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#48473 What Happened To The Aca Community Forum?

Posted by Scott R on 14 December 2010 - 08:00 PM

At the December 2010 WSO Board meeting, the board approved retaining the forum as an information board for WSO Board and committee members and other ACA members. The WSO Board and authorized committee members will update the forum with the latest information as it becomes available. Members can check the forum periodically to see the latest reports and other documents from the WSO.

Old posts of member's experience, strength, and hope (ESH) will be retained for viewing purposes as samples of ESH, however new posts of ESH will not be accepted.

During the Teleconference, board members felt attending face-to-face ACA meetings to be superior to posting ESH on the forum. Members of the old ACA Community Forum are thus encouraged to consider attending a face-to-face ACA meeting instead. Where there is no face-to-face meeting in your area, members are encouraged to consider starting a new meeting. The ACA WSO web site Literature Page (http://www.adultchil...it/Literature.s) contains all the information needed to start a meeting. Additional material is also included in the ACA Fellowship Text (the "Big Red Book"), which you can order from the same web site. The WSO also has a New Meeting Packet useful in starting a new meeting, which you can order thru the web site. Finally, you can contact the WSO at http://www.adultchildren.org/contact/ for further help as needed to get a new meeting up and running.
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#46759 Therapist Recommendation In Marin County, Ca

Posted by back_to_the_drawing_board on 30 September 2010 - 09:34 AM

PM me if you are looking for a fantastic therapist who specializes in addiction related issues. I have the best therapist and don't know how much availability she has, but if you are looking for someone who understands the disease and will work with you I highly recommend her. Location: San Rafael, CA
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#5290 Step 4

Posted by ACAWSO on 29 July 2006 - 01:56 PM

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
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#5293 Step 1

Posted by ACAWSO on 29 July 2006 - 01:58 PM

We admitted we were powerless over the effects of alcoholism or other family dysfunction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
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#48657 2012 Annual Business Conference Minutes

Posted by Joan B on 20 July 2012 - 11:29 AM


Long Beach, CA. April 27, 28, 29, 2012

Friday, April 27

5:30 p.m. Opening: Meet & Greet opened the 2012 ABC at the Seaport Marina Hotel, Long Beach, California.
Packets and name tags were distributed informally.

The Serenity Prayer was said.

Phyllis R. welcomed all and reported a change in the Agenda for Saturday: Office tour at 10:00 a.m. rather than 3:00 p.m. and also, Omer G’s presentation on ACA so far was moved from Friday night 8:00 p.m. to Saturday, approximately 2:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m.
Tradition One was read.
Scott R. was elected Chair of the 2012 ABC
Board members and committee chairs present were introduced.
Board members present: George S., GA; Scott R., AZ; Larry A., NY; Anja H., Denmark; Joan B., WI.
Committee Chairs present: Phyllis R., AZ, Outreach and 2012 ABC; Omer G., OK, Handbook & Translations; DiAnne A., CA, Office/Warehouse.

Introduction of guests present from: Anaheim, Long Beach, Torrance, CA.; Washington; Illinois; Maryland; Oregon; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK; Tennessee; Norway (Polish language group); Denmark; and the United Kingdom

6:30 p.m.: Martin, UK, lead the ACA meeting with the topic: What has ACA recovery meant to you?.

Meeting adjourned about 7:45.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

9:00 a.m.-Opening: Serenity Prayer

Keynote Address by: George S., Chairman of the Board of Trustees, ACA WSO<BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">

ACA delegates from Denmark, England, Norway, and the USA attended the Annual Business Conference (ABC). There were a total of 15 voting delegates and about 30 people in attendance.

Brief reports were given by the Committee chairs, followed by questions. Copies of the reports were in each packet
Reports given: Jeneane, Treasurer’s report; Scott, Webmaster; Joan, Hospitals and Institutions (H & I).
Joan mentioned needing help on the H & I committee, especially in the future. She mentioned the bimonthly call using the teleconference line at 8:00 p.m. CDT, where she and George, committee member, discuss ideas and progress.

