from Twelve Steps of Adult Children Steps Workbook page 42
I am powerless over the effects of alcoholism and family dysfunction.
I am powerless over the Laundry List traits.
My life is unmanageable when I focus on others rather than myself.
I did not cause my parents' addictions or dysfunction.
My feelings and thoughts are separate from the thoughts of my parents and my family.
I can stop trying to heal or to change my family through my current relationships. I can stop trying to change others.
I can stop condemning myself without mercy.
I am a valuable person.
Sometimes affirmations work better for me if I say them with, "You are..." rather than "I am..."
Please try these if you feel guided:
You are powerless over the effects of alcoholism and family dysfunction.
You are powerless over the Laundry List traits.
Your life is unmanageable when you focus on others rather than yourself.
You did not cause your parents' addictions or dysfunction.
Your feelings and thoughts are separate from the thoughts of your parents and your family.
You can stop trying to heal or to change your family through your current relationships. You can stop trying to change others.
You can stop condemning yourself without mercy.
You are a valuable person.
Came to Believe... ACA Statements for the Fellowship Text
1.We believe ... this book (ACA Big Book) represents the most complete description of the ACA experience from our fellowship view. (pg. ix)
2.We believe ... this discussion (on the greater meaning of ACA Recovery) will lead to new levels of clarity for Adult Children. (pg. ix)
3.We believe ... that ACA has the potential to help the suffering Adult Children of the world on the magnitude that Alcoholics Anonymous brought relief to hopeless alcoholics in the 20th century. (xiii)
4.We believe ... that once a recovering Adult Child meets and shares his or her story with another Adult Child seeking help, that adult cannot view co-dependence the same again. (pg. xiv)
5.In addition to focusing on ourselves through the Twelve Steps, we believe ... that the family system is open for inspection as well. (pg. xv)
6. We believe ... that each of us is born with a True Self that is forced into hiding by dysfunctional parenting. (pg. xv)
7.We believe ... it is through the Twelve steps program of ACA that we no longer live life from a basis of fear. We live with self-care and love. (pg. xx iv)
8.In ACA we believe ... the experiences of growing up in a dysfunctional family affect us as adults. (pg. 3)
9.Adult children from all family types not only feel shame deeply, but we believe ... we are shame. (pg. 10)
10.We believe ... that we will be safe and never abandoned if we are nice and if we never show anger. (pg. 11)
11.We believe ... that the long-term effects of fear transferred to us by a non-alcoholic parent can match the damaging effects of alcohol. (pg. 23)
12.We believe ... that hitting, threats, projection, belittlement, and indifference are the delivery mechanisms that deeply insert the disease of family dysfunction within us. (pg. 27)
13.We believe ... that something is wrong with us even though we cannot voice what the thing is. (pg. 30)
14.We ... either believe ... that the way we were raised has a direct link to our compulsions and co-dependence as adults, or we do not believe it. (pg. 33)
15.Yet, if we believe ... there is a connection, we can choose ACA and pick up the tools of recovery. (pg. 33)
16.We believe ... the solution of inclusion rose from the spiritual depths of ACA meetings and group consciences. (pg. 63)
17.We believe ... that the disease of family dysfunction is a spiritual dilemma rather than a moral deficiency to be solved by proper living. (pg. 75)
18.We don't believe ... we have a mental health problem to be cured purely by science. (pg. 75)
19.Many of us believe ... that our actual parent is a Higher Power, who is patient and loving. (pg. 75)
20.Most of us no longer believe ... that God is punishing, abandoning, or indifferent. (pg, 75)
21.We believe ... that family dysfunction is a spiritual disease that best responds to surrender, self-acceptance, and consistent effort by the adult child to make conscious contact with a Higher Power. (pg. 76)
22.We don't believe ... that family dysfunction is a moral deficiency of the parents or that changing our behavior is merely a matter of self-will. (pg. 76)
23.Adult Children of Alcoholics believe ... that recovery from the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional home requires spiritual intervention; however we do not propose to be the authority on what works best for each individual. (pg. 78)
24.We are God's children despite mistakes made. Through such affirmations and Twelve Step work, we come to believe ... in our self-worth. (pg. 93)
25.We wrongly believed ... we solved the problems from our birth family by keeping our own homes in order. We may have even eliminated alcohol or other dysfunction from our home. Our children, who often act out in addiction or aggression, give us a clue to our failing. We unintentionally passed on our family insanity or distorted thinking. (pg. 134)
26.We came to believe that this behavior was normal when it was insane by the standards of decency or true parental love. (pg. 135)
27.We are not aligned with any religious, mystical, or spiritual systems of belief; however, we believe it is imperative that the recovering adult child find a Higher Power to help him or her find healing from growing up in a dysfunctional home. (pg. 141)
