Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An "A-Ha!" About Recovery


Recently a lightbulb of clarification came to me in three short items. Here they are:

AA is for learning how to put the cork in the bottle.

Al-Anon is for learning to respect myself and also the dignity of a loved one trying (or not) to put the cork in the bottle.

ACA is for learning why certain behaviors in other people can trigger such intense feelings in me.

I am interested in hearing what other people think about these distinctions between three recovery programs. Anybody?


  1. Frankly I think you have nailed it. Al-Anon is, in fact, for so many not just those involved with alcohol. And ACA would help many as well. Who doesn't have a list of people who, for whatever reason, PISS US OFF? If we can figure out How, Why etc., wouldn't that be a good thing???

  2. I attended both Al-Anon and ACA even though alcohol wasn't involved in my family either and found both helpful too, especially ACA. It was quite a long time ago. I agree with your assessment. I'd add that ACA teaches us about the self defeating and destructive thought patterns we develop while growing up in dysfunctional families and the reasons why these patterns develop. It also taught me that there are a lot of other people who feel the exact same way.

  3. Yay hooray comments are still possible on my meager little blog. There is life on my blogspot -- thanks you guys. I agree: the thing that was bugging me was why I would need ACA at all if I were already in Al-Anon. Then the light dawned and I am really glad I see the value of ACA because seeing that is getting me to the meetings.

  4. My friend Chris Coyle is having trouble posting her comment, so I am posting it for her with her explicit permission. If any others of you are having similar trouble, I would appreciate knowing (though I don't know how to fix it). I know you have to click on the actual word COMMENT and not on the little envelope. Anyway, here's what Chris said, "I think you got the Tri-fecta! All three elements are important in a long term and balanced recovery. We have to learn how to deal with others in a new way; to protect ourselves from sliding back into our old patterns. PS
    I can’t figure out how to post this comment to your blog. If you can do it I would not mind sharing."

  5. Thank you, Chris, for allowing me to post this for you. It never ceases to amaze me how many people resonate with this Twelve-Step stuff. I think it must be pretty universal information. Thanks, Chris!