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Post Info TOPIC: AcoA Step 1


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AcoA Step 1

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


I am 42 years old, soon to be 43 years old.   My life has become unmanageable.   I'm in a place right now where I have had other recovery for 14 years on and off but feel like that program was not really where I needed to be now that I am in ACoA.  This is where I needed to be.   Usually throughout my life I have found that I have many talents.  I usually stick with things I am naturally good at right away and shy away from things that I"m not immediately good at.   This has worked for me until now.  

I have been building a business for 5 years and in process of making a transition from a JOB to being an entrepreneur.  There are a lot of skills that I have not been naturally good at through this process yet I have stuck around because I desire so badly to work for myself and not for someone else.   Because of this, all of my low-self worth feelings, low self-esteem, and feelings of not being good enough are front and center.   There is no longer a way to avoid it.   So here I am desperately wanting to heal this junk from my childhood so that I can build a business of my own and live the life that I deserve.   My life has become unmanageable because of my own mind.   I believe there are tons of repressed memories that I have to release that I am not even in touch with because of the deep levels of dissaassociation patterns that I developed growing up.   I can no longer keep living in a prison in my mind.  I am powerless and need help.  

Jennifer L. Lancaster


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Hi Jennifer,

Thanks so much for starting this ACoa step 1 thread.
I really related to your share here. It is also very sychronistic that I read it today just after finishing our meeting here.
I also entered the entrepenerial world for a time and found keeping up with a lot of the ego based social media profile raising stuff really challenging, and eventually really erky, so I made the choice to move away from it. I will pick up part of the business later down the track (I'll take the bits I like and leave the rest

My share:
(May contain heavy or confronting/triggering content as a warning to those who are feeling sensitive)

Powerlessness.....I most definitely am powerless over the reality of growing up in an extremely dysfunctional home.
I am grateful though, that one of the things I can "control" is my dedication to my program and my recovery.
Today, I have a feeling of hope...I have just realised that my spiritual gifts I came here with as a child, became super developed through childhood, as to help ensure my protection in a family where no protection was offered.
Being highly empathic and intuitive isn't something that can be completely learned but it can certainly be highly developed through dangerous circumstances. I guess today I am just feeling grateful that my Higher Power guided my soul into a life where I have had the opportunity to develop these heightened senses to a point of evolving and being able to do the "helping" part, that comes after the hurting and healing in our great ACA slogan.

The step work I need to do today is around memory recovery from childhood. There is so much to do, and I had an intuition to free write. I was going to journal it as I have with much spiritual work over the years, but then remembered that I now have a place where this can be literally shared with others who understand.
I recall all the basic stuff to identify to the point of knowing I needed 12 steps and that my family was extremely dysfunctional. Rampant NPD in the family, on both sides worse in my fathers side the men being criminals and the women being very cruel and 2faced. Lots of closet alcoholism and other addictions with the "well to do" family members...this is the case also with my mothers side of the family. A little NPD there too, but many of them just lack true empathy. Self centred but appear lovely, kind and caring to the outside world. None of them even know if I am dead or alive. cut all ties when I started wising up...asking questions...getting some recovery.

Some memories that have been coming back to me lately I want to acknowledge and shine light on, in this safe place:

-My fathers "business partners" abusing me at age approx 4yrs old. Where was he? Where was my mother? Did Dad actually arrange it for them in exchange for money? An aunt who briefly showed interest in keeping in touch with me (as an adult, until I actually reached out for support when I was admitted to hospital during a miscarriage, then she mysteriously disappeard, go figure lol) I digress , she did actually mention that Dad did things that were so very bad that she will never even tell me. Hmmm, worse than the thing she did tell me during that visit, that there was a gun in a ceramic duck that sat on the coffee table of my childhood home? Dad told my cousin (her daughter) when she was babysitting, that it was there, if she needed it. WTF? That was enough to absorb. Was it worse than the things I already know about, and had my phone and home wired when I was about 30yrs old then sat through supreme court with Dad just because that's what family should do? See, most people in my life have no idea whatsoever of the INSANE things I have been through. I was taught by them to repress. Taught not to trust my memory.

-Did he drug my mother at the time? She was very young. Some very old family friends who we met around that same time when I was 4yrs old and stayed friends with through most of teenage years did mention when I went to visit them a few years ago, that mum was on "moggadon" pills and Valium etc a lot of the time. Whoah! I remembered pills in her bedside draw but never thought anything of it.
I quite recently asked Dad about Mum being addicted to pills half expecting him to revel in the fact that the attention was on her newly discovered/suspected closet addiction. Instead, surprisingly he became really angry. And defensive. Ok then. Hmmm. That opened up another realm of puzzle piece fitting together for me. I'll never know the truth but I do fantasize abouit a family member coming forth and caring about me. Telling me the truth about my early childhood and my parents. You never day perhaps. I'll keep hope.

