Spencer’s Open Talk – Episode 168

DSC_9877What was it like? What happened? And what is it like now?

Spencer was invited to give an “open talk” recently, and he elected to use this traditional format.

It starts with “what happened?” With that moment when the reality of his powerlessness and the unmanageability of his life crashed down on him. When he heard that “You didn't cause it, you can't cure it, and you can't control it.” And when those words lifted a weight from his shoulders that he hadn't realized he was carrying. That he had been trying to accomplish the impossible: to make his loved one stop drinking.

He came to see that his journey to Al-Anon has really started much earlier. He believed that it was his job, his task in life, to “rescue” others. And so, maybe it is no surprise that he fell in love with and married an alcoholic. Because, who needs “fixing” or “rescuing” more than an alcoholic. Not that he recognized that at the time!

He came to his first Al-Anon meeting almost unwillingly. After all, he was not the one with the “problem.” But nothing was working, and his life was miserable, so maybe, just maybe, this Al-Anon thing would help.

His recovery story includes coming to understand what “working the steps” means, and learning to trust others with the reality of his life. It includes finding freedom from anger, fear, despair, and rage. It includes experiencing serenity, even when his life was still in the midst of chaos.

And, it includes finding an answer to what seemed an unanswerable question: “I can't live this way, but I can't leave either. What can I do!?” The answer turns out to be “I can live.”

Upcoming topics include sorrow and feelings. 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.

Living with Lies – Episode 132

vultureDo you obsess over the thought that your loved one might be lying? Do you have to prove the lies? How do you find the ability to trust in recovery?

Julia joins Spencer to talk about lies, guided by these questions.

  • How have you been lied to (in relationships with an alcoholic or addict)?
  • How have you lied to yourself?
  • How did you react to lies prior to recovery?
    • Did you become angry? withdraw?
    • Did you deny them? Ignore them?
    • Did you make excuses for your loved one’s behavior?
    • What else?
  • Can you see your loved one’s lies as a symptom of the disease?
  • What tools have you used to stay “sane” when you are lied to? How?
    • Detachment?
    • Boundaries?
  • When does lying become a “deal breaker”?
  • How do you rebuild trust in your loved one?
  • Are there things you still can’t trust about them or your relationship?

Upcoming topics include the 4 L's, listen, learn, let go, and love; and Concepts of service 11 and 12. 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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Fathers – Episode 117

IMG_0786.JPGFathers Day is a holiday that recognizes fathers and honors fatherhood. What is or was your relationship with your father? Are you a father yourself? How can recovery help us to be better fathers? Or to improve connections with our fathers?

In this episode, Spencer reflects on how his father affected his life, and on how he has been a father to his own children, while walking through the woods and fields behind his church.

 

 


IMG_0778.JPGUpcoming topics include worry and obsessive thinking. 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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Triggers – Episode 92

grasshopperDo words and events throw you into your past? Do you get angry when it's inappropriate? What are triggers and how do they affect us?

Spencer and Akilah talk about our experience of triggers and how the 12 steps have lessened their impact on our lives. We had a few basic questions to guide our conversation:

  • What does “trigger” mean to you?
  • What triggers have you recognized in yourself?
    • How do you react to these triggers?
  • How has the program helped you to reduce or eliminate your triggers?
    • Taking an inventory?
    • Finding acceptance?
    • Making amends?
    • Trusting in my Higher Power?

Harriet and Julia also shared some of their experience with being triggered by voice mail and email.

Harriet talked about a book by Charles Whitfield, A Gift to Myself: A Personal Workbook and Guide to “Healing the Child Within”, and particularly mentioned a chapter titled “Visiting my Family of Origin”.

Upcoming topics include “Is it caretaking or healthy support?” and Tradition 11, which says “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and TV. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all AA members.” 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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Detachment – a “best of” episode – Episode 64

Early on, I was told to practice “loving detachment.” I already knew how to do “middle finger detachment,” but detaching with love was a foreign concept. In this “best of” episode from February 2013, Kelli, Swetha, and Spencer share their experience, strength, and hope about this complex topic.

Our topic for next week is hope. 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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