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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Communication – Episode 56

siblingsDo you have trouble communicating your needs and feelings to your loved ones? Do your attempts to ask for what you want always degenerate into an argument? How have you learned to communicate better in this program? Today, Spencer, Maria and guest host Meishia talk about Communication.

We started with this list of questions.

How did you communicate in your relationships before you came to the program?
What special challenges to communication have you faced/seen in alcoholic relationships?
Which of these communication skills did you have then / do you have now? Listening attentively and openly. Stating your needs clearly. Using “I” statements.
Which of these communication problems did you have then / have you reduced or eliminated? Accusatory or judgemental statements. Expecting others to “read your mind”. Emotional reaction. Escalation to argument or fight
What are “I” statements?  Why would you want to use them? How can they help to enhance communication and avoid emotional escalation?
Are you aware of the non-verbal signals you send?

A well-written contribution from Adrienne sparked our conversation, and we just rolled on from there.

Our topic for next week is face to face meetings – why are they important? 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 of our Dreams – Episode 54

Family-1In the book, How Al-Anon Works, in the discussion of Step 1, it says, “We may never have the family of our dreams…” What is the family of your dreams? How does your family fall short of your dreams? What have you tried to do about it? How has recovery helped you to relate to your family, whether the family of origin, family of choice, or “recovery family”?.

Spencer, Maria, and Nic address these questions and others, very roughly following this outline.

  • What is your understanding of the phrase “family of our dreams”?
  • How do you envision your dream family of origin?
  • How do you envision your dream family of choice?
  • How do your real families fall short of your dreams? (Pick 1 or 2 examples!)
  • How have you used / can you use your Al-Anon tools and principles in your families?
  • Setting boundaries.
  • Keeping expectations realistic.
  • Accepting others as they are.
  • We may not receive love in the way we want it, but recognizing it in whatever form it may be offered.
  • Maintaining our own recovery in the face of non-recovery.
  • Recognizing/breaking out of old unhealthy patterns.
  • Detaching with love.
  • Refraining from controlling behavior.
  • Recognizing when we are shopping for bread at the hardware store.
  • Keeping the focus on ourselves.
  • Reflect on how your view of / interaction with / tolerance of / participation in your family(s) have changed in recovery.

Our topic for next week is Tradition 1, which says “Our common welfare should come first; personal progress for the greatest number depends upon unity.” 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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self – a meditation

 

It is always our own self that we find at the end of the journey.

Ella Maillart

What I find most beautiful about this quote is that it doesn't say that I need to be someone different at the end of the journey. What I see in this quote is that spiritual growth is not about changing into someone else, at all. It's about becoming more myself. This is something I feel is true with every passing day in recovery. Sometimes I think to myself that I'm not recovering, I am uncovering. That, I seek out the person I am under all of my fears and resentments and anger. I used to reject that person because I thought that person was weak and unloveable. I thought that acting on fears or anger makes me strong. But I realize that it's those anger-based actions that have brought me the most suffering because I am not being myself. I do not believe I am an angry person or a scared person. I am a person that can feel angry or scared, but basing my whole life on those two emotions has brought a lot of imbalance in my life. Once I became more aware of myself, I am able to feel fear and angry and choose to act out of love for myself.

A meditation for October 09,2013

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attitude – a meditation

idealist roses

 

If you are narrow minded
the whole world will appear narrow to you.
If you are happy and with friends
the world will seem a garden of roses.

— Rumi

Our suggested opening says “We believe that changed attitudes can aid recovery.” Rumi reminds me that, so often, what I see, what I experience, what I feel in a particular place or situation, is dependent on what I bring with me.  My attitude is so often shaped by my expectations. Several years ago, my parents were moving out of my childhood home. We were all invited home for one last Christmas celebration in the house I grew up in, and in which my parents had lived for almost 50 years. I was faced with a situation that was fraught with expectations. If I went “home”, expecting the Christmases of old, I was bound to be disappointed when some particular event didn't happen, or didn't work out “right” for me. I decided, before we left on the trip, that I would not expect any particular thing to happen, and that I would be satisfied and happy with whatever did come along. It worked. That was one of the best visits I had made to my family, and I thoroughly enjoyed our celebrations. Of course, all the things I might have expected did not come to pass, but I was present and engaged in what did. I was “happy and with friends” and the world seemed “a garden of roses.”

A meditation for October 5, 2013.

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