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~ My journey & joy through CAL & AFG adventures ~


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CAL – Item # R-18 – Parents of Alcoholics

r18WHAT I LEARNED: 1. The item # for this short 12-page piece begins with an “R” because this is a reprint of various articles from The Forum magazine.  It came out in 2012 & reprints are typically only printed for a 2-year period.  However, demand for this piece must be high because it’s now 4 years later & it is still available for $1, but there’s a good chance that this will be discontinued in 2017 or 2018.  The World Service office is currently putting together a brand new pamphlet with the working title “Parents & Grandparents of Problem Drinkers.”  It’s for a wider audience & I imagine once that new pamphlet comes out, it will replace this temporary R-18 reprint.  So stock up now if you like this item!

2. The main thing I got from this piece is the importance of, & difficulty with, letting someone you love hit their bottom.  And it’s different for everyone.  I would say to myself, “Surely being homeless & living in a drain, or being arrested & sitting in jail is his bottom.”  But what I thought (& desperately wanted to believe), was different than what reality actually was.  The only thing I really knew was when I had hit my bottom.  When my desire to go to an Al-Anon meeting changed from casual to urgent.  That’s the only true “hitting bottom” I can be sure of.

3. If you’re searching for more Conference Approved Literature that applies specifically to parents, see my previous entry on the pamphlet: To Parents of Alcoholics (item # P-16) or the entire Parents Newcomer Packet (item # K-24).

4. I have 2 favorite lines from this reprint:

From page 3: “If I give one hand to my Higher Power & the other to someone in need, I will keep my hands out of other people’s business & I will be okay.”

super-mom-smiley-emoticonFrom page 8: “I listened to one woman say that after many years in Al-Anon & many open AA meetings, she had never heard a speaker say, “I was saved by my momma.”

**BONUS: Stay tuned to the next “CAL Chat” podcast Episode #5 where this piece is discussed even further & how the featured guest uses it for outreach purposes!


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CAL – Item # M-18 – Alateen Program Wallet Card

M-18WHAT I LEARNED:  Somehow, when I was reviewing the Alateen Newcomer Packet (item # K-18), I must not have seen this small wallet card.  But since I’m now going through the literature chronologically it came up in 1978’s Conference Summary.  Sure it has the Alateen Preamble, 12 Steps, Alateen Traditions, & Serenity Prayer, but the little secret with this wallet card is that even though it came out in 1978, Alateen’s 12 Traditions weren’t officially ratified by the World Service Office until 2009!  See page 368 in Many Voices, One Journey (item # B-31) to find out why


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CAL – Item # N/A – Alateen Talk Newsletter

Alateen Talk NewsletterWHAT I LEARNED: 1. This is the eleventh & last item in the Alateen Newcomer Packet & is a full issue of a newsletter – not an excerpt.  The particular one in this packet is 8 pages total, has feedback on a writing workshop & an Alateen Conference, various sharings from members around the world, & drawings from a 7 yr old member (whew that’s young)!  …But the best part is a Daily Reader game board on the back page.  For example, I could land on the square that says: “Read the page of a friend’s birthday.”  I think I’ll make copies of this & share it at the next District Meeting as a way to bring fun into using our literature in a new way.

2. Much like The Forum magazine, this newsletter is the only CAL item that can continuously reflect the current times for Alateen.  Sure, there’s an Alateen section in The Forum, but it’s usually only 1 or 2 pages – or you can always view an excerpt by clicking on this link: Alateen Talk Excerpt, but neither of them have board games!

**BONUS: According to the new 2013 Conference Summary (item # P-46), WSO is still working on getting the electronic version of The Forum up & running by the end of this year.  I think it would be great if they eventually do the same for the Alateen Talk newsletter!  If I find out anything about this, I’ll post an update…


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CAL – Item # N/A – Alateen Talk Subscription Form

Alateen Talk Subscription FormWHAT I LEARNED: This is the tenth item in the Alateen Newcomer Packet.  Every registered Alateen group should already be receiving a copy of this quarterly newsletter (that will be the next item I review), but individuals can also order their own personal copy using this form.  It’s $2.50 for a 1-year subscription & if you can’t find this particular form, there’s also one on the last page of the CAL order form (item # S-16) or you can click here to see it on page 15 of our 2013 CAL Catalog (item # S-15): 2013 CAL Catalog


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CAL – Item # M-13 – Just for Today (Alateen Bookmark)

M-13WHAT I LEARNED: This is the fifth item in the Alateen Newcomer Packet & it’s very different than the Al-Anon bookmark by the same name (item # M-12).  The “Thank You God” prayer is a good gratitude reminder for those days when I can’t think of anything to be grateful for!


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CAL – Item # P-22 – If Your Parents Drink Too Much…

P-22WHAT I LEARNED: 1. This is the fourth item in the Alateen Newcomer Packet & is a cartoon booklet.  Technically, it’s not categorized as an “Outreach” item, but I think it could be because it looks like the only thing in the entire packet (& our entire CAL catalog) that would appeal to a pre-teen kid (age 9-12) that has never heard of Alateen.

2. It follows the stories of 3 different teenagers & even though it’s a cartoon, it’s not cutesy & it doesn’t paint Alateen as a spoonful of sugar.  In fact, not all the teenagers find their way into the program!  …Pretty realistic for a target audience that probably has already had to deal with enough hard reality.