We are taking some time off for the holidays. In the meantime, enjoy a Best Of Recovered Episode featuring Anna from Dawn Fam's Spera, their Detox Center.
We are about the solution here at the Recovered Podcast. So we are going to talk about sleeping tips.
What has been your experience with sleep in early recovery
some of the things that have helped
some of the things that have not helped
What is your experience?
12 Sleeping Tips for Early Recovery
1. Create a good sleeping environment, e.g., bed comfort, quietness,
darkness, comfortable temperature, and ventilation
2. Consider a white noise generator if there is a problem with noise in the
3. Set a consistent time period for going to bed and getting up, including on
4. Avoid daytime naps
5. Eliminate or reduce caffeine intake (particularly after 3 pm)
6. Get exercise early in the day, but avoid exercise in the evening
7. Keep a sleep diary by your bed, noting sleep patterns, troublesome
thoughts, dreams, etc. and discuss troublesome dreams with your counselor,
sponsor or others in recovery.
8. Learn and utilized relaxation techniques, e.g., progressive relaxation,
visualization, breathing exercises; use recovery prayers and self-talk
(slogans) as an aid in getting to sleep.
9. Minimize activities other than sleeping in your bed, e.g., eating, working,
watching television, reading, etc.
10. Avoid large, late meals; have a light snack before bedtime—some that
can actually aid sleep, e.g., small turkey sandwich, warm milk, a banana, a
cup of hot chamomile tea
11. Create a consistent bedtime routine and stick with it.
12. If you can’t get to sleep within 30 minutes, get out of bed and do
something relaxing in low light until you feel sleepy.
1. Where does serenity show up in your life? How do you know you have it? Is it important? Why? Peace shows up inour hearts. Tranquility is the quiet within that gives us access to our higher selves. By tapping into the quiet of our hearts, we experience space, flow and possibility - core ingredients that help us to live peacefully.
Other places that peace shows up is in our physical space, our relationships and in our spirituality. We find peace in the purpose of our lives and we experience peace in our careers. Additionally, we experience peace in our families and in our communities. We find peace in our communication and in who and how we are.
2. Is serenity the absence of conflict, or is it a state of mind (and being) unto itself? If peace and serenity is some-thing more than the absence of conflict, what is it? What are the core ingredients of peace? What qualities help to generate peace -- both internal tranquility as well as peace between adversaries?
3. Is serenity maintainable over time? If our lives are in a constant state of flux and forward momentum, how do we maintain our composure and equilibrium? How does one live from one's center when there are constant obstacles coming our way and which serve to keep us off balance, and which destabilize us? How does one live in tranquility when flux is all around?
4. Is it possible to orient one's self and life around the quality of serenity? That is, can you situate your life to maximize your serenity? How do you do this? If so, what commitment would you need to make in order to do so? What would this look like? How would your life look or be different?
5. What is your experience of serenity? When was the last time you paid attention to peace and tranquility, and your experience of it? What's not conscious is often elusive. Focus on the quality and the role of peace in your life in order to increase it.
6. What elements contribute to the creation of continued peace and tranquility? If we understand what contributes to the creation of peace and tranquility, we'll be better equipped to generate it in the future. We'll be able to summon the creation of peace through conscious thought and action.
7. Is peace quantifiable? We count the wars between nations, but do we count or appreciate the days of peace? We name and count our adversaries, but take for granted our friends and loved ones. How do we quantify something we all too often take for granted?
8. What does inner serenity provide us access to? If peace is the gateway to a higher state of being, such as love, compassion and gratitude, how can we harness the power of peace and utilize it for the betterment of our lives? If peace provides us access to choice, opportunities and possibility, how can we build upon the foundational elements that generate growth built upon peace? What DOES peace provide us access to?
9. Does tranquility live anywhere but the present? We might build upon the past and we might use our vision for the future as a source of inspiration, but tranquility exists only in the present moment. Understand this profound but simple concept and transformation becomes possible! Each moment becomes a new opportunity to create peace and harmony.