-As a primary school aged child, my mother ignoring me for days on end. I think I assumed that i'd done something wrong/we had an argument. days on end is a long time at that age. Perhaps she was on drugs then? There were tablets in her drawer at that house. She just didn't really like me much. I felt she loved me at times. Since she was so young, I think she was just trying to grow me up as soon as possible so she didd't have to 'parent' me. She didn't parent me. Neither did Dad with his NPD and gambling addiction. Dads eyes never really focused right on mine. Always thinking about his next bet, current idea that would make him a millionaire...dodgy ones mainly lol. Theres so much about dad i'm working through too, but with my mother, the abuse and dysfunction was really well disguised and is a lot cloudier for me.

-At about 11 yrs old, my mother taking me to the hairdresser to get a "trim" for my very long hair. Everyone would always comment on how beautiful my hair was. She told the hairdresser to cut it up to my shoulders. I didn't understand what she had done, but felt a deep sense of confused betrayal....trying to work out in my head what went wrong...the hairdresser must have misunderstood. Having almost no sense of identity anyway...after my "beautiful" hair was gone, without my consent or even my knowledge of this big change, I felt like a leg had been amputated.

-Recently I have realised that not only was there no active parenting going on in my parents so called rearing of myself and my younger brother as individual human beings, there was never any encouragement for us to play together or any support for us to have a good relationship. No wonder we fought. We fought badly. We were there for each other when it mattered though, if one of us was sick. we got along better from teenage years to late 20's, and then his issues unfortunately got projected at me, he almost treated me like I was one of our parents who had done all this damage to us. He turned against me and really appears to actually hate me. I still love him and always will. I have enough recovery on board to see why he has behaved in such an aweful way.

-I see the beautiful approaches to active positive parenting and agree and support many of them. There is so much wonderful work going on in the world to help parents who really want to support the very best outcomes for their kids including sibling unity. My kids get every little inch of my heart and soul and I make mistakes for sure, but I spend most of my energy on making sure our life is healthy and positive and that I am a positive role model.
Its a shame my little bro and I didn't get that, but his young daughter will be able to come to me and be in my life, as soon as she is 16, 18yrs old or whenever, I will welcome her with open arms.

I think I will keep working this step here in this room over the next couple of weeks...shining the light on the dark is hard to begin but I feel so much "lighter".

Thanks for being here fellow members.


-- Edited by Grace R on Wednesday 4th of April 2018 01:03:50 AM



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Hi. I'm new to this board.

I've been working my 1st step with my sponsor/fellow traveler for at least a year. From the yellow book
I was ok with my pace, until now.

I am so stuck at the family diagram. I have been preparing the labels, the characteristics, the family roles.
I've tried numerous times to just write out the family diagram, from my gut.

I get stuck.
Stuck with the "don't tell" family rule, the shame that I feel from writing down how sick my family really, truly is.

I was taught that the only way to be is to "look good" from the outside, whether it be physical appearance, family appearance, face of joy when I want to fall apart.
I've rebelled against the don't be less than perfect, but it was from a low self-esteem belief.

My little girl is so afraid of this part, even though the loving parent is reassuring her that it is ok, that we'll get through this together.

-- Edited by Fatesfan on Friday 27th of July 2018 03:55:52 PM

-- Edited by Fatesfan on Friday 27th of July 2018 03:56:53 PM


Michelle GM


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I am new to ACoA. I have been reading "discovering" for several months. Maybe beginning recovery. Diagnosed with Codependency decades ago, but it didn't answer the unspoken questions in my mind.

Recently remarried after my husband passed away, and then everything went to crap.

My life became unmanageable. My new husband asking questions like, Why can you not be happy with what you have? Me answering, I don't KNOW why. I don't KNOW what's wrong with me?

I started working on Step 1. Like Fatesfan in the previous post, I worked in the Yellow book, but the "don't tell" makes it uncomfortable to write in my book, even though no one but me knows I have it.

I will keep trying to work on Step 1, until I can "tell".




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"We admitted we were powerless over the effects of alcoholism or other family dysfunction, that our lives had become unmanageable."

I don't know where to start, but I have to start somewhere!! So that is here.

My life is unmanageable right now. I have admitted this to myself for a while.
But I haven't been doing "the work." As in the steps.
I fall prey to this alot. Occupy myself with lots of distractions and pleasantries.
Except its not so easy to do that now. My life has fallen into a tough spot and well, it's just not easy. Just not healthy. Just really, really rough.
My life has become unmanageable: We are in the middle of a pandemic and my anxiety has been through the roof.
I say I'm going to do things and never follow through. This creates a nice brand of chaos.
I'm not sure if my relationship with my sister is toxic and I'm trying to sort through those emotions. She is an addict and was doing well until last year when she relapsed horribly and now I'm not quite sure I know who she is anymore.
I'm going through a divorce and selling our house, which I love. UGH.
I gotta say though, I finally listened to my inner child and admitted that the relationship I have been in for 15years is not serving him or myself.
I want to be better for myself. I want to be better for my family and friends. And for my son.
I feel better as I type these words, and I know there is healing here.
Thank you!

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