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Mark S

Recovered 370 – The Future of the Podcast

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic is the Future of the Podcast

Mark is solo tonight and he discusses his plans for the future of the show.  Mark talk’s about improving the equipment in the studio and the software.  He also discusses his desire to start an interview segment during the show.  Whether using Skype or his iPhone, Mark would like to interview leaders in the recovery world.

Recovered 369 – Meeting Etiquette

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic is Meeting Etiquette.

This episode, Mark, Aaron, and Spencer discuss some of the behaviors they have seen at meetings which make sense and some behaviors which they would rather not see anymore.  They discuss:

  • Texting
  • Cross Talk
  • Shares that have nothing to do with recovery
  • Anonymity
  • Kids at meetings
  • Hygiene
  • Revealing clothing
  • Gossip
  • etc
Let us know what you have seen at meetings and why you think its ok or not.

Recovered 368 – Fourth Step Analyzer

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic is the Fourth Step Analyzer

Mark is solo tonight and he explains the use of the Fourth Step Analyzer; the excel worksheet he developed using the Joe and Charlie Worksheets for a Fourth Step.  Mark uses the 4th step example presented on page 65 of the Big Book.  This spreadsheet helps us to develop our 9th step amends list, what areas of security causes fear and what are our character defects.

Click to Downliad 4th Step Analyzer

Click to Joe and Charlie Worksheets

Recovered 367 – Recovery 2.0

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic in Recovery 2.0 – The Fellowship Goes Online

With technology, the message of Alcoholics Anonymous can go places it has never gone before; into the privacy of the new guys home at his convenience, not when we might be available.  We have listeners that are afraid to go to their first meting, but they listen to this podcast and are trying to get sober.  There is so much potential for recovery on the internet.

Aaron, Spencer, and Mark all shared the technology they use in their recovery.  Aaron shared that he used 12steps.org early in recovery which helped him overcome his problem with a higher power.  Spencer doesn’t use online resources for recovery but uses current technology as a means to communicate with others in the fellowship.  Spencer uses online resources to locate meetings.

Mark shared that it has been an AA tradition to be open to technology.  When the fellowship started in 1935, face to face communication was the norm, but the fellowship adopted the new technology of land line telephones as a tool in recovery.  In the same tradition, Mark is optimistic about using current technology as a tool in recovery. Texting may now be the norm for communication.

Twitter, Facebook, etc. have great potential to support recovery.  Follow us at  and at facebook.com/recoveredcast.  Aaron shared that he uses the 12 step AA Companion App.

See our website for more links.

Recovered 366 – Barefoot, Podcast History

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic is Barefoot, The History of the Podcast

Since none of our guest hosts were available, Mark decided to publish a solo podcast, the first one in over a year.

In 2007, I first started experimentation with recorded voice in response to an especially difficult sponsee.  I used the podcast as a way to talk to myself and I discovered I didn’t know what to do.  It was good thing that I just recorded these conversations rather than give this advise, since I didn’t know what I was doing.  This was apparent when I listened to the play backs.  These recordings were never published and I destroyed all evidence.

I started the early recordings using the software package: Castblaster.  I purchased an inexpensive dynamic microphone from Radio Shack and I was off and running.  By listening to other podcasts, I learned that Libsyn was the best place to have my audio files hosted.  This is the actual place that stores the audio files and they also established and control my RSS feed.  Libsyn provides a primitive Website and I used that feature to host my website as well at first.  The next step was to improve the website by moving to Blogger.

The next step in the show’s evolution was the upgrade in microphone and the purchase of a mixer.  These improvements made the audio quality better.  Podcasts I was listening to included: Nobody’s Listening, The Cardinal Arize Podcast, Monster Cookies, The Daily Source Code, and No Agenda.

The addition of Bill as Co-Host marked a significant point in the podcast history.  Bill’s presence, his story, his sense of humor, and his microphones all added to an improvement in the show and was reflected in an increase in listeners.

Recovered 365 – Best of Recovered

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Since we were not able to record this week, we have issued a show from last October.  We will see you on Monday 6/4/12 for Episode 366.

Recovered 364 – Dealing With Loss in Recovery

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Tonight’s Recovery Topic is Dealing With Loss in Recovery

Mark is joined with Guest Hosts Joe and Russ, both members of Canton Candlelight, Mark’s home group.  Russ is Mark’s sponsor.

Joe is 27 years old and has 3 years sobriety.  Mark and Russ both remember Joe coming into the fellowship and they both remember that Joe was “all in” and had a real willingness to work the program.  Even though Joe was suffering from both loss and anger, he was able to put those things into perspective and used the fellowship, the program, and the steps as a means of comfort rather than to use drink.

Joe shared that early in the program he watched the long timers and focused on what they did and did what they did.  Joe also shared that early in sobriety he was just going through the motions of recovery and the thought of drinking returned.  At this moment, Joe received a phone call asking Joe to take him to a meeting.  Joe promptly put the obsession to drink aside and started to give back to the program through the service work of driving members to meetings.  Joe thought this was a coincidence.  Russ commented that coincidence is just God’s way of remaining anonymous.

60 days before Joe came into the fellowship, Joe’s mom passed away and he became angry and suffered all the more by drinking more.  So when Joe first came in, steps 2 and 3 was difficult because he was angry with God.  Joe shared that going to meetings and relying on the fellowship allowed him to heal over time.  Joe also heard other peoples story about how they got throug difficult times without drinking.  This was an inspiration to Joe. Joe learned that you don’t have to drink if you dn’t want to and you don’t have to drink when you do want to drink

Russ first came into the program in 1974 and it stuck in 1979 and he was 30 at that time.  Russ shared that in 2001 both his parents died and it devastated him.  But the fellowship carried him through this difficult time by going to alot of meetings and to step up service work.  Russ is now going through the process of loss because his father in law just decided to go into hospice and will likely leave this world soon.  Mark shared that Russ’ example on how to deal with loss inspired him to emulate Russ’ action and thereby was able to handle the loss of his father.

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.