398 episodes

12-step recovery for those of us who love alcoholics or addicts. We share our experience, strength, and hope as we use the principles of the Al-Anon program in our lives. We talk openly and honestly about the problems and challenges as we face alcoholism and addiction in our friends and relatives. We share the tools and solutions we have found that let us live a life that is serene, happy, and free, even when the alcoholic or addict is still drinking or using.

The Recovery Show » Finding serenity through 12 step recovery in Al-Anon – a podcast The Recovery Show

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.7 • 1.3K Ratings

12-step recovery for those of us who love alcoholics or addicts. We share our experience, strength, and hope as we use the principles of the Al-Anon program in our lives. We talk openly and honestly about the problems and challenges as we face alcoholism and addiction in our friends and relatives. We share the tools and solutions we have found that let us live a life that is serene, happy, and free, even when the alcoholic or addict is still drinking or using.

    Gratitude 2022 – 390

    Gratitude 2022 – 390

    What are you grateful for today?

    I asked that question of some listeners. 16 of you responded with shares, which I have compiled here.

    Many of you expressed gratitude for recovery, for Al-Anon and other 12 step programs, and for the changes in your lives that have come about. You are grateful for the people “in the rooms” that help you to feel less alone and less lost. And many are grateful for The Recovery Show.

    Some of you are grateful for health and for the health of loved ones.

    Gratitude for family is a thread.

    Some find gratitude in nature.

    Of course, God and Higher Power receive a lot of gratitude.

    But there's a lot more in there, so listen to the podcast!


    You can share your gratitude, even though they won't be in this episode. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecovery.show. Or just leave a comment right here.

    Music from the Show

    Pauline suggested the song Saviour by Jacob Collier.

    Jacob Collier – Saviour

    Eric G mentioned a recovery playlist he has put together, and called out these 3 songs.

    Sara Bareilles – King of Anything

    MisterWives – decide to be happy

    Emily Sandé – Next to Me

    • 31 min
    Four Primary Ideas – 389

    Four Primary Ideas – 389

    What are the four primary ideas? How have they been active in my recovery?.

    * We are powerless over the problem of alcoholism.

    * Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

    * Admitting my powerlessness freed me to come to Al-Anon

    * It took many events to bring true acceptance of my powerlessness

    * I could not find serenity and peace in my life until I accepted my powerlessness

    * We can turn our lives over to a Power greater than ourselves.

    * Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

    * I don’t have to do it alone.

    * The groups and the literature are a source of help / new ideas / tools.

    * Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

    * I discovered that if I listen, if I pay attention, I will get guidance.

    * “Still, small voice”

    * Other members

    * “coincidences” 

    * The phrase “care of” God is important to me.

    * We need to change both our attitude and our actions.

    * What attitudes did I need to change?

    * I know what is best for my loved one.

    * It is my duty to “fix” other people.

    * If I can’t, I am a failure.

    * What actions came from those attitudes?

    * All the things I did to try to convince her to stop drinking

    * Raging

    * But also,

    * I’m not allowed to be happy unless others are happy.

    * It is selfish to do things I want to do, if others don’t want to do those things

    * My well-being is dependent on my loved ones’ well-being.

    * I need your approval to know that I am a good person.

    * And what actions came from those attitudes?

    * Putting others' needs and wants ahead of mine.

    * Not knowing my own needs and wants.

    * Not doing things that I want to do

    * Approval seeking

    * We keep Al-Anon’s gifts by sharing them with others.

    * You were there for me!

    * When I listen to you, I hear my own experience. (“How is that you are living inside my head?!”) This won’t happen if I’m not in a meeting or talking with another member.

    * Being a sponsor required that I dig deeper into my own recovery.

    * Sharing my own ESH reminds me of where I came from and how much progress I have made. It inspires me to keep on working.

    Readings and Links

    We read from the 2022–2025 Al-Anon Alateen Service Manual, p. 20, “Four Primary Ideas”

    Upcoming topics

    You can contribute to our annual gratitude episode. What are you grateful for today? Please 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

    • 31 min
    Recovery in the TV/Film Industry – 388

    Recovery in the TV/Film Industry – 388

    Lisa H is using her recovery tools as she is working in the TV and film industry. My stereotype, at least, of this industry is that it is full of “dysfunctional” situations and people.

    Lisa came to Al-Anon when her therapist told her that although there was likely no alcoholism in her family of origin, there was an “alcoholic dynamic.” She says, “when I was there, I just felt really felt very safe and comfortable. And I immediately started crying. Like everyone started talking and I started crying and then someone talk and I started crying and then I felt comfortable talking, but then I'd start talking and then I'd start crying.”

    In meetings, she “really loved people talking. They were talking about the truth of their lives and they were really sharing stories that were very, deep. … And I felt like at the time I was not surrounded by people who were really sharing truthful experiences … somehow I was craving it.”

    “When I first started, I had that anxiety my chest, like I'd wake up in the morning and I'd have this anxiety.” Lisa got a sponsor and started working the steps. “I woke up one morning and I didn't have that anxiety in my chest. And then the next day I didn't have anxiety in my chest.” She says, “[it] was a higher power miracle that just took it away.”

