Posts By :

Mark S

Unity – Recovered 886

150 150 Mark S

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Tradition One states:

Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.

 

Sue, from my home group provided this from NA’s Basic Text on Unity.

 

 

The second Legacy,  Unity (Body) suggests we join a homegroup and participate in the meetings.  In early sobriety, meetings and fellowship with recovered alcoholics can help to keep a newcomer sober until they have completed their steps.  

 

More importantly, the group and its members are responsible for making sure that the door to the meeting is open and there for the newcomer.

 

What does unity mean go you?

Why is AA Unity important?

How has unity helped your recovery?

 

@ Mark…I think that AA Unity, when related to group conscious, means doing what is best for the group and not what is necessarily best for me. I did not get very far by getting my way all the time

 

Do you have a group that you are committed to and involved with?  

Do you participate Group Conscious meetings?

Do you follow the 12 Traditions?

 

Unity asks me to practice acceptance when the group conscience goes against

 

AA Unity does not mean harmony.

What is the difference between unity and harmony?

How can a group not have harmony yet have unity?

 

How can a group make mistakes, make wrong decisions, yet still have unity?

 

How can you contribute to AA unity?

How can you have unity with someone you don’t like?

 

What would you say to the new guy?

Check out this episode!

Bob D. Part 8 – Recovered 885

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.

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Check out this episode!

Call Recovered About Unity

150 150 Mark S

MONDAY Night, the Recovery Topic is “Unity.”
 
The second Legacy,  Unity (Body) suggests we join a home group and participate in the meetings.  In early sobriety, meetings and fellowship with recovered alcoholics can help to keep a newcomer sober until they have completed their steps.  The fellowship of AA is the group members and is fondly referred to as “the meeting before the meeting, the AA meeting, and the meeting after 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 does unity mean go you?
Why is AA Unity important?
How has unity helped your recovery?
Do you have a group that you are committed to and involved with?
Do you participate Group Conscious meetings?
Do you follow the 12 Traditions?
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.  
 
Click on our Show Notes we will use.

Serenity – Recovered 884

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.

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A common motive for falling into substance abuse is an inability to cope with the vicissitudes of life. The individual feels overwhelmed by the problems that life is throwing at them, and desperation means that they will consider any means of escape. In the beginning alcohol and drugs do feel like the perfect solution. It gives the individual a break from their problems and the reality of day to day living. The problem is that as the individual becomes to rely on these substances it has a devastating impact on their life. It is a classic example of the cure being worse than the disease. The answer to life’s problems is not to be found by using mind altering substances. The ability to deal with life is something that the individual can develop, but it is serenity that they need for this and not intoxication.
Serenity Defined
One way of defining serenity is to say that it is a feeling of being calm and tranquil. In recovery this word is often used to describe a state of being where people are untroubled by the ups and downs in life. It means that whatever is happening in the individual’s life they can rely on an inner sense of calm. Many would say that this way of being is the goal of recovery. It may even have been the search for such inner peace that drove the individual into addiction in the first place ? they find what they are looking for in sobriety.
The topic is serenity
What comes first to mind when you hear the word serenity?
What does serenity mean to you today?
What did you understand serenity to be before program
What was your understanding when you first came into recovery?
Why is serenity important to your program?
What are your barriers to serenity?
How do you obtain serenity?
What is blocking your serenity today?
How can the program help?
What steps, slogans, prayers, etc.?
What would you say to the new guy?
Calls
Mike from FLA
https://www.speakpipe.com/messages
Alex
What would you say to the new guy?

Check out this episode!

Call Recovered About Serenity

150 150 Mark S
A common motive for falling into substance abuse is an inability to cope with the vicissitudes of life. The individual feels overwhelmed by the problems that life is throwing at them, and desperation means that they will consider any means of escape. In the beginning alcohol and drugs do feel like the perfect solution. It gives the individual a break from their problems and the reality of day to day living. The problem is that as the individual becomes to rely on these substances it has a devastating impact on their life. It is a classic example of the cure being worse than the disease. The answer to life’s problems is not to be found by using mind altering substances. The ability to deal with life is something that the individual can develop, but it is serenity that they need for this and not intoxication.
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):
Why is serenity important to your program?
What are your barriers to serenity?
How do you obtain serenity?
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.  
 
Click on our Show Notes we will use Tuesday night.

Elton J. – Recovered 883

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.

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Elton John in a 2001 interview

Check out this episode!

Compassion – Recovered 882

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.