9:45-11:15 - Break for office tour. All present were invited to carpool to the office/warehouse in Signal Hill.

11:20 – Reports were continued: Larry A, Literature. He mentioned seeking native language speakers from the Pacific Islands, Mid-East, and Africa to assist in translating some of the literature into those languages. Scott reported on activities at the office, noting the updated ordering system, Shopping Cart, etc. George reported awaiting three scenarios from DiAnne for warehouse storage, reminding those present that there is much room to go up with storage, vertical room is plenty for shelving. Omer G., Handbook/Translations. He pointed out the various workbooks and fellowship text on display in other languages besides English. George, Audio book. He reported considering attempting to do the audio book as he has the facility necessary. He suggests using varied voices for shares. Another source is Able, in Milwaukee, a nonprofit who he has spoken to about audio book production.

12:00 Lunch break

1:00 – Reports continued: Phyllis, Outreach. She also passed around a signup sheet, for those wishing to do so, to list their first name and email address. Later she will send the list to all those on it.

1:30 – Omer G Presentation Re-emergence of ACA (ACoA) Fellowship
- ACA among the top 10, Twelve Step Fellowships
- ACA is a worldwide fellowship with various pieces of literature translated into Finnish, Danish, Russian, Spanish, Polish, Japanese, German, Hungarian, Chinese, and other languages.
- The 2002 ABC had three people there. 70% of the meetings were gone and there was $200 in the bank, this showed the results of the decline in the 1990’s.
- 2006 Fellowship Text (Big Red Book) published, 2007 the 12-Step Yellow Workbook was published.
Omer continued to enlighten the group on all important facts regarding the 1990’s decline and recovery of the fellowship. Since the publication of the ACA Fellowship Text (red book) in 2006, more than 600 new ACA groups have been established and we reopened our World Service Office in 2009. Our annual gross revenues are $300,000.

Omer was presented with a token of the board’s appreciation for all his assistance to the board and his quickness to step up and share his knowledge on the fellowship, its Steps, its Traditions, and its Concepts.


Proposals Group Conscience Survey Ballots were discussed and voted on by the delegates:

#1: Lithuanian’s requesting publication of two key pamphlets into their language to help address the need for public outreach and the issue of sponsorship and group attendance.

Discussion: indicated support for translating the requested and suggested pamphlets to assist the Lithuanians. Information was shared by delegates on the various ways groups can get the information out, including “meet outs”, where different groups gather and have their information present regarding meeting times, dates, etc.; and a centralized meeting list on the Internet.

Of the 15 voting delegates, 14 voted Aye to translate ACA is… and Sponsorship: Fellow Traveler into the Lithuanian language.
Omer will follow-up with the Lithuanians.

#2: Copyright the name “Adult Children of Alcoholics” to protect the content published and associated with our fellowship.

Discussion: Larry explained that trademark protected words and a copyright protects content. Some delegates felt it important to protect this name, others felt just that name alone did not protect the “dysfunctional families” which are included in our fellowship. Others did not think the argument presented for the motion was appropriate to the motion.

Vote: To use a copyright attorney, spending approximately $450 to conduct a preliminary assessment on the feasibility of trademarking the Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families. Ayes, 9; Noes, 4; Abstained, 2.

#3: Change the online auto order form to include the other literature available from Adult Children of Alcoholics. The split order format is a hardship as it divides the shipping cost for the literature orders for the groups.

Discussion: No action needed as the Shopping Cart has recently been implemented and solves the problem mentioned in this proposal.

#10: ACA WSO should explore having a blanket insurance policy that a meeting could purchase insurance under if the desire to purchase insurance.

Discussion: Omer pointed out the argument in favor of this proposal doesn’t fit the proposal. Also, such an action would put too much liability on WSO and remove the autonomy of each group, and groups are not subsidiaries. George mentioned maybe it is something Intergroups could provide. Karen suggested maybe WSO could gather a listing of insurance companies to use by the groups. Scott indicated that is not a problem for the WSO to solve. Martin concurred, saying getting insurance should be left to the groups and intergroups. Bob asked how a group could go about getting insurance when it is not an entity like the WSO is. No answer was given.

