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.
Leaning into Faith – 384
How have you found faith, and how has it helped you let go of fear?
Kathy joins Spencer to dig into these questions and to share some recent experiences that prompted this topic. Our conversation touched on and was inspired by these topics:
* Fear and old behavior* Fear of the G-O-D word* How believe in a higher power became easier* A story of “going through the fire to get to the other side” that pushed her into believing* Examples of asking for help and seeing the clear, powerful result of that request* “Faith V2” — really trusting and believing in my HPs path* related to acceptance, powerlessness, willingness, surrender, humility* Kathy's heart issue* COVID and fear of financial instability (and a trip to Disneyland)
A friend sent an inspirational quote on the day we were recording the podcast
Own ItThis life is yours.Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.Unknown
Kathy wrote about this:
As we were digging into this and unpacking it as you say, their question was, it’s so overwhelming when I don’t know who I am… choosing what I want is such a big choice
I wanted to share this in the podcast because I feel like that’s an HP thing that this question came to me today
the strength of trusting in our HP is that we don’t have to know all the answers right now, thats where the faith comes in
taking it one tiny step at a time, using my HP for help to see which indicated next step is following my HPs path for me
Choosing faith over fear led me to be able to have serenity even in the middle of an emergency / crisis…
it gives me great comfort to know that I have a HP to lean on, & my loved ones have their own HP and I’m not it
my worries don’t fix anything or anyone including myself, so it’s much better for everyone involved if I just let all that go
The thing I love about this program is that I can discover tools that work for me, that allow me to have serenity and peace. Every day, every moment I have a choice – I can either use my tools or not. If I put the tools down, the next moment I can choose to pick them up again. My own serenity is up to me, which is the greatest example of self care I can give myself.
I matter, I have value, and my serenity is worth making the effort to keep and protect.
Readings and Links
We read from
Courage to Change, Sept 8, p. 252
One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, Sept 4, p. 248 and March 14, p. 74
Al-Anon Groups at Work, p. 24, Understanding Ourselves (last paragraph) This can be found in the Al-Anon Alateen Service Manual, which you can read online or download as a PDF file.
Kathy mentioned the Force and Power episode, number 249, which she said is “probably my favorite episode ever on The Recovery Show.”
Alateen electronic meet...
Laurel S — Alcoholism Ended her Marriage — 383
Laurel's story begins: My wife was 6 years sober when we met – but not in program. “AA doesn’t work for me”. She remained sober another 6 years. After our first baby and a big move for my career (that put her closer to her family) she decided she “wanted to try drinking again. I think I can do it normally. I’m not the same depressed person I was in my 20s.” I was extremely apprehensive, and extracted all kinds of promises from her that if it became a problem, she would stop. But I also found it impossible to tell her “no” – how do you tell your spouse that you don’t trust them? And stay married? So in 2014, she began to drink casually. I didn’t know then, what I know now thanks to Al-Anon and AA – that this is the big delusion of all alcoholic – that they will someday be able to drink like other people can.
As you might expect, things did not get better from there. Her growing family was affected financially by choices her wife made. The hardest blow was when her wife withdrew from intimate relations. Laurel felt betrayed, but continued to try to keep her marriage going.
Listen to hear more, and what brought her to Al-Anon and the decision to ask for a divorce. At the beginning she went to 90 meetings in 90 days. She continues to attend meetings and work the steps. Laurel is now using the tools of recovery to take care of herself and her children.
Readings and Links
We read from Courage to Change, January 2, p. 2; June 3, p. 155; and October 7 p. 281.
A couple of podcast episodes that have particularly helped Laurel are episode 146, Emotional Safety; and episode 342, Co-parenting with an Alcoholic.
A listener recommended the book Mindfulness and the 12 Steps: Living Recovery in the Present Moment.
Our topic for next week is “faith vs fear”. How have you found faith, and how has it helped you let go of fear? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email email@example.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Music from the Show
George Harrison — Isn't it a Pity
Fleetwood Mac – Landslide
Iris Dement – Let the Mystery Be
Remembrance — 382
How do you remember the loved ones you have lost? How do you measure their lives?
When my grandfather died, my father wrote a thoughtful, personal remembrance of him. At that time, I thought “I’d never be able to do that!” Because of the work I have done in recovery, I can do that. The examples of others who were vulnerable and open in their sharings. The work of self-examination that I did in working the steps (with the help of many others and a loving higher power). My own practice at deeply sharing my own experience in meetings and with program friends. All of these changed me to be able to express my feelings and my understanding and my experience of my mother in this remembrance, recorded at her memorial service in mid-April, 2022.
Music from the Show
Rent cast – Seasons of Love
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Teach Your Children
Acceptance is a Gift of Recovery – 381
How is acceptance a gift of recovery for me?
In March, 2021, I gave a talk at an online conference. I tried to follow this outline.
What is acceptance? What is it not?
