The Adult Child And Al-anon
Here are some of my ideas on the subject of why "adult-child" work belongs in Al-anon. Take what you like and leave the rest.
Adult-child issues are often discovered late in the recovery process.Many of us found Al-anon as a reaction to our frustrated attempt to love analcoholic. Our first active step was admitting our powerlessness over alcohol: inother words, alcohol itself was no longer that power greater than ‘ourselves’; asthough alcohol were a higher power ruling our behavior.Eventually we even come to say that ' we are powerless over other people,places, and things '. At this point, for many of us, alcohol is no longer the 'only'issue. We find that our reactions to the non-alcoholic problems of our daily lifeare still inappropriate and harmful to others, loved ones and ourselves.Working the first step opens me to the possibility that many of the problemsconfronting me in my life reside, not in alcohol or the alcoholic, but in thehabitual thinking and feeling processes going on inside me. Many of theseprocesses were developed in childhood as a response to the way I was raised;and, they were reinforced within an alcoholic partnership. The process of recovery often reveals to me, "sometimes slowly or haltingly, occasionally ingreat bursts of brilliance," that what I was thinking and/or feeling about today'sgiven problem is not connected to this problem in any real way. This is not adenial of my thoughts or feelings. It is an admission that what I think and/or feelcan be mistaken. That which I am thinking and/or feeling may have nothing todo with what is really going on in the world today, and it may have everything todo with long held expectations of myself or of the world.I sometimes experience, fearfully within myself, a process of disillusionment, involving the discovery that my thoughts, feelings, beliefs,ideas, etc., are not connected to reality; that is, they are, false evidenceappearing real [FEAR]. Many people practicing the 12 Steps, within any 12Step community, including Al-anon, discover that the origins of today'sinappropriate thoughts and/or feelings are in childhood experiences. Thisdiscovery gives rise to the "inner child" concept. The adult-child, in my opinion,is the person making this discovery. Old thoughts and/or feelings, possiblyappropriate for the old experience, habitually arise to color and misinterpret mypart in today's activities or events. As a result, my participation in the real worldis continually frustrated, and I am unable to act in a manner that grants mewhat I want. I simply react ineffectually.Now, " If we willingly surrender ourselves to the spiritual discipline of theTwelve Steps, our lives will be transformed. " This statement does not tell us to