Fragmented to Whole: Life Lessons from 12 Step Recovery

Fragmented to Whole: Life Lessons from 12 Step Recovery

This is the podcast "Fragmented to Whole: Life Lessons from 12 Step Recovery." It will help people who want to heal to move from fragmented to whole.

Hi, I'm Barb! I share my experience, strength and hope from 12 step recovery in each episode. They're all 20 minutes or less. Unlike most recovery podcasts where you hear a person's whole story, in this one each episode is about a specific topic.

There are many life lessons from 12 step recovery that are applicable to those in and outside of recovery. This podcast brings some of those lessons to the airwaves, including such topics as learning acceptance, recognizing and overcoming victim mentality and establishing healthy boundaries.

To find out more about me and my practice, visit us at

Recent Episodes

Oct. 19, 2021

**Video Episode** Guest Episode: Robin from Workit Health | Episode 1…

Robin shares about her trauma background, continual relapses from polysubstance use and how those led to the creation of Workit H…

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Oct. 11, 2021

Why People Get Offended When You Set Boundaries with Them | Episode 1…

People who don't have healthy boundaries often get upset or offended when others set boundaries with them.

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Oct. 4, 2021

Are You a Peach or a Pear? Not Everyone Is Going to Like You | Episod…

Not everyone likes peaches, and maybe you're a peach and that's why not everyone likes you!

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About the Host

Barb Nangle Profile Photo

Barb Nangle


Hi, I’m Barb, founder of Higher Power Coaching and Consulting and Host of the Podcast, "Fragmented to Whole: Life Lessons from 12 Step Recovery"
I coach adults who want to change their behavior patterns but don't know how. My ideal clients usually have dissatisfying relationships, they self-sabotage and also bend over backward for others (even if it’s to their own detriment).

I'll help you improve your relationships, starting with your relationship with yourself, so you feel comfortable in your own skin. The bottom line – I can help you change your entrenched patterns so you can have a stable, peaceful and satisfying life. I'm especially gifted at helping people build better boundaries.

I tried making changes in my life for decades, including through therapy, tons of self-help books, workshops, workbooks, retreats, spiritual work – you name it! I was finally able to get to the root of my problems and change my life (radically) through the process of 12-step recovery.

I know recovery is not for everyone, and that’s not what I provide. But I do use a number of tools I learned in recovery to help my clients. I’m partial to working with other 12 steppers (since you’re my people!!) but I’ll work with anyone who’s ready and willing to change.

I've transformed my life repeatedly - financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically and professionally, so I know what it takes to transform your life! What you see in these pictures is just the outward manifestation of the inner changes that have taken place in my life. I absolutely love motivating and helping others to become better versions of themselves, just as I have repeatedly become better versions of myself.

If you want to know the details (and I mean details) about my transformations, either read the reeeeeeally long bulleted list below or listen to my podcast episode where I tell my story in brief.

I'll help you recognize and change your dysfunctional patterns, as well as recognize and use your strengths and talents. If you're an addict, grew up in a dysfunctional family, or are codependent, chances are you grew up thinking you weren't worth very much, or that you didn't have strengths that are valuable. I can help you figure out where your strengths lie (because you do have them!) and how to tap into them and apply the tools of recovery to the rest of your life.

Alternatively, you may have grown up under such circumstances but landed on the other side of the coin - where you think you're great and have all the answers and people should listen to you because you know "The Right Way" things should be done. If that's not working for you, I can help with that too.

I’m also really good at helping people to set up systems and processes so that they have some consistency and predictability. And I’m a connector - it’s what I do, I can’t help myself! I love connecting people to other people, organizations, resources or ideas.

One last (very important) thing. I don't speak for or endorse any particular 12 step program of recovery. Though I'm a huge fan of 12 step recovery, and a member of two 12 step fellowships, I cannot speak them. Take what you want and leave the rest.

Here's that reeeeely long bulleted list I mentioned above...

