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Post Info TOPIC: Step 1 - ACoA

Senior Member

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Posts: 228
Step 1 - ACoA

from "The 12 Steps for Adult Children"

  "The ideas presented in Step 1 are overwhelming to most of us until we begin to see our lives as they really are. It is threatening to imagine that we could be powerless; that our lives could be unmanageable. Our life experiences remind us that our behavior does not always produce peace and serenity... Often, our troubled background has caused us to lose touch with ourselves. Our lives are full of unwelcome behaviors and overwhelming emotions...

  "We live in a culture that places a high value on individual accomplishment. Most of us, from the time we were small children, were bombarded by the ideal of high achievement. Being competitive in school, sports, and business is viewed as important in our society. We are taught that if we compete hard enough we will be 'winners' and, therefore, good people. If, however, we don't measure up to what is expected of us and are 'losers', we believe we are failures. Due to the absence of good role models during childhood, many of us are confused. We don't know where we fit in. We continue to allow our worth and self-esteem to be determined by our past, we may continue to classify ourselves as losers. We may condition ourselves to fail. Our low self-esteem keeps us from becoming winners and causes extreme stress and anxiety...

  "As we mature, matters get worse. Our stressful lives give us no satisfaction, and the stress compounds our problems. Our fears and insecurities increase, creating a sense of panic. Some of us revert to abusing mood-altering substances such as drugs, alcohol, or food to relieve our tension. In more subtle ways, we may bury ourselves in school activities, work, relationships, or other addictive/compulsive behaviors to combat the anxieties that overwhelm us...

  "Although our behavior has caused us nothing but stress and pain, it is difficult to let go and trust that things will work out well. We may experience confusion, drowsiness, sadness, sleeplessness, or turmoil. These are normal responses to the severe inner struggles we are experiencing. It is important to remember that surrender requires great mental and emotional energy as well as determination. Do not give up. A new life of freedom awaits us...

  "The first part is the admission that we have obsessive traits. Those traits appear in the way we try to manipulate the affairs of our lives to ease the inner pain that results from our struggles. We are in the grip of an addictive process that has rendered us powerless over our behavior. The second part is the admission that our lives have been, and will continue to be, unmanageable if we insist on living by our own will...

  "Some of us become overly responsible while others withdraw and become very irresponsible...

  "Step 1 is an ongoing commitment. We must remember that our damaging traits, habits, and behaviors are part of us. They are unconscious reactions to the stresses of life. As we notice self-defeating behaviors and reactions surface, we can admit our powerlessness and seek help from a Higher Power. This simple act opens the door to the healing change we seek...

  "The second part of Step 1, admitting that our lives are unmanageable, is as difficult as acknowledging that we are powerless. We can become more observant of the thoughts and behaviors we still rely upon from our past as a way to hide the truth about ourselves today. We need to be totally honest, drop the disguises, and see things as they really are. When we stop making excuses for our behavior, we will have taken the first step toward achieving the humility we need to accept spiritual guidance. It is through this spiritual guidance that we can begin to rebuild ourselves and our lives...

  "A physical disease can only begin to be healed when we acknowledge its presence. In a similar way, the spiritual healing of our obsessive/compulsive behavior begins when we acknowledge the problem behavior. Until we realize this truth, our progress toward recovery will be blocked. Our healing begins when we are willing to acknowledge our problems and take the necessay steps to resolve them...

  "As we progress through the Steps, we will discover that true and lasting change does not happen by trying to alter our life conditions. Although it is tempting to think so, outside adjustments cannot correct inside problems. Extraordinary healing requires surrenduring our environment. Our willingness to work the Steps will enable us to begin our true healing, which starts on the inside."

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


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Posts: 18

Wow! This is fantastic! I don't know if this book was available when I first tried to work the ACoA program in 1991. I had a hard time finding meetings and didn't follow through with the program back then. I can really relate to this. I have been an overachiever all my life until recently, when I have pretty much let everything fall apart. I have been overly responsible, a caretaker type -- but have also been hostile and distant, except in the rare cases I allowed someone to date me awhile -- then I became obsessive and clingy and emotionally dependent. I now see that behavior as infantile, but I couldn't control myself. All of these behaviors (and others alluded to in the reading above) were acting out of panic / deep-seated anxiety. I didn't know where the anxieties came from, but they completely overwhelm me. My life definitely became unmanageable to the point that I literally lost my mind and had to be hospitalized in a psychiatric unit for almost two weeks. I am so grateful for the program, tools and a community of other people who understand and work the steps together. Maybe my life and my anxieties don't HAVE to be unmanageable.



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Posts: 1

I feel more than ever that I am ready for this step.

In truth I believe I have given up my minds endless turmoil of defect thinking. That I dont listen to it anymore. Or rather I try not to. My mind can be very intrusive.

I have come to the conclusion that my mind cant be trusted. That what it tells me is seldom the truth, seldom happens.

Actually come to think of it, I hate my mind. It has been such a bad companion for so many years. hmm maybe thats to strong.

Anywho. Take care out there




Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 228

 Hi, bee, 

welcome to the Step Work board, where we rewire our minds.  There is recovery.  Hey,, don't be too hard on your mind.. it brought you here.

love in recovery,


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