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Mark S

Chris and Myers Part 3

150 150 Mark S

Our generous Recovered Podcast Community allows us to be self supporting and not rely on outside contributions.  If you would like to join us, there are two ways.

  1. Episode Sponsorship  We will recognize you by first name only at the top, mid, and end of the episode.  Any amount will qualify.
  2. Premium Membership  This is the single most effective way to support the show.  Watch the video in its entirety and learn how to become Premium

The Recovered Podcast Community is not a glum lot.  They contribute to the show and what they share is exactly what someone else needs to hear.  The new guy needs to hear your story.  So honor your 12th step obligation by calling in and help the guy who has not yet gone to his first meeting, you may make the difference in his life.  There are two ways to add to the show:

  1. Speakpipe Use your mobile or computer and leave a message.  This is the preferred method because the sound quality is excellent.
  2. 1-734-288-7510 is our voice message line.

Check out this episode!

Home Group – Recovered 821

150 150 Mark S

Our generous Recovered Podcast Community allows us to be self supporting and not rely on outside contributions.  If you would like to join us, there are two ways.

  1. Episode Sponsorship  We will recognize you by first name only at the top, mid, and end of the episode.  Any amount will qualify.
  2. Premium Membership  This is the single most effective way to support the show.  Watch the video in its entirety and learn how to become Premium

The Recovered Podcast Community is not a glum lot.  They contribute to the show and what they share is exactly what someone else needs to hear.  The new guy needs to hear your story.  So honor your 12th step obligation by calling in and help the guy who has not yet gone to his first meeting, you may make the difference in his life.  There are two ways to add to the show:

  1. Speakpipe Use your mobile or computer and leave a message.  This is the preferred method because the sound quality is excellent.
  2. 1-734-288-7510 is our voice message line.

A home group is a place you come to on a regular basis, we get to know you and you get to know us. A home group is great place to get involved with the fellowship. You can do this by doing service work, chairing meetings, make coffee, cleaning up after the meeting, setting up before the meeting;

What was your first home group?
Why did you select that group?
How did it help your early recovery?
Tell us a story about how that group may have saved your life.
What service work do you do?
Did you meet your sponsor there?
Tell us about the meeting before the meeting and the meeting after the meeting.

What is your home group now?
Why did you change?
How is this one different?
What service work do you do?
Do you have a home group?
How does it help your program?

We Have Calls

Mandy
https://www.speakpipe.com/messages

Angelo Buddy
https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/#inbox/15c46bd1cf421f81?projector=1

Timmy
https://www.google.com/voice/fm/00557165274674955804/AHwOX_D7OKGcOpM8eyllxD1e0E8BFyCwWU_DqN9Sq76uPT-kjsYClDKo2CGVKVbnheCZ1f3KUu4pKJ4tFHOuJKZz-rW7F0r9efCd0YZ2LH2yYa_NotJKmH0zLhe2389tmRsTkZBS2PxX1SLRhCGs8TCEdseG8qKN_w

Cathy from Ga
https://www.google.com/voice/fm/00557165274674955804/AHwOX_BVac0fM62GFyI9xRWpex2HLRVhIdp2wcREsLWg5YNKtgKyM9zPBzvr7KJgNOTEWtjfYZluHSY1tdpSfC-MHqOhh_ERWjFiaBp41Ijn0wGig–R5VuZ-fgKL4zjSoLjTxOxb49ABJhIlZant_7t40eM64QvzA

Aviad From Israel
https://www.google.com/voice/fm/00557165274674955804/AHwOX_CcoC4ZgQuwFB1qLX01SVL3HoDEyCgDhYbFjDFfXQQG2FGLAwgETn6KyKTevZIwAHlKYTqZgIHzlBpLw1dSIQBZKB9saR8UDFazxRq_10HX5ESB4glqTSu_Bk1VoIEcXaKQyglrIZIITM-4QS4llNIBbIWacQ

Alex from Austin
https://www.speakpipe.com/messages

Check out this episode!