Vote: Ayes, 0; Nays, 14; Abstain, 1.

Literature committee chair, Larry, handed out two drafts of proposed pamphlets to be considered during the coming year by the fellowship. One was on Cross Talk, the other was Taking a Group Inventory.

Group discussion on Cross Talk indicated approval of the pamphlet by those present and a vote was taken to submit to the fellowship this year with possible presentation as a proposal to the 2013 ABC to publish and sell it. Vote: Ayes, 15.

Group discussion on Taking a Group Inventory indicated that this was a motion submitted and passed in 2010. Jesper suggested the pamphlet include shares also. Vote: Unanimous to submit to the fellowship for review and submit to the WSO for approval in 2013.

4:15: Closed conference for the day.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

9:05 Opened with the Serenity Prayer

Ratification of the current board: Phyllis moved and Allen seconded ratification of the current board members, George, Scott, Jeneane, Anja, Larry, and Joan. Unanimous vote to ratify.

Nomination of new board members: Qualifiers for board membership are Karen R. from Tennessee, and Mary Jo from Chicago.

Omer outlined the qualifications for membership on the board, then Karen and MaryJo spoke briefly on the nomination. MaryJo declined current board membership due to the many responsibilities she already has, including getting the West Great Lakes Intergroup up and running. Karen accepted the offer for nomination. Martin moved and Robin seconded the nomination of Karen as a new board member. Karen was unanimously approved by both the current board members and the delegates to the conference as a new board member.

Delegates were given an opportunity to say what they were taking back home with them from the 2012 ABC. Many encouraging comments made regarding the function of the WSO board and the delegate process.

The 2013 ABC will be held the weekend of April 26, 27, 28, 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Scott reminded the delegates present to keep the Intergroup and meeting contact information updated so the online lists are accurate for those looking for meetings.

Larry motioned for the close of the 2012 ABC at 10:35 a.m.; George seconded the motion. Unanimous vote to close the ABC.

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#48577 October Teleconference Reports

Posted by Phyllis R. on 01 October 2011 - 09:50 AM

Outreach committee report
The month of Sept had approximately 208 requests for information. Most, as usual, were requesting information about a nearby meeting. I’m glad that many people can get to one, but for those who can’t, I send the information about internet or telephone meetings. I did get one request about translating our book into German and sent that on to Omer. I also had two requests regarding people being interested in participating on the WSO Board which is good. I also heard about two meetings in Thailand. As always, this service makes me feel good and I’m glad I can do it.
Phyllis R.
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#48468 December 2010 Teleconference

Posted by Scott R on 08 December 2010 - 07:21 PM

Report from office staff - DiAnne

Hello to All-

Shipping: A "shorter" shipping month in November due fewer days on our warehouse calendar- with visible slowing over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend here in the 'States. Shipped quantities in this month's report ran between Tuesday November 2nd through Wednesday November 30th:

Spiral Workbooks = 490
Hard Cover Texts = 626
Soft Cover Texts = 90
Fellowship Index = 38
TOTAL= 1244

Additionally, we will be taking another full Physical Inventory after close-of-business Friday, December 31st. I expect one item we will need to have on radar for re-order soon after the first of the new year will be our booklet for "Newcomer" Pamphlets; there are apx 900 in stock now (1 1/2case). These are a local order/delivery, & turn-around time is apx 10-14 from the time we place our order.

Office/Warehouse & Staffing: We had a Service Worker join our Staff as a new employee, moving in last week to fill Kimberlee's October departure as necessitated by expansion of her teaching position. Our new employee, Valentina Wong, has been volunteering at the ACA WSO for approximately 4-5 months, & she brings a a strong level of experience in customer service, spreadsheets & data entry. She has completed her initial training in the office, has a great grasp of our order flow as she previously volunteered in the warehouse, & she is moving seamlessly into supporting us on Saturdays 2-3 times per month and one other day during the week.

