Controlling Behavior – Episode 207

thinkingDo you believe you can control another person’s drinking? Or maybe all of their behavior? What consequences have your attempts to control led to?

I recently started working the steps with an AWOL group (A Way Of Life). In our first meeting, we agreed to address the first 5 questions about Step 1 in the book Paths to Recovery. (Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.)

  1. Do I accept that I cannot control another person’s drinking? Another person’s behavior?
  2. How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits, characteristics and ways of reacting to daily happenings that are different from mine?
  3. Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease? How does that change how I deal with a drinker?
  4. How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
  5. What means have I used to get what I want and need? What might work better to get my needs met?

Upcoming topics include “the 3 P’s: Perfectionism, Procrastination, and Paralysis”. We will also be addressing more questions from Paths to Recovery: How do I feel when the alcoholic refuses to be and do what I want? How do I respond? What would happen if I stopped trying to change the alcoholic or anyone else? How can I let go of another’s problems instead of trying to solve them? Am I looking for a quick fix to my problems? Is there one? In what situations do I feel excessive responsibility for other people? In what situations do I feel shame or embarrassment for someone else’s behavior?

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Controlling Behavior – Episode 207”

Dancing with Dementia – Episode 161

AcceptanceHow is living with alcoholism like living with dementia? Can I use what I have learned in one, with the other?

The sermon was titled “Dancing with Dementia”. “What perfect timing!” I thought, as I was sitting down. This week I will be visiting my parents, who may or not have diagnosed dementia, but who are definitely becoming less engaged in life, and it hurts.

My brother, my sister, and I have decided to try to have “the talk” with them about aging, about whether they need help in daily living, and about whether they might consider starting to think about moving into an assisted living situation. It won’t be easy.

I also reflected on how my feelings and reactions in this situation parallel my feelings and reactions to active alcoholism, when that was happening in my life. Which brings me to the question, how can I use these tools in this new situation?

The keys seem to be these:

  • Dementia is a disease, just as alcoholism is a disease.
  • I can meet them where they are.
  • I can live in the moment.
  • I can find compassion for my loved ones.
  • I can recognize and feel my grief, and have compassion for myself.

An upcoming topic is the “gift of Al-Anon” that says “Courage and fellowship will replace fear. We will be able to risk failure to develop new hidden talents.” How do you see this coming true in your recovery? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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Alcoholism – a Personal Journey – Episode 85

find meWhat did you think when you first heard the statement that alcoholism is a disease? Did is seem like a cop-out? Did you feel that your loved one just needed to drink normally!? Today, Spencer explores his personal journey of coming to an understanding of this cunning, baffling, and powerful thing called alcoholism.

Here’s a rough outline of the journey in bullet points:

  • Alcoholism? Is that a thing?
  • Alcoholic? Certainly not!
  • The poster.
  • Early explanations
    • Genetics
    • Brain chemistry
    • Recovery and relapse
  • Open talks
    • Eye opening
    • Coming to see the arc of the story — one story in many lives
    • Finding hope
  • Disease concept
    • Brain chemistry?
    • A disease that denies itself
    • Chronic, Progressive, Fatal unless arrested
    • No known “cure” but can be treated
    • Like cancer in remission
    • Lifetime treatment (like diabetes)
  • Compassion

Upcoming topics include “Caretaking or healthy support?”, “Triggers”, and Tradition 9 (Our groups, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.) Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Alcoholism – a Personal Journey – Episode 85”