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It seems that 12 Step Programs follow the same format and questions regarding the step work process. The only difference being the focus of 'powerlessness over......'

What follows is MY personal ideas around what Emotions Anonymous can address and what it may be useful for. I DO NOT SPEAK FOR EMOTIONS ANONYMOUS, only from my own personal experience.

In my experience with Emotions Anonymous the focus is on powerlessness over emotions, the tangible and intangible 'feelings' that dwell on top of, beneath, and overlay the issues of living life on a daily basis. It can address the unlying feelings beneath panic, anxiety and depression. The frozen or the over blown emotions. The sense of worth or worthlessness.

I have seen and/or experienced powerlessness over emotions taking the form of 'acting out' in such ways as a rageaholic, an agoraphobic, a depressive personality, a martyr, a victim, an overcontrolling perfectionist. A bully or a super human supporter.

Powerlessness over emotions to me is to feel complete submission to the forces of the emotions and life becoming unbearable under the demands of these emotions to 'react' or 'act' and the subsequent powerlessness to stop this behavior on one's own.

Step 4 reads "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves"

We are asked to make a realistic assessment of ourselves. To get to know ourselves better. To look into our self-awareness and describe our behavior as it really is. To take courageous steps to face ourselves and what is really going on in our lives. To be willing to look at ways our behavior may or may not be working morally. To look at the payoff of our behaviors and if there are strings attached. What am I getting out of it.  What do I NEED that requires me to use these methods to get my needs met. I am asked To SUSPEND JUDGEMENT on myself and others while doing it. To balance assets and defects. to be willing to not deny things, in case the emotions themselves get me stuck. "For instance, to deny self-pity is to encourage an attitude of 'Poor me, I've got it so tough'."

To remember my humaness and not condemn myself for it.



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 act before thinking has always been my reaction to my lifes problems!
I find it so hard not to take EVERYTHING personal. How do you change
habits of a lifetime, I need baby steps, and can not find a starting place.
Im tired of not being in 'control' and using the 'way I feel, as a platform
to react'. The student is ready, may the teacher appear! any ideas from
anyone or reading material would be greatly appreciated. Pamela



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Posts: 4

Hi Pamela,
I wanted to first stress that this is what helped for me. Take it or leave it smile.gif , just kindness reaching out..

I am working on not saying what I am feeling for the moment. I found I can be just as damaginging as my parents. The very thing I am working so hard to break away from.
I found because of the physical abuse and mental abuse throughout my life, (emotional abuse even up to the age of 42, I am 43 now) I have found it very difficult to put feelings into words, so in order to be true, I would just say what I felt. Good news I have let strong feelings go on my childhood. I still have the people in my life who want use me as a doormat to wipe their feet. I just see them when I need to and let them complain that I don't see them enough. It does not have the sting it used to. I wish I had learned it early on in life. I still mess up, but the episode is not as drawn out. But, there is grace and I start over.

I also needed to discover who I am. Likes, dislikes and how to speak up, I am so used to being a chameleon and doing what everyone wants. I am not going rebellious (been there done that and found it only made me happy temperarily), just learning to trust God and believe that I am worth something without being selfcentered.

I needed to reprogram my thoughts and reactions. I have read a book called "Healing the Child Within". Took lots of notes and even let my husband read them to let him see where I am coming from. Not to condone my feelings, just to show him I am making progress on reacting to what I feel and not saying everything that I am feeling. It used to get pretty ugly. Along with taking my time on the 12 step, which has really helped. Coming here to the meetings has also helped in my severe trust issues. Even the chatting afterwards has been uplifting. It is safe, I just wish there was face to face where I live. But, for now it is safe. By the way baby steps are great if that is what it takes to make progress and safety for you.

Take care, take what helps, and keep making progress.
Chameleon smile.gif


Veteran Member

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Posts: 58

The Program of Emotions Anonymous is ABOUT emotions and how I react, respond and deal with my emotional 'stuff'. The basis of my 'problem' is powerlessness over my emotions. Period. Not alchohol, not drugs, but my emotional responses to life. I have the recommended literature from Emotions Anonymous International that includes:
Emotions Anonymous (self-titled), Today (Daily meditations), It Works If You Work It that I purchased from Emotions Anonymous International on their website:

There are lists of meetings in various areas all over the world, accessible from this site too. Check out the 'tools' at the bottom of the page, which guide you to the book store, meetings nearest you etc.

Hope this is helpful.


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