Deborah C – Hands Off Pays Off – 322

Although Deborah came from an alcoholic family, and married an alcoholic, she only came to Al-Anon when her son was having problems with alcohol and drugs. And only because a colleague told her of his experience with his son's problems. He didn't tell her what Al-Anon was about, he just said “go”. So she did.

When she was maybe 4 or 5, she felt it was her responsibility to make sure her drunk father got out of his chair and into his bed. When her sister started acting out, Deborah would answer the police call and drive to the station to bring her sister home. Deborah was 13 or 14 at the time (i.e., not legal to drive, yet). She married a man who was “just like” her father.

At her first meeting, a woman asked “do you love your son?” Upon being assured that Deborah did love her son, very much, the woman said “everything you are doing is killing him.” Deborah's mental reaction to this statement is not printable here.

Even after years in Al-Anon, she does “slip” and try to rescue her son. But, she is able to recover and let go, recognizing that her “help” is not actually helping him. She loves the slogan “Hands off pays off”, because it reminds her that only her son can achieve sobriety for himself. She can't give it to him.

Readings and Links

Deborah opened the show by reading from a “Letter from your higher power”, which you can find online at

At her first meeting, she was given a “newcomer packet”, which included a pamphlet “Three Views of Al-Anon–Alcoholics Speak to the Family” with a letter from the alcoholic.

Upcoming topics

I'm looking for shares on the topic of different kinds of meetings and different meeting formats. What is the format of your meeting(s)? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

Music from the Show

Kelly Clarkson – Sober
Kenny Chesney – Demons
Hillsong – I Surrender

4 comments on “Deborah C – Hands Off Pays Off – 322

  1. Marcie says:

    This is my first experience of The Recovery Show and I am very grateful for the insights I received. I can very much use “Hands off, pays off” to remind me to not rescue. I took notes on the sharing on Step 6, and the sharing on shame. Thank you for the links to the letter and literature Deborah shared.

  2. Cass M says:

    Deborah C’s sharing in Hands Off Pays Off pulled me out of a hole today. I intellectually know I need to let go and let God take care of my daughter, but 30+ years of worrying about her and trying to give her advice (control) has created a pattern of behavior that’s very hard to break. I pray on it, work the Steps and share about it. Deborah’s experience gives me hope. Thank you for this program and for the podcasts, Spenser. I appreciate you.

    1. Anita S says:

      Excellent, just excellent, podcast.

  3. Susan says:

    I’ve been attending Alanon for a few months now. While listening to Deborah C. Share on your podcast I realised she was telling my story. I took away many things but mainly that “Hands Off Pays Off” my new mantra. So thank you so very much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.