Sponsorship: a prompt – Episode 140

siblingsDo you have a sponsor? Do you sponsor others in the program? How has your sponsor supported your recovery? How has being a sponsor supported and enriched your recovery? Tell us about it!

Two of us share our experience as a sponsor, and of being sponsored, and then challenge you to share your experience, strength, and hope with us.

Upcoming topics include the first gift of Al-Anon: “1. We will become mature, responsible individuals with a great capacity for joy, fulfillment, and wonder. Though we may never be perfect, continued spiritual progress will reveal to us our enormous potential.” How do you see this gift appearing in your life? 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. See our contact page for detailed information about how to join our conversation.
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It’s a We program – Episode 139

the seaThe first word of the first step is “We”. It is often said “this is a ‘we’ program.” What does that really mean? How do we find recovery from sharing our experience, strength and hope?

    • All the steps (not just the first) start with “we”.
      • The AA big book prefaces the steps with “Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:”
      • The foreword to the 3rd edition of the AA “big book” says “… at its core it remains simple and personal. Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope.
      • We know who we mean
        • Tradition 3 says “… The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.”
        • Tradition 5: “… welcoming families of alcoholics …”
      • Fellowship
        • This word appears over 60 times in the text of How Al-Anon Works.
        • You may have first heard this word in the suggested opening words at your first meeting:

          We welcome you to [this] Al-Anon Family Group and hope you will find in this fellowship the help and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy. We who live or have lived with the problem of alcoholism understand as perhaps few others can. We, too, were lonely and frustrated, but in Al-Anon/ Alateen we discover that no situation is really hopeless and that it is possible for us to find contentment, and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not. 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.

      • How it works
        • My experience
        • First meeting: no longer alone (I was “one more”)
        • Early meetings: finding commonality
        • Wanting “what you had”. Others had walked this path before me.
        • Getting a sponsor: A personal companion on the journey. A voice that is not mine.
        • Working the steps in a group: coming to trust. I’m not uniquely broken. Letting go of shame.
      • Step 12: “… to carry this message to others”
        • We do this. Not professionals, not specialists, but us, and only us.
        • Leading the “newcomers’ meeting”. Sharing our experience, giving those new to the program a place to share theirs and to ask questions.
        • Being a sponsor
      • I say “we” because I heal when you share your experience, strength and hope with me. I heal when I become part of “we”. And we know who we mean. And each day, we become (at least) one more.

    Upcoming topics include the first gift of Al-Anon: “We will become mature, responsible individuals with a great capacity for joy, fulfillment, and wonder. Though we may never be perfect, continued spiritual progress will reveal to us our enormous potential.” How do you see this gift appearing in your life?

    A suggested topic is “recovery after divorce.” Please share your experience so others can benefit.

    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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    Letting go of the process – Episode 105

    Do you want to do recovery “your way”? Are you skipping steps because you don’t like them? Can you let go of control? Spencer and Harriet talk about letting go of the process.

    • Harriet, can you explain what you meant by “letting go of the process” when you suggested this topic?
    • How do/did you try to control your recovery?
      • obsessively doing the things we *can* do
      • overdoing self-care
    • What parts of it do/did you particularly not want to let go of?
      • “character defects” — I want them removed in my order
      • outcomes
      • comfort in maintaining the illusion of control over my own life
    • Why?
    • How does letting go help your recovery? Your peace of mind?
      • focusing on control of outcomes is a “fool’s errand” and makes my life unmanageable
      • It frees me to focus on the things I can control
      • Frees me to do self-care
    • What blocks you from letting go?
      • impatience
      • perfectionism
      • Not wanting to feel unpleasant feelings
      • judgement and shame
      • fear
      • expectations
    • What ways have you found to let go?
      • Prerequisite – Accept who and where I am right now.
      • Being open to the universe — humility
      • Work with a sponsor
      • Prayer
      • Meditation
      • what else?
    • What do you still struggle with letting go of?
    • What would you say to a newcomer who isn’t sure the program will work for them?

    Upcoming topics include caretaking and parenting. We are particularly interested in hearing your experiences of parenting in an alcoholic family. How do you talk to your children about alcoholism? What amends have you made to your children? If your spouse is still drinking, what do you do to keep your children safe?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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    Intimacy – Episode 88

    siblingsHave you lost the ability to share intimately with another person? Have you found people in the program that you can trust with your secrets? What are your barriers to intimacy with your loved ones? Mara and Spencer talk about Intimacy.

    We used these questions to inform our conversation.

    • What is intimacy?
      • Vocabulary.com says this: Intimacy is closeness with another person, like the intimacy that develops between friends as you tell one another your life’s story and all your secrets and dreams for the future.
    • Do I have any intimate relationships in my life today? Have I had any in the past?
    • How do I deflect or avoid intimacy?
    • What keeps me from being intimate with my loved ones? My friends? My family?
    • How have I learned to be intimate in Al-Anon?
      • “Safe place”
      • to be vulnerable
      • sharing by others
      • sharing with others
    • How have I developed an intimate relationship with my sponsor?
    • How am I deepening the friendships and loving relationships in my life? What might help me do so?

    Questions from Blueprint for Progress:

    1. How do I define intimacy?
    2. What actions encourage intimacy and which ones don’t?
    3. Which of my actions are helpful in bringing me closer to another person?
    4. With whom was I intimate when I was growing up?
    5. How have I shared important information with someone I didn’t trust?
    6. Where do I get examples of positive, intimate relationships?
    7. In what ways have I been intellectually or spiritually intimate with the alcoholic?
    8. What activities help me show how much certain people mean to me?
    9. What kind of examples do my actions convey about the importance of close relationships?

    For me, intimacy is tied in with trust and fear. Here are some questions from those sections of the Blueprint:

    1. What is my history of trusting myself?
    2. How do I determine if someone is trustworthy?
    3. How do I determine if someone has lost my trust?
    4. How do I react when frightened?
    5. What provokes my fears?
    6. How do my fears affect the way I make decisions?
    7. How do my fears of the alcoholic affect the way I interact with him/her?
    8. How do I include my Higher Power when I feel afraid and what is the result?

    Upcoming topics include trust, enabling, triggers, and Tradition 10. 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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    Step 12 – Episode 53

    Are you wondering whether you’ve had a spiritual awakening, or even what a spiritual awakening might be? How can you practice these principles in all your affairs? And what are “these principles” anyway? Are you not sure how to carry the message? Today, Linda and Spencer talk about Step 12, which states “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

    Our discussion is structured by these questions:

    • Have you had a spiritual awakening?
      • What does that mean to you?
      • How do you know?
      • What sort(s) of spiritual awakening(s) have you experienced?
    • What do you understand to be “these principles”?
      • Steps? Traditions? Concepts? Slogans? What else?
    • What are some ways in which you practice these principles “in all your affairs?”
      • In the family
      • At work
      • With friends
      • In society
    • What are some ways in which you carry the message of the program to others?
      • In meetings
      • As a sponsor
      • With family and friends
      • This podcast!
    • How does Step 12 empower and inspire you?

    Our topic for next week is communication. 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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