We experienced turnover (attrition) in our Volunteer staff/Service Workers in November, mostly due to school & work schedule changes. As November was a bit lighter in volume & also a shorter month, we've not yet felt the direct impact of this turnover in the office- in fact were even able to trim back slightly on total scheduled office hours this past pay period; however, as our volunteers most often wrap books & prep orders, our paid warehouse staff picked up this slack in order to keep materials prepped & ready for turnaround. I am actively recruiting again for Volunteers/Service workers. Send 'em on over : )

* Paid Office/Clerical Staff- DiAnne A, Gloria D, Vivian L & (new) Valentina W; Office Service Workers/Volunteers- Jeannie W
* Paid Warehouse Staff - Taylor D, Timar S & Trudy B; Service Workers/Volunteers - Kathy P

Sincerely, DiAnne
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#46446 Love

Posted by kj0424 on 23 September 2010 - 04:25 AM

love is such a distortion in my mind...what they say love is in the magazines and movies i have never seen that and therefore dont believe that.i never saw that kind of love in my family...so when my husband tries to love me I almost feel unworthy of his love and push him away. I dont know how to handle the "fairytale" love and feel that I dont know if i want that...
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#43440 Abc Minutes

Posted by Scott R on 28 June 2010 - 06:46 PM

Minutes of the 2010 ABC are available at http://acawso.com/abc/ along with copies of the draft brochures discussed at the ABC.
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#43291 Validation From So Called Mental Health Professionals

Posted by 75Janice on 25 June 2010 - 09:40 PM

I was going to say I'd never stop crying. The reality is that I haven't really started. This program has me so much more awareness of my hurt and angry. Yet I still stuff my feelings. I suffer from depression so being functional is important to me. I am on my own so bills must be paid, etc. I started therapy in college. Only now do I have a therapist who allows me to explore the abuse. All the others focused on my immaturietes whhich were wholly understandable. Let them be abused and judged. In NT, I did sessions with a gognitive therapist. He taught skills class. I met others who were impaired, too. Sadly, my physical pain precluded any progress for decades.

I am working on it now!

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#38979 Aca Phone Bridge Meeting Schedule 3/18/10

Posted by brasscupcake on 18 March 2010 - 07:47 AM

All meetings are listed as "Eastern Time."

We come into the meetings muted, press *1 to un-mute and press *1 again to re-mute , for the serenity of the meetings we are asked to stay muted except when speaking and to eliminate background noises when we are unmute.

(712) 432-8710

Access code 2996308#

Monday morning -7:00 AM Literature Study Chapters 12,13,14

Monday nights meeting is at 8:30 – 10 PM – reading on the Survival Traits starting on page 10 of the ACA Text

Tuesday night meeting is at 10:00 PM

Wednesday night meeting is at 9 PM –Literature Study- Step Meeting

Thursday night meeting at 8:30 – 10 PM – reading from Chapter 2, It Will Never Happen To Me

Friday night meeting is at 9:00 PM-Literature Study- Chapter 8

Saturday morning OPEN meeting is at 10:00 AM – Based on the Solution – Becoming Your Own Loving Parent

Sunday 10:00 AM- Literature Study

Sunday Closed Meeting 10:00 AM-Literature Study

same phone number different access code 2996310#

(March this meeting is discussing changing to 11:00 AM)

This closed meeting for Adult Children raising Children all members on the line must identify as an Adult Child and announce their presence on the line.

Saturday afternoon- 4:00-5:00 PM- Open Topic

Saturday night meeting is at 8:30-10:00 PM- Step Study using the workbook (currently on step Two 2/28/10)

(most of the workbook parallels the workbook but not all of it)

Sunday morning meeting 7:00 AM Step 11/Meditation

Sunday afternoon meeting 4:00 PM

ACA Newcomers Meetings/reading the ACA is...Pamplet

Sunday Night OPEN Meeting 9:00 PM- Literature Study

Sunday Night Closed Meeting 9:00 PM - Literature Study

same phone number different access code 2996309#

Daily Weekday Meetings Monday-Friday 12:00 Noon - ACA Identity Papers study/Discussion (Fri. Traditions study)

Press ** for conference commands.

