Welcome! We're glad you're here, and if you feel awkward and anxious, then you know how we feel writing this letter. Some of us have felt like we never "belonged," that we were never really a part of anything, and now we are stretching too, beyond our "comfort zone" to be a part of the dream that is CAIR.
Some of us are recovering alcoholics and drug addicts who have based our recovery on sobriety, and have close ties with Alcoholics Anonymous. Some have suffered from eating disorders. Still others of us have battled with depression and anxiety; nearly all of us have found it difficult to relate to the significant people in our lives, often spending years "looking for loving in all the wrong places."
We are all "Adult Children," survivors of childhood and/or adolescent trauma during which we rejected a part of ourselves, along with the painful experiences. Regardless of the degree of our trauma, whether overprotection or neglect and abuse, the "skills" we learned in order to survive have interfered with our development into living, loving persons.
We waited for things to change and when they did not, we bemoaned that "things will never be any different." We desperately wanted our lives to be different, the way we were doing things wasn't working for us any longer. But we didn't want to have to do anything different, we wanted the change to be easy and comfortable.
Recovery and growth is not easy, it can be painful and frightening or, at least uncomfortable. It takes commitment and constant practice to live a recovering life and reap the benefits of New Program. That is what CAIR is all about, acquiring new believes, attitudes and skills that will allow us to break our "addictions" to the old and familiar, heal the "wounded child within" and establish new living patterns full of spontaneity, mutual respect and unconditional love.
We decided to help develop this Handbook to use as a structure at CAIR meetings. We all agreed that we needed to share and practice the tools of New Program with one another for these ideas to become more real to us. None of us can do it alone, together we can learn a new way.
CAIR is founded in the "12 Step" tradition. CAIR can be in addition to a "12 step program" or can be your only program. CAIR is for anyone who is willing to help us with our recovery and allow us to help in return... once again, WELCOME!
Linda & Greg S., Les, Don W., Ron D., Deni, Sue, Scott, Alan, Jim