Consequences – Episode 255

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.
Continue reading “Consequences – Episode 255”

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”

Controlling Behavior – Episode 207

thinkingDo you believe you can control another person’s drinking? Or maybe all of their behavior? What consequences have your attempts to control led to?

I recently started working the steps with an AWOL group (A Way Of Life). In our first meeting, we agreed to address the first 5 questions about Step 1 in the book Paths to Recovery. (Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.)

  1. Do I accept that I cannot control another person’s drinking? Another person’s behavior?
  2. How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits, characteristics and ways of reacting to daily happenings that are different from mine?
  3. Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease? How does that change how I deal with a drinker?
  4. How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
  5. What means have I used to get what I want and need? What might work better to get my needs met?

Upcoming topics include “the 3 P’s: Perfectionism, Procrastination, and Paralysis”. We will also be addressing more questions from Paths to Recovery: How do I feel when the alcoholic refuses to be and do what I want? How do I respond? What would happen if I stopped trying to change the alcoholic or anyone else? How can I let go of another’s problems instead of trying to solve them? Am I looking for a quick fix to my problems? Is there one? In what situations do I feel excessive responsibility for other people? In what situations do I feel shame or embarrassment for someone else’s behavior?

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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Obsessive Thinking – Episode 197

Do you obsess over your loved one’s drinking? Do you keep chewing over past actions or wrongs done to you? How can we stop?

  • What is obsessive thinking? What are some other words?
    • Wallowing (in negativity/fear/anger)
    • Resentment (as we discussed last week)
    • Ruminating / chewing over (past wrongs / future problems)
    • Looping
  • What sorts of obsessive thoughts do I have? (… have I had?)
    • Getting the alcoholic to stop drinking.
    • Counting drinks.
    • The problems I had in my life (as a result of the drinking).
    • Money problems.
    • What could happen (the worst, of course).
    • Things I did that I feel shame about (kicking myself over and over.)
  • Why is it a problem?
    • Takes time from things I can do.
    • Depresses my mood.
    • Sleeplessness.
    • “We who have been affected by someone else’s drinking find ourselves inexplicably haunted by insecurity, fear, guilt, obsession with others, or an overwhelming need to control every person and situation we encounter.” How Al-Anon Works Chapter 1
  • Tools for relieving obsessive thinking?
    • Detachment
    • Slogans: “How important is it?”, “One day at a time”, “Just for today”, “Let go and let God”
    • THINK / Pause (Courage to Change – Mar 4) Before I get into trouble, before I open my mouth to react, or get lost in obsessive analysis of another person’s behavior, or worrying about the future, I can Stop. Then I can Look at what is going on and my role in it. Then I can Listen for spiritual guidance that will remind me of my options and help me find healthy words and actions.
    • Letting go
    • Gratitude list
      • Often I’ll detour at a particular letter and find myself giving thanks for apples and alexandrites, apothecaries and astronauts, ants and anchovies, or bottles and bakeries, bumblebees and blueberries, bathtubs and brushes. The more overwhelming the problem I’m entertaining, the more my gratitude list helps me. First, by taking my mind off of my obsession, and second, by reminding me of the multitude of delightful and peculiar items in the world around me. (Having Had a Spiritual Awakening Chapter 8)
    • Think of something positive: “… when my thoughts race out of control, I need to stop. I may do this by breathing deeply and looking at my surroundings. It can help to replace the obsessive thoughts with something positive, such as an Al-Anon slogan, the Serenity Prayer, or another comforting topic that has nothing to do with my problem.” Courage to Change Nov 1.
    • Do something: listen to music, go for a walk, play a game, do a puzzle …
    • Serenity Prayer (praying for HP will)
    • “God Box”
      • On a note, I write down the name of the person about whom I am so distressed or angry, or describe the situation that is killing me, with which I am so toxically, crazily obsessed, and I fold the note up, stick it in the box and close it. You might have a brief moment of prayer, and it might come out sounding like this: “Here. You think you’re so big? Fine. You deal with it. Although I have a few more excellent ideas on how best to proceed.” Help, Thanks, Wow (p. 36).

    Some other links:

    Deepak Chopra: How to stop anxiety and obsessive thoughts

    Georgia Psychological Assn: How to Stop Obsessive Worry

    Upcoming topics include Alateen, parenting, and the “adult child” experience. 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 “Obsessive Thinking – Episode 197”

    Al-Anon Slips – Episode 191

    What does it mean to relapse in Al-Anon? Have you had an Al-Anon slip? What did you do to recover?

    • What is a “slip”? Is it just another word for “relapse”?
    • What do you think an “Al-Anon slip” is?
      • How do you know if you’re having (or if you had) one?
      • In AA, it’s “obvious”, but in Al-Anon, it’s more subtle.
    • What kinds of slips can you identify?
      • Controlling
      • Enabling
      • Emotional
      • Making another person your HP
    • Relate a story about a slip you had
      • A big one?
      • A little one?
    • How did it feel the same as before recovery?
    • How did it feel different?
    • What program tools did you use to recover from your slip?
    • How do you / can you detect that a slip is imminent and what can you do to prevent it?
      • What tools/slogans help?

    Upcoming topics include obsessive thinking. How does your obsession with others behavior (such as drinking) make your life unmanageable? 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.

    In response to a listener question, we suggested episode 78: Stay or Go?
    Continue reading “Al-Anon Slips – Episode 191”