Current discussion of new week day afternoon meetings...and a new Sunday morning meditation meeting coming soon too.

Please feel free to add more information or bring any corrections needed to others attention.

Thanks Denise and thanks Vonnie :)
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#36344 Sarcastics Anonymous

Posted by delvin on 24 December 2009 - 02:36 PM

Another thread in general discussion inspired this ...

Although sometimes falling dead born off the presses ... 'cos ... my IC often communicates with chunky ideas for advertisements or small skits - humour which often disguises itself behind psuedo self deprecation, news events, historical analogy, psychospeak, self help and even twelve step puns.

A dingo having taken my victim stance and being one of the more high ranking vice-presidents of the local Approval Seekers self help group I feel it important to broach these issues of narcisstic entitlement by deploying an open microphone ...
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#30142 2009 Annual Business Conference

Posted by Scott R on 25 April 2009 - 06:14 AM

The ABC is being held April 24 thru April 26. The running (unapproved) minutes are being listed here daily for ACA members not in attendance.


FRIDAY, 4-24-09, 6:00 P.M.

Board members:

Omer G. - Chairman. Josie E. - Vice Chair. Phyllis R. - Treasurer. Linda L. - Secretary, Outreach Committee Chairperson. Bill S. - Trustee, Hospitals & Institutions Committee Chairperson. Lise A. - Trustee, 2009 ABC Committee. Michele L. - Trustee, Literature Committee Chairperson. Jim S. - Trustee, Outreach Committee.


Scott R. - Website/Database. Shelley M. - Delegate from Tulsa. Gayle W. - Tulsa. Rochelle V. - Tulsa. Malisa B. - Delegate from Dallas. JR P. - Dallas.

Candle lighting ceremony led by Scott R. as longest standing ACA member at meeting.

Serenity Prayer in both English and Danish.

Commitment to Service: Reading shared by all.

12 Concepts - Reading shared by all.

Fellowship Discussion - How to balance importance of individual and group in ACA.


Omer G. opened this hour with ACA WSO Chairman’s Annual Report. Discussion included how funds from translated BRB’s and Workbooks will be delegated to paying for production of those books in other countries. Copywrite will continue to be maintained by WSO; sale funds will go directly to the country of translation.

Phyllis reported on the 2008-2009 Budget. She also reminded the board that 2009-2010 term will be the last year she can serve on the board, as that will be her 6th year of service.

Committee Reports -

Hospitals & Institutions - Bill S.

Handbook Committee - Omer G.

Literature Committee - Michele L.
Much discussion regarding changes made to pamphlets, booklets, chips, order forms, etc. Michele also reported that we will need to look at the International Literature/Book order form to adjust for increased shipping rates.

Outreach Committee - Linda L. & Jim S.

Website/Database Update - Scott R.

Opening candle blown out. Meeting ended for the Friday evening with a Danish Prayer.
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#28794 Forgive, Thank You And Hold Hope

Posted by Mary Lou on 08 March 2009 - 09:01 PM

Thanks y'all for sharing your ESHs. I took time to notice if I was victimizing myself with my dark side. It sounded like a possibility so I found the quickest path the my counselor. We worked with the phrases from my dark tween and turned them into affirmations. The affirmations have felt like balm and have helped. I also made a point to get myself back to a local faith community I like. I was reminded that I get a choice about which thoughts and beliefs I want to strengthen and weaken. Being reminded that I have choices about where I want to invest my energies following my recent noticings of how I recieve, release (forgive) and hold hope in my heart has been a good combination.

