Recovered 373 – Andrew S.

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My sponsor, Russ, and a friend of Andrew, Joe, take the time to discuss memories, triumphs, and struggles we experienced with Andrew.  Russ met Andrew in 2003 when he was 16 and Joe spent alot of time 6 years later when Joe was new. Chess, service work and humor are the things that Andrew shared with everyone he encountered.

Andrew helped me start this podcast in the fall of 2007.  I used to email demo episodes to him for his critique.  Andrew also helped me start Canton Candlelight, my home group in the fall of 2008.

Recovered 363 – Secondary Addictions

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This Episode is Sponsored by Susan, this show is for you.

The Recovery Topic is Secondary Addictions.

We come into the fellowship unhealthy and some of us develop substitute addictions to fill the void left by alcohol.  Aaron shared that he used food as a source of comfort and the result was weight gain.  After gaining several pounds, he was given a moment of clarity and decided this behavior had to stop.  This resulted in going back into the gym.  However, as Aaron shared, his addictive behavior kicked in a he went too far and injuries started to pile up.  It wasn’t until his doctor reminded him that he wasn’t a young kid any more and that he needed o scale back on the exercise.  Aaron also shared that he found himself spending alot of time at work which may have had some negative impacts on some of his relationships.

Mark shared that he also had food issues coming into the program.  He found that he craved sweets and that was all he wanted to eat.  Mark was told at the time that alcohol is a form of sugar and that his body was craving the sugar.  After a while, Mark balanced his eating habits.  Mark shared that there was a temptation to get medications from his doctor to help with his anxiety but was advised by his sponsor that might not be a good idea.  Since then, Mark is careful around any mood altering substances since it has been his experience by talking with others that it is easier to start drinking again after using prescription drugs.

Mark shared that secondary addictions may not be a relapse but it can be a first step toward relapse.  Mark shared that these bad habits separate him from his higher power and puts him in a vulnerable position.

This Week in Recovery included discussions around our Home Group’s Friday Night Meeting and the tension between our group and the Board of Directors of our Alano Club.  We discussed the fact that we are moving our Friday Night meeting to a off site location and how that’s going to work.

Recovered 362 – Coming Into The Program Young

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Our Recovery Topic is Coming Into The Program Young. Special Guest Host Aaron discusses the challenges of coming into the program young. Aaron also shares his experience, strength and hope relative to working with the young guy. Mark’s specialty is getting fired by the young guy.

 Aaron was 30 years old when he first came into the program. He came into the fellowship when he had a moment of clarity This moment of clarity occurred after Aaron’s girl friend left him, he lost his job, and was notified that he violated his probation again. Aaron shared that he would solve these problems by drinking beer. Then he realized that he was solving his problem with the cause of all his problems. The next day he came to his first meeting at 30 years old. Honest desperation gave him the courage to enter the fellowship. Aaron shared that this was his Higher Power active in his life.

The biggest challenge Aaron experienced being young in the program was giving up his previous life style and previous friends. This was a difficult process for Aaron. He substituted the old using friends with new recovery friends over the first few months of his program. Aaron shared that he was resistant to get a sponsor. But it turns out that the first person who talked to him at his first meeting became Aaron’s sponsor.

Aaron would hang out at our Alano club as a way to get over the lonely and to establish a new social life. Aaron’s sponsor actually asked him to be his sponsee.b Aaron shared that dating someone outside fellowship can work. Aaron sponsors two young guys, the youngest is 16 years old. Sponsorship and chairing meetings have given the opportunity for leadership in the fellowship which has enhanced his recovery.

Recovered 361 – The Family Afterward

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Mark opens the show with a reading from Courage To Change, the Alanon Daily Reader.  This reading presents a warning to the family when the alcoholic first enters into recovery.  The family will quickly learn that the drinking is just a symptom and that the real problems within the family unit will come to the surface.

Spencer shared what it was like when he first came into Alanon recovery and how his anger was part of the problem and how the tools of the program provided relief in a healthy way.  Spencer shared how change is natural part of recovery but can be very difficult to the family suffering from the family disease of alcoholism.

Mark shared how important it is for each member to be able to ask for what they need but how difficult it can be for other family members to hear it.  Mark also share how when the alcoholic gets into recovery how difficult it can be for the family to function without the scapegoat.

Spencer shared how important it is for everyone to go to alot of meetings and that it is important for each person to but recovery first.  After initial recovery is achieved balance between recovery and family life is necessary.

Mark shared that when he first went into recovery he put his recovery first and he placed his family members into the hands of his higher power practicing steps two and three.  But after Mark did a ninth step with his family he made a commitment to them that he would be present to them and there needs because he was absent during the drinking years. This was when balance between recovery and family started to become more equal.

Spencer shared how he views the time in meetings as an investment in the hope of a healthy future.  Mark reads from the Big Book and how Bill W describes the family with alcoholism as abnormal and that healing will take time.  Life in sobriety may not be exactly as the family expects.  Change is difficult but change is necessary for the alcoholic family.

Spencer shared about his usual meetings and how important the meetings before and after the meeting is so important.  Spencer reflected about where he is now and how far he has come.  The topic of changed attitudes was part of Spencer’s Wednesday Night meeting.  Pain is mandatory but suffering is optional.  Mark shared on his noon meetings and Mark shared his first step talk.

