Lynne – Grief can be a wonderful thing – 293

Lynne tells her story – what it was like, what happened, and what it's like now. She touches on grief both before and after entering recovery, on parenting, and on co-parenting with an alcoholic. Lynne tells of the alcohol fueled death of a close friend, and of the later crisis that brought her into Al-Anon. I really enjoyed our conversation together.

Readings and Links

Lynne read from Courage to Change, January 2.

She recommend the “grief book”, Opening Our Hearts, Transforming Our Losses.

Her home group is working the Steps, Traditions and Concepts using the workbook Reaching for Personal Freedom.

In response to questions from listeners, we mentioned some resources with “open talks” from AA and other programs:

  • Recovery Radio Network, which is both a podcast and a website.
  • XA Speakers, a website with a huge collection of speakers from many “anonymous” programs.
  • Sober Speak, a podcast where members of AA (and occasionally Al-Anon) share their stories.

A listener shared that she recently started using Insight Timer, and thanked Eric for recommending it.

Upcoming

An upcoming topic is “having had a spiritual awakening”. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com to share your spiritual experience or awakening. Or just leave a comment right here.
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Families – Episode 138

unityAnother conversation about families. What did you learn from your family of origin? How have you found new ways to relate to families in recovery?

Tom joins us, and talks about what his family was like growing up, what he brought from that into his adult life, what he rebelled against, and how he is using his recovery programs to find a more balanced way of living and relating to his families — his family of origin and his recovery family.

As with last week's conversation, we were guided by these questions:

  • Describe, generally, what kind of family you grew up in.
    • Was there (active) alcoholism or addiction?
    • Was there codepenency?
  • What did you learn in your family of origin?
    • About relating to other people?
    • About keeping secrets?
    • About love?
  • How did these affect your life before recovery?
    • Your relationships?
    • Your ability to take life on life’s terms?
    • Your desire/need to control others and your environment?
    • If you are a parent, what patterns from your parents did you bring into your new family?
    • etc?
  • Alcoholism is described in our literature as a “family illness”. In what ways do you now understand this description?
  • How has alcoholism or addiction affected you and your family (current or family of origin)? How has your perception of this changed in recovery?
  • How has recovery helped you to develop / discover new ways of being in family?
  • How has recovery helped you to be with your family of origin?
  • How do you use the principles of the program (including traditions and concepts) in your family or other relationships today?

An upcoming topic is the first “gift of Al-Anon”.  It says “We will become mature, responsible individuals with a great capacity for joy, fulfillment, and wonder. Though we may never be perfect, continued spiritual progress will reveal to us our enormous potential.” How do you see this gift appearing in your life? Or are you still waiting for it? Another topic I’m thinking about is “We”. What does it mean to you that this is a “we” program? How does hearing the experience of others and sharing your own lead to recovery? To me, this is both the core and the mystery of our program.

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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Family – Episode 137

DSC_4706What did you learn from your family of origin? How have you found new ways to relate to your family in recovery?

Spencer and Mara talk about family, guided by these questions.

  • Describe, generally, what kind of family you grew up in.
    • Was there (active) alcoholism or addiction?
    • Was there codepenency?
  • What did you learn in your family of origin?
    • About relating to other people?
    • About keeping secrets?
    • About love?
  • How did these affect your life before recovery?
    • Your relationships?
    • Your ability to take life on life’s terms?
    • Your desire/need to control others and your environment?
    • If you are a parent, what patterns from your parents did you bring into your new family?
    • etc?
  • Alcoholism is described in our literature as a “family illness”. In what ways do you now understand this description?
  • How has alcoholism or addiction affected you and your family (current or family of origin)? How has your perception of this changed in recovery?
  • How has recovery helped you to develop / discover new ways of being in family?
  • How has recovery helped you to be with your family of origin?
  • How do you use the principles of the program (including traditions and concepts) in your family or other relationships today?

 

Upcoming topics include “We”, and the “gifts of 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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Codependency – Episode 66

If you put your loved one’s needs ahead of your own… If you feel that others’ happiness is your responsibility… If your response to “what do you want for dinner” is “what do you want?”  … Then you’ve come to the right place, because today, we’re going to talk about codependency.

Spencer took this one solo, trying to follow this rough outline:

  • Wikipedia says “Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or drug addiction); and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one's own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.”
  • Did you have any understanding of codependency before you came into recovery? Had you even heard of it?
  • When did you first hear of codependency? What did you think it meant then?
  • How has your understanding of codependency changed?
  • In what ways do you have codependent behavior?
  • How have you recovered from your own codependent behavior? What program tools do you use?
  • How do you deal with other people’s codependent behavior?
    • In your family?
    • With friends?
    • With co-workers?

Upcoming topics include Tradition 4, forgiveness, and how to take recovery with you when you travel. 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 “Codependency – Episode 66”

denial – a meditation

 

“The most confused we ever get is when we try to convince our heads of something that our hearts know is a lie.”

Karen Moning

My ego and soul often have conversations with one another. This interaction between the two parts of me is constant, whether I awake or asleep, happy or sad, or restless or at peace. The details of each conversation varies depending on what the topic is, but the general gist is the same: my ego says “I am afraid that everything needs to be different for me to be happy” and my soul responds “I am happy already, I am just afraid to see that I am.”

Before recovery, these conversations occurred also, but I didn't realize because the voice of my ego had reigned supreme over my choices for so long that I hardly heard the small voice of my soul respond. As I worked the Steps, that changed. The voice of my soul became louder and louder. I wasn't used to hearing both voices and I suppose my ego wasn't used to the competition so it often felt like a battle in my head. My initial days in the program felt like a struggle between the ego that I knew and the soul that I had rejected. But I slowly began to listen to the voice of my soul. It was so calm and peaceful that I felt at peace listening to it. I felt charmed by it and began to utterly ignore my ego.

This, however, was very typical behavior for me. I always go to extremes. With my black-and-white thinking, I had either entirely ignored my soul or entirely ignored my ego. But the truth is both are part of me. To reject either one is to reject a part of myself, and when I reject part of myself, I feel fearful and fall to old patterns. And this is exactly what happened. I began to ignore my “bad” feelings. I began to tell myself that I shouldn't be angry and that I can't be unhappy and that I have to be serene all of the time. But I am human and I could not do those things and I began to be afraid that I wasn't good enough to listen to my soul. The irony of it all was that my soul, ever loving and accepting, never told me ignore my ego. It kept trying to guide me to acceptance of all of me by signaling me through my emotional discomfort that the path that I was treading would not guide me to happiness. When I finally became desperate again, I was able to listen to my soul once more as well as my ego. I learned that I am both things. I am yin and yang. I am dark and light. I am ego and soul. To deem one good and the other bad is to not honor myself.

It is only when I am able to listen to what my ego is telling me that I am able to understand myself and my fears, and then my soul is able to reach out and be nurturing during this awareness and guide me to healing and peace. One without the other does not help me. That is only half of me. It is only when I am able to accept both sides, able to accept all of me, that I am able be open, honest, loving, and peaceful.

A meditation for October 12, 2013.

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