Detachment with love – Episode 188

Do you get caught up in other people’s problems or emotions? Does the phrase “loving detachment” just baffle you?

We start with a reading from an Al-Anon flyer titled Detachment.

  • What thoughts about detachment does the reading bring up for you?
  • When you first heard the word “detachment” in a meeting, what did you think it meant?
  • Did “detachment with love” make any sense to you at all?
  • What is the difference between detachment and distancing or separation?
  • Why do I get angry? Fear. Because I care.
  • Maybe I have to become “indifferent” when moving from anger to love.
  • What forms of detachment have you found/learned?
    • Emotional — my emotions are not ruled by someone else’s.
    • Detaching the person from their disease (How Al-Anon Works, Detachment section in Chapter 11):

      If someone we love had the flu and cancelled plans with us, most of us would understand. We wouldn’t take it personally or blame the person for being inconsiderate or weak. Instead, in our minds, we would probably separate the person from the illness, knowing that it was the illness, rather than our loved one, that caused the change of plans. This is detachment.

    • Detaching from outcomes
  • How has detachment helped you?
    • Treating others with more kindness and compassion.
    • Give a power greater than myself a space to come in.
    • Not getting “pulled down”
    • Being able to love the person while hating their actions
    • Finding forgiveness
    • More serenity.

Upcoming topics include slogans (what’s your favorite?), Alateen, and parenting. 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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Say Yes! to Life – Episode 155

surf!Last weekend, I drove back to the city I grew up in, to attend a memorial service for a childhood friend. As family and friends shared their memories of my friend, I reflected on the ways we say “Yes!” to life in the presence of death. This week, I am re-issuing episode 76, Loss, with a new title. The original notes for that episode follow.

What do you do when you lose someone close to you? How can I use the tools we have learned in the program to get through a loss? I was inspired to this topic by a tragic, accidental death in the past week. It brought me to reflect on the nature of loss, on how loss affects me and those close to me, and how my response to loss is so different now than it was before I came into the program. I used this outline as a guide for my musings.

  • The story.
  • How did I deal with loss in the past?
    • Stuff it
    • Ignore it
    • Numb it
    • Isolate
  • Other kinds of loss?
    • Loss of dreams
    • Loss of friendship
      • Separation and divorce
  • Fear of Loss
  • How has the program helped me to deal with loss?
    • Feel it.
    • Acceptance.
    • Gratitude for what was.
    • Grief process — acknowledge it.
    • Less guilt.
  • How to deal with loss and grief
    • Take care of self
    • Prayer
    • Ask for help
    • Talk about it
    • One Day at a Time
    • Letting go

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.
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Slogans part 1 – Episode 131

changingMaybe you’ve heard some of these slogans. “Easy does it.” … “How important is it?” … “Think” … “Let go and Let God.”

Spencer and Eric talk about some slogans, guided by these questions.

  • What did you think about these slogans when you first came to the program?
  • Was there a particular slogan that you first “picked up”? How did it help you?
  • What slogans are you using at this point in your recovery / life?
  • Easy does it.
    • How have you used this slogan?
    • What does it say to you?
  • How important is it?
    • What does this slogan remind you to do, or not to do?
    • How has it helped your recovery?
    • How does it help you to live with others?
  • Think
    • From How Al-Anon Works: “One of the effects of alcoholism is that most of us tend to react to everything we encounter, often perceiving minor incidents as major crises.”
    • How does “Think” remind me to pause instead of reacting?
    • How have I used this recently?
    • In the Step 10 discussion in Paths to Recovery there is an interpretation of THINK as an acronym, giving us questions to ask before opening our mouth: Is it Thoughtful, Honest, Intelligent, Necessary, and Kind?
  • How do you view the slogans now?

Upcoming topics include Living with Lies, Concepts 11 and 12, and the 4 L’s: Listen, Learn, Let Go, and Love. 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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Imperfection – Episode 122

perfectDo you feel that you have to be perfect? Do you go through life as if you’re on a stage? Is it hard to have compassion and love for yourself? Let’s talk about imperfection.

This episode was inspired by the book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brené Brown. The gifts of imperfection, according to Brown, are courage, compassion, and connection. And with them, we can begin to live whole-heartedly.

Think back to your first meeting. How did you find the courage to walk in? How do you now find the courage to openly speak of what is happening in your heart and soul? We practice courage every day, and with it we can begin to embrace our imperfection.

I found compassion for myself as I worked the steps, and in particular as I worked the steps in the company of others. I was able to see my wholeness, to see that I was not uniquely flawed, and to start to accept myself as I was and to find compassion for myself as an imperfect person. And in finding compassion for myself, I could more easily “suffer with” (have compassion for) others.

And the last is not least: connection was the first thing I found in Al-Anon. At the end of my first meeting, I was no longer alone in my struggle and fear and desperation. I found connection, soul-deep connection, with others who were walking my journey. This connection, more than anything, kept me coming back.

What blocks us from living with a whole heart? Brown suggests 10 “guideposts”, each described as a positive attribute, and also described in term of letting go. This resonates strongly with me, because the first slogan I adopted from Al-Anon was “Let Go”. (“Let God” came later.) What are these guideposts?

  1. Authenticity (Letting go of what people think)
  2. Self-Compassion (Letting go of Perfectionism)
  3. Resilient Spirit (Letting go of numbing and powerlessness)
  4. Gratitude and Joy (Letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark)
  5. Intuition and Faith (Letting go of the need for certainty)
  6. Creativity (Letting go of comparison)
  7. Play and Rest (Letting go of exhaustion=status and productivity=self-worth)
  8. Calm and Stillness (Letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle)
  9. Meaningful work (Letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to”)
  10. Laughter, Song and Dance (Letting go of being cool and in control) 

Upcoming topics include some more Concepts of service, and Al-Anon Dreams. A reader wrote in asking about intervention. If you have had experience with doing an intervention with a loved one, and you would like to share that experience, please call or email. I would love to put together an episode of The Recovery Show on intervention. 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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Worry – Episode 119

vultureDo you worry a lot? Is it hard to get your mind off the terrible things that might happen? Or maybe it’s just obsessing on the stuff that is wrong in your life today?

  • Think about a time before program when you were worrying.
    • What were you worrying about?
    • How did worrying affect your life at the time? (Inability to get things done, acid stomach, lack of sleep, etc?)
    • Did you get any resolution of your problem from your worrying?
  • Think about a recent time when you could have worried?
    • Did you worry?
    • How was it different from the time before?
    • How did you use program tools in this situation?
    • Were you able to move out of worrying into some productive resolution?
  • What is worry?
  • How does it differ from preparation?
    • Slogan: “Worry is not preparation”.
    • But also: “Preparation is not worry.”
  • Does “Let Go and Let God” mean we shouldn’t do anything?
  • What slogans and steps help you when you find yourself worrying?
  • What would you say to someone who can’t stop worrying about their loved one who still drinks or drugs?

Upcoming topics include laughter, Al-Anon dreams, and Concepts 6 & 7. 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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