10. Can peace and tranquility live without compassion? Compassion is an underlying tenet of peace. "Compassion is the sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it." (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) While our motivation to seek peace might not always emerge from compassion, compassion is required for peace to hold.
In the United States, on the 4th Thursday of November, we have a national holiday called Thanksgiving. It’s a time that we take the opportunity to gather with friends and family and celebrate the things we are thankful for. So this episode is also set aside to talk about the things that we are thankful for.
We also want to acknowledge that this can be the most difficult time of year for us alcoholics and al-anons. So we'd like to practice our program with one of our basic recovery tools, the gratitude list.
To kick off the show, let’s take a look at what our listeners are grateful for. We asked the question, “What difficulties can you be grateful for?
What thoughts do you have about being able to look at past difficulties as blessings in disguise?
We have some audio from our listeners on this topic of gratitude.
Kevin P Interview
thoughts and comments
thoughts and comments
Let’s turn our discussions to you our hosts. Let’s start this discussion with people in our lives
1. Who do you appreciate? How has recovery affected your attitude toward the people in your lives?
2. How are you fortunate? How has recovery played a part in your ability to be grateful about your circumstances?
3. What material possessions are you thankful for?
4. What abilities do you have that you are grateful for?
5. What about your surroundings (home/neighborhood/city/etc.) are you thankful for?
6. What experiences have you had that you are grateful for?
7. What happened today/yesterday/this week/this month/this year that you are grateful for?
8. What opportunities do you have that you are thankful for?
9. What have others in your life done that you are thankful for?
10. What have others done that you are benefiting from in your life (even if you don't know who those people are)?
11. What relationships are you thankful for?
12. What are you taking for granted that, if you stop to think about it, you are grateful for?
13. What is there about the challenges/difficulties you have experienced (or are currently experiencing) that you can be thankful for? (e.g., What have you learned? How have you grown?)
14. What is different today than it was a year ago that you are thankful for?
15. What insights have you gained that you are grateful for?
How do you maintain your recovery program when away from your home group. Whether it be vacation, away to school, or on business trips, what do you do to stay in touch with recovering people when you are separated from your immediate community?
First, what did you used to do when on the road before the program?
What do you do now?
How do you find meetings?
What was your experience at these meetings?
Describe the best
Describe the worst
Phone calls Prayer?
Call sponsor? How do you do it?
Call friends? Any different than at home?
other What sites
Listen to Other?
last week we attended the Traverse City Fall Round Up. Which is a regional AA conference. I spoke on Sunday and gave my Open Talk with an emphasis on my spiritual journey.
Following our reflections, we will play an episode we participated in with The Recovery Show. We all watched the movie Days of Wine and Roses and then we recorded an episode on our reaction to this movie about alcoholics, recovery, and relapse.
But Anna, let’s first talk about Traverse City
You initial thoughts?
What talks did you attend?
John and Cindy
Dinner with john and Cindy
Lunch at Traverse City Pie
Family Afterward - Dan and Andrea
Interview with Ryan
Walk downtown in the cold
Breakfast with Jodie and Mary D.
Cottage at Cross Village
Would you do this again
How about Danville in the Spring?
Suicide survivors support group
victims range from 14 to 35
time since death ranges from 30 years to 3 months
just like AA, there is no other place where you can talk about these feelings
14 year old
iraq war vet
the question of why
why didn’t I see it
haunted by the thought that I could have prevented this disaster
been working in Toronto
commuting back and forth with my co-worker
he’s a faithful muslim
from northern africa
with a green card
and french nationality
try to explain this gracefully to TSA when trying to cross the border
I’m always terrified when I try to re enter the USA
I just imagine getting my car searched
Now we are going to play an episode we participated in from The Recovery Show….
This is the Open Talk I =gave on Novemner 3, 2013. My talk was supposed to be the Spiritual Talk, but when I opened my discussion with an F-Bomb, I guess that ended that.
The Traverse City Fall Round Up was an awesome expereicne for both me and my wife Anna. We met so many kind and wonderful people who treated us like we were special. John and Cindy spoke on Friday night and they have been on the speaker circuit for some time and know all the big names in AA. John was very generous in his advice to me, John told me to just go out and have some fun.