I had those dark messages come up in part because one of my parents health is in a state of decline that is accelerating. The messages that I have recently released and recieved were messages that I dared not utter in real time - not even in my thoughts to myself. To say to my parent when I was younger "The fact that I mean nothing to you makes me physically ill and makes me want to hurt you." I was threatened with physical abandonment from very early on. And because I had experienced sexual abuse before I was old enough to speak, abandoment was a real experience. So in my anticipatory grief process I am releasing my experiences related towards the dying parent. And in the process, I am releasing feelings and thoughts from my own flesh and I am forgiving myself from (releasing myself from) self-blame for things that were not my responsibilities. As a child my job was to be a child, not to care for my parent emotionally .

Unfortunately the words that were left unspoken took on a life of their own and morphed into my inner saboteur. So by using affirmations and remembering that I have power and choices about where I want to go. I feel more relaxed, more in the present moment, more hopefilled and more flexible emotionally and energentically. This is nice after all that mental and emotional messiness. And I guess too I can own that I have an inner drama queen tween! :P :rolleyes:
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#26668 Finding My Place in AA and ACA

Posted by gray on 03 January 2009 - 03:26 PM

This is a very interesting subject for me,
I spent three years in AA sobriety in a town where AA is EVERYWHERE. There is this whole body of thinking in AA that "self is the problem." (See pages 62-64 in the AA big book) This is incongruous with the ACA message that "I am okay as I am." My "false self" or "critical inner parent" is what I drank and used drugs to quiet down. So from this stand point, I see AA as helpful. I was raised in an emotionally abusive household and went to a school where I was picked on for years. I never developed any sense of "self-love" and got validation through being "self-destructive." When I was drunk and/or high, I felt okay as myself, and this was a very good feeling that I chased until the alcohol and drugs no longer worked, at which point I decided to get help and got sober.
After discovering ACA after being so immersed in AA for a long period of time, it was a real shock. ACA is truth for me. ACA is not nearly as well established and ubiquitous as AA, and therefore it is not given as much credit, I believe. I started talking to my AA friends about the ACA message and they gave me weird looks and questioned my thinking as dangerous saying "you're in self." (some where understanding and supportive) There is something very comforting about the AA fellowship and the rigidity of thinking attached to it. One need only adhere to certain principles and there is instantaneous acceptance and approval, and being the ACA that I am, these things feel very good to me. AA also provides a very structured blue-print for life, which I felt I was relying on heavily that was unfulfilling and gave me a great excuse to be a victim when things didn't work out ("see, that didn't work!"). I still go to AA for lack of a great ACA fellowship and I find many friends that I relate to in the AA program, but I have to mind the message that I am carrying in some instances.
I hope that one day, ACA will become as pervasive as AA and there will be a fellowship like that of AA. I have many qualms with the AA program. I realize it helps many people, and it was what I needed at the time, but it didn't go far enough. I was doing all the right things, hypervigilantly, and found myself alone, hating the person I saw. Through making a beginning in ACA, I have foudn a small measure of love and forgiveness for myself, which I would never have allowed before. It would be nice to have some more "structure" or even "authority" in ACA, but that might just undermine the whole message. In AA it is easy to appeal to the authoritative "old-timers" and get the approval one seeks. This doesn't equal self-love. Self validation and a high power which I hesitate to even mention does that. I am grateful for what I have discovered, and I can only see this thing getting better for me. Hope, what a concept! Thank you ACA!
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#21741 Finding My Place in AA and ACA

Posted by tgparker on 29 June 2008 - 12:40 PM

A million years ago when I was an young person in AA and Alanon and ACoA I used to hang out at a diner on west 23rd street which was patronized by a whole cluster of 12 steppers, who would literally take over the diner for the "meeting after the meeting". Most notabe, was Lois W....

Whenever Lois would come into the diner she always seemed to accumulate and attract the "young people" around her who she called her "young chicks"...

At one of these coffee klatches, I distinctly remember Lois making the following comments...

She felt very strongly against AA's (men) in Alanon because more often than not they were predator types cruising the rooms of Alanon looking to 13 step weak, co-dependant women.

