April 4, 2011

Step One, How it Works in Emotions Anonymous

Why use our Twelve Step program for emotional problems?

Therapy is great for some of the same work we do in EA, but it is  lonely process.  There is something very empowering and unifying about witnessing others ahead of us on the healing path,  and in reaching out to others in a non-professional capacity.  One of our program tenets is, "You are not alone."    Together we are indeed strong.

The way I, see it, our individual strength is in doing this work together, making it safe to learn how to let go of the defenses that have outlived their purpose and brought us to this bottom in our lives.  

"Through Step On we begin to learn to accept our emotions as they are and not allow them to control our behavior. As we learn to accept our emotions, we are better able to manage our lives. We can make conscious choices in response to our emotions." This is what it means to be responsible for ourselves.  Instead of "reacting and having our emotions manage us... we begin to take responsibility for our lives."  We stop blaming people or  situations that "may have influenced us in the past."

"At first, Step One may seem a step of despair, but we learn there is hope. Admitting our human limitations frees us from hiding our imperfections," and frees us up to look impartially at our situation, and to realize we'll do better if we don't go it alone.

From Emotions Anonymous (our Big Book) page 45-46.


  1. There is something very special and healing in the energy in a group setting as opposed to a one on one therapy session.

    And with a group of non-professionals there is an opportunity to get more than one perspective on a situation. So much wisdom to be had when people come together and share their hearts.

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  3. Yes, I love meetings. We are all different. We are all the same. I love knowing that.

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  5. Thanks for the validation, Lena. You said it beautifully. For me real healing came in being able to share my failures and successes with others in similar situations who could really relate to my issues. This kind of healing is more of a two-way street. We reason things out together.

    Marcia, I love what we have in common in our groups and what makes each of us unique. I am thrilled to learn from listening to story! The book, The Spirituality of Imperfection, explains that it's focused story telling that helps us in making sense of our lives and in reclaiming them. To me this explains why we don't give advice. We are alike in so many ways, but often advice-giving tends to be around making others similar to us, or fixing another person. Our story is ours alone to tell. No one else needs to replace our heroic journey with their own simplified story of what actions we should take. Hope that makes sense.

  6. Taking step one in any fellowship is so important. It takes a while to stop taking my self-will back. Finally, I understand being powerless.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~