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.
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Slogans part 2 – Episode 235

How do you use slogans? Do you “let it begin with me”? When do you ask yourself “Is it worth my serenity?” How do you “Live and let live”?

  • 3 slogans for today.
    • Let it begin with me.
    • Is it worth my serenity?
    • First things first.
  • For each slogan: How do I understand the slogan?
  • What did I think when I first heard each slogan?
  • Has my understanding changed?
  • How have I applied the slogan in the past? Now?
  • The “Al-Anon declaration” includes the words “Let it begin with me” twice. Why?
    • LET IT BEGIN WITH ME—When anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, let the hand of Al‑Anon and Alateen always be there and LET IT BEGIN WITH ME
  • Do I use “Let it begin with me” to remind me that my recovery comes first?
    • Sort of like the “oxygen mask” metaphor?
    • “Isms” and “if you spot it, you got it”
  • What happens when I ask “Is it worth my serenity?” How does it change the way I react to situations?
  • Do I use “first things first”
    • To reduce frustration, fear, or uncertainty?
    • To help me move forward one step towards a goal I don’t know how to reach?
    • To help me choose from several “next steps”?

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.

Readings

We opened with a reading from Chapter 9 of How Al-Anon Works, Slogans.

Later, we read from Courage to Change, April 18 and December 2.

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Willingness – Episode 216

A member asked another member to be their sponsor. The response was, “Are you willing to do what I did for as long as I did it to get what I have?” What would your answer be? Where does that willingness come from?

  • Definition
  • What does this word mean to me today?
  • How is that different from how I understood it in the past?
  • Where does willingness appear in the Steps?
  • Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  • Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • But also: Step 4 — willingness to look deeply at ourselves.
  • Step 5 and 6 — willingness to change.
  • Step 11 — willingness to deepen our relationship with a higher power.
  • In fact, we can find it in all the steps!
  • Eric noted that you can put the word “willing” in front of each step: Step 1, “Became willing to admit we were powerless…”, etc.
  • Acronym: HOW — Honest, Open, and Willing. This is HOW the program of recovery works.
  • How did I become willing?
    • Examples of others — your stories of using the principles of the program in your own recovery helped me be willing to try them for myself.
    • Pain — “hitting bottom” over and over in different ways. Eventually willing to try something, anything new.

A few tidbits from the episode:

Psychology Today article: 5 Ways to Really Get Closer to Each Other

Phone meetings web site.

And the quote from Marilyn Monroe that Spencer mentioned: “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

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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Sadness and Loneliness – Episode 214

Alone but not lonelyHow were you lonely and sad? Is there a difference between loneliness and being alone? How has recovery helped to relieve these feelings?

Eric and Spencer explore loneliness, sadness, and recovery guided in part by these questions.

  • Definitions.
    • Sad, despair, isolated, grief, loss,
  • How did you deal with (or not deal with) sadness before recovery?
    • What brought you sadness?
    • What other emotions went with it?
    • How did you act?
  • When were you lonely?
    • What other emotions went with it?
    • What was your “self-talk” when you were lonely?
    • How did you act?
  • How has your recovery changed this?
  • How is being lonely different from being alone?
  • Did you used to resist being alone?
  • How has that changed?

We made reference to a couple of articles from Psychology Today.

The Surprising Antidote to Loneliness

The Value of Sadness

A previous episode on Hope (episode 65) was mentioned.

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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Kindness and Courtesy – Episode 211

unityHow do kindness and courtesy help us live live more serenely and happily? Can we be kind to our alcoholic or addicted loved ones?

Eric and Spencer share their experiences of how kindness and courtesy work in their lives.

  • What is kindness?
  • What is courtesy?
  • Ways of being kind and courteous:
    • Smiling and saying “hi” to people I interact with in my daily life — bus driver, checkout person at the grocery store, co-workers.
    • Realizing that the person who cut me off on the highway has their issues, and those are not mine is being kind to myself.
    • Responding courteously to anger keeps me calmer and may defuse a tense situation.
    • Keeping my mouth shut when I want to lash out!
  • We read from Al-Anon literature:
  • And from a couple of articles from Psychology Today:

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 “Kindness and Courtesy – Episode 211”