Adult Children of Alcoholics – Episode 203

Did you grow up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional family? How has this affected your life today? How can you recover from your childhood experiences?

The ACA or ACOA program was created in the 1970s by a group of Alateen members who needed a program that focused on recovery from their experiences growing up in alcoholic or dysfunctional families. It is a separate 12-step program similar to, but separate from Al-Anon. Emily joins Spencer to explore how ACA is different from but also works together with Al-Anon in her recovery.

Our conversation was guided by these questions.

  • What is ACA?
  • How is it different from Al-Anon?
    • The focus of Al-Anon is on adult issues or spousal drinking, vs childhood issues in ACA.
  • What is the “laundry list”? (http://www.adultchildren.org/lit-Laundry_List)
  • How is the first step of ACA different? (http://www.adultchildren.org/lit-Steps)
    • “We admitted we were powerless over the effects of alcoholism or other family dysfunction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”
    • Why is this important?
  • How do ACA meetings differ from Al-Anon meetings?
    • Inclusion
    • No crosstalk
  • How are they the same?
    • Common topics
  • How has ACA helped you recover?
  • What would you say to someone who is considering attending ACA?

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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Letting go of the Process – Episode 105 replay

Another busy weekend: Mothers Day and yard work.

I hope you enjoy this “retro” episode about Letting go of the Process with guest host Harriet, originally published in February, 2015.

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

Sam V. Open Talk – Episode 202

I really enjoyed this open talk by Sam V., who describes himself as “a man who thinks too much.”

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

In All Our Affairs – Episode 201

Step 12 says “… we tried … to practice these principles in all our affairs“. It’s easy to say but harder to do.

Al-Anon doesn’t do me much good if I pick and choose where I’m going to put it into practice. Program works best when I embrace it wholeheartedly: give up my excuses, rationalizations, justifications,
and work to make the principles a part of my daily, hourly, life. (…In All Our Affairs, Al-Anon Family Groups)

How do we take these things we talk about in here and try to learn from the meetings, and actually use / apply them to life, every day, in every way possible? Not just with our alcoholic or addicts, but with the line at the grocery store or the dreaded dmv, the person who insults or acts unkindly toward us, cuts us off in traffic, acts rudely or with hostility or anger, or takes advantage of us….?

I “carry” a “tool box” full of Alanon Slogans and sayings, and a spiritual canteen of positive past results experienced for times when I need refreshment or reminders of these results, in Life, not in the rooms. My tools are kept lubricated by prayer and meditation, calls to my sponsor and fellow members, reading, listening on phone meetings, participating in the program in various ways through service, attending meetings, and carrying the message to others by example and attraction.

Some things I do differently now:

  • Asking for help.
  • Taking responsibility for my actions. (Not blaming the cop for giving me a ticket.)
  • Saying “no”.
  • Doing my part and letting go of expectations of outcomes.
  • Pause before I react. Slogans “THINK”, “How important is it?” are helpful.
  • Using “neutral responses” such as “That’s Interesting”, “Let me think about that”, “I hear you”, “you don’t say”, “that’s one way to look at it”, or my favorite “Ah-Ha” or “Oh”

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

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Daddy’s Medicine – Brinn Black – Episode 200

Brinn Black is a singer and songwriter from Nashville. She wrote a song, Daddy’s Medicine, about her experience growing up with an alcoholic father. Our conversation with Brinn was guided by these questions:

Brinn, I have to say that the first few lines just grabbed my heart:

When you’re five you don’t know
there’s a stranger in your home
it’s quiet but it’s dangerous.
But a child’s heart can tell
the meaning of a yell

Although I did not grow up in a home with alcoholism, my children did. I saw their life from the outside, but not the inside.

What inspired you to write this song?

Can you tell us more about your experience as a child with an alcoholic father?

You have said “it tore your family apart” — did he, or the rest of you, leave because of the drinking?

I used to think that my love could conquer alcoholism. So I find the lyrics of the chorus particularly poignant:

How different my life would have been
if my love were stronger than
my Daddy’s medicine.

I believe that these lines express the wish and hope of every one of us who has experienced the pain of living with active alcoholism. How did you mean these lines when you wrote them?

How has this song helped you and your family to heal?

How has this song been received when you perform it?

Where do you find yourself in your journey to recovery from your childhood experience?

What has helped you in this struggle?

Many of my listeners are still living with the effects of alcoholism. What would you say to someone who grew up affected by alcoholism, and is still working to “get over it”?

Our topic for next week is “in all our affairs”. How do you use your recovery tools and principles in your daily life? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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