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It is sometimes suggested that the world would be a better place if humans demonstrated more compassion for each other. This is a reasonable claim, and there is no doubt that compassion can improve interpersonal relationships. Those who are recovering from an addiction are likely to find that cultivating compassion will boost their progress in sobriety. It will allow them to move away from the obsession of self that is a characteristic of life in addiction.
Compassion can be defined as:
A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Those people who are recovering from an addiction will benefit a great deal by becoming more compassionate. This is because the personality traits that make the individual more prone to addictive behavior often include self obsession and disregard for other people’s feelings. One of the goals in recovery is to deal with the character flaws associated with the addictive personality and developing compassion will certainly help with this.
What comes first to mind?
What does compassion mean to you?
Why/how is compassion important to your recovery?
What does compassion look like to you?
Examples?
What character flaw gets in the way of compassion?
Examples?
How can compassion help you in recovery?
How can we develop an awareness of others feelings?
How do you feel when you have compassion with someone else?
How do you feel when someone has compassion for you?
What steps help you with compassion?
How did you learn to be compassionate?
When are you most compassionate?
When are you least compassionate?
When can you be cruel?
How can you develop a sense of compassion at these times?
When are you indifferent?
How can you be more compassionate at these times?
Calls
Mike from FLA
https://www.speakpipe.com/messages
Alex
Speakpipe
Andrew
Speakpipe
Joe
Speakpipe
What would you say to the new guy?

Check out this episode!

Bob D. Part 7 – Recovered 881

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

Call and leave a message and become part of the show

http://recoveredcast.com/speakpipe

Check out this episode!

Russell B. Committee on Addiction – Recovered 880

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.

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Comedian Russell Brand appears before committee on addiction.

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Handling the Holidays by Author Annie Highwater

150 150 Mark S

Handling the Holidays

Regardless the holidays or traditions you observe, this time of year can be trying, triggering and even traumatic.

From what I know personally and have listened to others openly share in “the rooms,” holidays tend to bring on some of the most emotionally charged situations.

I’ve compiled helpful suggestions and tips for handling this time based on difficult holiday seasons I’ve experienced myself, along with wisdom offered by therapists and expert family advocates.

HANDLING THE HOLIDAYS INVOLVES MANAGING THE FOLLOWING

Difficult Decisions 

FAQ’s

If a Loved One is in active use do we include them in gatherings? This is a tough decision as relationships have often been fractured and trust destroyed.  In my experience it is best to go with what makes you feel most at peace.

What if their presence causes agitation in others? Not every one has understanding and compassion when it comes to the condition of addiction or excessive alcohol use.  There are occasions when decisions must be made for the greater good of a situation, such as shielding children from reckless or inappropriate behaviors.

Possibly stagger times and locations so that those who are at odds or children who need to be spared from potential flare ups, won’t encounter whomever you choose to spend time with.

Should we offer alcoholic beverages around someone pursuing sobriety? Those who are working on recovery are responsible to know their triggers.  However if they are going to be in a setting that involves alcohol, having a safe, honest conversation in order for them to prepare is helpful.  Out of respect, I personally don’t prefer settings that have alcohol around friends or family who have had struggles with substances.

What gifts do we give someone who has broken trust? Some great suggestions I have heard are giving things like a gym membership, recovery literature such as the Big Book of AA, framed pictures of them with family and friends during happy times, a wallet or change purse filled with names and resources should they decide to pursue treatment and recovery…and so on.

What if they are unable to buy gifts? People sometimes feel deep shame over not being able to buy for others if they are having financial problems.  Even being reassured, “We just want to give gifts to you, it doesn’t matter if you give us any!” sometimes doesn’t take away from the fact that they might feel less than for what they lack.  Awareness, compassion and mindfulness goes a long way when it comes to making everyone feel comfortable and included.

Note – Making these decisions comes down to what you are at peace with.  No one can tell us the right or wrong way to handle such sensitive subjects.  Nor will anyone else live with the outcome of your decisions.  It’s a learning process to be kind and loving, yet also careful and wise.

***

Nostalgia and Exaggerations

 

Memories can be blurry.  Believing holidays should be as they were growing up can be a trap.  Especially if we are more nostalgic than realistic.

Some of us remember childhood holidays as much grander than those who were shopping for gifts, preparing lavish meals and entertaining guests and in-laws experienced them.

When we were little, we were probably unaware of the problems, dysfunction or disappointment going on with the adults. We were usually sitting at the kids table.

It’s also worth mentioning that in the age of social media, sometimes we perceive the lives of others as appearing perfect.  Or at least, better than our own.

It’s important to remember, most folks post their highlight reel versus showcasing times that are miserable or mundane.