28.We do not believe our brains are missing any elements. We start with the premise that we are whole and that we had a normal reaction to an abnormal situation of being raised in a dysfunctional home. (pg. 143)
29.In ACA, we believe we were born whole and became fragmented in body, mind, and spirit through abandonment and shame. We need help finding a way to return to our miracle state. (pg. 143)
30.We believe in a spiritual solution for the disease of family dysfunction. (pg. 143)
31.In addition to a deep sense of shame and abandonment, we believe that most of our emotional and mental distress can be traced to our steadfast nature to control. In ACA, we realize that control was the survival trait which kept us safe or alive in our dysfunctional homes. (pg. 143)
32.We believe our best hope is seeking a spiritual solution in concert with other recovering adult children. (pg. 148)
33.We are an autonomous program founded on the belief ... that family dysfunction is a disease that affected us as children and affects us as adults. (pg. 333)
34.We believe ... that the fear and confused thinking of the co-dependent is one of the mechanisms that pass on alcoholism and other family dysfunction even when alcohol is removed from the home. (pg. 335)
35.ACA believes ... there is a direct link between our childhood and our decisions and thoughts as an adult. (pg. 338)
36.As discussed in Chapter Two, we believe ... that some of our stored feelings become a drug, driving us from the inside to harm ourselves or others. This is the para-alcoholic nature of co-dependence. (pg. 457)
37.With this knowledge of the body, we believe ... that fear and other emotions can act as a drug. (pg. 458)
38.We believe ... when the time is right, that teen leadership will form meetings for abused and neglected young people wanting what ACA has to offer. (pg. 475)
39.In ACA, we believe ... connecting with our feelings and Inner Child are just as important as working the Twelve Steps and Sponsorship. (pg. 558)
Our feelings of self-worth and adequacy start to grow as we successfully reparent ourselves, and we begin to trust our ability to love and serve others. We give service just by being present to support and encourage other members of the program as they make the transition from frightened adult children to whole human beings who are capable of acting with the spontaneity of a child and the wisdom of a mature adult. This central concept underlies and supports all forms of service. (pg. 354)
A healthy relationship involves talking about feelings, mutual respect, and a commitment to trust and honesty. There are many other elements to a successful and intimate relationship, but these are a good start. Not surprisingly, these are the tools and principles included in the ACA program: feelings, respect, trust, and honesty. (pg. 403)
In ACA, we are more alike than different. The common denominator among all adult children involves the sense that we have failed at fixing our families or that we helped cause our family problems. Believing we could have controlled outcomes or restored our family is a common error in thinking among adult children from all dysfunctional family types. Our common solution is a spiritual awakening brought by seeking a God of our Understanding through the Twelve Steps. We must also reparent ourselves and help others to continue our spiritual growth. These are the foundational truths of our fellowship put in place from the beginning. These experiences have sustained us and carried us ... as Adult Children of Alcoholics. (pg. 646)
We believe that learning to make relationships work is at the core of full recovery. Doing so takes skill and skills are learned. (pg. 15, Stage II Recovery Life Beyond Addiction, Earnie Larsen)
retrieved from http://acoa.activeboard.com/forum.spark?aBID=42759 April 14, 2018
ID#57 Title: Step 4 Affirmation Message: The promises of ACA are for me, and they are being fulfilled in my life. I am discovering my real identity. I am facing shame and uncomfortable feelings without running or acting-out. I have positive attributes that I am discovering. God,as I understand God, hears my prayers. I can ask for help.
Step Seven Affirmations
I am strong
I am humorous
I am sensitive
I am willing
I am intelligent
I am compassionate
I am courteous
I am talented
I am honest
I am organized
I am spontaneous
I am creative
I am loving
I am a listener
I am spiritual
I am trustworthy
I am tenacious
I am judicious
I am accepting
I am modest
I am prompt
I am kind
I am hard working
I am a friend
I am an ACA member
from page 263 of the Big Red Book
ID#68 Title: Affirmations for Healthy, Loving Relationships Message:
Chapter Eight Affirmations
My feelings are okay
I am human
I make mistakes, but I am not a mistake
I don't have to be perfect
It is okay to know who I am
see page 298 of the Big Red Book
Chapter Eight Exercises
Inner Child Affirmations
I love my Inner Child unconditionally.
I will protect my Inner Child to the best of my ability.
I will take time to listen to my Inner Child and to follow through on promises.
I will integrate my Inner Child into my life through play, creativity, and spirituality.
I will take time to become my own Loving Parent.
see page 328 of the Big Red Book
Chapter Eight Exercises
Inner Child Questions
How does your Loving Parent communicate regularly with your Inner Child?
How might you establish trust with your Inner Child?