    We spent some time talking about how she did her inventory. After she wrote it out, and shared it with her sponsor, then her sponsor would say “Are you ready to let go of this today?” After Lisa said (maybe tentatively) “Yes,” then her sponsor told her to rip it up.

    This brought us to talking about writing, inventory, journaling, etc. We both agree that writing brings out thoughts and ideas we didn't know we had, that we didn't know we were going to write until we wrote them. Which brought us to the story of what her dad wanted to tell her. And how her writing anticipated the totally unexpected things he had to share with her and her sister.

    Finally, we got to her experience working in the TV and film industry, and how Al-Anon has helped her do so more sanely. And how she has come to a realization about what she really wants to do with her life.

    Readings and Links

    Lisa read from Courage To Change, Nov 7.

    A listener wrote to recommend the ACA Adult Children Voices Across America podcast. (The link is to this podcast on Apple Podcasts — if you use a different app, you will need to search in that app to see if it's there.)

    Another listener recommended the book Sober Siblings: How to Help Your Alcoholic Brother or Sister-and Not Lose Yourself by Patricia Olsen.


    Please 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

    Carole King – You've Got a Friend

    This next one has a content warning — it glorifies and celebrates excessive drinking.

    Cal Drinking Song

    Joe Cocker – You Are So Beautiful

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Co-Crazy – 387

    Co-Crazy – 387

    Are you co-crazy? How can we recover from the state of codependent craziness?

    Sarah M joined us to talk about her journey of recovery from what she calls “co-crazy”. Her book is titled Co-Crazy: One Psychologist's Recovery from Codependency and Addiction: A memoir & roadmap to freedom.

    Sarah says

    My path into recovery began when I was sober for 20 years or so and married a guy in the program who relapsed and my life fell apart. Before that I had gone to Al-anon when I was married in 1999 and it began to change my life. Going to Al-anon and working the steps and keeping the focus on myself rather than the other person was the turning point in my recovery.I wrote the book because I have worked with people in recovery for thirty years, and most people I worked with seriously struggled with their codependency.  I often say if my clients could do 2 things: 1) speak up and 2) set boundaries, I would not have a job! So treating the untreated codependency became what my work life was really about—helping people to look at the fear that was keeping them stuck and what was getting in the way..of speaking their truth…I believe codependency kills people. I am very committed to get this message out because focusing on others does not help you OR the other people, that is the delusion that coaddicts live in. My belief is the definition of codependency is simply the inability to be who you truly are. Its all about what others think and feel rather than what you think and feel.The take home message is that life can be soooo much easier and simpler when you just focus on yourself. You can find so much freedom and peace when you stay in your lane—and that you are worth it. That it is ok to feel good about yourself, its not selfish, you don’t have to feel guilty—focusing on yourself actually works so much better for both people…

    Readings and Links

    Sarah read a couple passages from her book Co-Crazy: One Psychologist's Recovery from Codependency and Addiction: A memoir & roadmap to freedom. It is available through Amazon or directly from Sarah. (Purchasing through the Amazon link benefits The Recovery Show, purchasing it from Sarah means she doesn't have to pay Amazon's cut).

    In our conversation, we mentioned the podcast Adult Child. Be aware that the host, Andrea, uses explicit language that may not be suitable for all listeners.

    Several listeners mentioned the Al-Anon book Opening Our Hearts, Transforming Our Losses.

    Another listener suggested a book on dementia that had helped him: The Last Ocean: What Dementia Teaches Us About Love, by Nicci Gerard.

    In response to a listener looking for resources for a teen whose mother is in rehab, I suggested listening to the stories of recovering alcoholics, such as those presented on the Sober Speak podcast, and that they might want to try Alateen meetings, which are listed on the Al-Anon website, including online meetings available in the Al-Anon app.

    Talk to the show

    Please 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.

    • 1 hr 37 min
    Loss and Grief – 386

    Loss and Grief – 386

    I recently was asked to lead at an online meeting. This is what I said about loss and grief. Then, I asked some of you to share your responses, and you did!

    Spencer on Loss and Grief

    Thank you, Jo. thank you for inviting me. I have some gratitude that today is a holiday in the USA so that, I'm not at work, which I normally would be at two o'clock in the afternoon, which is what it is for me here in Michigan. and that I'm able to share something with you. When Jo asked me to speak, I thought, what am I gonna talk about?

    And then of course I let it go. And this morning when I had this panic at noon, my time that I thought, oh, no, the meeting is starting and I'm not there. I realized I hadn't thought about a topic. So I said, what's going on in my life right now. And one of the things that is going on in my life right now, and has been part of my life for a while now is, loss and grief. So I thought I'd share some experience, strength and hope, my experience, strength and hope, on that topic.

    And I'm gonna be reading, from this Al-Anon book a little bit, it's called Opening Our Hearts, Transforming Our Losses, and it is a book about loss and grief and, how, we can move through them, move into them, with , the tools of Al-Anon recovery. And I will note that this book has very recently been made available as an ebook also. So if that is your preferred mode of reading, go buy it at Amazon or apple or nook or wherever else eBooks are sold.,

    So I wanna start with a reading. and this is a reading that I was at a point in my life where I didn't know that I was grieving. And I, for some reason I picked up this book and different parts of this book have spoken to me at different times in my life. But when I opened the book .

