Posted in 12 Steps, Al-Anon, Step Five

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…

Continue reading “Are you keeping these and staying sick?”

Posted in 12 Steps, Al-Anon, Step Four

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!

Continue reading “You seriously need to clean out your refrigerator!”

Posted in Al-Anon, Step Three

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…

Continue reading “How to get a brand new Compass: My Thoughts on Step Three”

Posted in Al-Anon, Step Two

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.

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

Posted in Recovery, Self-Love

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. Continue reading “A Sword that Heals: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Personal Nonviolence”

Posted in Step One

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. Continue reading “Finding out I am powerless over Alcohol: My thoughts on Step One”

Posted in 12 Steps, Al-Anon

Succeeding in Recovery: Working the 12 Steps

 

The 12 Steps are the lifeblood of any 12 Step Program – whether it’s Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Narcotics Anonymous, etc. Personally, I see the 12 Steps as a road map to personal healing and relationships – they show you the specific direction to take to get you where you need to go in recovery.

Continue reading “Succeeding in Recovery: Working the 12 Steps”

Posted in Book Reviews, Children & Parenting

The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, PhD

The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Dr. Shefali Tsabury is a parenting book with a unique view on the parent-child relationship apart from the traditional “DIY disciplinary” books that have been on shelves for so many years. Continue reading “The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, PhD”

Posted in Step Nine

Making Amends to my Mom

This is the letter I wrote and read to my mother as part of my Step 9 work. In my opinion, my mother and I have had a very strained and painful relationship for many years. My mother’s alcoholism, drug addiction, codependency, prison sentences, and her personal decision to not work through her own childhood trauma and programming made it difficult for her to parent me. I held on tightly to all of the pain and resentment and anger from my childhood for a long time and I treated her badly because of it.

Continue reading “Making Amends to my Mom”

Posted in Adult Children of Alcoholics, The Walking Dead

Why Maggie Rhee is a Powerful Force to be Reckoned with

SPOILER WARNING! By reading further, you take full responsibility for what you may or may not discover about the current happenings in the world of The Walking Dead. If you are not caught up with the TV series and do not wish to find out information that will, you know, SPOIL it for you, don’t read on. For real. We’re all accountable for ourselves here.

Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead (Season 7, Episode 5: “Go Getters”) was one of those rare episodes that felt hopeful and heartwarming and happy to me…and that’s saying something since it’s the zombie apocalypse and all.

So can we just talk about Maggie?

Continue reading “Why Maggie Rhee is a Powerful Force to be Reckoned with”