Force and Power – Episode 249

How have you given away your power?

Did you lose power over your life when you tried to force solutions?

How can you recover your personal power?

  • Definitions
    • Force: make a way through or into by physical strength, make (someone) do something against their will
    • Power: the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events
    • Powerful: sturdy, influential, strong, compelling
  • How we give away our power?
    • Enabling
    • Saying yes when we mean no
    • Avoiding confrontation
    • Feeling resentment, bitterness, anger, shame
    • Fighting / taking the bait / picking up the rope
    • Denial
    • Losing track of what is acceptable
    • Not setting boundaries or not keeping them
    • Apologizing for things that weren’t ours to keep the peace
  • Forcing (solutions)
    • March 8, Courage to Change – Easy does it
    • Force is the antithesis of recovery
    • Trying to control drinking
    • Punishing
    • Hollow/idle threats
    • Impossible ultimatums
    • Working the program “hard”?
    • Tom W said “I don’t believe ‘it works if you work it’. I believe it works if you let it.”
  • How do we recover our power?
    • The power we were born with to live our lives with peace and serenity
    • Asking my higher power for help
    • Al-anon Welcome: “… we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives.”
    • How Al-Anon Works, chapter 16 “A Nun finds Spiritual Peace”
    • Use the tools of the program
    • Slogan: Easy does it
    • Let go and let God
    • “I don’t know.”
    • Detaching with love
    • Setting healthy boundaries
    • Saying “no”
    • Saying what we mean without saying it meanly
    • Neutral responses (see page image below)
    • Understanding consequences (mine and not mine)
    • Changing the way I think is real power.

Upcoming topics include parenting a child who is an alcoholic or addict. 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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Consequences – Episode 245

Do you try to reduce the consequences of your loved one’s choices and actions?  Do you have trouble enforcing consequences on undesirable behavior by others?

con·se·quence
ˈkänsikwəns
noun

  1. a result or effect of an action or condition.

synonyms: result, upshot, outcome, effect, repercussion, ramification, corollary, concomitant, aftermath, after effect;

  • Setting Consequences
    • I have to be willing to enforce them.
    • They should be realistic and relate to the behavior.
    • They should impact the other person more than me!
    • What is the difference between “threat” and “consequences”?
    • When I set a boundary and consequences for violating that boundary, am I attempting to control or manipulate another’s behavior?
  • Consequences of OTHER people’s behavior – Is NOT my business
    • When I “do for others what they are capable of doing for themselves”, I set myself up as enabling, and deny them the natural consequences, good or bad, of their actions.  Resentment, disappointment, anger…
    • When I try to instill consequences, punishment, discipline, I often exacerbate an issue and set myself up yet again, for resentment, disappointment, anger…
    • A definition of “enabling” that I learned is “getting between someone and the consequences of their actions.” (see Courage to Change January 5, June 16)
  • Consequences of MY behavior – IS my business
    • When I take care of myself, …
      • Feel better
      • Act better
      • Cope better
    • When I do not take care of myself I…
      • Blame
      • Resent
      • Slip into old behavior
      • Get sick, angry, lonely, tired
  • Mentioned or implied in several slogans including Live and Let Live, Let Go and Let God, One Day at a Time
  • Related topics – CONTROL, ENABLING, RESENTMENT, DETACHMENT, BOUNDARIES

Resources

We read from at least some of these articles.

Our topic for next week is new topic. 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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Courage – Episode 220

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?

  • We use the word “courage” a lot in this program. Most of our meetings start with the serenity prayer:
    God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The courage to change the things I can,
    And the wisdom to know the difference
  • What does the word “courage” mean to you?
    • In the past?
    • Now?
  • When were some moments in which you found “the courage to change the things you can”?
    • Coming into your first Al-Anon meeting?
    • Sharing in a meeting?
    • Calling another Al-Anon member?
    • Asking someone to be your sponsor?
    • Setting (and holding to) a boundary?
    • Not enabling your loved one.
    • Taking your 4th step inventory?
    • Sharing your “wrongs” with someone in the 5th step?
    • Making amends?
  • How have you found courage in recovery?
    • Faith and trust in the program, sponsor, higher power.
    • Little steps lead to confidence in bigger steps.
  • Finding the courage live your own life with your authentic truth. (24 hours at a time.)
  • Step 11 “power to carry that out” == courage

Upcoming topics include parenting. As an adult child of an alcoholic, how can you not pass that on to your own children? What have you learned in recovery about being a better parent? Or, alternatively, what is your experience as the parent of an alcoholic or addict? 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.

A listener called, looking for an e-book version of the Blueprint for Recovery 4th step workbook. To my knowledge, this is not (yet) available in electronic format. Some Al-Anon literature is available as E-Books. A variety of small publications are also available for free download from the Al-Anon website.

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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.
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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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