She also felt that ACoA should be a separate free-standing 12 Step program because she was concerned that the "Alanon Smother Mothers" wouldn't be able to take the fact that ACoAs were just as angry at "Mom" as they were at "Dad", and in many cases "Mom" was just as much a perpetrator as "Dad"... and that in retaliation the "Smother Mothers" would try to "shut down" and "stifle" the ACoAs....

Lois was very adamant about this, in fact she even made these and similar statements about keeping ACoA out of Alanon at at least 2 Alanon World Conferences in the early 1980s that I remember.

As soon as Lois died, of course the Alanon "Smother Mothers" made a real take-over bid for the ACoA meetings and hijacked ACoA... The real reason for this only came out much later of course....

Alanon had always been badly managed and was always on the verge of bankrupcy.... Every year Lois would always bail-out Alanon financially from the money she got from Bill's royalties from the sale of the AA big book....

When Lois died, that gravy train dried up from the AA Big Book sale, and Alanon was in a grave financial crisis, so they went on a manic recruiting drive and overhaul to hijack ACoA...

all the best,

TG aka Tony-Guy
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#17391 Finding My Place in AA and ACA

Posted by Sparky on 25 March 2008 - 12:36 PM

Thank You Beth,

I really like the ACA focus. I like what Dr.Jan has to say, "Go to A.A. to get sober, go to Al-anon to learn to detach then go to ACoA"

I keep coming across info. about Bill W. wanting to start Neurotics Anonymous after he was sober 24 years and to include an in depth psychic inventory.

Emotional sobriety is my goal. To me that includes releasing my depression :( , I suppose I am a lot like Bill W. in that department.

I cant/We can
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#17256 Finding My Place in AA and ACA

Posted by Daisy on 23 March 2008 - 04:27 AM

Was reading some interesting stuff on Robert Burney's website yesterday (author of Codependence: Dance of Wounded Souls). It seems as though so many writers that have caught my attention in the past few months have written about first finding life-saving recovery in AA, but then needing and seeking healing beyond what that program provides. For example, Melody Beattie of Codependent No More, John Bradshaw of Homecoming - Championing Your Inner Child, and now Robert Burney, all entered recovery through AA it appears.

Robert Burney writes about the rigidity and black/white thinking in AA, e.g., drink or don't drink. Obviously, for alcoholics this is the way it has to be (IMO). For the past 9 years this is how I have been taught to practice the principles of a 12 step program in ALL of my affairs (rigidly). My upbringing by my mother was rigid and unforgiving, so parlaying that to AA didn't seem unnatural to me I suppose. The student/teacher sponsorship concept definitely lends itself to people pleasing. I've seen that not only in myself but in others. I've actually seen newcomers being AFRAID of being "yelled at" by controlling sponsors. Some of the slogans, in my view, are somewhat shaming too, e.g., "When I'm in my head I'm behind enemy lines" or "The worst thing about being alone is I get really bad advice." Those concepts are in stark contrast to the ACA concept of me learning to trust myself. It can't be both for me.

Burney's view is that CoDa took off in the 80s (?) and has been losing popularity partly due to people from AA starting CoDA meetings but being too rigid and contolling about it, and that turning people off who were all too used to controlling people. Apparently CoDA wanted Burney to write something for its "Big Book" but he declined because he so disappointed in the dynamics of that organization.

Anyway, I'm starting to think that the somewhat rigid approach I learned in AA may be not useful for my growth in ACA. Burney says, in fact, that AA-like rigidity can be somewhat limiting to one's maximum spiritual growth. That is validating what I've been feeling since coming to ACA. It seems that the inner child stuff I've been reading talks about finding out who I am - - as in, I'm free to explore, consider options, say THIS IS ME. The AA I've learned is more about, "This is who we are," a homogenous group without self-defining characteristics (that's my interpretation). There's the AA concept of, "I knew who you were before I even met you." Maybe alcoholics have a false self that is somewhat predictable, but I have absolutely no idea who the real me is - - that I'm sure of from deep within my heart and soul. ACA tells me if I work this program I get to discover who I am beyond my false self. ACA doesn't tell me they're pretty sure they already know who my TRUE SELF is. That's when I develop a "real" connection with my HP. There's the Laundry List, etc., but I think that describes my false self.

