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March 13, 2006


I went to an Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA) meeting in Brighton today. The topic was the first of the twelve steps: we admitted that we were powerless over the effects of alcoholism or other family dysfunction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

I started to share and I didn't even know what I was going to say. There were a few moments of silence and then I said something like this:

I used to try to control everything in my life. I used to try to plan and organize and make sure that nothing was left to chance. And it didn't work; it just got more and more complex and things still fell apart anyway. I was trying desperately to control everything because in my mind I was still a little kid, still living in a chaotic household with violence, aggression, fear, and abuse. I was living with this shadow looming over me, this specter always present. I was doing everything I could to prevent it taking me over and destroying me. I was still holding the false belief that I had when I was a kid; a belief that I was in control and that everything was my fault.

But now I'm an adult and I can take care of myself. I can keep myself safe. I can let go and allow the world to flow into me; relax and let go. I can trust that everything will be okay. I can trust that my higher power will take care of me. I was powerless over what happened to me as a kid and I am still powerless over it because it happened in the past; I can't change it. But I can and will take care of myself now.

This process of letting go, of surrendering, seems to have started in early September of 2001 and has evolved since then. I was and am powerless over the effects of alcoholism and other family dysfunction. My life had become unmanageable. And in the spirit of the second step I have come to believe that a power greater than myself can and will restore me to sanity.


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