How do you let your Inner Child play regularly?
How do you integrate your Inner Child into your feelings and decisions?
How do you affirm your Inner Child or Inner Children?
How does your Inner Child help you connect you with a Higher Power?
Do you love your Inner Child unconditionally?
How has your Inner Child sabotaged you from gettings things done?
see page 328 of the Big Red Book
ID#79 Title: Affirmations for your Inner Child from Chapter 8 Message:
Higher Power. Help me to be willing to recognize the Loving Parent inside of me. Help me integrate my Inner Child more actively into my daily life so that I remain awake spiritually. Grant me the courage to change the things I can. Grant me the wisdom of my Inner Child.
see page 329-330 of the Big Red Book
ID#80 Title: Affirmations for Relationships Message:
ID#82 Title: Assertiveness Affirmations Message:
ID#83 Title: ACA Affirmations Message:
1) I am learning it is ok to be different from other people & that being normal is no longer important to me!
2) I am gaining the courage to confront my problems.
3) I am learning to follow through & complete projects, set attainable goals, organize & pace myself.
4) I am learning that I have options that will allow me to make decisions.
5) I am learning to be truthful with myself & authentic with others that telling the truth won't hurt me to say, *I made a mistake* & that mistakes mean growth.
6) I am learning not to dwell on negatives or transfer my negatives to others.
7) I am learning to live & let live.
8) I am learning to have more confidence & believe in myself as well as accepting myself as I am not an under or over achiever.
9) I am learning to appreciate the little things in life & to enjoy life as it is, whatever the circumstances. I can have fun by assuming the responsibility for my fun.
10) I am learning to let go & turn things over to my Higher Power.
11) I am learning not to take myself so seriously.
12) I am learning to be more open & adaptable & not push people away, to be more trusting in intimate relationships, to avoid destructive relationships & to walk away from existing relationships that are unhealthy.
13) I am learning to live for myself & not for the approval of others.
14) I am learning not to control or save others.
15) I am learning when to be loyal, when not to be loyal & most of all to be loyal to myself.
16) I am learning to understand myself by listening to my inner feelings & avoiding compulsive behavior that seeks immediate gratification.
17) I am learning to stand up for myself by listening to my inner feelings & avoiding compulsive behavior that seeks immediate gratification.
18) I am significant to God.
19) I am learning that everything I need I have at this very moment.
20) I am the best I can be right now.
Step Two ACA affirmation - meditation exercise
The affirmation exercise can be done at home, at work or a place of your own choosing. Many adult children find a quiet place and turn off cell phones, televisions, or other distracting devices. Sitting in a relaxed condition, they breathe in and out slowly five to 10 times, concentrating on a comfortable spot in front of them. Glancing at the affirmations, they repeat each one slowly before closing their eyes for the meditation. For the best results, don't try to figure out the affirmation as you read it. Simply state it slowly and listen to the words and your voice. These affirmations can also be taken with you by jotting them down on notebook paper. Some ACA members tape them to a mirror at home.
1) By attending ACA meetings and working with my sponsor (or spiritual advisor) I am being restored to clarity and sanity.
2) I am understanding the effects of addiction and family dysfunction in my adult life today.
3) I am coming to believe that it was insane to think that I caused my parents' addiction or dysfunction. I was the child. They were the parents.
4) I am not unique.
5) I am not alone.
from pages 55-56 of the Yellow Workbook
Step Three ACA Affirmations-Meditation Exercise
Affirmations: Let Go, Let God
I am willing to consider some control in my life.
I am willing to call someone when I feel the urge to control another's thoughts or actions.
I believe that real choice comes from the God of my understanding rather than my illusions of control or orderliness.
I desire real choice and discernment.
I surrender my family to God as I understand God.
I surrender my self-hate.
Third Step Prayer
Many ACA members use the Third Step Prayer to formalize their Third Step and to move on to Step Four. Some of us say this prayer with another person. This person can be your sponsor, counselor, spiritual advisor, or close friend. We offer this action for the purpose of learning to ask someone to participate in your new life. Sharing a prayer with another person lets us know we are making a connection to life and others in a meaningful way. Here is the ACA Third Step Prayer.
God. I am willing to surrender my fears and to place my will and my life in your care one day at a time. Grant me the wisdom to know the difference between the things I can and cannot change. Help me to remember that I can ask for help. I am not alone. Amen.
Step Three Spiritual Principles:
Willingness and Accepting Help
from pages 68-69 of the Yellow Workbook (Twelve Steps of Adult Children)
For these exercises, find a quiet place with a full-length mirror or a mirror large enough to show your face and shoulders.