Summer Camp, Empty Nest and SUD, the practice of letting go By Annie Highwater

150 150 Mark S

“Summer Camp, Empty Nest and SUD, the practice of letting go”

 

 

“All of a sudden the nest is empty.  The birds have gone, and what had been a constant blur of activity is now nothing more than a few discarded feathers.  Silence mutes all that was colorful and it is time to reestablish our significant place in an ever changing world.”  ~Marci Seither

All parents know the day will come when the kids will leave home and go off into life.  It can be a strange, sinking time for any Mom and Dad.  But when the launch happens abruptly and includes upsetting circumstances, it adds an extra amount of worry to the loneliness and longing you may feel for years gone by.

Huge, abrupt change is a process to work through, one day at a time.  Sometimes one breath at a time.  There were days I moved through it moment by moment.

I myself was not prepared for the hole my life would have once my son no longer lived with me.  It was so engulfing at times that I felt the sadness would never lift.  I had a difficult time seeing a baseball field, being around athletes and hearing things like kids laughing and playing, or cleats on pavement.  I felt so sad, strange and empty in those moments.   Walking through a grocery store and hearing someone yell “Mom!” sent a shock wave through me, filling my eyes with unexpected tears.

I know lots of parents who have had a son or daughter leave the home to go off to college, get married or head off into a life of recovery after the tornado of SUD (Substance Use Disorder) has ripped through their lives.  Believe it or not, that is becoming just as common.

Whatever prompts the changes, for a while we are left with a gaping hole of emptiness and a noticeably barren schedule.

Empty nest happens, and really, it’s supposed to. When it happens out of change that involved turmoil, it’s not the normal “next steps of life,” yet it can still lead to good things and a great next phase of life for a family.

Knowing that the emptiness does pass and life will become joyful and new again (if we work with it) helps move us through toward meaningful days again.

***

“To raise a child who is comfortable enough to leave you, means you’ve done your job.  They are not ours to keep, but to teach to soar on their own.” ~Unknown

When my son was little, we went to a summer camp together every year, I volunteered as an adult leader so he would have the presence of a parent with him.  It was something we looked forward to every summer.

One summer, feeling confident and independent at around age 11 or 12 (and knowing many of the regular campers), he asked if he could go to summer camp by himself.

Meaning…without…me.

Similar to experiences detailed in early chapters of my book “Unhooked”, this was one of the times I realized my son was growing up, branching off and wanting independence.

My heart initially felt the sting of rejection.  Then my mind seemed to shift gears into my usual fear based thought patterns.  Worries of all that could go wrong and that it would take over an hour for me to get to him if he needed me swirled through my mind.

Swallowing the negative thoughts, I told him I supposed he was old enough and probably ready, like the majority of his fellow campers, to go without his Mom.  So I gave him my permission.  He was more thrilled than I would have liked.

Once plans were made for my absence from camp, day after day I walked around feeling heavy-hearted and sullen. Somberly going to work, brooding and mourning, silently dreading the day I would drive my son to camp and leave him there; alone.

Obviously I believed he would only survive in my care!

At that time I worked for a man who counseled families. One afternoon, my boss asked why I seemed so moody and discouraged lately.  I explained my worrisome circumstances.

Always kind yet wise, his response was;

“Oh no, don’t do that.  Don’t impede him with your emotions, that will hinder him.  Don’t put that on him.  Your son is confident and independent, isn’t that what you’ve told me is your goal for him?  Don’t be the type who hinges your emotional weight on your child.  Mourning over missing him is not proof that you have a great relationship!  That’s about you, it’s selfish really.  He knows you are going to miss him; he knows you love him.  But if you hang the weight of this sad, pitiful display on his shoulders, making sure he knows Mom is going to cry her eyes out while he’s gone and then expect him to walk into that camp carrying your issues and enjoy himself, go swimming, fishing, do campy things and have fun while weighed down by that, you are doing him a grave disservice.  Let him experience this without all that.  Tell him you’ll miss him but you can’t wait to hear all about it afterwards!  He knows how to reach you if he needs to.  Let him know; Mom and home will be waiting for him to get back.  Tell him Mom may go do some fun things herself that week!   Tell him he’s brave!  And then…let him go.”

That advice was a wake-up call that I never forgot, how right it was!  All of it.  I had been making it about me.  And about fear.  But mostly, about me.

