Parenting as an Adult Child of Alcoholics – Episode 225

  • What challenges have you found, as an adult child of an alcoholic, in parenting your own children?
  • What program tools have you used, and how have they helped?
  • What is your biggest challenge now?

Several listeners shared their experience around these and similar questions.

Some challenges were

  • Not controlling.
  • Anger
  • Impatience
  • “Hurt people hurt people”

And some tools for better parenting include these:

  • Step 10 — apologize and make amends to our children.
    • Demonstrate humility and honesty — see it in the children
  • Tradition 11 — let it begin with me (attraction rather than promotion)
  • Tradition 1 — unity — guard against dominance — not about “me” but about the family
  • Tradition 2 — a trusted servant (a trustee) to the children — they have their own higher power
  • Tradition 4 — autonomy except where it affects others
  • Tradition 10 — no opinion on outside issues — let the child dress how she or he wants to dress
  • Tradition 7 — self supporting — allow children opportunity to be self supporting to build dignity, respect, responsibility.
  • Concepts of service — shared responsibility (co-parenting)
    • We love the presentation in the Reaching for Personal Freedom workbook, because it helps us understand how we can use the Traditions and Concepts in our own lives, in our families, and other relationships.
  • Step 11 — “I don’t own my children, God owns them” — need knowledge of God’s will.
  • Easy does it
  • How important is it?
  • Detaching with love.
    • “Don’t argue with alcoholics, toddlers, and terrorists.”
    • Let them express emotions without needing to change them
  • Sharing program with children.
  • “What am I hurt about?”
  • Pause — the “Al-Anon breath”

Our topic for next week is gratitude. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com to share something you are grateful for today.
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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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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.
Continue reading “Daddy’s Medicine – Brinn Black – Episode 200”