Expectations – Episode 186

Do you have unrealistic expectations of other people? Or, maybe, of yourself? How does this hurt?

  • What are “expectations”?
  • “Expectations are pre-meditated resentments” — how do you see this as true?
  • How can expectations set you up for disappointment?
  • How do your expectations of yourself hurt you?
  • How do you deal with other people’s expectations of you?
  • How do you
    • let go of unrealisitic expectations?
    • set realistic / reasonable expectations and boundaries?
  • When has letting go of expectations improved an experience for you?

Eric referred to several other websites:

A correspondant mentioned the Hand in Hand Parenting support organization and how it had helped her.

Upcoming topics include a talk with Alateen sponsors, and the question “how am I trustworthy?” 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.
Continue reading “Expectations – Episode 186”

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.
Continue reading “Living with Lies – Episode 132”

Boundaries – Episode 103

find meHave you ever set an ultimatum? What did you do when it wasn’t honored? How do you deal with unacceptable behavior from your loved ones? Spencer and Maria talk about boundaries.

Last week, we read an email from a listener who asked these questions:

  • Do any of you out there have any personal experiences setting ultimatums with your addicts that were not respected, acknowledged or met with insult?
  • How have you handled the negativity from your addict, and the anxiety and heartbreak of not knowing if the relationship will ever be restored?
  • What has it looked like for you to practice loving detachment with an intimate partner through a separation or divorce?
  • What is the next right thing to do once a boundary has been communicated?

So we thought, “maybe it’s time to talk about boundaries again.” We actually had a couple of earlier shows around this topic. Our very first episode was a 20 minute discussion of boundaries, and then in episode 44, we talked about setting boundaries without controlling.

Some discussion/thought questions about boundaries:

  • What is a boundary?
  • How does it differ from an ultimatum?
  • How can I set a boundary that involves someone else’s behavior?
  • What can I do when my boundaries are not respected?
  • How do I feel when my boundaries are not respected by someone I love?
  • How can loving detachment help me to maintain my boundaries?
  • What if I don’t want to follow through with the consequences of my boundary having been violated?
  • What happens (to me) if my boundaries turn out to be expectations?
  • How does a boundary with my own behavior differ from a boundary with someone else’s behavior?
  • How can I set up and follow through with consequences on a boundary with myself?

During the show, we referred to several earlier episodes, including relapse, face to face meetings, Tradition 1, and getting started in Al-Anon.

Our topic for next week is judgement. How does having judgement differ from being judgemental? Can judgement be both a character asset and a character defect? How do you judge others? How do you think others judge you? 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.
Continue reading “Boundaries – Episode 103”

Forgiveness – Episode 68

Holocaust memorial, Berlin, GermanyDo you have trouble forgiving the alcoholic or addict in your life? Have you carried hurts long after the person who hurt you is gone from your life? How can we forgive without forgetting? Let’s talk about forgiveness.

Spencer and Erika share their experience, strength, and hope about forgiveness, and try to address these questions.

What do the quotes that we opened the show with say to you about forgiveness?
How does this compare to the way you used to think about forgiveness?
Did you (or do you) think about forgiveness as giving a “free pass” to the person who hurt you?
Do you now think about forgiveness as “a gift you give to yourself”? (Or can you be willing to think about it that way now?)
How can forgiveness connect to the love of your higher power?
What Al-Anon tools can you use to help move from anger and resentment to forgiveness?
Inventory — seeing “my part” (and I there is almost always “my part” as well as “their part”)
Compassion — especially helpful for me in finding forgiveness for my alcoholic loved one’s actions during her active disease.
Prayer and meditation. Praying for the person I want to forgive, even if it’s just the “SOB prayer.”
Seeing that the other person is a human being, with faults, and that they were doing the best they knew at the time.
Setting boundaries to prevent the hurt from happening again.
How can I find forgiveness for myself, for my past actions that hurt others? (Same tools?)
What about “unforgiveable” behaviors? How can I let them go so that they’re not continuing to affect my serenity and continuing to drag me down?

Our topic for next week is Tradition 4. Upcoming topics include living with active alcoholism and taking recovery on the road.  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.
Continue reading “Forgiveness – Episode 68”

Family of our Dreams – Episode 54

Family-1In the book, How Al-Anon Works, in the discussion of Step 1, it says, “We may never have the family of our dreams…” What is the family of your dreams? How does your family fall short of your dreams? What have you tried to do about it? How has recovery helped you to relate to your family, whether the family of origin, family of choice, or “recovery family”?.

Spencer, Maria, and Nic address these questions and others, very roughly following this outline.

  • What is your understanding of the phrase “family of our dreams”?
  • How do you envision your dream family of origin?
  • How do you envision your dream family of choice?
  • How do your real families fall short of your dreams? (Pick 1 or 2 examples!)
  • How have you used / can you use your Al-Anon tools and principles in your families?
  • Setting boundaries.
  • Keeping expectations realistic.
  • Accepting others as they are.
  • We may not receive love in the way we want it, but recognizing it in whatever form it may be offered.
  • Maintaining our own recovery in the face of non-recovery.
  • Recognizing/breaking out of old unhealthy patterns.
  • Detaching with love.
  • Refraining from controlling behavior.
  • Recognizing when we are shopping for bread at the hardware store.
  • Keeping the focus on ourselves.
  • Reflect on how your view of / interaction with / tolerance of / participation in your family(s) have changed in recovery.

Our topic for next week is Tradition 1, which says “Our common welfare should come first; personal progress for the greatest number depends upon unity.” 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.
Continue reading “Family of our Dreams – Episode 54”