    There's a section titled the recurring nature of grief. It's right at the beginning of the book, page 14, it says it is often these little changes that catch us by surprise. They seem to come out of nowhere. The day in and day out, disappointments of living with an alcoholic can become commonplace until one day we wake up feeling the effect of all those small losses.

    Why, we wonder, do we suddenly feel sad about our situation, especially when we may have spent months or even years living this way. Many of us have lived with the notion that grief is something we feel when we have lost something tangible when someone has died or gone away. In Al-Anon. We learn that though the alcoholic may still be living, he or she isn't able to be fully present emotionally, spiritually, or even physically.

    Recognizing that we are not living the lives we had planned or hoped for, with the person we love is a loss that occurs gradually. Each day, we lose a little bit more until what remains is merely a shadow of the person or life we thought we knew. Living with ongoing grief of this kind can be particularly trying.

    I'm gonna come back to that reading where I wanted to start actually was this recognition that I had, when I read that passage, that I was grieving the loss of, of something that had been part of my life that had been really important in my life for a long time. and I had recently returned from a conference, for this particular hobby that I was involved in.

    And while I was at that conference, I just wasn't getting the enjoyment out of it that, that I used to get, and I didn't understand why not. And I was feeling very restless, irritable, and discontent during the conference. And I came home and I picked up this book a few days later and I read that and recognized that I was no longer as deeply involved in this and that I'd been gradually withdrawing from it for quite a while. And it took this conference where there were, several hundred people,

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Worry Less — 385

    Worry Less — 385

    Does your mind automatically tune into the worry-and-fear channel? Are you suffering from worry about your loved ones? What tools have you found to help escape from constant worrying?

    Gigi joins Spencer to talk about strategies and tools to worry less. We started with some of her story of codependence and worry.

    She identifies “whispered lies” as a primary source of worry. You may be familiar with the “committee in your head” that tells you all the things you are doing wrong, and all the things that could go wrong.

    The 4 strategies to worry less are

    * Get honest (with yourself)* Claim power (a higher power)* Choose a new future* Use your growth practices (aka tools)

    These connect to the 12 steps roughly like this: Get honest is Step 1, where we admit that the way we have been living isn't working for us (so well). “Claim power” is Steps 2 and 3, where we become aware that a higher power can help us, and ask for that help. We choose a new future in Steps 4-7, and take action to affirm that choice in Steps 8 – 12. And there are tools that help us in getting honest, claiming power, choosing a future, and worrying less.

    Gigi discovered these strategies and tools for herself, and has shared them with us in her book Worry Less Now. The book describes 50 tools, and we certainly don't talk about all of them. Gigi does give examples of how she has used some of them in her journey to worrying less.

    Once she got honest enough with herself to break through her denial, she thought “there must be a way to live other than by my will” (because her will was not bringing her happiness). What power could help? We talk about sources of power such as a program of 12-step recovery, the God of your religion, a divine spark within yourself, and a loving community. These are not exclusive — it's possible to reach out to all or any of them.

    A few tools

    Mindfulness Meditation is a key to self-awareness and self-honesty, as well as a great tool for getting off the “worry train”. Part of mindfulness meditation is to “watch” your thoughts. And as you're doing that, you might wonder, “who/what is it that is watching my thoughts?” and perhaps realize that “my thoughts are not me!” (Which, of course, means that “my worry is not me”.)

    Finding a community of support. Many of us find such a community in our recovery program. In fact, this may be the first place we find such a supportive community. But it doesn't have to be the only such place. It is important to pick your “support people” carefully, though. One important characteristic to look for is the ability to listen fully, without interrupting, without injecting their own experience, and without giving unwanted advice!

    The Serenity Prayer is something that many of us are already familiar with. It is a tool for claiming that positive power we are looking for.

    The Golden Key is a practice of turning your thoughts away from the problem and towards positive power. If you have a Higher Power called God, then for you it might be a practice of “bringing God in”. Another term is “living in the solution” instead of “living in the problem.”

    Readings and Links

    We did talk about Gigi's book Worry Less Now. We could not have covered all 50 tools and the supporting strategies in the time we had together. It is available directly from Gigi, or via other online merchants such as a href="https://amzn.

    • 1 hr 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.3K Ratings

1.3K Ratings

Stressica ,

Meeting in My Pocket

A friend in recovery shared this podcast with me and described it as a “meeting in your pocket,” and she was so right! So grateful for this!

music&science ,

So soothing

And also so helpful and just helped me when I needed it. Like a good good friend that’s way smarter than me.

minlern ,

Love the honesty

This is deep, and healing. I love this post cast. Helping me grow. Thank you !min

Top Podcasts In Health & Fitness

Scicomm Media
Jay Shetty
Peter Attia, MD
Ten Percent Happier
Aubrey Gordon & Michael Hobbes
Lysa TerKeurst

You Might Also Like

Michelle Anderson
AA Podcast
Mark S.
John M
Duane Osterlind, LMFT