I am Powerless – Episode 257

Flowers in the hospital room

A “first step” meeting came at just the right time for me, this weekend. My mother had fallen and broke her leg. She lives almost 500 miles away, and I am powerless over the fact that she broke her leg, over the treatment that she gets, and over how she is feeling. I am using the tools of detachment with love, of finding the wisdom to change the things I can, and accepting the things that I cannot change. How do you find power is your powerlessness?

I read from Courage to Change, October 10.

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.

Denial and Acceptance – Episode 253

I deny!Did you admit to yourself or others the presence of alcoholism in your life? Why not? What happened when you broke through your denial into acceptance?

  • What is it?
    • Do we have to be somehow aware of a problem to be in denial?
    • Definition from Merriam-Webster:
      • psychology : a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality
      • — in denial: refusing to admit the truth or reality of something unpleasant; a patient in denial about his health problems
    • Withholding from someone else but more especially from ourselves
  • How did we experience it in our lives?
    • In our alcoholic situations.
    • With aging parents.
    • With our own health.
  • What it the relationship between denial and admitting?
    • We probably have some form of awareness of a problem in order to deny it
    • We must admit a problem exists to start to move out of denial.
  • What tools have we found to combat it?
    • “3 As”: awareness, acceptance, (alternatives,) action.
    • The Steps themselves.
    • Self-awareness (Steps 4 and 10)
    • Listening to my inner voice / gut
    • Support of a Higher Power (Steps 2, 3, 6, 7, 11)
    • Honesty and Courage
    • Compassion
  • How is our life better when we accept reality on its own terms?
    • Serenity
    • Freedom
    • Accurate perception of myself, becoming the person I want to be
    • Catch slips earlier
    • Loss of fear

Readings on denial

How Alanon Works, Chapter Five, Pages 21 and 22

Hope for Today – pages 123 and 138 (May 2, May 17)

“Our sight, once clouded and confused, will clear and we will be able to perceive reality and recognize truth.” From Survival to Recovery page 267, The Promises of Alanon – in Chapter “Joy is our Birthright”

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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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Fear of Financial Insecurity – Episode 236

find meDo you dread mail from your bank?
Are you anxious about paying the bills?
Can you see a “way out” of your financial situation?

  • What is my experience?
  • Ignoring the problem
    • We’re just fine.
    • Just use the credit card.
  • Cash advances
  • Balance transfer
  • Borrow from parents.
  • Take money from retirement (is this amends?)
  • Can I win the lottery??? (no)
  • Refinance the house.
  • Worry, anxiety, can’t sleep.
  • The problem is drinking — too expensive.
  • Bankruptcy?  No! Not an option!
  • Bank balance anxiety…
    • Don’t check it.
    • But be afraid of the envelope (later, the text message)
    • Step 6/7 — ask for help, and receive it.
  • How to recover? How to not be anxious all the time?
  • Sobriety helped, but not the only answer.
  • Make a plan to pay off credit card balances.
  • Tradition 7
  • General Warranties of the Conference In all proceedings the World Service Conference of Al-Anon shall observe the spirit of the Traditions:
    1. that only sufficient operating funds, including an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle;
  • Where am I today?
    • Credit cards at zero.
    • Loans taken to pay off credit cards almost zero.
    • Home line of credit is the next target.
    • Student loans — refinance for lower interest. 5 years to go.
    • We were able to recarpet our home from savings, not credit!
    • But it took time.

Upcoming topics include parenting. In particular, if you are the parent of an alcoholic or addict, we'd love to hear your fears, experience, strength, and hope. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com. Or just leave a comment right here.

Readings

Courage to Change, Dec 11

How Al-Anon Works, Chapter 31 “Letting Go of a Loved One’s Alcohol, Drug, and Money Problems”

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3 P’s: Perfection, Procrastination, Paralysis – Episode 219

Do you find yourself seeking perfection? Do you procrastinate because you can't achieve it? Or, maybe, you are paralyzed because of it.

We explore the 3 P's, guided by the questions below and with shares from listeners.

  • How do Perfection, Procrastination, and Paralysis connect to each other?
  • How have I experienced perfection(ism) in my life?
  • How (and why) do I procrastinate?
    • What is the payoff from procrastinating?
  • When do I experience paralysis?
    • What behaviors do I exhibit then?
  • How can I use the “6 P’s”(from our book Paths to Recovery) of Step six?  Thanks to Cleaning Out the Old Toolbox blog for these reflections:
    • Perspective: think of defects of character as “survival skills that no longer serve me”. Since my Higher Power wants more for me than mere survival, I can let them go and trust that I will develop healthy behaviors and thinking.
    • Pain: Whenever the pain of staying the same hurts more than the pain of change, that’s the time when I will be ready.
    • Prayer: My part is to pray for openness & willingness; God’s part is to do the removing.
    • Patience: God gets to choose when and how fast He will remove my defects of character.
    • Process: Quite possibly, this is a grief process of denial, anger, bargaining and depression.
    • Payoff: The bottom line–what am I getting out of holding on to some of these defects of character? What is still good about it?
  • How can I let go of 3 P’s?
    • Slogans
      • Progress, not perfection
      • First things first
      • How Important is it?
      • Do the next right thing.
      • Keep it simple.
      • Easy does it.
      • Let go and let God.
    • Steps
      • Step 4 — identify my character traits
      • Step 5 — be honest about them!
      • Step 6 — become ready to let go of what is not helping me
      • Step 7 — Ask for the help (and practise new behavior)
    • Acceptance that nothing is/will be perfect. Ever.
    • Gratitude

Our upcoming topic is courage. The word courage appears in the serenity prayer, from which the title of one of our daily meditation books was taken: Courage to Change. How have you experienced courage in your recovery? Which steps required courage of you? How has recovery given you courage to change the things you can? 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.

Episodes mentioned in this show are: Episode 203, Adult Children of Alcoholics; Episode 200, Daddy's Medicine; and Episode 22, Parents' Roundtable.
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Willingness – Episode 216

A member asked another member to be their sponsor. The response was, “Are you willing to do what I did for as long as I did it to get what I have?” What would your answer be? Where does that willingness come from?

  • Definition
  • What does this word mean to me today?
  • How is that different from how I understood it in the past?
  • Where does willingness appear in the Steps?
  • Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  • Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • But also: Step 4 — willingness to look deeply at ourselves.
  • Step 5 and 6 — willingness to change.
  • Step 11 — willingness to deepen our relationship with a higher power.
  • In fact, we can find it in all the steps!
  • Eric noted that you can put the word “willing” in front of each step: Step 1, “Became willing to admit we were powerless…”, etc.
  • Acronym: HOW — Honest, Open, and Willing. This is HOW the program of recovery works.
  • How did I become willing?
    • Examples of others — your stories of using the principles of the program in your own recovery helped me be willing to try them for myself.
    • Pain — “hitting bottom” over and over in different ways. Eventually willing to try something, anything new.

A few tidbits from the episode:

Psychology Today article: 5 Ways to Really Get Closer to Each Other

Phone meetings web site.

And the quote from Marilyn Monroe that Spencer mentioned: “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

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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