I can tell the truth about what I really think and feel without fearing what other people think of me (i.e., I care more what I think of me than what others think of me). I was once told that “it’s none of your business what other people think of you” and for years I had no idea how to understand that. Then I heard the other half of that saying, “…what is your business is what you think of you.” That really helped me understand why it’s none of my business what others thing of me.
I don’t feel like I have to have an answer for everything.
I don’t feel like I have to respond immediately to people (or maybe not even at all!).
I am able to say things like, “This is not working for me.”
I am able to hand over anxiety, tension, agitation, worry, etc. to my Higher Power and actually have it removed.
I am able to reach out for help. And accept it! This includes reaching out to my Higher Power, which I never used to do.
I am able to tell the truth and not be manipulative by managing information or being helpful so I can get my way.
I am much more able to be vulnerable with people, and to be discerning about who is safe to be vulnerable with.
I am able to place trust in people who are trustworthy.
I no longer blame those who are untrustworthy for violating my trust in them. I realize now it was my fault for trusting them in the first place! Now if something like that happens, I think, “I was stung by the scorpion again!” I don’t blame them. If you don’t know The Parable of the Frog and the Scorpion it’s this: A scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, they would both drown. Considering this, the frog agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When the frog asks the scorpion why, the scorpion replies that it was in its nature to do so.
I can share my opinion without being attached to the outcome.
I feel whole, no longer fragmented – though this is something that was outside my awareness previously. I didn’t know I was fragmented until I became whole with boundaries (whole things have boundaries around them!).
I feel a sense of peace and serenity most of the time, which I previously didn’t know were missing. When I don’t feel them, I have tools for how to get back to that. I no longer feel the need to turn to outside substances for a sense of comfort, pleasure and ease.
Though I get disturbed regularly (after all, I’m a human), it’s short-lived because I have tools and I understand my part in things. I no longer blame others when I’m disturbed (“…if I am disturbed, there is something wrong with me”). That doesn’t mean others have done nothing wrong, it simply means that if I want to be undisturbed, it’s up to me to find a way to get to that.
My ups and downs are nowhere near as high or low, and are much fewer and farther between.
I don’t feel threatened or fearful about things I used to feel threatened or fearful about (e.g., authority figures, what others thought of me).
I believe the universe can get along without me being in charge!
I believe other people’s business is not mine.
I believe knowing my part in things has given me to power to change my thoughts, actions and beliefs and has improved my internal life profoundly, and has improved my relationships.
I can be around sweets and not feel the “pull” I used to feel to consume them.
I am much more tolerant of people and the world around me (e.g., I don’t get pissed off in traffic anymore, I just slow down or speed up or swerve as necessary). This means I don’t carry tension 24 hours a day, 365 days a year as I did for the first 52 years of my life.
I have much better boundaries than I ever had before which means that other people’s shit doesn’t leak into my territory. I’m much more clear about what’s mine and not mine, including what’s my business and not my business, and what I like and don’t like. Since I’m focused on me, I don’t feel the need to control things outside my boundary (which didn’t used to exist!). This means I don’t butt into other people’s business, and I don’t give unsolicited advice which I used to do constantly.
I understand that just because I’m curious about something, I don’t get to have my curiosity satisfied, particularly if it has something to do with someone else and their story. If they want me to know, they will tell me.
I’ve learned many of the ways I’ve contributed to the dysfunction of my life and several of them have been removed. For example, I rarely (if ever) feel the need to force my way onto things and people now; I rarely give unsolicited advice anymore, now I either ask if I can share my experience or my thoughts or I couch my advice with something like, “It’s just an idea, it may or may not work for you” or “I’ve seen this work for others” (I typically do this if I’ve realized mid-sentence that I’m launching into unsolicited advice as a way to cushion the blow).
I learned that, if I’ve been heard, I don’t need to have my way, which I used to feel. And I’m much, much better at saying what’s really on my mind, which greatly increases my chances of being heard!
I don’t feel threatened or like I have to have answers or be something I’m not (like perfect) the way I used to.
I’m much more open than I used to be. I honestly thought I was open before, but now that I am I feel the difference, especially in my chest – there is no tension there like their used to be (but
I didn’t know it was there until it was gone).
I don’t live with a sense of urgency 24 hours a day, 365 days a year like I used to.
I PAUSE when I’m disturbed or don’t know what to say or do. This allows my Higher Power to enter the situation. It also allows me to use my thinking brain (rather than my lizard brain which is a reactor, rather than an actor) and to reach out to others if necessary.
I turn my will and my life over to my Higher Power (who I choose to call God) all the time instead of using my will and it’s an enormous relief for me to know I’m not in charge! I don’t have to be in charge!
I admit when I’m wrong, which I really wasn’t capable of in the past. I can also say, “I don’t know” and not feel threatened or full of shame.
I don’t feel the need to isolate like I used to, so I reach out to others, connect with others multiple times/day. This has helped me to create true intimacy with others, something I never had previously.
I understand that we are all flawed and that’s okay, which makes me willing to be vulnerable to others – this has played the greatest role in the creation of intimacy in my life. Someone told me that we are “flawsome” (i.e., when you