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Post Info TOPIC: First Step ACA, CoDA, SLAA


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Posts: 18
First Step ACA, CoDA, SLAA

I have been in and out of various 12 step programs since I was 18 (so for twenty years) -- completely out for the last ten years. I started in Al-Anon but also tried AA and NA when I was college, then tried CoDA and ACoA in my mid- to late-20s. Those latter two were the best fit for me, since I think ACA issues underlie all my other addictive behaviors and character flaws. But it has been hard to find ACA meetings, and CoDA and SLAA both address behavioral / relationship issues that have driven me to a nervous breakdown, suicidality, and hospitalization recently. I am now back and realize that I can't work the steps in isolation like I did in my youth. I need a sponsor, and I need to work the steps with groups of other addicts. Thank you for this forum.

1st step CODA: We admitted we were powerless over others - that our lives had become unmanageable.

1st step ACA: We admitted we were powerless over the effects of alcoholism or other family dysfunction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

1st step SLAA: We admitted we were powerless over sex and love addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.


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Posts: 228

I'll be putting up the 1st Step from the AA book, and the ACoA book, but will put my general share on this thread, relating to heather's.

My ACA ( adult child of alcoholic/dysfunctional family) issues are also at the core of my other issues. Therapy from the time I was a teen for years and years really did not help me..  it pointed out some of the problems, but didn't give me any solutions. Some years ago my own child became a teen and showed all the patterns that were being passed down from generation to generation and that was my "bottom". I begged God to show us a better way to live, and he answered my prayers with the ACoA and AA 12 STep programs, and the concept of PTSD,, which were new at that time and just being recognized as syndromes that needed special treatments,,, and ACoA groups were being formed.

The ACoA groups had the answers I was looking for,, and people who understood me and with whom I could relate. At last! Some people were stuck in the problem, and just spent a lot of time in their anger and resentment, complaining about other people,, but some people really helped me learn the program and gave me important tools for recovery. And I worked very hard, getting all the books I could and going to meetings, both AA and ACoA, and alanon. For the first time I was getting perspective and the solutions were working! Progress was being made!

 I had no problem at that time admitting that my life was unmanageable,,  but that was very scary. Step 1 without Steps 2 and 3 were just very scary...  but Step 1 was/is the first step on the journey. Now, 16 years later I am still making progress and am able to share with people just starting out how the program works. I'm so grateful!


do your best and God does the rest, a Step at a time


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Posts: 18

I'm sorry to say that I actually have had trouble with the first step. As mentioned above, I tried so many programs, I guess trying to find what it was I really felt powerless over to the point of making my life unmanageable.... I knew something was wrong with me but couldn't really put my finger on it. I drank -- but it was something I could put down for years on end (without that white knuckle feeling). I smoked pot, but only for a few weeks in college -- and again, put it down and never looked back. I acted out sexually -- but only when I was drinking -- and so when I stopped that, the sexual acting out stopped too. Maybe part of the problem was that I never really hit bottom, in spite of the many crises in my life. I thought my life could be managed -- no matter how hard it was. I thought with enough therapy, the right medications, enough exercise, a proper diet, a committed spiritual life, enough social support, I could somehow muster the strength to deal with my issues. I finally hit bottom at the end of October when I had to be hospitalized for self-mutilation, self-starvation, and overt suicidality. My life, my mind, my body, even my spiritual life all became completely unmanageable. What I mean is, I couldn't even manage myself. I'm still not totally sure what the root cause is, but I do know that I can affirm the first step in pretty much any program -- but especially ACoA, CoDA, and SLAA, since it seems to be a problem of relating to other people appropriately -- how to allow intimacy and yet not obsess / lean inappropriately on just one person.... I am powerless over other people and my life has become unmanageable, yes.



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I am powerless over others~ my life has become unmanageable

I am powerless over the family dysfunction dont know how to manage it

I am not able to control anything

I am not sure how to feel yet but at least I can post this and try to let it embody me

what is CODA?

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