Recovery with Young Children – Episode 243

How do you talk to your children about recovery? What have they asked you?

Spencer talks with Megan about how she talks to her children about recovery. We are joined by shares from several listeners. Our conversation was wide-ranging, touching on topics from the list below.

  • What questions have your children asked you about
    • Alcoholism/addiction?
    • Recovery?
    • Meetings?
    • Therapy? (“talk doctor”)
    • Their father?
    • Divorce?
  • What have you said to them…?
    • Mommy and Daddy’s first priority is to make sure that you are safe…
    • It’s never your fault when adults drink and act badly.
  • How do you model recovery / healthy behavior for your children?
    • Do they reflect it back?
  • How do you communicate differently to different age children?
  • What do you still struggle with in communicating to your children about alcoholism and recovery?
  • What have you NOT told your children? Why?
  • Do your children attend meetings?
  • Would you bring your children to a meeting if it was the only way you could go?
  • When did you need to put your recovery needs ahead of your children?
  • Do you feel that you owe amends to your children?
    • What for?
    • (How) have you made amends?

Megan quoted from the Al-Anon Family Groups pamphlet, How Can I Help My Children?   

A listener asked about whether we have transcripts of the podcast. We don’t. The best explanation I’ve found for why not is a blog post titled “The Dream of converting podcasts to text.

Upcoming topics include violence by the “Al-Anon”. 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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Freedom – Episode 241

What does freedom mean to you? What freedom have you found in recovery?

Eric suggested this topic, and we were loosely guided in our conversation by this outline.

  • Definition of freedom? Many definitions…
  • Do I believe that freedom only comes from being in control of my life?
  • What does it mean to me (now) that “freedom can only come from acceptance”?
  • The blog “Through an Al-Anon Filter” says
    If I want peace, I must give my program away to others. If I want growth, I must give up my belief in my own “rightness.” If I want serenity, I must give up self-will, and be open to my Higher Power. If I want freedom, I must give up my need to control.

    If I want real, lasting change, I must give up my safe misery.
  • (How) do I understand this in my life?
  • Concept Three 
The Right of Decision makes effective leadership possible.
    • We have the right to decide, to make choices. This is a powerful idea and one that many of us may have lost sight of growing up in families that were dysfunctional.
    • “When I began studying Concept Three, I found the answer. It wasn’t alcoholism that bothered me. It was someone taking away my right of decision.” Reaching for Personal Freedom p. 132
  • What freedom(s) have I found in recovery?
    • Free to live my life. I don’t have to follow the whims and wishes of my loved one (I can choose to do so, but I don’t have to.)
    • Free to take care of myself (instead of my loved one).
    • Free to grow.
    • Free to laugh.
    • Free to make choices.
    • Free to know myself.
    • Free to let go of the past (but not wish to shut the door on it).
    • Free to find gratitude in the little (and the big) things, even when some part of my life sucks.
    • I am becoming Free FROM;
      • Despair
      • Sadness
      • Loneliness
      • Isolation
      • Anxiety
      • Blame
      • Resentments
      • Feeling trapped
      • Fear
      • Anger
      • Guilt
      • Shame
      • Dependence (on others)
      • Expectations (of others)
    • I am become FREE TO;
      • Live and Let Live
      • Let It Go
      • Surrender without giving up
      • Say No (and feel good about it)
      • Detach, with love
      • Set boundaries
      • Allow consequences to happen
      • Love, not need
      • Walk away
      • Feel, without fear
      • Say what I mean
      • Go slow
      • Enjoy solitude
      • Be happy
      • Have choices
      • Take risks
      • To be wrong
      • Trust
      • Laugh more (Promise 12)
    • Who knew!?  (as my sponsor said yesterday when I read him my list… 😊)
  • We want to be “happy, joyous, and free”

Upcoming topics include is talking to young children about recovery. Also parenting in all its aspects. And, violence by the “Al-Anon” in a relationship. 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 “Freedom – Episode 241”

Choices – Episode 164

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Do we have choices in our lives? What kinds of choices do we have? How have we found choices in recovery?

Choice Before Recovery

  • Did you feel you had choices in your life?
  • Did it seem like, when you had a choice, it was either/or, with no 3rd possibility?
  • Were you “allowed” to change your mind?
  • How did you make decisions?
    • Little ones? (What to have for dinner, what movie to see.)
    • Big ones? (Which job to take, where to live.)