* Not “giving up”* Not saying “this is ok”* Recognizing reality
How do I use acceptance?
* Not “crying against the night”* Opening possibilities for change.* Doing the “next right thing”* Reduce expectations & resentments
Early acceptance: Step 1: Powerless over my loved one’s alcoholism.
Recently: accepting my parents’ aging and illness.
Dementia: triggering because memory problems reminded me of the active drinking days.
Grief: losing the parents I had known for decades (all my life!)
Denial: it’s not that bad.
* Wanting them to move into assisted living.* OK, now what?* Learning to enjoy the time I had with the people they were becoming.* Photo albums & videos* Caring for them physically
How have you experienced the gift of acceptance? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Awareness and Acceptance – 380
How do you practice awareness and acceptance? How have they helped you to take actions that change the things you can?
Eric and Spencer were invited to share at an online AA conference as the Al-Anon speakers. Eric chose to talk about awareness, and Spencer about acceptance. Naturally we both included the “3 A's”, Awareness, Acceptance, and Action.
The theme of the conference was The Language of the Heart, based on Bill W.'s writings for the The Grapevine, a monthly publication of Alcoholics Anonymous, as collected in a book titled The Language of the Heart.
Music from the Show
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – What I Am
Jewel – Hands
Letting Go – 379
What do you want to let go of? What is preventing you from completely letting go?
Eric was inspired by a meditation he heard on the Insight Timer app, titled She Let Go.
A very rough outline of our conversation follows:
* What does it mean to let go?* Stop doing things that I don’t have the power to carry out (control someone else, e.g.)* What am I letting go of?* Resentment* Anger* Anxiety* Blame* Fear* Shame* Expectations* Catastrophizing the future* The past* The need to be right, to win, to control* Old behavior* “Need” to react to triggers.* Responsibility* Dependence on others* What tools do I have to help me let go?* Slogans* Let go and let God.* How important is it?* Would you rather be right or be happy?* Easy does it. (let go of anxiety)* One day at a time. (let go of worry)* Live and let live – let go of trying to live someone else’s life for them and live my own* Neutral responses* You could be right.* Oh.* Random thoughts* I have no dog in this fight.* Not my circus, not my monkeys!* Let go or be dragged.* Meditation* “Turned a 12-cylinder type A Leo into a 6 cylinder hybrid. Learned to slow down.”* “Why?”* “Drill down” to find something I can actually do something about. Example: I am afraid of my loved one’s drinking. Why? I am afraid that I will lose them. Why? I am afraid of being alone.* When I let go of things I don’t like, I make room for new things (hopefully better things) to come in.* Recognize “alcoholic” behaviors* Provoke conflict* Create anxiety* When I let go of other people’s stuff, I can live my own life.
Readings and Links
We read from Reaching for Personal Freedom, the Step 1 chapter; Courage to Change, March 5.
The poem “She Let Go” was written by Safire Rose, and you can listen to it on Insight Timer, read by Jack Godsman.
Al-Anon books can be purchased online at the Al-Anon Store.
Patti asked about episodes on regaining trust. There are 3 about trust: How do you trust? – Episode 281, Trust and Trustworthy – Episode 228, and Trust – Episode 91. In addition, this search turns up other shows where trust was a topic in some respect: https://therecoveryshow.com/tag/trust/
Jillian asked about all the songs we've suggested. Many of them are in The Recovery Show playlists on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/therecoveryshow
An upcoming topic is being a single parent and business owner in recovery. Do you have a similar experience in your life that you would like to share? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email email@example.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Music from the Show
Idina Menzel – Let It Go
The Beatles – Let It Be
Donna wrote to recommend this Al-Anon talk. She said “I found it captivating, helpful, and hilarious.”
I came across this show while in a recent low moment with my alcoholic-dysfunctional family of origin, and boy am I glad that I did. I recently moved across many time zones and have not yet found an ACoA meeting to replace the one I was previously attending. The Recovery Show is helping to fill that gap and has been of immense comfort to me in my time of need. With every episode, I’m reminded that I’m not alone and that all of us who are affected by this disease are relatives. Thank you beyond words to Spencer and to everyone who makes The Recovery Show possible ❤️🩹 Please keep up this good and immensely important work!
Warmth and understanding
Taking responsibility for our lives
Redirecting our energies way more productively
Stopping trying to control the impossible to control
Setting examples of listening
Being present showing up
Have learned so much already in my first few weeks of bingeing on this life saving /sanity saving clarifying podcast
Spencer shows us his strength, emotional intelligence and integrity by putting his heart and soul (and sweat, time and energy ) into this show and opening his heart to all who are lucky enough to get to listen on our healing journeys. Great co-hosts great contributions from listeners. Thank you thank you thank you!!!
This show came as my Saving Grace!
When my world seemed to be shattering all around me, I discovered this show and it eased me into reclaiming my sanity and learning different points of views relating to Al-Anon. Thank you!