This review is about: The Complete ACOA Sourcebook: Adult Children of Alcoholics at Home, at Work and in Love (Paperback)
Adult Children of Alcoholics are the same as we are at home, at work and in love.
We are a breed of our own with many stumbles along the road to reality. I often wondered why I could start so many projects and yet abandon them long before completion, and why I never understood what normal was, taking myself and life too seriously and struggling to find appropriate levels of intimacy in all of my relationships.
"Today I will surround myself with people who value my own worth as well as their own. Even though others might not express their appreciations, still I know that the world was created for my sake too. What more personal assurance of my own belonging to the universe can I find than the fact that a divine power has placed me here and arrayed all the bounty and the beauty of the world here before me.
I feel appreciated today, not just for what I do, but for who I am. I acknowledge my abilities and talents, as well as the special essence that is me.
Today I leave behind the competitive "you" or "me" from the past. Each of us has a special place in the universe. Knowing this, I can appreciate my friends and colleagues for all that they do and all that they are. Another person's success or achievement does not diminish my own.
This day I am part of the wonderful exchange of appreciation that makes each person feel needed, wanted and important."
It really is true that in the end the race is only with ourselves and its totally useless to compare ourselves with any one else. Every person heals at a different rate and though the pain is similar the individual ways we are wounded are just as unique. Our progress through recovery really can only be measured by how we feel day to day and perhaps by the company we begin to attract and surround ourselves with, such as healthier functioning people, like the people we meet in our ACA fellowships, our sponsors/counselors or in blogging communities and forums.
The bottom line is no matter where we are in our recovery, whether progress is fast or slow we are still moving forward.
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and listed the many types of sponsorships available to us.
In the monthly newsletter I post link above, I also mentioned what a sponsor is: a fellow member we can connect exlusively and personally with and how benefits of sponsoring represents the third element in The Solution.
- watches for willingness of sponsee to take action.
- knows how to protect boundaries of both sponsor and sponsee.
- learns and also works the 12 steps
- has confronted own denial and surrendering
- knows own story and can tell it with honesty and humility
- has achieved an observable level of serenity.
- · By writing in a gratitude journal, where every night before bed list five things we are grateful for. This can be any thing as simple as “peppermint flavored ice cream” to “my kids and family” to “this ACA group and the steps I’ve made through recovery so far.”
- · Taking a walk in the newly fallen snow and appreciating the sounds around: the crunch of the snow under our boots, the cool yet crisp and clean fresh air we are breathing, the whisper like sound of snow falling.
The story is told of a man who noticed a cocoon on a bush in his yard. As he started to remove it from the bush and throw it away, he noticed the end was opening and a butterfly was struggling to escape. In an effort to help the emerging butterfly, he took it inside and carefully cut the cocoon away with a razor blade. The butterfly feebly crawled away from the open cocoon and within a few hours, died. It needed the strength it would have gained from the struggle to free itself in order to survive in the outside world.
In Janet Woititz book The Complete ACoA Sourcebook , she lists the 13 characteristics of the Adult Child. For this article I decided to put characteristics 5 & 6 (above) together.
We need to rediscover the child in us that has been repressed. In some cases we were forced to be the parent and grow up fast, so acting as a child was considered immature. We try to have fun as adults but fear we will look stupid. If that is the case, bring a child along! Children naturally know how to have fun! ACA’s take themselves way too seriously at times! This is one of the reasons for having so much difficulty in finding ways to have fun.
This is where re-learning boundaries are important. If we work a 9-5 job, when the bell rings at 5 get out at 5! Staying later will only decrease productivity. We owe it to ourselves to stay on schedule and honor rest and relaxation time.
Take a day off once in awhile to do what makes us happy and helps us to play and have fun. There is nothing wrong with that!
- We feel comfortable with people including authority figures
- We have a strong identity and generally approve of ourselves
- We accept and use personal criticism in a positive way
- As we face our own life situations, we find we are attracted by strengths and understand the weaknesses in our relationships with other people
- we are recovering through loving and focusing on ourselves; we accept responsibility for our own thoughts and actions. We feel comfortable standing up for ourselves when it is appropriate.
- we are enjoying peace and serenity, trusting that some Higher Power is guiding our recovery
- We love people who love and take care of themselves
- we are free to feel and express our feelings even when they cause us (or others) pain
- We have a healthy self esteem
- we are developing new skills that allow us to initiate and complete ideas and projects
- we take prudent action by first considering alternative behaviors and possible consequences
- we rely more and more on our Higher Power
Today I set the course in life.Today I will determine my own course in life. I'll get a good map and compass to show me the right direction and seek out good companionship on my way.I may look at the map of life and decide where I want to go or simply explore all the avenues that are open to me.
I am fully aware of the many problems that exist in being a child of an alcoholic.Problems surrounding relationships, having fun, control, trust and serenity are among the few that I ahve encountered. Now I am ready for solutions.
I realize there is no pat solution to my problems, but I will begin looking for answers to my many questions. To continue dwelling on my problems leaves me with little mental or spiritual healing energy. So, with full awareness of my many issues, I resolve today to begin the search for hopeful solutions.
I will being by changing my attitudes. Today I will open my mind and my heart to new ways of being. My journey to recovery has just begun, and the best is yet to come.