I didn’t need to hang my sadness, worries or issues on him, how unfair that would be.  Just like I intentionally never put on a long face when he went for weekends with his Dad, or spent a vacation away from me, how could I possibly make this about me and then send him off to cope with my weight on his back?

Thankful for the enlightenment, I spent the next few days with my son shopping for camping supplies, recalling great memories from previous summers there and preparing him for the new ones he’d make.

I also told him over and over how proud I was of him for wanting to go off on his own like this; what courage!  With that, I gave him the emotional freedom to go without my needs and worries strangling him.

He called home twice that week, once was to tell me he caught a huge fish and once after he got stung by a bee. He was proud of himself for having survived the pain of it and couldn’t wait to show me the mark it left.

GASP!!  He didn’t call me when it happened!

Instead of feeling rejected by that, I felt relieved that he was brave enough to stay and deal.

My son was learning to live and survive without me.  He needed to. That was not a threat to our relationship, it was a coping skill he’d need for the rest of his life.

***

Years later, when my son moved states away to enter recovery and then begin a life for himself thereafter, I often thought back to that summer camp advice from my wise boss.  In my rough moments, instead of calling and sounding like a blubbering, mournful “poor Mom” kind of mess, I would truthfully tell him about my grief and nostalgia, my fears, and worries.

And then I’d speak of my great confidence in him and how insanely proud I am of the man he has grown into.

I am thankful to know that I don’t need to make anyone responsible for how I feel.  It’s not my son’s burden to make sure I don’t feel lonely or get swept up in nostalgia. It’s up to me to regulate my emotions and keep them in check.  He has his own life to focus on.

My son knows I miss him and he knows he’s loved.  And he is strong enough to face life with the knowledge of my love for him as a launch pad, not a liability.

The best thing we can do for our kids is to be as strong, healthy and well as possible.

I believe much of life is about letting go.  My son and I enjoy the time we have together; to the very fullest!  Even still, my job is to encourage his strength and independence.  Which allows him to build momentum on his own as an adult.  And that ensures he can cope without me.

Our paths are intertwined forever. They separate, wind back around and return adjacent to one another, that’s the ebb and flow of life. Our relationship isn’t threatened by that.  As different as our lives are now, they’re wonderful and full.  We have days filled with ups and downs, joy and sorrow, there are great and terrible moments as well as lots of routine and mundane.  We share our lives as often as we speak, but we are not dependent upon one another.  What comfort and freedom that gives our relationship.

***

There are many wonderful tools and resources available that help ease the transition of empty nest, life change and grief.  Tools that help us rebuild so that life is not only manageable, but joyful.

I found personal strength on the toughest of days in therapy, recovery work, a few trustworthy friends, relevant books and found new projects to fill the empty moments.

It’s a new life for sure.  But the old one was due to fade anyway.

It takes time, it’s a process, and it’s okay to be gentle with yourself.

“Nothing is permanent, make peace with this.” ~Unknown

Chris and Myers Part 2

150 150 Mark S

Our generous Recovered Podcast Community allows us to be self supporting and not rely on outside contributions.  If you would like to join us, there are two ways.

  1. Episode Sponsorship  We will recognize you by first name only at the top, mid, and end of the episode.  Any amount will qualify.
  2. Premium Membership  This is the single most effective way to support the show.  Watch the video in its entirety and learn how to become Premium

The Recovered Podcast Community is not a glum lot.  They contribute to the show and what they share is exactly what someone else needs to hear.  The new guy needs to hear your story.  So honor your 12th step obligation by calling in and help the guy who has not yet gone to his first meeting, you may make the difference in his life.  There are two ways to add to the show:

  1. Speakpipe Use your mobile or computer and leave a message.  This is the preferred method because the sound quality is excellent.
  2. 1-734-288-7510 is our voice message line.

Check out this episode!

Call Recovered About Your Home Group

150 150 Mark S
Tuesday night, the Recovery Topic is “Home Group.”
 
A home group is a place you come to on a regular basis, we get to know you and you get to know us.  A home group is great place to get involved with the fellowship.  You can do this by doing service work, chairing meetings, make coffee, cleaning up after the meeting, setting up before the meeting;
Let’s talk about this solution.  Tap Speakpipe (preferred because the sound quality is excellent.  Use this method especially if you are outside the Unites States) or call 1-734-288-7510 and answer the following question(s):
What was your first home group? Why did you select that group? How did it help your early recovery? Tell us a story about how that group may have saved your life. What service work do you do? Did you meet your sponsor there? Tell us about the meeting before the meeting and the meeting after the meeting.
 
