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ACoA Workbook Questions


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#1 Augustsun

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 11:07 AM

Hi, I just ordered this ACoA workbook and am expecting great things. I am already reading the Big Red Book, but I decided to buy the workbook because it seems that the 12 steps, for me, come in groups, more than one at a time. I am not sure I'm getting the benefit of it if I do them and think I should be working them one at a time. One of the reasons I write so much here is that it helps me keep my thoughts straight. I am a stranger to routine. I feel pressured when I have to work at something in steps. That's probably a trait of an ACoA, I don't know.

The questions are

1. Do you work the steps one by one and how much time to do you spend on each step?

2. Do you seem to group them into segments where two or four all come flooding forth at once? And do you then work them as a group?

I want to make sure I'm doing this right. I go to more CODA meetings as there is only one ACoA meeting per week and want to buy those books now that I am going but ACoA seems to fit me slightly better, more to the very core of who I am.

Any experience one may have at this would be greatly appreciated.
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'The first man to see through an illusion that has held men captive for centuries stands in a lonely place.
In that instant flash of insight, he sees that truth which to the uninitiated appears as nonsense, madness or heresy.'
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#2 75Janice

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 02:12 PM

I found it almost impossible to find a OA sponsor. From that experience, I am not doing the workbook until I have a sponsor, which had better be soon. I was surprised by the amount of content in the workbook. There are no rules.
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#3 Linda L.

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 09:02 AM

I have thoroughly enjoyed working the steps with the work book. It has clarified many questions I had, including how long should it take to complete the steps.

I have learned that I can take as long as I need to on each step, and that there is no real wrong way for me to work each step, except to NOT work them at all.
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Linda L.

#4 75Janice

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:00 AM

My sponsor doesn't have a workbook. I may have lost my sponsor b/c of a situation I don't want to discuss here. It is sad. Anyway, I started doing the workbook by myself. It seems organized in steps. I would suggest that they print one with more blank space. The exercises are doable in relatively short periods of time. I enjoy it. I am also starting to work some of the exercises John Bradshaw discusses in toxic shame. I am so used to school assignments and the burden of work that it is hard to just let go. I work what I have time for and try to congratulate myself for that.
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#5 terjemk

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 07:32 AM

Hi Augustsun.

It has been a while since your first post on this topic but I would like to share my experince when it comes to working the steps.

My way into ACA was through other twelve step programs like NA and AA. I did several attempt on step work in these programs. My major concern in all my effort working the steps was; Am I doing it right? Is this the way to do it? Will it be good enough? I have had many replapses in my recovery from alcohol and also in my spriitual sobriety. But every relapse gave me more insight. As long as i kept on coming back and where willing to try again and share and talk about the pain I had attracted into my life.

So today I am just beginning working the ACA steps guided with the red big book and the step working guide. My sponsor who has also done stepwork i several twelve step programs teaches me that it is not how, or how fast or when you work the steps that matters. As long as you keep it in your life and it makes you think. It is all about process. And theese processes takes its time. Sometimes one single quiestion in the workbook can make me wonder for weeks or months.. sometimes I just have to "jump" past a question to pick it back up later. The importent thing for me these days is to be in a process. Let the workbook guide me to corners of my feelings and thoughts that stirs up feelings I can share with my group and sponsor. A lot of times the question is asked during meetings. Am I in recovery? Do I do it right? Today I know that this is a question I no longer need to know the answer to.. I have my group, sponsor and my higher power to guide me. If I ever wonder I just ask. That is such a safety for me today. I do not need to know the answer myself. Others do.

Thank you all for letting me share my experience and thoughts.

Love from Norway. T
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#6 75Janice

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 10:47 AM

I am finding a problem working with the steps and the workbook. There is plenty of workbook stuff to do in the official text. I also want to incorporate John Bradshaw 's exercises from Healing the Shame Within and his inner child book. I read an ACA text every morning at breakfast. I also attend a face to face meeting once a week. Sometimes I attend the phone bridge meetings. The actual exercises require more time. I have to interact with the materials. I believe I now have a good theoretical background as to why I have so much hurt and lack life skills. Intellectualizing, though, will only get me so far. I need to shove aside some more time to do the exercises. It seems as though life does not happen in the same sequence as the steps. I've known that I only want to read for quite a while now. Procrastination is an ACA trait. At least I am conscious of it.

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#7 JimS

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 12:20 PM

1. Do you work the steps one by one and how much time to do you spend on each step?

2. Do you seem to group them into segments where two or four all come flooding forth at once? And do you then work them as a group?


Hi Augustsun,

My old sponsor pointed out to me that the original authors of the Twelve Steps never mentioned working them...Instead they wrote "Here are the steps we took:"

The only thing that worked for me after several false starts was taking them one by one, in order.


My First Step took awhile...Racing through it only to falter and hit repeated "bottoms" taught me it had to be absolutely thorough or the rest of my recovery would be worthless.

My Second Step was also gradual as it said "came to believe."

My Third Step was faster but scary. (that's how I knew I was doing it right)

My Fourth was liberating...it took about a year to get here.

My Fifth was painful yet also a relief...especially allowing in the reality of the "exact nature."

My Sixth took time...becoming entirely ready

My Seventh was humbling...I ended up begging for my life and my sanity.

My Eighth was a challenge...listing all the inside parts of myself I'd harmed as well as outside persons.

My Ninth was hard but where the Twelve Promises really and tangibly starting coming true for me.

My Tenth has been ongoing, sometimes easy, sometimes difficult, always necessary.

My Eleventh has been awe-inspiring...aligning my will with that of Higher Power...It will always bring me back to the right path if I take it.

My Twelfth has been rich in meaning...it's part of what makes recovery so worthwhile and what keeps me coming back...Practicing the principles everywhere has been challenging but worth it as I've been able to do it.

Years ago I was having coffee after a meeting with other ACA's and an old AA "dinosaur" came strolling into the restaurant. He joined us and began talking about the steps. At the time I thought he was pretty lame and preachy. I never knew his name but he said something I have never forgotten that turned out to be a gem that saved my life:

"If you get stuck on any of the steps, always go back to the one before."


Hope this sheds some light.


J.

Edited by JimS, 04 September 2008 - 12:22 PM.

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#8 75Janice

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 06:54 AM

I realized something rereadng this thread. I attended meetings and felt extremely awkward in OA for more than two years b/c I could not find a sponsor. No one local would be my sponsor. I finally drove 1 1/2 hours to a very strong meeting. She was great but I felt damaged by two years of no success. So when I started ACA I was fairly agressive in finding a sponsor. My face to face meeting had an interesting business meeting. One person with a long history presented her feelings concerning how stifling the meetings became over time. Other people disagreed. As a newcomer, I was impressed by the candid discussion. I was wrong. The group splintered and my sponsor was the ringleader. There was no basic policy difference. I could not in good faith join my sponsor in the protest group.

I felt wounded. This happened during my first month in the program. Now a year later I still don't have a sponsor. I need to get back on course. Reading the literature is fine in itself. I want to progress though. So my personal task this week is to speak with an available sponsor. Unlike OA, people are available. Oh, recovery partner is the correct term. It is so easy to get diverted from seeking growth. Not having a sponsor is a sorry excuse to avoid the pain dredging up my emotions will cause me. After all this time, revealing the family dirty laundry still feels tacky and impermissible.

Janice
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