Mary D spoke on Saturday nght and she is a dynamic and funny person. Her story and our story intersect at the place called tragedy. We will forever be connected by these traagic events that are sure to happen to those of us who love addicts and alcoholics.
Dan F. and Andrea are friends from our home group. We didn't know that they were conducteing a pannel discussion. They shared their experience strength and hope in regards to The Family Afterward. Andrea, an AlAnon and Dan the alcoholic also shared from the heart and won teh crown over with their wit and charm. We hung out with these two for the rest of the weekend and we had a ball.
Thank you so much for contributing to The Recovered Podcast. Contributions you make allow us to share the story of hope to a world that desperately needs it.
Taking positive steps in the recovery process. Since alcoholism affects body, mind, and spirit, action in all these areas are probably necessary to restore the mind, body, and spirit.
Some examples are:
Meditation or other relaxation techniques
Devoting time to other people
Reading inspirational material
Helping other people
Learning new things
Attending fellowship meetings
Spending time in nature
Eating healthy food
Devoting time to listening to family
What has been your experience?
What activities did you do most before the program?
What actions did you do most often in early recovery?
How about now?
Is there a difference between now and early in recovery? Why?
How do you stay committed to positive actions such as exercise? Examples may include setting goals, schedule activity on calendar, charting progress/taking notes.
It is a good idea if people tie their daily positive action to an overall goal. So for example they might decide that their aim is to become a less selfish person, and so they can do things each day to bring them nearer to this goal.
Create a schedule where they write down the positive actions they plan to take and when they are going to take them. It may sometimes be necessary to adjust these schedules so it is best to view them as a tool and not become a slave to them.
Journaling at the end of the day is important because it gives the individual the chance to reflect on the positive action they have taken that day. This way the person can track their progress and ensure that their actions are taking them in a direction they want to go.
Another important reason for why journaling is important is that it keeps people motivated. Progress tends to occur slowly that it is easy for people to miss it – by looking back on a journal the individual will be able to see how much of a difference their daily positive actions have made to their life.
If people have some type of routine it usually makes it easier to commit to daily positive action.
My name is Mark and I’m an alcoholic. My sobriety date is March 17, 2003, my home group is Canton Candlelight, my sponsor’s name is ???, and my wife’s name is ????….but what the hell. That’s not why I’m here. I’m here because I heard a long time ago that this group was alive and well, and that there were many young people in recovery at this meeting and that they were excited about recovery. That’s why I’m here. I was taken to my first AA meeting by a sixteen year old heroin addict. He saved my life. So if you’re new and you don’t think that you know enough about recovery to make a difference in anybody’s life. I’m here to tell you as living proof, you can make a difference3. You don’t have to believe this, but you do have to believe that I believe that you can make a difference. You can save a life, if you try. You don’t have to do it perfectly, but you do have to try.
Last week I came into this meeting down and depressed. Kevin came up to me and asked me how I am. I thought to myself, perfect, I can finally unload on somebody. I told Kevin that it was a bad day and that I was really down. He said, huh, I know, why you don’t lead this meeting next week. Kevin, do you remember what I said? I said what the fuck. Don’t you see I’m dying here? But Kevin was right. You people are always right. I sat down and started to think about my recovery and what I wanted to say to you. You see, I stopped thinking about me and I started to think about you, and I felt better. So you see, Kevin was right. He had the solution. I just didn’t know it at the time.
Like I told you, I have a fondness for the young person in recovery. That 16 year old heroin addict I told you about, that addict was my son. He saved my life. Where there is recovery there is hope. And so I’m a man of hope. Even though Andrew struggled in sobriety, we were so alike. We supported each other in recovery. His home group and mine were the same and our home group met every night. The 12 steps guidance group meets every night at 11:30 pm at the Northwest Alano Club in Wayne Michigan. So for a while there we went to meetings together every night. I would drive and Andrew would tell jokes or he would tell me hilarious stories about what you young people do in recovery. Yes, Andrew was a great support in my recovery. When the PC Alano club opened up in Canton Michigan in the summer of 2008, Andrew supported me in starting my current home group, Canton Candlelight. Lives are being changed there and lives are being restored. This all happened because of Andrew and his encouragement of starting this new meeting.
