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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Waking – a meditation

light

 

In the grey cocoon of light the mind
finds metamorphosis,
makes from the wreck of what she was
the wings of what she is.
 

Ursula K. LeGuin — Waking

 

I have been thinking about “spiritual awakening”. I heard a speaker, who said, that “spiritual awakening” is just what it says: that we “wake up” to a new life of the spirit. It's just that simple. There does not have to be any sudden change, any “aha” moment, any flood of inspiration or visitation. Just waking up. I think about waking up from a night's sleep. Sometimes I come slowly to consciousness, not really sure where the boundary is between sleep and waking. At other times, I am instantly and suddenly wide awake, with a clear boundary between dreaming and reality.

My spiritual awakening in recovery was gradual. I did not have a moment of enlightenment, when it all changed for me. I had to pause and take stock, to ask myself, “How am I living my life now? How is this different from my life before recovery?” In that asking, the answer was clear: I had awakened. I was more present, more aware, more conscious, more intentional, and perhaps more rational in the way I lived, in the way I interacted with others, and in my understanding of a Higher Power that was restoring me to sanity. The Al-Anon program was, for me, a “grey cocoon of light” that supported and enabled my metamorphosis from “the wreck of what [I] was” to “the wings of  what [I] am”.

A meditation for December 28, 2013.

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Changes – Episode 47

Do you wish that things would just stay the same? Does change freak you out? Maybe you get depressed when live today isn’t the same as yesterday. If you identify with these feelings, stick around. Today, I’m going to talk about changes.

There is a big change for the Recovery Show: Kelli and Swetha have decided, for personal reasons, that they can no longer participate in the show. In this episode Spencer reflects on how this change affected him, and how he is using the program to work through it. Here is his rough outline for the show

  • Awareness: What happened? How I felt? What I did?
    • “Change is a process … becoming aware is the first stage of this process.” (How Al-Anon Works, p. 23)
  • Fear of change and uncertainty. What about just giving up?
  • Acceptance:
    • “being willing to feel the feels, and if I can't bring myself to do the next right thing, at least trying to refrain from doing the next wrong thing” (from a friend via Facebook)
    • “Change, even wonderful, positive change, involves some grief for the old … life” (HAW p. 88)
    • Working the steps: 1 … 2 & 3 … 4 & 5 … 6 & 7
    • Gratitude — for what was — and that I can keep on moving forward.
    • Serenity prayer!
    • Reading from Bless the Imperfect.
  • Action
    • Sermon this morning: “What is the love story we tell that keeps us going?”
    • Where are we going?
    • I am committed to continuing the podcast.
    • I will be drawing on the local recovery community for guests and maybe, ultimately, new co-hosts.
    • It will be different. I fear not as good, and I hope to grow into something better (just as we would have continued to do.)
    • Your contributions are valuable, perhaps more now than ever.
  • Thank you to all who have contributed, and special thanks to those who sent prayers for me this week.

Our topic for next week is Step 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.
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working through grief – a meditation

past-present-future-sign1

 

Awareness. Acceptance. Action.

 

I have been thinking about how I “work the steps” on my grieving. The “3 A's” of awareness, acceptance, and action give me the key. As I begin to become aware of my grief, I admit my powerlessness, and believe that my higher power can help me to move through it. This is encompassed by steps 1-3.

I look more closely at what it is that I am grieving, and make a searching inventory of its sources and manifestations. This is step 4 and brings me to complete awareness.

Next, I must admit these things to my Higher Power, to myself, and to another human being. By talking about it, I both make it real and lessen its hold on me. This is step 5, and it begins to move me into acceptance. I have admitted my grief out loud, and begin to own it as mine, rather than as some outside force that is making me miserable.

I pray for acceptance and for the readiness to have it removed, knowing that I may have to live through sadness, pain, anger and other feelings before it is “gone”. This is Step 6, and completes my acceptance.

Finally, I can take action of a sort, by asking my Higher Power to “remove” the power that my grief has over my daily life. The grief itself may never be completely gone, but I will come back to serenity, no longer tormented by it. This is Step 7.

A meditation for July 4, 2013.

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