Family – Episode 137

DSC_4706What did you learn from your family of origin? How have you found new ways to relate to your family in recovery?

Spencer and Mara talk about family, guided by these questions.

  • Describe, generally, what kind of family you grew up in.
    • Was there (active) alcoholism or addiction?
    • Was there codepenency?
  • What did you learn in your family of origin?
    • About relating to other people?
    • About keeping secrets?
    • About love?
  • How did these affect your life before recovery?
    • Your relationships?
    • Your ability to take life on life’s terms?
    • Your desire/need to control others and your environment?
    • If you are a parent, what patterns from your parents did you bring into your new family?
    • etc?
  • Alcoholism is described in our literature as a “family illness”. In what ways do you now understand this description?
  • How has alcoholism or addiction affected you and your family (current or family of origin)? How has your perception of this changed in recovery?
  • How has recovery helped you to develop / discover new ways of being in family?
  • How has recovery helped you to be with your family of origin?
  • How do you use the principles of the program (including traditions and concepts) in your family or other relationships today?

 

Upcoming topics include “We”, and the “gifts of Al-Anon.” 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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Fathers – Episode 117

IMG_0786.JPGFathers Day is a holiday that recognizes fathers and honors fatherhood. What is or was your relationship with your father? Are you a father yourself? How can recovery help us to be better fathers? Or to improve connections with our fathers?

In this episode, Spencer reflects on how his father affected his life, and on how he has been a father to his own children, while walking through the woods and fields behind his church.

 

 


IMG_0778.JPGUpcoming topics include worry and obsessive thinking. 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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Detachment – a “best of” episode – Episode 64

Early on, I was told to practice “loving detachment.” I already knew how to do “middle finger detachment,” but detaching with love was a foreign concept. In this “best of” episode from February 2013, Kelli, Swetha, and Spencer share their experience, strength, and hope about this complex topic.

Our topic for next week is hope. 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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forgiveness – a meditation

heart

 

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

It'll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what its power can do
So let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

Matthew West – Forgiveness

Forgiveness…

I have had to learn that forgiveness does not mean forgetting.
… that forgiveness does not mean what happened was “ok”.
… that forgiveness does not say “do it to me again.”
… that forgiveness does not mean I can't set boundaries.
But most of all, I have had to learn that forgiveness is for me.
… that forgiveness opens a path to healing.
… that forgiveness frees my heart.
… that forgiveness brings me closer to God.

Forgiveness can come from a lot of places.

Forgiveness can come from understanding and compassion. From understanding that people are fallible, and that most of the time we are doing the best we know how to do. From compassion for another's struggle and pain. From understanding that addiction is a disease of the mind and spirit, and compassion for the compulsion and obsession that is inevitable in active addiction.

Forgiveness can come from love. Love that encompasses and holds another in their full humanity and brokenness. Love that says “You are too important to me, for me to throw you out of my heart.” Love that is able to say, “I will hold you in my heart, but it is not healthy for me to have you in my life right now.” Love like God has for all of us.

Forgiveness can come from recognizing that holding onto pain and resentment hurts me more than it hurts the object of my anger. Every resentment, every grudge, every remembered pain keeps me from serenity. Every time I lie awake chewing over some past wrong, every time my gut tightens at the memory, every time I turn away in anger from another person is a time that removes me from living my life for myself, a time that I am not fully in the present moment, a time that I am not enjoying what is happening right here, right now.

It helps me to remember that forgiveness does not condone past wrongs. Forgiveness is not the same as saying “It was OK.” It is not forgetting that we were hurt. And it is definitely not saying “Do it to me again!” I can find forgiveness for past hurts, while setting boundaries to prevent future harm. If somebody stole from me, I can say “you may not come into my house.” If someone was emotionally abusive to me, I can say “I will not be with you.” If their behavior came from active drinking, I can say “I will spend time with you only when you are sober.” If someone repeatedly violates my physical space, I will say “next time you come here without my permission, I will call the police.” In forgiveness, I can do these things with love and compassion, rather than with anger and rejection.

Finding forgiveness heals my heart, bringing me peace and serenity. Finding forgiveness allows me to remember what happened without reliving the pain. Finding forgiveness brings me closer to the life that my Higher Power wants me to live.

Forgiving is not always easy. But it is necessary … for me.

A meditation for December 26, 2013.

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