If we think back to the age of photo albums, it was really no different. Families gathered to pose as someone held the camera, the picture taker would instruct everyone to say “Cheese!” so all would appear smiling in the picture.

The message being that you are one big, smiling, happy family.

And which were the pictures we kept in albums and frames?  The ones that presented the best appearance of the family.

In lieu of shouting “cheese,” and appearing happy, families weren’t likely to say:

“Dad yells and becomes violent when he drinks”

“Mom takes too many pills”

“Brother gets in fist fights and bullies our Mom”

“Sister is angry, her moods poison the atmosphere”

“Aunt battles depression”

“Uncle has multiple affairs”

“Cousins look down their nose at us, but they have dark sides too”

“I’m scared, sad, afraid, confused, feeling left out, angry, alone.”

No one was normally saying out loud what they felt.  Most didn’t know how to advance out of family cycles of jealousy, conflict and dysfunction. So instead, together everyone said, “Cheese” and showed the world how a family appears.

That still rings true today.

While it’s true that not everyone had traumatic experiences, one thing is certain; no one has it easy, happy or great all the time. Everybody deals with something.

So don’t let your heart sink when you see how great others have it. It’s not healthy to compare.  Everyone goes through good and hard times alike.  Just not usually at the same time.

***

Expectations

 

 

We’re assaulted with high hopes during the holidays. The fact is, we are going to have expectations, it’s how fixed we are on specific outcomes that causes pain.

Expectations are human, it’s when they multiply and grow into obsessions consuming our thoughts that they become a problem.

 

***

Loneliness and sorrow  

Dark, heavy feelings are a part of life.  Though bitter and miserable at times, the waves of sorrow and pain are due to visit us all, especially in times of grief and loss.

Resistance to these feelings makes life harder.

Sometimes we have to lean in to the hard moments in order to get through them and move forward in breaths when it comes to suffering and deep grief.

Pain has taught me that the way out, is through.

***

HEALTHY WAYS TO HANDLE TOUGH HOLIDAY SITUATIONS

Move through these days moment by moment Whether it’s a situation, a setting or the entire holiday season.  Move through it a step at a time. During a particularly miserable time I was advised to “Do the next right thing for the next ten minutes, over and over again.” And that was exactly how I got through it.

Three hour rule A counselor told me when it pertains to uncomfortable settings within his own stressful family, he gives himself a set length of time to spend with them.  He gives all of his attention and personality to the setting in that frame of time, but leaves guilt free after three hours.  Sooner if chaos erupts.

Be your own advocate Be aware of your feelings and needs and tend to them. Give yourself an out if it becomes too difficult to be around those you don’t feel at ease with.  Pay attention to things like your heart sinking, and your energy darkening, etc. Honor those feelings within, they are cues that you feel off about something.  When things feel intense, if possible, step away to a quiet room or hallway and deeply breathe for two or three minutes and then return to the group. It’s also okay to leave if you prefer to return to the safety of your own space.  It’s not selfish to look out for yourself, it’s healthy.

Don’t lose heart! Things can change, in fact – they will.  Change is one of the only certainties of life. There’s a saying: “Nothing happens and nothing happens and nothing happens…and then everything happens.”  This is as true for crisis and chaos as it is for good news and breakthroughs. Seasons of life are radically impermanent. If this is a tough year, it can get better.  You never know what can happen in a day.

Look for signs of love and hope I love signs in nature, one of my favorites is a Cardinal sighting. The male Cardinal with his bright red coloring symbolizes that passion, warmth and vibrancy are available to us even in under the cloak of winter’s grey clouds.   Many believe when a Cardinal appears it’s a sign of comfort from someone they love who has died.

For all mourning a loss, may the Cardinal appear unexpected and bright in your dreariest moments.  A vibrant symbol of hope in the midst of a cold winter to serve as a reminder that your Loved One lives on.

For those enduring harsh circumstances, possibly hoping a Loved One will come to their senses, may the Cardinal appear to you as well, offering a sign of encouragement that no matter how desperate things may seem, they can change.

***

If things are difficult for you this year, remember this too shall pass…next year might exceed expectations and be a little easier.

If this year is a happier one, remember next year may be challenging.  Pay attention to those not doing so well, there are some who may need a boost of comfort or kindness.

Overall, let’s try to embrace what is, face what aches, hope for the best, cultivate compassion and kindness, and be grateful for all we see, or remember, that is loving and beautiful.

Hope lights the way.

“Do not lose hope, please believe that there are a thousand beautiful things waiting for you.  Sunshine comes to all who feel rain.” ~R.M. Drake

Seasons Greetings,

Annie

Author of Unhooked