The Twelve Steps for Adult Children- From Addicted and Other Dysfunctional Families:

So I love scanning the bookshelves at thrift stores, you never know what you will end up finding. Last week I came across this gem and splurged. I thought it might be worth .50 cents.
Yes, it’s old.

Yes the revised & updated edition was published back in 1989; but I thought it couldn’t hurt to see what was inside.

After all, I have only recently begun digging into this side of my roots, and I can’t think of a better way to continue, than by learning more about it.

From what I had already read on the internet, I am really not too sure that much of this information has evolved much over the years.

It doesn’t read as irrelevant or outdated, and I have really found much of this applicable to my experience.

I am thirty pages in and have found that I am nodding my head in agreement with most of what I am reading.

So far the chapter that has stood out to me the most has been on step 4, and writing a personal inventory. This chapter talks a lot about resentment and anger.

The more that I learn, the more I begin to make sense of myself. I am putting more of the pieces together, and am understanding how I became who I became, and why.

Like I have said before, these concepts aren’t brand new to me, but the more I learn, the more blanks I fill in, and the more empathy I develop for others who are struggling- including my mother.

20151019_125556(Page 22)

I still have my very first participant guide from my first Celebrate Recovery meeting. It took me a long time to fill it out, and to work through that first book. Over the years, I have referenced it and flipped through it.

I can see and feel the anger that I felt and carried written on the pages of that book.

I was an angry young woman, who had been hurting for so long. I just hadn’t realized how long I had been carrying it all around. I did allow it to destroy me in the end. It infected every single part of my being.

Until now, I guess I never realized that the way that I processed being hurt and how I expressed (internalized) anger were things that I learned to do when I was a child, for my own protection.

(page 30)

So yes, I so relate to this. I learned to not allow myself to feel a long, long time ago. I protected myself.

My own addiction to not feeling developed a LONG time ago.

It was the beginning of what would become destructive behavior.

Recovery forced me to stand up.
I finally tried to face AND feel my anger when it came.
I had to learn what to do and other ways to handle this emotion.

For me understanding, learning more, and educating myself helps me to have more patience with my slow progress.

Knowing why I became what I was, and how I can combat these things really helps me to keep pushing and moving forward. I am not a lost cause or simply damaged goods. I was a small person coping like a child. Now I am an adult who understands that  these things were self-taught and utilized for survival.

I am capable. I have learned new things. I can reteach myself, and I live now-
I am not just surviving anymore.

I am also learning that no one can communicate effectively one hundred percent of the time.

I am still working on taming my inner beast. Anger is definitely the emotion that I still struggle with most, but I have made tons of progress. It no longer sits inside, and I try to talk about how I feel when it is necessary, in an appropriate way.

Someone who is much further along in Recovery taught me a long time ago, that recovery has many gifts, and one of the big ones is our ability to feel and experience life.

But we have to learn that we cannot pick and choose which emotions that we accept and deal with. It is an all or nothing sort of deal. 

I choose all.

Roughly 70 pages more to go in this book.
So expect a few more posts as I dig and learn even more.

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