What’s your favorite piece of Conference Approved Literature (CAL) and why?
Please share your experiences by commenting on the topic below. The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the person who gave them. Take what you liked and leave the rest. Member sharing on the Member Blog may be used in future Al‑Anon publications.
This month we’re asking you to share on the question, “What’s your favorite piece of Conference Approved Literature (CAL) and why?”
My favorite piece of CAL is the “Just for Today” bookmark. Decades ago, my father gave me a piece of paper with these words. He did not mention that it came from Al-Anon, and he may not have known that it did. There were no alcoholics in our family at that time, although my father worked and carpooled with one of our neighbors whose wife was apparently an alcoholic. At any rate, he gave the paper to me. I was so taken with it that I typed it up and put it on my refrigerator, where it stayed for many… Read more »
I have learned and grown from each piece of Al-Anon literature and many I go back to over and over. My favorite is Having Had a Spiritual Awakening. It was released at the Al-Anon International Convention in Salt Lake City where there were members from all over the world and very many who did not speak English. The book has writings from people all over the world who have found their Higher Power and their spirituality in many ways, some very unfamiliar to those of us from the USA. As with all CAL, many of the writings challenged my belief… Read more »
My favorite piece of Conference Approved Literature (CAL)? That is a little like asking me to pick my favorite flavor of ice cream! How to choose? Several books have already been mentioned, so I will tell about one of my favorite pamphlets. I really like This is Al-Anon (P-32). It is a great all-purpose pamphlet. It has not only the Steps and Traditions (which can easily be found any number of places) but also the Suggested Welcome and the Suggested Closing (which are surprisingly only published in a few CAL items). Additionally there is a section about Slogans and Ideas for Newcomers. This is a good pamphlet for outreach/newcomers and yet… Read more »
The most impactful for me is Opening our Hearts Transforming our Losses. Growing up in an alcoholic home felt like a series of ongoing losses and continuous pain. I felt like no one else felt it. The whole family went on as if I was the only one who saw it or felt pain from it. It was a very isolating feeling, and when I would talk about it with a sibling, they often just said “get over it”. I just couldn’t. This book helped me realize why I felt that way. My alcoholic Dad is still alive, but I… Read more »
My favorite piece of CAL is Intimacy in Alcoholic Relationships. This was the first piece of literature I bought when joining Al-Anon. It helped me understand how to improve my relationship with my alcoholic, and both of us answered some of the chapter questions together. I also like it because it is a recent piece of literature with no gender roles. I also like how applicable the tools provided are in improving other relationships that are not including alcoholic members.
I think Opening Our Hearts Transforming Our Losses was eye opening for me. Transforming Our Losses taught me to recognize grief and understand that there is underlying grief to just about everything. I learned that my son’s disease created many levels of grief for me from missing my former relationship with him to grieving over the future I had dreamed of for him. Yet, daily I am able to understand and love myself through even the little bits of grief in all the small things such as a schedule changes when a friend cancels or a plane is delayed. This… Read more »
This is a hard question to answer. I love all of the CAL I’ve read so far. I think if I had to pick just one, it would be How Al-Anon Works. When I need to return to the basics, this is the book I reach for. When I need help explaining our program to newcomers, this is the book I use. It’s clear, straightforward, and comforting. How Al-Anon Works was the perfect introduction to the program when I was new, and it continues to be the foundation of my study of our Legacies.
My favorite CAL is Hope For Today. I remember when it first came out and it fits my needs so well. The daily readings and little ‘Thoughts for today’ are usually things I find myself quoting when I need a bit more than a slogan.
How can I choose one book when I have them all, read them all and grow from each one of them. Each book was and is an inspiration in turn, depending where I am in my life and in my recovery. Each dollar that I spent on each of those books has been worthwhile, as they are endless in their inspiration and help, no matter at what point in my life and in my recovery I read and reread them. If I had to choose one in particular I would say “Courage to Change” as it has been in my… Read more »
I would say my favorite piece of literature would be Many Voices, One Journey. I am a history lover and having the book written in a time line caught my interest right away. I like reading how the progression of Al-Anon has developed over the 70+ years of its existence. The member sharing about the “Elephant in the room” and then hearing a member in my homegroup share when she read that for the first time. Following the comments from members on whether Al-Anon needed to purchase land to build a facility to house the conference workers in lieu of… Read more »
One Day at a Time in Al-Anon is my favorite piece of CAL. Before Al-Anon, I lived my life regretting the past and worried about the future. This little book helped me to learn how to live for today – one day at a time. I carried this book everywhere I went; to work, on vacation, when I had to interact with difficult people. And even now, years later, when something is bothering me and I can’t shake it, I look up my “symptoms” in this little book and inevitably find the answer.
My favorite piece of Conference Approved Literature is the book Discovering Choices. The very last story in the book has had the most impact on my life than any other piece of literature. The story essentially says that the relationships in my life are a direct reflection of my relationship with my Higher Power. This took the wind out of me. I got to work right away improving my relationship with my Higher Power and when I did, all my other relationships followed. It was truly a miracle. 🙂