Spencer and Amy — a couple in recovery — 294

Recently, my wife, Amy, and I were guests on the podcast Sober Speak. This is our sharing — what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now. We spoke both of our own experience and of our shared experience.

I hope that something we said connects with you.

 

What do we do here? – Episode 278

What is this podcast about? We’re not Al-Anon, exactly. What are we?

I got a letter from a listener who asked some questions. It made me think that maybe it's time (again?) to talk about what The Recovery Show is, and what it isn't.

  • Why did we create The Recovery Show?
    • We had been sharing Al-Anon ESH on Recovered podcast.
    • We wanted to bring Al-Anon message “full time”.
  • What is our intent?
    • Share our and others’ experiences in recovery.
    • Illustrate how Al-Anon recovery works in *our* lives.
    • Explore recovery concepts.
    • Explain the Al-Anon program.
  • Some questions and observations from the email:
    • “do you ever worry that your seemingly more “relaxed” discussions might lead to confusion among the listeners and to inadvertent undermining of normal operations of meetings?”
    • “Service and “The Rules” is not a ratings winner, but maybe there is some way to explore it that gives it the proper context and proportion.”
    • “when I encountered The Recovery Show I was struck by the ways it more closely tracked the familiar 12-Step meeting format, but also the ways in which it appeared to depart from that model.”
    • “my program-monitor-radar-alarm went off, particularly about what I perceived as cross-talk.”
    • “The Recovery Show is decidedly NOT holding itself out as an Al-Anon Family Group”
  • What we do here is very much like the conversations we might have when we go out for coffee after a meeting, or when meeting with a sponsor, or (in my case) in at least one of the AWOL groups I have been a part of.
  • I have attended a few “cross talk” meetings in my time in the program, and what we do here is similar to the best of those.

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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Serenity – Episode 167

SunriseWhat is serenity, anyway? And how do you get it?

Let’s start with a definition: (dictionary.com)

1. the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness.
2. A title of honor, respect, or reverence, used in speaking of or to a certain member of royalty (usually preceded by his, your, etc).

Synonyms
1. Composure, calm, peacefulness, peace.

Antonyms
1. Agitation

  • How did you conceive of serenity before recovery?
  • Did you think your whole life had to be “serene” in order for you to have personal serenity?
  • How did you act in ways that pushed serenity out of my life?
  • When you heard the Al-Anon suggested welcome, did these words make sense to you?
    • Did they seem unattainable?
    • Did they give you hope?

      “We urge you to try our program. It has helped many of us find solutions that lead to serenity. So much depends on our own attitudes, and as we learn to place our problem in its true perspective, we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives.”

  • Do you recall experiencing serenity, perhaps briefly, as you started to work the program?
    • What happened?
    • What did it feel like?
    • How did you recognize it?
  • Reading: Hope for Today, May 20.

    “The serenity I am offered in Al-Anon is not an escape from life. Rather it is the power to find peacefulness within life.”
    “Al-Anon does not promise me freedom from pain, sorrow, or difficult situations. It does, however, give me … the necessary skills for maintaining peace of mind, even when life seems most unbearable.”

  • What tools have you found for maintaining or restoring your serenity?
    • Trust in a Higher Power. Let go and let God.
    • Detachment.
    • Just for today.
    • One day at a time.
    • Talk to a program friend.
  • “Exercising” spiritual “muscles” by working the steps, going to meetings, reading the literature, etc.
  • Do you think serenity is a state of being, or an attitude? Or a little of both?
  • What would you say to a newcomer who is living a life full of “agitation” with little or no serenity?

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.

Continue reading “Hope – Episode 65”