In the fall of 2007, I started a recovery podcast. I would talk about a recovery topic and record it. Everybody thought I was crazy. But not Andrew. Andrew gave me constructive criticism. Andrew encouraged me and he assured me that I had something going on here… that people would listen if I would keep it up and get better. And so I did. I took his suggestions, made changes but most of all, just kept doing the podcast no matter what. Because of Andrew, the message of hope goes out every week and we get about 20,000 downloads every month. Lives are being changed because of Andrew. I know this because the listeners tell us every week.
Andrew took me to my first meeting and it stuck. I stayed in the program and things got better. Andrew, not so much. When he worked a program, things got better, when he relapsed, things got worse. But through the fellowship of the program he had much success. He graduated from high school, this is a miracle. Andrew graduated from college and earned a degree in business and this is a miracle. So even though relapse haunted Andrew so did recovery at times which allowed him to achieve things beyond his dreams. Andrew moved to Florida to start a career. He got promoted and was working directly for the CFO of a major corporation in Tampa Florida.
I worried about Andrew every day. I was upstairs at alanon every week learning about detachment about letting go. I prayed every night that God would protect Andrew that AA would support Andrew. That Andrew would be surrounded by people who would support and love him. Like you all did when he was here in Michigan.
I thought Andrew was on his way. I trusted God and let go. But our disease is patient, cunning baffling powerful. In the spring of 2012, Andrew pick up again. On July 2, 2012 Andrew took his own life. My life can never be the same. I was crushed, depressed, and ANGRY. I was angry at God. I was angry at alanon. I was angry at AA. I did everything right. I did exactly what those people told me to do upstairs, and the result was exactly what I feared. What about AA in Florida, where were they? Andrew was dead and there was nothing I could do. I am haunted by the thought that I could have prevented this terrible disaster. But I don’t know. I will never know.
Three weeks after Andrew’s death, we had to go to Florida to gather Andrew’s things. I was afraid to meet all the people I was so angry with. But you know what we found out? Andrew was surrounded by people who loved him and supported him. Andrew had been surrounded by AA to support him in recovery. My prayers were answered and God was present in his life. Andrew chose the tragic path.
This affects every aspect of my life. I felt just like the new guy. Sick, confused, hurt, hopeless….so I did what every new comer should do. I went to a ton of meetings. I went there and poured out my heart. And the miracle happened. You listened. You didn’t claim to have the answers, you don’t. You didn’t tell me what to do, you were simply present. I wasn’t alone, and this was enough. This was enough to get me through the day.
But you did give suggestions. You told me I was vulnerable, just as vulnerable as the new guys. I was told to take care of myself. Watch what I eat. Get plenty of sleep. Exercise and take care of the other suicide survivors in the family. We are all hurting. But we are all in recovery. Where there is recovery, there is hope.
And then there’s the spiritual component of grief in recovery. So we got a spiritual director to help us navigate this. I told him about my anger towards God for these events. Our spiritual director told us that we were right, it’s not fair and this is just awful. He told us that God’s plan A was to have Andrew live a long and happy life. But that’s not what happened. And so there’s plan b and plan that could be even better than plan A if we participated. We had choices. We could either sink into depression and despair and the story of Andrew would die too. Or we could decide to make meaning of the life that was given us. That we could honor those things that Andrew honored.
So through the podcast we organized a fund raiser for an organization Andrew supported. Because of Andrew, we raised enough money to make recovery a possibility to about 6 people. The story of Andrew has not died. It continues on.
If you’re new and you don’t think recovery will work for you, I’m here to tell you that it can work for you. This room is full of people who thought exactly that. They thought they were hopeless. That they had a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. But in this room, you can find hope; you can find a fellowship that will help. You will find a solution that has 12 steps, and this is our great news for you, if you want it. The choice is yours.
So if you’re new, here are a few suggestions. Abandon yourself to god and admit your faults. Clear away the wreckage of the past and give freely.