetha, and Spencer discuss our experience, strength, and hope about finding and making choices in our lives, before and after we found recovery.
Kelli, Swetha, and Spencer talk about choices. In the past, we did not understand that we had choices. Much of the time, we felt that there was no choice. We may have thought that any decision must be black and white, good and bad, or that we must make a decision right away. Much of the time, we felt constrained by the decisions made by others, such as our parents. Spencer talks about making decisions such as what house to buy, where to go to school, with very little thought. He relates that, when he was early in Al-Anon, that he was told that he did not have to make a choice immediately, that he could wait. Swetha talks about feeling that any choice must be a permanent choice, that if she chose chocolate ice cream one day, she was committed to chocolate forever. When Kelli began to understand that she had choices, she found the idea scary.