Unmanageability – Episode 87

DSC_5239Do you find yourself running in circles? Do you obsess over things you can’t change? Do you lie awake worrying? Spencer and Ruth talk about what it’s like when our lives are unmanageable, and how we have found a better way to live.

We started with the outline below, but actually ended up structuring our conversation around some of these questions from the book From Survival to Recovery.

  1. When difficulties occur, do you need someone to blame, even it is yourself?
  2. Do you feel uncomfortabe or draw a blank when asked whar it is you really want?
  3. Does a dark cloud of despair or a creeping depression sometimes seem to apeer from nowhere to weigh you down?
  4. Do you feel guilty or selfish whenever you say “no”?
  5. Are you lonley and isolated? Do you feel like an outsider in the midst of a crowed?
  6. Can you identify only one or two extreme feelings, such as anger or fear?
  7. Do you think in all-or-nothing terms? Is life either wonderful or miserable, with litte in between?
  8. Are you numb or flat, with no extremes in you feelings whatsover?
  9. Does your memory fog out or have giant holes where you remember nothing?
  10. Do you feel suicidal or have a need to hurt yourself or others?
  11. Do you tolerate unacceptable behavior even after you have said you wont?
  12. Do you have difficulty relaxing and having fun. Would you not regonize fun, even if it was right on front of your nose?
  13. Are you frequently impatient with yourself or others?
  14. Do you think you are the only person in the world you can depend on?
  15. Do you feel compelled to do things for other people they could do for themselfs?
  16. Do you do things you don't want to do, rather than risking disappointing people?
  17. Do you have difficulty trusting your won perception? Do you need to prove you are right and others are wrong in order to convince yourself?
  18. Do you feel embarresed or ashamed because of someone else's behaviour?
  19. Do you startle easily?
  20. Do you think the best way to take care of your needs is not to have any?

The original outline:

  • How did you feel/react when you heard that your life was unmanageable?
  • In what ways has your life been unmanageable?
    • Trying to change things.
    • Trying to control outcomes
    • Trying to change somebody else
    • Worrying
    • Obsessing
    • Not taking care of my own “stuff” because I’m in someone else’s.
    • Priorities out of order
  • What are symptoms of unmanageability?
    • Anger
    • Not eating
    • Not sleeping
    • Over-working
    • Paralyzed inside
    • Depression
    • Isolation
    • Physically sick
  • How do I deal with these things differently today?
    • Recognize when something is outside my control and “put it down.”
    • Prayer
    • Ask for help — talk to a “program friend” or sponsor.
    • Go to a meeting.
    • Do what I can now, then let go of worry and obsession.
    • Take care of myself — remember to eat and sleep.
    • Inventory — what is my part, what is not?
    • Understand my options
    • Recognize that I have choices.
    • Don’t pick up the rope.
    • Gratitude
    • Slogans that help
      • First things first.
      • Do the next right thing.
      • Let go and let God.
      • One day at a time
      • Just for today
      • How important is it?
  • How do I know that my life is manageable?
  • I have time for “me”
  • I’m not always jumping from one “crisis” to the next
  • I can recognize my choices and make them rationally
  • I recognize others’ humanity and have compassion for their struggle
  • I recognize that it is not my job to “fix” others

Our topic for next week is Intimacy. Which is to say, deeply sharing our feelings and thoughts with another person. Intimacy is closely tied with trust, emotional safety and vulnerability. We welcome your thoughts, You can join the conversation. Please leave a voice mail or send us an email with your experience or questions about Intimacy. Have 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?

We are also still working on an episode about “triggers”. If you would like to share your experience with triggers and being triggered, and on how working the program has helped you to deal with them, please call or email.

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.

Music from the show

Cream – White Room


Anberlin – The Unwinding Cable Car


Macy Gray – Beauty in the World


1 comment on “Unmanageability – Episode 87

  1. katie says:

    Hey Spencer,
    I loved this. This week I had a epiphany. Maybe grad school is so hard because I am A) not taking care of myself and B) using old habits to get by. Those old habits are great for grad school. perfectionism, controlling others, obsessing. They all help me get the A grade but leave me empty and unhappy at night. Here I was thinking that I couldn’t fit in me time or al anon podcasts or phone meetings because I was too busy but in reality I think I was too busy because I was not taking care of myself.
    skill set and habits are blurred. Options and choices are blurred as well.

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