Conferences and conventions – Episode 125

LIberty Bell - We Shall OvercomeHave you attended an Al-Anon or AA conference? Maybe you went to the AA International Convention this year. Or do you wonder what’s the big deal? What might you bring home from a gathering of people in recovery?

Spencer talks with Annie and Alvin about their experience attending recovery conferences. Our discussion is guided by these questions.

What prompted you to go to a conference the first time?

What did you expect? The first time? The second time?

Talk about your first convention experience.
– What did you like?
– What didn’t you expect, but moved you?
– What didn’t you like?

What did you come home with? How did your understanding and feeling about your experience change with time?

You went to the AA international convention in Atlanta this year.
What was that like?
High points and low points?
If you were to do it again, what would you do differently?

How did attending these conventions benefit your recovery?

What would you say to someone who has never been to a convention?

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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Gather your chairs in a circle – Episode 116

unityA couple of weeks ago, at church, we honored our graduating high school seniors. The sermon that day was in the form of advice to those setting out into adult life. What caught my ear was the second point, to “gather your chairs into a circle.” What does this mean, and how does it relate to recovery?

  • We are in community when we “gather our chairs into a circle.”
  • We sometimes “turn our chairs away” and isolate ourselves, especially when life is hard.
  • I did this.
  • At most of my meetings we sit in circles or around a table, facing each other.
  • In our circle we are not alone.
  • In our circles we discover shared experience and share strength and hope.
  • So come into the circle, or find some others and gather your chairs into a new circle.

I also talked a bit about stress and how it has affected me recently. I have been putting my very busy work ahead of “the rest” of my life. When I come home, I just want to “veg”. I feel overwhelmed by all the things I have to do, and so I shut down and don’t start any of them, because it’s “hopeless” to think I could ever do them all. Which, of course, leads to guilt over not having done them. How am I working my way out? First and foremost, recognizing the problem. Admitting it, asking for help. “Doing the next right thing.” Shedding some responsibilities, and deciding what is most important, and putting that first.

In “my life in recovery”, I mentioned an episode of the podcast Podcast Answer Man, which touched me deeply.

Upcoming topics include worry, obsessive thinking, and some more Concepts of service. 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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2 Years – Episode 99

4529789618_fca6f88bf4_bIf you’re new, do you wonder why members have been coming for years? Doesn’t there come a time when we’ve learned it all? What do we gain from keeping on keeping on?  It amazes me that The Recovery Show is 2 years old this week!

Spencer thinks back over the last 2 years, about the journey, about what this podcast has meant for him, and maybe for you. Here’s a rough outline.

  • How and why did we come to start the podcast?
  • Early experiences podcasting.
  • Guest hosts.
  • Including your voices.
  • Losing my co-hosts.
  • Focusing on the podcast
  • Providing value.
  • Your feedback and support.
  • Challenges.
  • “electronic” co-hosts.
  • Value to my program.

Next week will be episode 100. We’ve invited some past co-hosts to reflect on their experience participating in The Recovery Show.

Upcoming topics include growth in the program, discovering ourselves, and healthy support vs caretaking. As we approach the end of the year, and the start of the new year, what “resolutions” are we thinking about for 2015? We’d love to hear from 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.

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Hope – Episode 65

Wow!“… we shall hew from this mountain of despair a small stone of hope.” — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What is hope? How do we find hope when we are overwhelmed by a mountain of despair? Spencer, Maria, and May talk about their experiences of finding hope in the midst of their times of confusion, fear, and despair.

Some of the questions we used to guide our discussion included these:

  • How did you experience hope before you came to the program?
    • Did you “hope for” particular outcomes?
  • Has your conception or experience of hope changed as you have worked the program?
  • Do you see a difference between having a hopeful attitude versus an optimistic attitude?
    • The “Stockdale paradox” is that the POWs in Vietnam who didn’t survive were the optimists.
  • In his “dream” speech, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  said “With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.”
    • What does this say to you?
  • Does faith support or engender hope for you? (Faith in a higher power, faith in the program, faith that there are good people, faith…)
  • How can we find hope in a seemingly hopeless situation?
  • Can hope lift us from despair, as King suggests?

Upcoming topics are forgiveness, co-dependency, and Tradition 4. 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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be – a meditation

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

Max Erhmann

 

There are so many beautiful messages in this poem. I feel that every time I read it, I read something that speaks to exactly what I am feeling in that moment. So, today, I put it to you, reader; what does this text invoke in you? Please share your experience, strength, and hope as a comment on this meditation with your thoughts on how this poem touches you.

A meditation for September 21, 2013.

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