Are you keeping these and staying sick?

Click here to read the introduction to my 12 Step Series and find links to all of my 12 Step posts in one place as they become available. 


Step Five: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.


Secrets. They can seem so innocent and mysterious. Whether we’re talking about cool spies with “TOP SECRET” information or friends who create “secret societies” with passwords and hideouts, secrets in this connotation can be harmless and cute….fun even!

secrets and friends

But little kids playing games or silly secrets being shared between friends aren’t the type of secrets I’m talking about right now. I’m talking about the destructive type of secrets: the ones that fill us with shame and fear and keep us trapped within our dysfunction. I’m talking about the secrets that make us feel like we have to hide, lie, and cover up pieces of our past and ourselves; the secrets that do nothing but cause harm and havoc in our lives. I’m talking about the secrets that keep us sick.

And what better time to talk about secrets that keep us sick than when we talk about Step Five…

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You seriously need to clean out your refrigerator!

Click here to read the introduction to my 12 Step Series and find links to all of my 12 Step posts in one place as they become available. 


Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves


Well…that sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? 😨

With words like “fearless” and “searching” and “moral” being tossed around, Step Four can sometimes sound like it’s describing a brave knight in shining armor way more than it’s describing someone like me or you.

knight in shining armor
The brave knight, Sir Al-Anon of Alcoholia, who made a fearless and searching moral inventory

All jokes aside, I know Step Four can sound scary at first but it’s actually very cool. And I’ve got good news for you, friend. If you’ve ever had a refrigerator, you can relate to Step Four. Why? Because Step Four is just cleaning out the fridge. You’ve cleaned out a fridge before, right? If you’ve worked Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 (and you “get” why you need to clean out your fridge every once in awhile), then you’re completely capable of working this Step. And, when you’re finished, you’re gonna be so glad that you did it!

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How to get a brand new Compass: My Thoughts on Step Three

Click here to read the introduction to my 12 Step Series and find links to all of my 12 Step posts in one place as they become available. 


Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.


Step Three in a 12 Step program is where you bravely take your leap of Faith. You agree to give your Higher Power a chance at the reins and then you get to watch your life change. No, it’s not overnight but it can definitely happen. Have you ever felt like you’re seriously lacking some direction in your life? I’ve felt like that a lot. Thank goodness that Step Three is all about getting a brand new compass to help you find your way…

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Get off the “Crazy Carousel” with the help of a Higher Power: My thoughts on Step Two

Click here to read the introduction to my 12 Step Series and find links to all of my 12 Step posts in one place as they become available. 


Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves

could restore us to sanity.


Step Two is about believing a Higher Power could be out there (if you don’t already believe it when you come into the program) and that this Higher Power could help you finally get off the “Crazy Carousel” – because do you really want to go another round on that thing? Let me be honest with you: Step Two was strangely hard for me. I had more than one complaint about this Step and I struggled.

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A Sword that Heals: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Personal Nonviolence

“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. It is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals…” 

– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


I used to be a very violent person. I wouldn’t have seen it or admitted it back then but it doesn’t make it any less true. When I would talk to the Alcoholics and Addicts in my life, the pain I felt poured out of me and I used angry, hateful words and mean, judge-y silences with the intent to hurt them. And you know what else? I mercilessly judged, neglected, and mistreated myself…and that was violent too. No one was safe around me – including myself. (more…)

Finding out I am powerless over Alcohol: My thoughts on Step One

Click here to read the introduction to my 12 Step Series and find links to all of my 12 Step posts in one place as they become available. 


Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol –

that our lives had become unmanageable.


At its core, Step One is about understanding and completely accepting that we cannot control other people. It might sound simple enough in theory but it can be really hard for many of us Adult Children of Alcoholics to allow this truth to settle into our minds and hearts. (more…)