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~ My journey & joy through CAL & AFG adventures ~


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PODCAST – Item #’s B-30 / R-18 – Discovering Choices / Parents of Alcoholics

Episode 5 of my “CAL Chat” podcast is now available to listen to!  To hear it, please visit the show’s webpage at: www.calchat.libsyn.com (or you can subscribe to it for free on iTunes & Google Play Music as well & you’ll be notified every time a new episode is posted).

B-30In part 1 of 4 of Episode 5, Theresa focuses on chapters 1 & 9 from one of her favorite books “Discovering Choices” (item # B-30) & shares how, after coming in the Al-Anon program, reading the literature can start the recovery process.  We also talk about the benefits of belonging to a CAL study group, setting different types of boundaries, how we use our nose & knees in recovery, & detaching without using a hatchet!

In part 2 of 4, she highlights chapter 13 & breaks down how service work (& especially the Concepts 4, 5, & 10) helped her grow in all areas of her life.  She explains the benefits of having a Service Sponsor, how we’re never alone, & addresses the fear behind willingness.  The conversation then moves into the importance of failure & discover a new way to look at the cover of the book!

r18Theresa’s favorite piece of literature to use for outreach purposes is the reprint “Parents of Alcoholics” (item # R-18) in part 3 of 4.  It’s only 12 pages, but so powerful!  She shares the moment she hit her “bottom” & what brought her into the Al-Anon program.  We also talk about being able to differentiate between helping versus enabling & what is one thing a parent can definitely do for their alcoholic child.

In part 4 of 4, the conversation continues about other Conference Approved Literature that is available for parents & how CAL is not like other self-help/recovery literature.  Lastly, find out why her favorite outreach piece may not be around much longer!

instagram**BONUS: If you’d like to follow the “CAL Chat” show on Instagram, you can search by the username: CALChatFan1.  It’s a different way to enjoy Conference Approved Literature.  So, as always, I hope you enjoy & happy reading!

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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 # P-9 – How Can I Help My Children?

P-9WHAT I LEARNED:  1. “Helping” is a tricky word in this program.  This pamphlet basically boils down to setting a good example & “Secure your own mask first” before assisting children (or anyone else for that matter).  It’s full of tips, personal stories, a checklist for parents, Steps, Traditions, slogans, & an excerpt from the pamphlet Dear Mom & Dad (P-67).

2. I’m glad to see that Alateen is encouraged in this pamphlet because I just read a passage on page 111 from Many Voices, One Journey (B-31) of something I’ve never thought about before: “You often hear asked, ‘Why are the Al-Anons so frightened of these kids?’  I don’t think we’re frightened at all of the kids.  I think we are frightened of finding out the harm we did.   of what we have done to our children, afraid to look.”  Whoa – deep!   Although I’m not a parent, as an aunt, once I see that we all have our masks secured & are able to breathe freely, I have to let go of my fear of whatever my niece & nephew discover   & that includes how they feel about me.


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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.


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CAL – Item # P-21 – Youth & the Alcoholic Parent

P-21Last week I finished the Professional Packet (item #K-30).  (What I learned about all the other items in that packet can be found in previous entries for the General Newcomer Packet (K-10)).   …This week, I’m starting the very last packet, whew!

WHAT I LEARNED: 1. This is the second pamphlet in the Alateen Newcomer Packet (K-18).  (The first one was “Facts about Alateen” (P-41) that I blogged about last week.)   It covers some brief info about the Alateen program, but it’s mostly frequently asked questions by teens about their parents & explains six slogans that might help.  If I was using this pamphlet for outreach purposes, I’d hand it out to kids, rather than adults.

2. This is one of the few pamphlets that was revised this year, & it’s gone through quite a bit of changes since 1991.  It looks like it’s been re-written to focus more on “we” than “you”, some outdated language has been taken out, the layout is much better, & the website is more prominent.  Overall, it’s such a great improvement, I think I’ll only sell this new version from now on.  I’ve scanned an image of the new version & posted it with this entry.


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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.