Why do a Moral Inventory? – Episode 246

Why do we take inventory in Al-Anon? And what is a “moral inventory” anyway?

Spencer shares his answers to some questions about Step 4 from our book Paths to Recovery about the purpose of taking our own moral inventory. His answers were written in 2002, 2011, and 2018. How have they changed (or not)?

The questions are:

  • Am I willing to look honestly at myself? What stands in my way?
  • Have I sought help from my Higher Power, my sponsor, or other Al-Anon members?
  • What suggestions have I tried to see if they might work?
  • Do I understand the spiritual principle of an inventory?
  • What do “searching” and “fearless” mean to me?
  • What does “moral inventory” mean?

How would you answer these questions? Please share your thoughts. 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.
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Consequences – Episode 245

Do you try to reduce the consequences of your loved one’s choices and actions?  Do you have trouble enforcing consequences on undesirable behavior by others?

con·se·quence
ˈkänsikwəns
noun

  1. a result or effect of an action or condition.

synonyms: result, upshot, outcome, effect, repercussion, ramification, corollary, concomitant, aftermath, after effect;

  • Setting Consequences
    • I have to be willing to enforce them.
    • They should be realistic and relate to the behavior.
    • They should impact the other person more than me!
    • What is the difference between “threat” and “consequences”?
    • When I set a boundary and consequences for violating that boundary, am I attempting to control or manipulate another’s behavior?
  • Consequences of OTHER people’s behavior – Is NOT my business
    • When I “do for others what they are capable of doing for themselves”, I set myself up as enabling, and deny them the natural consequences, good or bad, of their actions.  Resentment, disappointment, anger…
    • When I try to instill consequences, punishment, discipline, I often exacerbate an issue and set myself up yet again, for resentment, disappointment, anger…
    • A definition of “enabling” that I learned is “getting between someone and the consequences of their actions.” (see Courage to Change January 5, June 16)
  • Consequences of MY behavior – IS my business
    • When I take care of myself, …
      • Feel better
      • Act better
      • Cope better
    • When I do not take care of myself I…
      • Blame
      • Resent
      • Slip into old behavior
      • Get sick, angry, lonely, tired
  • Mentioned or implied in several slogans including Live and Let Live, Let Go and Let God, One Day at a Time
  • Related topics – CONTROL, ENABLING, RESENTMENT, DETACHMENT, BOUNDARIES

Resources

We read from at least some of these articles.

Our topic for next week is new topic. 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.
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Carl H Open Talk – Episode 244

Thanks to Denise, who recommended this talk. She wrote,

When I heard you speak about violence in the non-alcoholic as a possible topic, I immediately thought of an Al-Anon talk I heard on the XA speakers website. It was by Carl H. from Hollywood, CA given in Calgary, Canada in 2010. He is an excellent speaker and addresses this topic head on concerning violence toward his alcoholic, in this case, his wife, as well as talking about how the program helped him heal in other relationships.

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.

Recovery with Young Children – Episode 243

How do you talk to your children about recovery? What have they asked you?

Spencer talks with Megan about how she talks to her children about recovery. We are joined by shares from several listeners. Our conversation was wide-ranging, touching on topics from the list below.

  • What questions have your children asked you about
    • Alcoholism/addiction?
    • Recovery?
    • Meetings?
    • Therapy? (“talk doctor”)
    • Their father?
    • Divorce?
  • What have you said to them…?
    • Mommy and Daddy’s first priority is to make sure that you are safe…
    • It's never your fault when adults drink and act badly.
  • How do you model recovery / healthy behavior for your children?
    • Do they reflect it back?
  • How do you communicate differently to different age children?
  • What do you still struggle with in communicating to your children about alcoholism and recovery?
  • What have you NOT told your children? Why?
  • Do your children attend meetings?
  • Would you bring your children to a meeting if it was the only way you could go?
  • When did you need to put your recovery needs ahead of your children?
  • Do you feel that you owe amends to your children?
    • What for?
    • (How) have you made amends?

Megan quoted from the Al-Anon Family Groups pamphlet, How Can I Help My Children?   

A listener asked about whether we have transcripts of the podcast. We don't. The best explanation I've found for why not is a blog post titled “The Dream of converting podcasts to text.

Upcoming topics include violence by the “Al-Anon”. 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.
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Don’t React – Episode 242

Do you find yourself reacting without thinking? Does anxiety impel you to action? How can you pause and not react?

A listener wrote in with these questions.

How do I not act (or react) on the first impulsive thought or feeling? How do others sit with uncomfortable feelings? How do I act on God's will not my will? Letting time pass, a month or longer or a week or few days seems impossible when i am so anxious. How do you deal with that??

How also to know God's time as I'm a naturally impulsive person and have always done things fast. Any fear I have makes me say something I regret later or take action too soon, as i don't give myself enough time to write and meditate and breathe.

  • My first thought is about the “Al-Anon pause button”. But then, the question is: “How do I remember to use it?”
  • A couple of helpful slogans:
    • “How important is it?” (Courage to Change, August 15)
    • “First Things First” (How Al-Anon Works, Chapter 9)
  • The thing: It takes practice!
  • My experience with just about any “defect of character”
    • First I become aware of it.
    • Then, I notice it after I do it.
    • After a while, I notice it while I’m doing it.
    • Eventually, I’m able to notice when I’m about to do it.
  • Don’t “kick myself” while I’m trying to learn a new way to be.
  • Awareness, Acceptance, Action!
  • How to “sit with it”. The reading from Courage to Change, January 10 about worry may be helpful.

Our topic for next week is talking to small children about recovery. 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.
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