ACA Oregon Blog Posts
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The ACA Fellowship Text (Big Red Book) is now available as an e-book for the various electronic readers. Click Here for The Fellowship Book for Kindle on Amazon. Click Here for The Fellowship Book on Nook or Android related readers through Barnes and Noble.
A Note from the ACA World Service Organization:
Let us know how these electronic versions work for you using the Contact WSO form. …
Can’t make it to a meeting? Need Childcare? No Meeting in your area?
There are telephone meetings on the ACA World Service Organization website. Go to meetings at: http://www.allone.com/12/aca/ then under countries tab select TELEPHONE from among countries. Then click the NEXT button and it will take you to a long list of telephone meetings across the US. Scroll down for the list of meetings from Sunday to Saturday, most hours there is a meeting.
In addition to using the 12 steps as structure to recovery, below are listed some important items we will need to do to find our True Self.
1. Admitting that you are powerless to change your compulsive and addictive behaviours (co-dependency, alcoholism, drug or substance abuse, dysfunctional behaviour patterns) without some help.
2. Committing yourself to learning to identify the unresolved issues you learned from your family or origin.
3. Learning to recognize your family patterns as they occur in your present relationship.
4. Learning to feel and express completely the repressed and/or denied feelings from your childhood.
5. Developing a new understanding of what really happened to you as a child.
6. Developing new feelings connected to what happened to you as a child.
7. Learning to take responsibility for your new thoughts and feelings. This means taking charge of your life and no longer expecting someone else to do it.
8. Developing a new picture of your family of origin and your role in that family without feelings of hurt or condemnations.
9. Feeling compassion for your parents and for yourself as imperfect human beings.
10. Accepting your parents and yourself just the way that you and they are.
11. Forgiving your parents and yourself. This means to “give back” to them what is rightfully theirs and give back to yourself what is rightfully yours.
12. Restoring the wholeness of your mind, body and spirit through the connection with your true self.
Defenses We Use As Adult Children
or “The Ways We Avoid Our Feelings”
* Agreeing * Analyzing * Attacking, Aggression * Being Smug, Superior or Arrogant * Blaming, Accusing * Complying * Debating, Arguing * Defiance * Denying * Evading, Dodging * Explaining * Frowning * Glaring * Intellectualizing * Joking * Justifying, Moralizing * Minimizing * Projecting * Questioning or Interrogating * Rationalizing * Sarcasm * Shouting, Intimidating * Silence * Sparring * Staring * Switching * Theorizing * Threatening * Verbalizing, Talking * Withdrawing * Grinning, Smiling, or “Laughing Off” feelings * Preaching/Lecturing, e.g. saying “You” (what you need to do, etc.), instead of “I” * Quibbling, “Yes, but…”
A recovery Plan is a plan for getting better, not just hoping it will happen. It is something you can measure your progress against or fall back on when you feel stuck. Are you following your plan? Do you need to tweak it? Is it realistic?
However you decide to design a recovery plan, remember, it is not something to beat yourself up about for not following it exactly. It is to be used as a reminder of where you are striving to go. Check it at least once a week and see if you have been following it. If not, make a note on areas you need to concentrate. The idea of a recovery plan is to set a path of recovery so you can achieve it faster. It is being pro-active in that you are not waiting for the Recovery Fairy to tap you on the head with a wand and say “You are Cured.”
Below is an example of a Recovery Plan. The column on the right deals with current recovery issues you may want to concentrate on. As you go along, you may remove some and add others. The What and When columns are things you strive to do on a daily or weekly basis to be asurred you are working the program.
For More on Recovery Plans, check out Stage II Recovery, Life Beyond Addiction by Ernie Larsen.
What: When Recovery Issue
Meet with Sponsor/Fellow Traveler Once a Week My Feelings/Grief
Join a Step Group and Work Steps Twice a Month
Meditation by Nun Sue 1 times a Week Find Balance/ No Shoulds
Adult Children/What’s Normal Once a Week
The ACA Fellowship Text Nightly Work on Being Disciplined
Read for Pleasure Twice a Week
Meetings Four Times A Week Positive Action
ACA Monday 7-8/ or Sat Meet
ACA Wednesday 6:30-8 Practice Affirmations
ACOA Thursday 6:00-7:30 / or
Alanon Friday 7:30-9:00 Pray for Awareness
Spiritual Daily ___________
Meditate 5 times a week Work Steps 1,2,3
Something for Me/Play Twice a Week
Date with wife Once A Week
My Hobby Twice A Week
Physical Activities to Fight Depression or Get In Shape
Diet/ Drink More Water Daily
Exercise/ Walking Three times a Week
Journal At Least Twice A Week
About Issues That puzzle me
With My Inner child
* Remember that you will only get out of this experience what you put into it. Attendance is not enough. You must make the effort to practice what you learn so that you can change.
* Open yourself to the possibility there’s a better way than what you’ve been doing all your life.
* Promise yourself you’ll try some of the suggestions you hear and keep that promise.
* Make a commitment to keep coming back, even if you don’t feel like it. Six weeks is minimal to determine if the group is for you.
* Stop holding back for fear of what others will think of you.
* Try to make at least one phone call a week to a member of the group. Break the pattern of suffering in silence.
* Share something every week, even if it’s hard for you to do so. This will help dissolve isolation and victim consciousness as well as build trust.
* Try to feel at home in the group. Talk to at least one new person every time you can.
* Remember that you are here to build new behaviours and attitudes. So quit practicing the old ones (at least in small ways, until you are stronger).
* Listen to what others in the group say and think of how it relates to you. Every person in the room represents an aspect of you. Learn from them.
* Give yourself permission to be vulnerable.
* Read all the books and literature about adult children of alcoholics that you can find. Knowledge is power and the truth will make you free.
* Make the group a priority in your life. Schedule other things around it because you deserve a better life and are willing to work for it.
* Be willing to be totally honest with yourself at all times. This is the key to knowing that the truth will set you free.
* Read the 12 steps every day and try to relate them to your life and experience. Use the Serenity Prayer in the same way…wherever you are and whenever you need it.
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.
DO YOU HAVE AN AFFIRMATION? POSTING A COMMENT IS EASY. CLICK THE CURSOR INSIDE THE COMMENT BOX, TYPE YOUR AFFIRMATION, AND CLICK ON THE POST COMMENT BUTTON BELOW THE BOX. ITS ANONYMOUS SO DON’T POST YOUR NAME.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Use the form below to ask questions or to comment on specific posts. Please indicate which post you are referencing.
If your inquiry is of a more general nature, email us directly: email@example.com