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Unable to attend ACA meeting, ideas?

Old 01-30-2014, 06:29 AM
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Unable to attend ACA meeting, ideas?

Where I live there are only about 4 meeting in driving distance each week. I happen to work a shift that prevents me from going to them. At best (with babysitting) I might be able to go every other week but I can already see that the next 6 weeks are not going to happen.

I have been in and out of counselors over the years. Usually depression/anxiety, unhappy at home, unhappy at work..... I go about 6-8 times a year, never more because I don't feel they do me much good. They will talk about breathing/calming exercises to reduce stress and tell me to exercise and take care of myself and get personal time and space to relax and enjoy something. I'm not blowing off any of the advice, it all has a purpose. Just never seems to get to the root of anything. Never have that a-ha moment. (Unless that never happens)

I am surprised none of them pick up on the growing up in alcoholic home. Father drank up to my high school years. Never abusive but there were lots of let downs and lots of time with no real father. Plenty of parental arguements and threats of leaving/throwing out of house. My mom tried in her own disfunctional way to help but I think she just messed me (us, I have siblings) up more. I have pleasant relationship with both now.

Would AA be of any benefit? I myself don't have a problem with alcohol (I guess I do, the alcohol is why I'm here, just not my consumption, my dad's) but would I get anything out of their meetings? Should I go to counsleor and specifically say I am here because I am an adult child?

Are there approaches to psychology that are more helpful? The professionals I have been seeing base everything on flight or fight and body responses and altering the body responses. That doesn't seem to help most of the problems I see.

Surprisingly as I get older this all seems to bother me more and more. When I was 25 I would have said my father's drinking doesn't/didn't bother me at all. Now I wonder if it is the cause of most of the trouble between my ears.

Thanks for any advice or help.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:32 AM
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Hi littlekings....some folks do benefit from attending Al-Anon meetings if they do not have ACA meetings in their area.

If you do go to an AA meeting, check the schedule to be sure it is an open AA meeting (one where friends and family can also attend).

Also, have you checked out our ACA forum? You will find a lot of great support there, too!

Adult Children of Addicted/Alcoholic Parents - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:58 AM
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I second al-anon meetings. A lot of the people in the meetings are adult children of alcoholics (or, like me, ACOAs married to As.) I've been to some of the ACOA meetings, too, and many of the people in those meetings are the same people I met in al-anon.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:09 AM
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There is an ACOA meeting tonight online @ 7 pm (eastern). Not sure where you are located but there are other meeting also.

I have "attended" both Alanon and AA (open) meeting online. Like you, I am unable to attend face to face meetings so these are as good as it gets for me.

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Old 01-31-2014, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by littlekings View Post
Surprisingly as I get older this all seems to bother me more and more. When I was 25 I would have said my father's drinking doesn't/didn't bother me at all. Now I wonder if it is the cause of most of the trouble between my ears.
Boy oh boy, littlekings, I hear you on this part! My childhood was spent in a very dysfunctional home w/physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Yet up until my early 40s, I would have told you I hadn't really been touched by it. Nope, I was just fine, I would have told you, as I looked back over years of my own dysfunctional codependent adult life! You and I are fortunate enough to have gotten a wake-up call sometime before we died; we have the chance to get healthy yet in this life.

I'd second the advice to check into Alanon. Alanon is for "families and friends" of alcoholics, and as the child of an A, you surely fit the bill. In my area, there are FAR more Alanon meetings than ACA meetings, and hopefully this will be the case for you also so that you can get to some meetings. SR has been priceless to me over this past year, and I wouldn't be where I am today w/o this resource, but it's a good thing to have some real-world support too, and that's where Alanon shines.

Hope you can find the help you need--wishing you strength and clarity.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:12 AM
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Hey there littlekings and welcome. I grew up with an alcoholic mother and codependent father and later found that the skills that we so useful to survive in my childhood home were counterproductive to an adulthood of healthy relationships.

I second the recommendations to go to Al-Anon, but I would also suggest that 6 - 8 therapy sessions with different counselors would never have cut it with me. When I found counselor I went once a week for five years. We started out in crisis mode (my marriage was falling apart), and then moved into the real work. Therapy is a not a quick-fix. I have one friend who refers to it as a very slow, controlled nervous breakdown in the safest place imaginable.

Five years probably sounds like an eternity but it was well worth it to get to where I am today.
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