If I am not the Problem, there is no Solution – 347

If I’m not the problem, then there is no solution. Huh? How does this make sense for my recovery.

Spencer, Eric and several listeners share our thoughts about this idea.

  • How would you have felt about this statement before you came into recovery?
  • In what ways were you trying to fix other people’s problems?
  • Which of those problems was actually yours?
  • How did trying to fix someone else’s problems make you feel?
  • What did you hear when you came to Al-Anon that encouraged you to think differently?
  • What does this statement mean to you now?
  • How does that affect/change your behavior?
  • How is it liberating?
  • How does it contribute to less unmanageability and more serenity in your life?
  • Some problems I have
    • Failing to LET GO.  My problem becomes, that I will be dragged.  Example, my  (Eric) marriage.  Going to AA to take the medicine, to cure her disease.
    • If I fail to set healthy boundaries, I will become a doormat, and accept unacceptable behavior, and become resentful, angry, and irritable, without knowing it…
    • If I do not practice the art of listening, intently, with an OPEN MIND, I will not hear, understand, and lose my ability to have choices, and choose a response, that is healthy and best FOR ME.
    • These and many other problems, are OF MY OWN MAKING.  The solutions are of my OWN choosing.  I have the power to change this “stinking thinking”.
  • What solutions have we found?
    • Detachment
    • Boundaries
    • Acceptance

Eric concluded:

I can’t change the weather, the traffic, and I cannot drive the car in front of me. No matter how much I want to… I CAN change, my perspective, my outlook, and my attitude towards it.

There is a solution. I / we all, have the power to awaken within us, the courage to change, the things we can. And, I have come to know that that thing, is ME.

I will Let It Begin With Me.

Readings and Links

We read from How Al-Anon Works: p. 20 (in Chapter 4) Seeking Solutions for Ourselves, and Tradition 5, p. 113.

Spencer reflected on “Phase One” by Dilruba Ahmed, a poem about forgiving ourselves, which he heard on the podcast Poetry Unbound.

Gina told us about another Al-Anon podcast: www.al-anonuk.org.uk/podcasts

We were reminded of these other episodes:


If you have questions, comments, or shares on any of our episodes, you can call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecovery.show with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

Music from the Show

Coldplay – Fix You
I'm the Problem – Timothy Brindle
Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson

8 comments on “If I am not the Problem, there is no Solution – 347

  1. Payton says:

    spencer (and eric!) thank you for another great show! I got soooo much from this. I just had a real quick question.. would you mind dropping a link to the poetry podcast that you listen to? specifically the one about forgiveness that you mentioned in the show? Thanks. Much Appreciated!

    1. The Recovery Show says:

      I have added a link in the show notes. I meant to put it there originally, so thank you for pointing out my oversight.

  2. Eric B says:

    Thank you Payton..
    Eric B.

  3. Sue says:

    Wow, wow, wow! What a great episode! So much relatable stuff and golden nuggets in here. I’m going back to listen again and take notes!
    Thank you Spencer & Eric (and all guests, & those who share!) for doing these, they are truly a lifeline. ~Sue

  4. Robin B says:

    As always, Spencer and Eric, I so enjoyed the podcast. Wonderful shares all. I could see a bit of myself in all of them, which is the point of sharing our ESH, right? Your podcast is such a blessing. I get so much out of every episode. I particularly enjoyed the share from the person whose sponsor “fired” them from jobs they hadn’t been hired for. Perfect!

  5. Alissa says:

    HI, Spencer and Eric. Thanks for this episode. I listened to it last weekend, and then heard some share about this quote in a meeting the next day. I shared it with my partner who has been in NA for over 12 years, and they had never heard it. Do you know the origin of this line? I have tried googling it to no avail.
    Thank you so much for your service and efforts to support recovery around the world.

  6. Kate C says:

    I LOVE this episode. I quoted it in a share last week because it has been so powerful in my life. You mentioned a podcast on the topic and said it would be in the show notes but I am not seeing it. Thanks for what you do. Kate

  7. Anne H. says:

    Spencer and Eric – This episode is brilliant! It is so rich in so many topics into which I need to take a deep dive! Looking at the show notes for it (this episode is the first in which I’ve done this!) I realize how much I’ve been missing in each podcast. I especially like the poetry connections that give me new avenues to explore. Thank you for all the preparation for these shared podcasts as well as all the follow-up work involved in production. Forever grateful!

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