For the next few posts, I am going to give a general overview of how my recovery changed to encompass new learnings and teachings.
In 1976, when I came to AA, there were few female members. In my 3rd month of recovery, I had a profound spiritual experience which I have related in another post. I quickly learned to shut up about God as many members wanted to talk about alcohol only. Being female and a God person almost insured that I wouldn’t have a lot of group acceptance.
The focus for my recovery took a profound change in direction when I discovered ACOA. I have never “forgot” that I am first and foremost an alcoholic and am deeply grateful to be in recovery. Nor have I ever considered myself as recovered. Why change something that works for me?
ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) has gone through several name changes. In 1977, (one year after the beginning in my recovery in 1976), a group of Al-Anon members realized that they were all children of alcoholics. In later years, ACOA became ACA and/or COA.
Up until 1983, any Al-Anon meeting I attended was to help heal that child inside me who grew up in a very troubled family. But when I shared at Al-Anon meetings about my alcoholism, I felt a subtle change in the group of some members feeling that I didn’t not belong in an Al-Anon meeting.
But when I found ACOA or ACA meetings, I immediately knew that I belonged because they talked about feelings. I continued to be completely committed to my recovery with AA groups. But the AA groups were male-dominated groups whose members seemed to be proud of how far they had fallen to their bottoms. So I started attending ACOA and Codependents Anonymous as well as AA.
I can’t find any CODEP meetngs here in Ft. Lauderdale but I notice that several of the AA meetings include AFL (affliated with family) so maybe some CODEP went there. CODEP was the most fun because it was full of the professionals who were there to lead the rest of us. They, of course, were well.