Choice in early recovery

  • What messages about choice did you hear when you started attending Al-Anon?
  • Was it a surprise to hear that you had choices? That you had more than 2 alternatives?
  • What did you hear about making choices to take care of yourself?
  • What if you didn’t know which answer was the “right” one?

Choice now

  • What tools of the program can you use to help you make a choice?
  • Which slogans are helpful?
  • How do you use prayer and meditation in making decisions?
  • How can taking inventory help?
  • Have you found that you can choose your attitude? Acceptance? Gratitude?

Upcoming topics include sadness. 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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Rediscovering Myself – Episode 163

bluemoonDid alcoholism erase you? How did you find yourself in recovery? Who are you? What do you want? Do you know now?

  • In what ways did I lose myself “before program”?
    • Focus on the alcoholic
    • Taking care of others before myself
    • Belief that others must participate in everything — I can’t do something if my partner doesn’t want to.
    • Isolation and withdrawal from life / activities
    • Expectation that my loved ones would read my mind
    • Expecting others to make me happy
  • What messages did I first hear in Al-Anon that started me to rediscovering myself?
    • Take care of myself.
    • Detachment with love.
    • It’s ok to ask for what I want.
  • What have I found out about myself in recovery?
    • Things I like (to do).
    • Things I don’t like that I thought I had to like because others like them.
    • New insights into my character
    • New things that I never thought I would like
  • What did I forget about myself that I have rediscovered?

Upcoming topics include choices and sadness. We will also explore the statement “Courage and fellowship will replace fear. We will be able to risk failure to develop new hidden talents.” to see how it has come true for us. 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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Seeing Clearly – Episode 157

I see you“Our sight, once clouded and confused, will clear and we will be able to perceive reality and recognize truth.”

Our sight, once clouded…

  • Implies impaired vision
  • Only able to see a short distance
  • Lacking perspective
  • Denial
  • Paradoxically living in the future
  • Guilt
  • Overcompensation
  • I had a very narrow vision, everything was black or white, all or nothing
  • Conflict or disagreement was threatening, I did not understand collaboration.

And confused…. How was I confused?

  • Impaired thought processes,
  • Clouded reality also makes me think of the four M’s: martyrdom, manipulation, mothering and managing
  • I was a fixer and manager, I thought that would help the situation
  • I believed I was responsible for everything, I had to do everything for my family
  • I had no understanding of boundaries, healthy relationships, how to nurture them,
  • Any feedback or criticism was interpreted as a direct assault
  • Others came first, always
  • I did not value myself
  • I did not believe myself loveable
  • Believing that I needed to control everything and everyone
  • Believing I had control over people, places, and things
  • Not seeing how my life, my behavior, my attitudes had been affected by this disease.

We will be able to perceive reality

  • We climb out of the clouds one step at a time
  • This is part of the process, it becomes clearer the more we work the steps and use the tools of the program
  • As I work the steps, I become more able to perceive reality
  • Decluttering my mind and life prepares me for future growth

We will be able to recognize truth

  • This is a spiritual concept.  We are spiritual beings, not just beings.
  • Recognize the truth of who and what I am – both positive and negative.
  • I can only do this when I believe in a higher power that I can count on to care for me
  • Looking at parts of myself that I don’t like requires it being balanced with acknowledging my assets
  • Like a tight rope walker with a balancing pole, have to put equal weights on either side or they will fall.
  • On the other hand, this cleared vision allows me to see the behaviors of those in my life for what they were – sometimes lies, sometimes attempts at manipulating me, unnecessary or inappropriate judging coupled with condescension, sometimes attempts at preserving the status quo as I was changing,
  • Allowed me to recognize the truth that my loved ones suffered from an addiction and deserved love and compassion, regardless of what choices I made for myself or what stage of their addiction they were in.

Readings in this episode are from the Al-Anon book Discovering Choices.

This is the third episode in a sequence on the “Gifts of Al-Anon“, which are described on pp. 268-9 of the book From Survival to Recovery.

Upcoming topics include Step 1 “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.” How have you found power in admitting your powerlessness? How was (is) your life unmanageble? How does this step help lead you into recovery? 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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