The First Exercise is known as silent mirror work. In this exercise, the person stares at his or her image in the mirror and remains silent while noticing any feelings or thoughts. The person looks at his or her hair, forehead, lips, throat, chin, and so on. With a notepad nearby, the person writes down any feelings, thoughts, or words that might arise. Also notice posture, breathing, and the location of your hands. The way that we look at ourselves and carry ourselves tells us a lot about how we view ourselves.
The final part of the exercise involves looking into one's own eyes for 60 seconds or more and then writing down any thoughts or feelings that arise as well.
Repeat the silent mirror exercise for at least seven days and share your writing with a sponsor or ACA friend.
The Second Exercise involves looking into your eyes in a mirror and repeating an affirmation. The affirmation can be "I love you, ____________________(your name). I am a human being. I am a good person. I am a decent person. I am here for me." There are other affirmations. You can add your own. Do this exercise for seven days and write down any thoughts or feelings that arise. Share your thoughts and feelings with your sponsor or ACA group. You can also tape the affirmations to the mirror and read them in between exercises.
You might also combine the two exercises and look into the mirror before repeating an affirmation. Write down thoughts, feelings, or words that come to mind as you work this exercise for several days.
Step Four Gentleness Break
During this gentleness break, read the Twelve Promises of ACA listed at the front of the workbook.
Affirmation: The promises of ACA are for me, and they are being fulfilled in my life. I am discovering my real identity. I am facing shame and uncomfortable feelings without running or acting-out. I have positive attributes that I am discovering. God, as I understand God, hears my prayers. I can ask for help.
ID#117 Title: To Joy! Message:
Pour out your heart to the Lord. Read the entire Book of Psalms over and over. Look for passages where David talked about crying unto the Lord. Underline passages about God's steadfast love. Immerse yourself in the affirmations of God's care. Come to believe that God gives unconditional love rather than the conditional love human beings give.
from page 184 of Healing for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Sara Hines Martin
ID#118 Title: To Joy! Message:
Use the book "Daily Affirmations for Adult Children of Alcoholics" by Rokelle Lerner as a guide "for the renewing of your mind." Distortions take place within the perceptions of family members in the alcoholic home - perceptions toward oneself and toward reality, in general. ACAs can have a lot of self-pity. Their self-esteem can be subterranean. They are filled with should messages.They feel victims and feel they have no options. They need to put new material into the 'tapes' within their minds.
Write out affirmation statements and repeat them throughout the day. Here are some examples: I am a person of worth. I can cope. I am OK.
David Semands, author of Healing for Damaged Emotions tells that in the British navy, a "still" is blown, just before any combat. A whistle blows and a moment of silence follows. Each person repeats these statements to himself: I am British. I am trained. I can do it.
Dr. Seamands suggests that in a moment of crisis or anxiety we blow the "Christian still." It would go thus: I am a child of God. I am equipped by the Holy Spirit. I can handle whatever comes.
from pages 184-185 of Healing for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Sara Hines Martin.
ID#121 Title: To Joy! Message:
Cooperate with Nature
Catecholamines are biochemicals that the brain secretes when a person is under stress of any type. Catecholamines actually collect within the body, causing physical illnesses. Endorphins are the natural tranquilizers are the natural painkillers that the brain secretes when a person experiences pleasure in thought or behavior. Production of endorphins flushes out catecholamines. Do everything you can to increase the flow of endorphins in your system.
Physical exercise, meditation, positive thinking, listening to music, looking at a beautiful picture, focusing on nature as you drive, reading positive and inspirational materials, singing a hymn, reciting affirmative statements mentally, laughing, playing with animals and/or children, doing a hobby, sharing your feelings with another person, and praying are some examples. Whatever brings a pleasurable response for you will produce endorphins. You will feel more relaxed, more positive, and actually be healthier physically. You will be better able to cope with whatever stresses exist in your life.
Say several peaceful statements to yourself. "Be still" and "I trust in God" are good examples. Notice what happens to your bodily responses when you make those statements. Do you feel yourself getting calmer and more powerful in contrast to feeling out of control or powerless?
Now say, "Things are really hectic." "Everything's a mess." Notice your bodily responses. We can have control over our minds and our bodies by the words and thoughts we put into our minds. Notice the difference in the words "peace" and "panic". Hearing certain words produces a definite emotional response within. Keep calming statements handy - in writing or in your mind - to pull out when you feel your anxiety levels rising. Put laughter therapy into your daily schedule. Check out books from the library of collections on humor, and laugh for five minutes before going to bed each night.
We cannot control the actions of another person, but we can choose how to think. We can retrain our minds to think positively.
Follow good nutritional guidelines. Many ACAs become addicted to food, sweets, caffeine, or chocolate.
We can have control over our minds and our bodies by the words and thoughts we put into our minds.
from Healing for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Sara Hines Martin.