Recovered Podcast is live online every Tuesday at 6:30 pm EST as we record the show.  Join the fun and be part of the show.
If you would like to listen to the live stream of the show, just tap Recovered Chat and Live Stream.  We give away an Amazon gift card each week, you could win if you join us on Tuesdays.  
 
Click on our Show Notes we will use Tuesday night.

Anger Versus Wrath – Recovered 819

150 150 Mark S

Our generous Recovered Podcast Community allows us to be self supporting and not rely on outside contributions.  If you would like to join us, there are two ways.

  1. Episode Sponsorship  We will recognize you by first name only at the top, mid, and end of the episode.  Any amount will qualify.
  2. Premium Membership  This is the single most effective way to support the show.  Watch the video in its entirety and learn how to become Premium

The Recovered Podcast Community is not a glum lot.  They contribute to the show and what they share is exactly what someone else needs to hear.  The new guy needs to hear your story.  So honor your 12th step obligation by calling in and help the guy who has not yet gone to his first meeting, you may make the difference in his life.  There are two ways to add to the show:

  1. Speakpipe Use your mobile or computer and leave a message.  This is the preferred method because the sound quality is excellent.
  2. 1-734-288-7510 is our voice message line.

The topic this week was inspired by listener Jennifer
Linda, Can you read the email from Jennifer?

Jennifer wrote:

I’ve attended Al-Anon for about 3 years as well as O.A. I’ve been thinking about the difference between anger and wrath with the definition of anger being “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility” and wrath being “vengeance or punishment as the consequence of anger.”

Anger is an important emotion. It lets us know when something is wrong, sometimes inside and sometimes outside of us. It motivates us to make change, because we are uncomfortable, dissatisfied or unsafe. However, anger is a secondary emotion. It’s protective of more vulnerable feelings such as fear and grief.

For many years of my life I was out of touch with the feelings protected by my anger. Growing up, I lacked good role models to show me how to value my dignity and the dignity of others while addressing anger.

Wrath comes out of uncontrolled anger and a desire to punish. Wrath holds no space for compassion or human dignity, neither for self or other. Wrath requires purity of intent and of outcome. It is insolent and volatile. It seeks to shore up its own ego. It is intolerant of the uncertainty and imperfection inherent to the experience of being alive. It holds an unattainable ideal that will eventually leave it cast into exile along with the “offenders.”

I’d like a discussion about:

What is anger for you?
What is wrath for you?

How are they different?
How are they the same?

Is anger ok? Why or why not?
Is wrath ok? Why or why not?

At what point does anger turn into wrath?
Why is wrath bad for you? What are the consequences?

-What are the barriers to feeling our anger and getting to the underlying feelings?

-What are the rewards of doing this work and what are the consequences of not doing it.

-How can we make ourselves ready, willing and able to do this work.

WE HAVE CALLS

Alex
https://www.speakpipe.com/messages

Buddy from Ga
https://www.google.com/voice/fm/00557165274674955804/AHwOX_Cx9WQ2z57xKmYLWwx3ephrQoIoLje2WguUbnXfcQ9esNe2S1gqhYg7FCFXXy3dMyfiWadv1RmGlLN4ij3jYp-Pfa0qkECEiWFAus0NSTcBK1DL6Xt6A6Rh6buJXEm-qOp_6ACgX7X7E8M6DGe-2XQpNnrHAw

Check out this episode!

Disappointment and Grief, finding a new normal by Annie Highwater

150 150 Mark S
Annie returns with an article published in Allies in recovery found at http://alliesinrecovery.net
        “Disappointment and Grief, finding a new normal”
In this week’s Allies in Recovery conversation we concentrated on disappointment and grief. Which for me, are interwoven.  Grief involves loss, which means hope deflates into disappointment as plans and visions are redirected, if not completely cut down.

I’m very familiar with the shock of upheaval and change, along with the processes of struggle and resistance that soon follow.  Many times I have had to make my way through dark times to reach a place of acceptance and peace, where I could find hope again.