Spencer and Mark shared about life at home.  Mark shared a story about lost keys and how the program has helped with his relationship with others.

Recovered 360 – Recovery Literature

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic is Recovery Literature
For the videos covered in this podcast, click on the tab above or click here..

Bill shared that the Big Book entitled Alcoholics Anonymous was the first official literature he encountered.  He was presented with this book free at his first meeting along with a newcomers packet.  Bill also uses the 12 and 12 as a resource for step work.

Spencer shared that How Al-anon Works or the Blue Book is the basic text he uses for his Al-anon program along with Paths to Recovery or the Tan Book.  Spencer shared that he would read these texts at night when he couldn’t sleep.  We all noted how it didn’t matter if you’re an AA or an Al-anon, the problem of sleep difficulty due to stress is relieved by reading recovery literature.  The three C’s in step one of the literature was discussed.  Mark shared what a relief the three C’s are in Al-anon, that he can’t cause, can’t cure, and can’t control some one else’s addiction.

All agreed that the Traditions are mostly discussed at meetings but not studied much.  Bill did share his experience with the 12 and 12, the book by Bill Wilson and his reflection on the steps and the traditions.

Daily readers were discussed next. Bill uses Daily Reflections while Spencer uses One Day at a Time and Courage to Change.  Mark also uses Hope for Today along with the Language of Letting Go. Although we all have read these daily readers several times through, something new is discovered often.

Bill also enjoyed a book “A New Pair of Glasses” by Chuck C.  This book is an expanded open talk by Chuck from California.  Mark also recommends “Dr. Bob and the Good Old-timers” which is biographical book about Dr. Bob and the early days of AA.

It was also discussed about how important it is in recovery to be able to read and write.  These skills are sometimes assumed and can be a special challenge to recovery for the blind and illiterate.

Websites used in recovery include
Ann Arbor Al-anon Web Site

Mark discusses his trip to Saugatuck.  Bill is busy with his young family.  Spencer is enjoying his time at Lake Wobegon.  Mark Discusses going to podcamp Cincinnati in October. Find all about Anna and her childhood pet duck, Lamont.

The following links can be used to purchase the books we referenced during the podcast.  Your purchase will support the podcast.

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics
Paths to Recovery: Al-Anon’s Steps, Traditions and Concepts
Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members
One Day at a Time in Al-Anon
Courage to Change: One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II
Hope for Today
More Language of Letting Go: 366 New Daily Meditations (Hazelden Meditation Series)
A New Pair of Glasses
DR. BOB AND THE GOOD OLDTIMERS (Alcoholics Anonymous, A biography, with recollections of early A.A. in the Midwest)

Recovered 359 – Slogans

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic is Slogans

Click on “Recovered Videos” or use the tab above to see the videos of the stories and the music we cover on this episode.

Mark and Spencer discuss what the slogans mean to them and share some of their most and least favorites. It’s very interesting that the slogans mean very similar things to both Mark and Spencer even though Spencer and Mark attend different 12-step programs.

We discuss the meetings we attended during the week and what’s going on at home. Spencer is sharing his 4th step experience at his home group while Mark is busy signing court slips at his noon meetings. Mark and Anna have discovered the TV program Lost on Netflix. They didn’t get caught up in the phenomena known as Lost when it was in production. But now they are enjoying the series now that it is available by streaming on Netflix. Meanwhile, Spencer goes on the road with a youth group.

Through the generous contributions from our listeners, we were able to purchase a new head phone amplifier. Sound quality should improve now when we all have our own headphone and we can moderate our sound levels.

This is he first podcast where we were streaming live on our website. Although Mark found the chat room to be a bit distracting, but this live stream may be a way for us to build our community.

Recovered 358 – Anniversaries

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic is Anniversaries

As Bill and Spencer approach anniversaries, we reflect on their time in recovery since their entry. Bill discusses if he has experienced temptations which are frequently experienced around AA sobriety dates. Spencer also discusses his reflections on his growth in the program and what this time means to him.

Recovered 357 – Attraction Not Promotion

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic is Attraction Not Promotion

Caris Severn asks the question, “How were you attracted to your programs, given the de-emphasis on promotion?” Mark, Bill, and Spencer share their experiences.

Tradition 11 reads:

Our public relations policy is based on
attraction rather than promotion; we need
always maintain personal anonymity at
the level of press, radio, films, and TV. We
need guard with special care the anonymity
of all AA members.

We share our AA and Alanon understanding.

Recovered 356 – Anger and Resentments

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic is Anger and Resentments.

Mark, Bill and Spencer explore their experience strength and hope regarding anger and resentments. We discuss what it used to be like, what happened and what it is like now.

Since alcoholism is a family disease, it’s not a surprise that anger and resentments are a problem for both the alcoholic and the codependent.

We discover that going to meetings helps us cope with these potentially destructive emotions and that walking away from a heated moment is always an acceptable option.

Recovered 355 – Step 8 and 9 Part 2 of 2

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic is The Fellowship Versus the Program

Mark Bill and Spencer discuss the difference between meetings and the steps. Meetings will make you feel better but working steps will make you better.

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