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Here is a document for feeling feelings.   Source: Daily Affirmations For Adult Children of Alcoholics, Rokelle Lerner, Health Communications, 1985. p.361.

 There is a distinct difference between feelings and thoughts. Typically, Adult Children are unfamiliar with words that describe feelings. In dysfunctional families feelings are not allowed. As children we learned don’t talk, don’t trust, and don’t feel, so feeling, trusting and talking become the healing process for us. We allow ACA meetings to come from our feelings rather than from our control because alcoholism and codependency are diseases of denial and control. Below is a list of “feeling” words.

My Feelings Are Worth My “Attention”

 Today I have a choice in how to deal with my feelings. My emotions are visitors that stay forever unless I talk them out or work them out. Otherwise, I will inevitably act them out. When I suppress my feelings, they often show up in the form of phobias, compulsions or physical ailments.

 Through the day, I will pay attention to how my body responds to feelings. If my throat is tight, perhaps I am angry. If my chest is heavy, perhaps I am sad. My body can give me much information if I don’t disconnect from my physiological responses. If I have alienated myself from my emotions, today is the day I will welcome them and allow them to pass.

 I realize now that my feelings are interrelated; when I can deny my sadness or pain, I can just as easily deny my joy and pleasure. When I unconsciously act out repressed emotions, I become out of touch with my own life. Today I will remember that from my feelings blossoms vulnerability, sensitivity, and healing.

Guidelines For Expressing Feelings:

    1. Expressing feelings begins with “I…” keeping the focus on me.

   2. Formula: “I feel ____ (adjective follows: happy, sad, embarrassed, elated, etc.) about…”

   3. Feelings are neither right nor wrong, good nor bad, they just are.

   4. Saying, “I feel THAT…,” is NOT expressing a feeling.

   5. If I can substitute “I think” for “I feel,” then I am expressing a thought.

Feeling Words:  angry, enraged, loved, exhausted, happy, sorry, generous, heavenly, sympathetic, grief stricken, afraid, bewildered, refreshed, inspired, discouraged, humble, frigid, abused, pensive, blah, romantic, taut, foolish, low, edgy, giddy, unglued, elated, pooped, groovy, privileged, distant, submissive, quiet, cooperative, uncertain, seductive, safe, panicky, confident, merry, rejected, paralyzed, stretched, affectionate, proud,enthusiastic, burdened, tearful, confused, important, bored, sexual, dishonest, ugly, heroic, wimpy, hopeless, miserable, apprehensive, seething, blocked, thankful, compassionate, at ease,  irritated, frustrated, loving, joyful, grateful, humiliated, scared, hot, powerless, disorganized, jealous, frightened, dependent, grief-stricken, weepy, resentful, depressed, worried, puzzled, relieved, anxious, tired, sad, thankful, playful, hurt, stagnated, disappointed.

Following are prayers and affirmations shared one ACA Member developed for dealing with Laundry List Behaviors. Do you have a favorite affirmation or prayer you use and would like to share with others? At the bottom of list you may add your affirmation in the comments section anonymously. It will be approved and added to the string in the comment section. Allow up to 24 hours for approval by the moderator.

  • Inner Critique: I am doing the best I can with the awareness I have today. (Or) I did the best I could with the awareness I had then. I have a new awareness today and in six months I will have a different awareness and I will be doing the best I can with that awareness.

  • Self Criticism: When I judge or criticize others, I am rehearsing/practicing to judge and criticize myself.

  • Judging others:  They are doing the best they can with the awareness they have today too.

  • Mind Racing: I do this because it feels comfortable/ it’s something I grew up with. It also gives me a shame hit.  The other payoff is, it takes me out of the present so I don’t have to deal with my feelings or present issues. God please take this behavior from me. It hurts too much and I don’t want to do it anymore.

  • Control:  The only person I have control over is myself. I truly have no control over others. The only thing I can do is to model my new behavior for others.

  • When I attempt to control my adult children’s actions or take care of them, I am not allowing them to grow and move on with their adult life. I am being selfish.

  • Codependency: Am I doing it to truly help someone, or is there a payoff for me and my ego.

  • Expectations are a resentment waiting to happen. I can have no expectations of another person except to act as themselves. And if I don’t express/verbalize my needs I can’t expect others to read my mind or meet my needs.

  • Reacting: When I react to others, I give my power over to them. I want to keep my power. God please give me the awareness not to react to others, nor to read their minds.

  • Fixing Others in Recovery: Everyone has to travel their own path, and I can’t tell them how to do it. When I focus on others, I avoid working on my own recovery.

  • Feeling stuck in Recovery: 1. Am I attending enough meetings? 2. Am I reading the ACA text and other literature? 3. Am I actively working the steps? 4. Am I talking to my higher power and asking for awareness? (Problem is usually one or all of the above)

  • Finding Humility: Try praying on your knees to God or your higher power every day for 30 days to remind yourself to be humble and who really is powerless. God you are strong and I am weak. Please help me, or lend me some of your strength.

  • Awareness: God Please take a special Interest in my recovery. Give me awareness on my issue, willingness to see where you guide me and the courage to act on it. Please be by my side reminding me I am not alone or abandoned as you are with me.

  • Am I a Victim or a Volunteer? Am I a victim or a volunteer when the world seems to be closing in on me?  Am I playing out the victim role from my childhood or is some one really victimizing me. God, Please take my victimization script and remind me I have a choice and I can be happy if I am in the present and not feeling sorry for myself.


The new ACA Oregon Webpage now has a Meditation Page. You can write a meditation and have it posted anonymously on our webpage or follow the directions to write a meditation for the up and coming ACA Meditation Book. All details are on the ACA Oregon web page.

The ACA World Service Organization suggests entries of between 150 and 200 words. You can go a bit longer if submitting for the ACA Oregon webpage, up to 300 words.

To submit a meditation for ACA Oregon, follow the guidelines on our webpage and send your creative effort to Submissions will be edited for spelling and adherence to the ACA traditions.

Anyone can share from a newcomer describing what brings them to ACA to someone who has been in the program for several years. The goal here is to provide a forum for people to help other people get through the day.

Although the web link is called Today’s Meditation, it likely will be a weekly meditation unless we are deluged with submissions.

Like the new webpage? Tell a friend to check it out or announce it in meetings.


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