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Jump-Start: Recovery in the Fast Lane

Editor's Note: The September 11, 2001, terrorists' strikes against the United States led to the creation of an additional page on this Web site. This page, American spirit, can also be reached by clicking Faith in the links above.

Note from Web Mistress: In November of 2003, Sweet Mischief's Press published Up Close & Personal, 23 years of in-your-face recovery-isms heard in Texas. The 4.5 by 5.5 sized book is a perfect stocking stuffer. Contains 28 topics and pages for the recipient to write the expressions that catch his or her attention. Spiral binding allows for easy writing. Can be purchased through Sweet Mischief's Press, P.O. Box 11392, Midland, Texas 79702. Telephone: 432-620-0724. Fax: 432-684-7760. To order: www.sweetmischiefspress.com Cost through SMP: $12 includes shipping, U.S. Postal Service, within USA. Can be ordered through Hastings, Midland, Texas: 1-432-694-1151.
Click here to read a sample page.

In 2002, SMP published the first novel in the Scrolls of Dust saga, Embrace the Boogeyman. An avid reader, the author was motivated by the desire to tell a story that appealed to folks in recovery. To find out more, click here or on the Review link on this page. To read the first chapter of Embrace the Boogeyman, click here or on the Ch. 1 link on this page. Can be ordered online through amazon.com

Some ACA history: In 1985, the first annual National Convention for Children of Alcoholics convened in Orlando, Florida. I went for several reasons, primary among them was the desire to find an organization like Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon designed specifically for Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA's or ACOA's).

There were five of us from Midland, Texas, who attended. We came home with notebooks filled with notes and cassettes of all we had heard. Our minds were jammed with new information, our bodies exhausted from the fatigue and our emotions drained of life. We were exalted and devastated at the same time.

We also were deeply disappointed. No national organization was forming to provide guidelines and a recovery program for us. In the years that followed, ACA's seemed to fall into different groups: those that wanted to be under the umbrella of Al-Anon, those that didn't; those that wanted to incorporate the Twelve Steps, originally designed by Alcoholics Anonymous, those that saw no need for the Steps.

Several members in our group were familiar with the Twelve Steps and knew how important they had been in their own recovery efforts. I was among them. I had a high-regard for AA and Al-Anon and had been introduced to the Twelve Steps in 1980.

At that time (in 1980), my life was a disaster. On the surface, to many others excluding those close to me, my life looked otherwise. I was employed full-time. I had my own apartment and a car. My job carried me into circles of people who had all the trappings of success as we so often identify them in our society: money, power, prestige and fame.

Yet, my personal life was in shambles. I had no idea how to put the pieces back together again. I thought I knew who I was and what was important to me. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The me I knew back then was a combination of the person I had become in rebellion against who I was told I ought to be and a person who would go to any lengths to please others and appear intelligent, concerned, caring and competent.

In reality, I was miserable. I had not the foggiest idea how to be happy. I didn't realize I was the problem. I thought changing others would improve the quality of my life and that somehow there was a way I could make that happen.

Now, I recognize how flawed my thinking was. In 1980, I had no clue. The Twelve Steps...

Next: Jump Start: Recovery continues...

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