~ My journey & joy through CAL & AFG adventures ~


CAL – Item # B-21 – From Survival to Recovery

B-21WHAT I LEARNED: 1. For the fellowship, this book marked a major turning point in fully welcoming adult children of alcoholics in the mid 90’s.  At 300 pages, it’s probably only a few pounds, but it felt so much heavier than that because of all the memories it brought back up for me growing up in an alcoholic household.  Some of the stories even venture on being poetic in their agony – grab some tissue & see page 269 for “Untangling Confusion,” page 85 for “Saying It Aloud Helped Me” & page 89’s “All I Knew Was Bitterness.”

There’s a possibility that these pages won’t match up exactly if you have the 1st edition.  I’ve got the 2nd edition which was revised in 2007 to remove an excerpt of Al-Anon’s “promises” or “gifts.”  Per the 2005 Conference Summary, “It was the Committee’s further consensus that the passage not be promoted or reproduced as ‘promises’ or ‘gifts.’  In Al-Anon we offer newcomers our experience, strength, & hope.  We don’t make promises because each individual’s needs & situations are different.”

2. A short version of the book’s recurring theme is about creating something from nothing – or as stated better on page 206: “We are becoming the mature people we lacked in our childhood homes.” From parents that couldn’t give what they didn’t have, to reaching understanding & forgiveness, freedom is possible once we make peace with our past.

3. My favorite line is from page 229: “My family may have given me the disease, but it was my own actions & reactions that impaired me.”

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CAL – Item # S-17 – Are You Troubled by Someone’s Drinking?

S-17WHAT I LEARNED:  1. This is the fourth item in the Professional Packet & is one of my top selling outreach items – now I can see why.  This questionnaire is written very broadly so it can apply to anyone affected by alcoholism – including adult children of alcoholics & kids that might be thinking about Alateen as well.

2. This item could almost double as a list of coping mechanisms, games I played, & the emotional impact of my attempts to control the uncontrollable.  So if someone asks me “What were you like before the program & what did you do?” I can hand them this leaflet & say, “Here’s a list of 20 things just to start off with!”

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CAL – Item # P-16 – To Parents of Alcoholics

P-16Yesterday I finished the Adult Children of Alcoholics Newcomer Packet (item #K-21).  This week there’s only this one pamphlet to read from the Parents’ Newcomer Packet (K-24).  –What I learned about all the other items in this packet can be found in previous entries for the General Newcomer Packet (K-10).

WHAT I LEARNED: This pamphlet is a collection of 7 stories & 8 frequently asked questions from parents about the program.  Although I’m not a parent, the distinction made throughout the readings about being responsible to versus responsible for another person is still relevant.

**BONUS: Recently the Literature Committee recommended creating a brand new pamphlet that addresses parents & grandparents too!   Follow me on Twitter for updates on any new literature: @LDCdistrict6.

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CAL – Item # S-25 – Did you Grow up With a Problem Drinker?

S-25WHAT I LEARNED:  This is the sixth item in the Adult Children of Alcoholics Newcomer Packet & is a personal favorite of mine.  When I first came into the program I was given this leaflet & I remember secretly answering “Yes” to all 20 questions.  It spooked me because I thought “How can someone – whoever created this questionnaire – that has never met me, know me better than my own family?”  Today I’m glad I got a chance to re-read this after all these years because now I can answer “No” & “Sometimes” to a few questions since I’ve gotten a bit better.  I’ll definitely be using this leaflet as a barometer in the future as well!

**BONUS:  All the other items in this ACOA packet were already covered in my posts from a couple of weeks ago for the General Newcomer Packet.  …Next up – the Parents’ Newcomer Packet.


CAL – Item # S-69 – Al-Anon Family Groups Welcomes Adult Children of Alcoholics

S-69WHAT I LEARNED:  1. In the Adult Children of Alcoholics Newcomer Packet, this is the third pamphlet & it features 10 mini sharings interspersed with other AFG info.

2. This is the first pamphlet I’ve seen that shows separate info for a 2nd headquarters – in Canada!  (Which looks like it just had an address change with the new design layout that came out last year).  After a little research, this other headquarters’ location in Ottawa was required to make AFG a legal non-profit organization in Canada, but apparently this office is unmanned & the phone calls are re-routed to the main US office in Virginia.

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CAL – Item # P-47 – Al-Anon Sharings from Adult Children

P-47Last week I finished reading the entire general Newcomer Packet (item # K-10), so now I’m starting on the next one that fits me best: Adult Children of Alcoholics (K-21).

WHAT I LEARNED: I’m glad to see that a couple of the sharings were from Alateen members, but the best part was a breakdown of each of the 12 Steps from an Adult Child standpoint.

**BONUS:  At 24 pages total, this is the longest pamphlet I’ve read so far, but which pamphlet has the most pages?  (Hint: it’s a 3-way tie!  See P-4, P-57 & P-60.)

***UPDATE (7/20/13): Cancel that 3-way tie, I’ve just come across an even longer pamphlet at a whopping 48 pages total!  (Hint: See P-18!)