I sensed after being in this program for a couple of weeks that I would struggle finding my place in both programs. I think I'm going to go through AA's Big Book or something and write down things that seem in opposition to ACA growth concepts. Even AA says, "Take what you want and leave the rest." My sobriety from drugs/alcohol is crucial to my serenity, so I am not abandoning AA. I believe I really need to examine what from that program what I believe may actually be hampering my spiritual growth as an adult child though. I am drawn to the healing ACA has to offer. I was starting to feel stifled in AA.

It is exciting to know that there is someone inside me (inner child) I have yet to discover, and it's 100% okay for me to be her. I need to trust that a perfect plan for my life is unfolding, and that more will be revealed - - today, and tomorrow! This I can CAN take from AA and make it work in my spiritual growth today.

I feel like I'm on a good path. It definitely is a Happy Easter, with much to be grateful for! :-)

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#5594 F007 - Higher Power

Posted by ACAWSO on 06 August 2006 - 08:45 AM


Although ACA is not a church or religious movement or program, it is a fellowship which is
deeply spiritual. It is organized and based on spiritual values and principles. ACA acknowledges
the need of a Higher Power to restore us to good health and wholesome relationships. The
Higher Power initially might be the group, the God of the individual's understanding, the Twelve
Steps, or the support and guidance of a counselor or therapist. No doctrine or creed is ever
supported or preached in ACA concerningher Power. ACA, like its cousins, Al-Anon and AA,
does make use of the serenity prayer and the Lord's Prayer. These prayers were chosen for their
universality, addressing our common spiritual needs and struggles. Within these prayers is
contained a simple, yet profound wisdom offering us day by day prescriptions for living, centered
in our trust of a Higher Power.

Although individual ACAs choose a Higher Power of their own understanding, ACA
collectively, like AA and Al-Anon, believes itself to be united, supported, and maintained by a
loving God who, according to the Second Tradition, makes Himself known throgu the group
conscience. ACA understands this Higher Power to be interested in the progtress of both ACA
collectively and the individual ACA.

The ACA recovery program, according to the Twelve Steps, is based on a recognition of
our powerlessness over our past (First Step). This honest acknowledgement makes possible our
need and desire for a Higher Power. We are asked in the Second Step to make a "leap of faith",
to "come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity", that is to say,
makeus whole.

This awakening to belief is a gradual process - we come little by little to believe that
something is supporting and guiding us in our recovery. A full understanding of Higher Power
doesn't come until a meaningful relationship with the Higher Power is acknowledged, maintained,
and developed (Eleventh Step). Willingness, honesty, trust, patience, and practice are the keys to
developing this relationship (Third Step). This relationship will reap rewards such as courage and
a deep inner peace that no adversity can seriously after.

Higher Power has a very personal dimension in that each ACA chooses a Higher Power of
His/her understanding. It is very important that within the group, an attitude of open-mindedness
and tolerance be held in discussing Higher Power. No group of persons has all the right answers.
Instead, there are many paths, theologies, and philosophies that lead to Truth and Spirituality.

The only statement which ACA makes concerning a Higher Power is that it is a positive
force of love interested and active in our growth and happiness. Each ACA must discover their
own Higher Power and their relationship with that Higher Power. This Higher Power iwll
provide a barometer and an anchor, where we can find wisdom, strength, and security from life's
vicissitudes and adversities.

For those ACAs who are either agnostic or atheist concerning a god or universal power,
our experience in ACA has revealed that this issue is often resolved by making the love,
experience, strength, and hope of the group their Higher Power.

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Posted by ERICP on 27 June 2008 - 08:15 AM

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