In my own life, I have personally experienced three significant seasons of loss, grief and disappointment.    As a result of those times, I’ve grieved the loss of people, homes, pets and plans.

As described in my book “Unhooked”, the first experience was during the death of my Father which mercilessly occurred during my divorce.    The second was after my son experienced an injury in football and a dependency upon pain medication followed, tearing through our lives like an out of control freight train.

The third was when my son moved out of state, just before the sudden death of our beloved family dog, as a handful of other unexpected things happened that turned my life upside down.  I quickly and without warning found myself almost overnight becoming an Empty Nester, having several unexpected job, home and life changes occur in a short span of time.  I was soon deeply mourning the life I thought I would have.  It was a lot to process.

Loss. Shock. Change. Upheaval.

I don’t know about you, but for me – when it rains it pours.

In these times I tend to become wide awake and acutely aware of my life, my pulse and my surroundings, with all senses heightened. Seeming to emotionally and even physically lose my balance, unable to regain stable footing, with every frame of reference familiar to me altered.  On my worst days I found it hard to breathe in public.

(Please note – if you’re close to someone going through a loved one’s struggle with SUD, or other types of loss, shock, change or upheaval, it’s a powerful thing to come alongside with comfort and presence.  Gestures of kindness and compassion are extremely potent boosts of encouragement and hope for anyone enduring dark, painful days.)

***

Finding a new normal

 “Every disappointment, every failure and every heartache carries with it the Seed of an equivalent or a greater Benefit” ~Napolean Hill

Finding hope again takes time, it’s a process and we may experience at least a few of the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance; grief.com) before reconciling ourselves to how different life is actually panning out from what we’d envisioned.

After loss, change and disappointment, things will never be the same, but that doesn’t mean life can’t become good again.

Sometimes things fall apart and are rebuilt stronger.  There are times when a massive life change is actually an awakening to the value of life.

I recently had a conversation with a man named Brad regarding his obvious energy and enthusiasm every time I see him.  He began telling how he went through a heartbreaking divorce that he didn’t want or expect.  He was beyond devastated and quite naturally, unsure how to start life over.  Brad described for me how it seemed as though one day he was grilling dinner in his backyard, mowing the lawn, driving a sedan and planning to spend the rest of his days doing so…to the next, sitting alone in a one room apartment in the city, isolated and bewildered.  His life had become unrecognizable. I believe many of us who have suffered loss and upheaval can relate.

The defeat and loss he felt were overwhelming, lasting months and months.  One day, a compassionate friend stopped by to see Brad.  The friend scheduled a fishing trip for the two of them to Miami where for the next few days he intentionally spoke hope and possibility back into the grieving man’s soul.   Stepping outside of his routine of loss and hopelessness woke Brad up to the idea of a new lease on life.

When Brad returned from the trip he thought long and hard about his new set of circumstances, he decided to take the reins of his life without focusing on unfairness or blame (and not connecting his energy with anyone who does) and he began truly living.

Brad told me he intentionally wakes up every morning with the motto “What great moments can I experience today?”  He gets up early five days a week to work out and meditate, spending time on his physical, spiritual and mental health before heading to his business.   Some days he does something extraordinarily thoughtful and special for someone close to him.  Weekly he signs up for a workout class he would have never tried before, just as often he will stop into a new coffee shop or boutique to try something he’d never heard of and leave a large, unexpected tip…and so on.  He keeps life flowing this way, free from becoming stale, idle or stagnant.

On a daily basis, Brad runs his life with this enthusiastic pace.  Once he got into the habit, it became his lifestyle, he’s lived this way for more than two decades.  Listening, I couldn’t help but catch his enthusiasm!

This once distraught man who thought life was over, is now in his 70’s and has not missed out on a single day.  He’s more active and alive than many who are a third his age!  Brad opened my eyes to the possibility of living a life fully awake to the value of time.

What seemed at first like a ruined life ended up being a change of direction toward a life he may have missed out on had he not experienced loss and disappointment.

Not that he would have wished for divorce, but sometimes you just have to play the hell out of the hand you’re dealt.

Brad’s attitude is truly an example of someone who took adversity and turned it into his motivation for making the most of all of his days.

It takes time, healing, support and mindfulness – but life can become whole again after loss, shock, change and upheaval.  It’s often after great darkness that we become most aware of the value of light.

The broken will always be able to love harder than most.  Once you’ve been in the dark you learn to appreciate everything that shines.”  ~The Positive Diaries

Wishing you peace, hope and effervescent life,

Annie

***

End note:

“The funny thing about suffering life-changing tragedy…you are afterwards, afraid of nothing. When you’ve faced the worst sorrow and fear life could possibly bombard you with, what worse can you go through? What can a mere person do to hurt you after that? You become permanently unafraid and void of the petty concerns that tragedy-free people lose their cool over. And in some small way, that’s a comfort. This is a truth I’ve paid dearly to claim – I don’t scare as easily as I used to.” – Barbara Johnson*

*I wrote this statement down at a conference where Barbara Johnson was a speaking as she was saying it.  She has many published books on finding your way through the deep, horrendous waters of grief.  While I personally cannot speak as someone who knows the agony of losing a child, Barbara writes with full knowledge; having lost two sons.  Her books are on finding hope and even joy again.  I cannot recommend them enough for anyone struggling through the grief of unimaginable loss.

Some losses will always be with us, the loss of a child, partner, or any close, precious and much loved person changes the dynamics of who were are and how we live. It becomes a matter of managing life while carrying their absence within us.  But in their honor and with the best of memories, we must continue to live and find our way forward until we meet them again.

***

Unhooked book link:

https://www.amazon.com/Unhooked-Mothers-Unhitching-Coaster-Addiction/dp/1942497210/ref=zg_bsnr_7916444011_2

For information, support and comfort:

http://tapunited.org   and    http://alliesinrecovery.net

Chris and Myers Part 1

150 150 Mark S

Our generous Recovered Podcast Community allows us to be self supporting and not rely on outside contributions.  If you would like to join us, there are two ways.

  1. Episode Sponsorship  We will recognize you by first name only at the top, mid, and end of the episode.  Any amount will qualify.
  2. Premium Membership  This is the single most effective way to support the show.  Watch the video in its entirety and learn how to become Premium

The Recovered Podcast Community is not a glum lot.  They contribute to the show and what they share is exactly what someone else needs to hear.  The new guy needs to hear your story.  So honor your 12th step obligation by calling in and help the guy who has not yet gone to his first meeting, you may make the difference in his life.  There are two ways to add to the show:

  1. Speakpipe Use your mobile or computer and leave a message.  This is the preferred method because the sound quality is excellent.
  2. 1-734-288-7510 is our voice message line.

Check out this episode!

Drinking Dreams – Recovered 817

150 150 Mark S

Our generous Recovered Podcast Community allows us to be self supporting and not rely on outside contributions.  If you would like to join us, there are two ways.

  1. Episode Sponsorship  We will recognize you by first name only at the top, mid, and end of the episode.  Any amount will qualify.
  2. Premium Membership  This is the single most effective way to support the show.  Watch the video in its entirety and learn how to become Premium

The Recovered Podcast Community is not a glum lot.  They contribute to the show and what they share is exactly what someone else needs to hear.  The new guy needs to hear your story.  So honor your 12th step obligation by calling in and help the guy who has not yet gone to his first meeting, you may make the difference in his life.  There are two ways to add to the show:

  1. Speakpipe Use your mobile or computer and leave a message.  This is the preferred method because the sound quality is excellent.
  2. 1-734-288-7510 is our voice message line.

A psychologist once said,
“Drinking dreams are a natural part of
the anxieties that come along with being sober.”
“They’re a sign of the battle sober people have with
admitting complete powerlessness over alcohol or drugs,”

It also may be our alcoholic brain trying to get a drink

Your first thoughts, where do you want to start??

What is drinking dream? Why do you think we have them?
Do you think normal people have them?
Do actively drinking alcoholics have drinking dreams?

Describe your drinking dream experiences
During your dream, did you experience guilt?
During your dream, was the experience celebratory?
During your dream, were you sneaking your drinks?
During your dream, were you drinking normally?
Was your dream vivid?

Do normal people have drinking dreams?
Drinking dreams is your alcoholic brain searching for a high, your thoughts?

Describe those feelings when you are in that semi conscious dream-state and you really thought you relapsed.
When you thought that the slip was real, did you think about how to keep it secret?
When you in that state that you thought the dream was real, did you feel remorse, loss, grief, and/or guilt?

Describe your feelings when you realized that it was just a dream and that you did not lose your sobriety.
Did the dream trigger the desire to use?
Do you talk to your sponsor about these dreams?
Do you talk about drinking dreams at meetings?
Should they be discussed at meetings?

Have you ever processed the drinking dream experience?
Have you journaled about your drinking dreams?
Have you ever thought about why you had that dream in context of what is going on in your life?
Have you noticed the relationship between stress and drinking dreams?
Have you noticed a relationship between success and drinking dreams?
Are you hanging with using friends?
Are you visiting old places where you used to use?

Final thoughts about drinking dreams.
Did you have them more frequently when you were new?
Do you have them now?
For you, are drinking dreams a red flag symbolizing something is wrong in your program?
What would you say to the new guy who just had his first drinking dream?

WE HAVE CALLS
DO YOU WANT TO TAKE CALLS?

Jen s
https://www.speakpipe.com/messages

Valerie from san juan capistrano
https://www.speakpipe.com/messages

Adrianna from France
https://www.speakpipe.com/messages

Clyde
https://www.speakpipe.com/messages

Justin p
https://www.speakpipe.com/messages

Ann Marie From Romeo
https://voice.google.com/u/2/voicemail?itemId=c.IZKPLTZGWHLJPZTLLQKNHYYMLVJRTUUJWVVNNUYS

Buddy https://www.google.com/voice/fm/00557165274674955804/AHwOX_Cx9WQ2z57xKmYLWwx3ephrQoIoLje2WguUbnXfcQ9esNe2S1gqhYg7FCFXXy3dMyfiWadv1RmGlLN4ij3jYp-Pfa0qkECEiWFAus0NSTcBK1DL6Xt6A6Rh6buJXEm-qOp_6ACgX7X7E8M6DGe-2XQpNnrHAw

Brock
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Final Thoughts?

Check out this episode!

Needing Support by Annie Highwater

150 150 Mark S

We have exciting news.  

Annie Highwater’s writings will appear regularly here on the Recovered Podcast website.   Annie is Author of a memoir “Unhooked”.  A mother’s story of Unhitching from the roller coaster of her son’s addiction. Annie shares how those experiences both helped and hindered what would be the hardest, most heartbreaking, challenge of her life– her son’s addiction to opiates. – Mark

Unhooked book link:

https://www.amazon.com/Unhooked-Mothers-Unhitching-Coaster-Addiction/dp/1942497210/ref=zg_bsnr_7916444011_2

her email – annieunhooked@gmail.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AnnieUnhooked/

Here is Annie’s latest article:


How important is support? I believe nature reveals to us that we are meant to support one another along the journey of life. Dolphins for instance are known to work together to catch fish, save sick friends and play. Recently researchers have recorded the clever cetaceans ‘talking’ to each other in order to solve a complex puzzle. The discovery suggests dolphins use a language dedicated to problem solving. I read an observation report about one dolphin becoming paralyzed, when others saw that it was unable to swim, they gathered to form a bridge of support under it, carefully raising their injured friend to the surface for air.

Joshua Plotnik, a behavioral ecologist at Mahidol University in Thailand, and primatologist Frans de Waal, director of Emory University’s Living Links Center, have shown through a controlled study what those who work with elephants have always believed: The animals offer something akin to human sympathetic concern when observing distress in another, including their relatives and friends. Elephants in another herd were once found solemnly gathered in a circle, weeping together over the body of a one of their herd who had died.

Along with dolphins and elephants; gorillas, dogs, cats, certain corvids (the bird group that includes ravens) and squirrels among others in nature, have been shown to recognize when a herd mate is upset, weakened or injured and to offer gentle caresses and chirps of sympathy, according to a study (published February 18 in the online journal PeerJ) .

In nature, lending comfort and support seems to come, well…natural.

Some years back I personally observed comfort and support from nonhumans when my beloved Cairn Terrier injured her spine, became paralyzed and went through major corrective surgery. She recovered, yet never regained full strength. For the next 4 years of her life I tended to her every need as my other dog and our cat watched over her closely. They stuck by her, ever present at her side, especially when she grew weaker or sick. I often found them sleeping one on each side of her, laying close against her.

When she later died, for months the two of them would sit with me in every room I was in, something they hadn’t done together before. Everyday they would lay at my feet, one on either side as I worked my way through the sadness and misery of losing my closest companion. That little dog had been like a baby to me, because of her many health issues I took care of her like a child. In some ways, caring for her had even become a distracting comfort when my son moved across the country, losing her was a traumatic shock. I was touched by how aware of my grief my remaining two seemed to be. Their loyal presence helped me get through that difficult time. Animals somehow sense when we are in need of extra comfort.

Not long ago I read that Redwood trees have surprisingly shallow roots compared to other trees. Redwood trees are some of the tallest, strongest trees, yet they have short roots that grow more wide than deep. However, these roots have an amazing ability to latch onto one another, growing tightly together as a strong force underground. The linking of roots allows for added strength, causing several trees to unite as a whole, standing together as one when storms come.

I. Love. That.

Nature gets it. So if support and comfort is vital in nature; what message does that send to us?

What a beautiful thing if that kind of support came naturally in every family and group setting. How much different would our lives be if we instinctively came together to raise each other up, without considering fault, blame or shame, without thinking of our personal issues or awkward feelings. How wonderful would it be if we didn’t hold back, but instead showed up, with opinions and differences aside and offered comfort and encouragement, rallying around someone in need. How much stronger would we be when the storms come.

I’ve most often found unconditional support in rooms of recovery. Managing the adversities of life can feel crushing, especially when you feel like you have to do it by yourself. Having reliable group support can provide great comfort alongside challenging times.

For most of my life I’d taught myself to have a stiff upper lip and push through trials. Therefore, support was most often reserved for a small handful of friends, Google or the self-help section of the Library. It was by chance I started attending family recovery meetings. We had already come through so much of the storm by the time I started going. But once I went, I never left. Supportive meetings were the final puzzle piece in my walk forward, a perfect fit.

After experiencing the profoundly healing effects of attending a good, solid support group, I now admit I regret the nights I walked the floors alone, agonizing about our circumstances (as detailed in my book “Unhooked”). I regret not having a safe place to vent my frustration or hear how others coped when dealing with their own. How I wish I would have had a room to go to from the beginning of the journey, to gather with people going through what I was going through. I would have found safety in those numbers and strength from others who could say “Yep, I’ve been there. That happened to me too. You’re not the only one. I get it.”

I did have very good friends to call and I was lucky enough to personally know a few professionals who I could contact in a pinch. Yet had I also been rooted around those going through the same dark waters I was drowning in, I believe it would have made navigating my way through them a lot easier. There’s just something about someone who has walked the same road telling you “It will be okay” that is truly worth its weight in gold.

We are some years past the havoc of addiction first raging through our home. But I still regularly meet with a group of support. Now that life is more calm and stable, I believe listening as well as giving comfort, encouragement and hope back is a great way to keep a stream of kindness flowing. No one should have to go through the harsh times of life alone. That’s when we need others to build a bridge under us and raise us up, especially when we’re feeling paralyzed. There are also times we’re called to be part of that bridge and help lift someone else up. Support is give and take. We all need it, we all need to offer it.

It’s not weak to admit you need some support, actually it’s strong. It’s real. And that’s not always easy, it takes courage. Being real is not for the phony or faint of heart.

The epidemic of addiction that our nation is experiencing is not stopping, or even slowing down. I believe it’s awakening us to our need to be open, honest and to compassionately support one another. Thankfully support groups are becoming more available. I strongly encourage everyone to research and find one that is a fit for you. Online or in person. We need all of it! Life can be brutal, it helps when you’re not alone. Support can make all the difference.

We need people to understand and care. That is where healing happens and strength develops. It’s as simple as that.

“Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’” ~ C.S. Lewis

Rooting for you,

Annie

For online support:

http://www.tapunited.org/

http://alliesinrecovery.net/

Unhooked:

https://www.amazon.com/Unhooked-Mothers-Unhitching-Coaster-Addiction/dp/1942497210/ref=zg_bsnr_7916444011_2