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Support in Stages

by | Nov 15, 2021 | ACA Toolbox, ComLine

My First Day in ACA

I remember when I first came through the ACA doors, I was feeling defeated, overwhelmed and full of shame that I could not shake off the effects of my childhood trauma. My children wanted nothing to do with me, my husband and I had separated due to the dysfunction years before. Shortly after he passed away leaving me with 2 small children and the wreckage of our life. How could I be in the same place of hopelessness from my childhood? I was in my 50s, going through menopause, parenting teenage children and my Adult childhood dysfunction. I came into ACA a broken, grieving woman, all my old coping skills on the ground around me, my life in pieces.

Sponsorship / Fellow Travelers/ ACA Supporters & Supported

I didn’t trust anyone in the early days to go out for a tea but one day I started to go out with a few fellow travelers after the meeting and to my surprise I went into a deeper healing again and started to release my shame wounds. I even learned to laugh and not be too serious. 

In my 5th month, I found the courage to ask a fellow traveler a few years more in ACA to walk me through the steps and hear my Step 5. Something inside me told me if I didn’t do this I would not be able to progress in my healing but I was afraid of being hurt and betrayed. The person I asked had the same fears about me.  We talked and she agreed to try and if it didn’t work we could stop. My sponsor asked me, where are you in the Step 4 worksheets? I was doing what I always did without knowing, looking outside of me and not staying present with me. I added my name to the harms list and my journey of self gentleness and young self love started.

Working with someone one on one made all the difference in the world to me.  I felt supported. When my “sponsor” finished hearing my Step 5, she said, “you have graduated”, I have given you everything I know in ACA. She asked me to sponsor her in a situation she was dealing with and I discovered I received another gift of healing as we worked together in this different way.  I grew from just sharing in group meetings and studies to one on one work with a sponsor and fellow travelers. I started giving this gift to other fellow travelers and we both grew and healed together.

For me the combination of group activities such as meetings, studies and breaking my isolation and mistrust by joining fellow travellers to start talking socially at first changed me internally in ways I couldn’t logically understand but I knew something was happening, my teenage children told me I was different, they started to talk to me again and were not so afraid of my reactions..

My ACA Recovery Support Path

For me, ACA recovery has not been one thing like a sponsor or a meeting group. My ACA recovery path created a healing blanket of self gentleness, self love and growth. There was no roadmap, I learned I couldn’t work my ACA program, I had to stop intellectualizing and let my ACA recovery program work through me simply by being present and showing up in meetings, studies, with fellow travelers, with sponsors and doing service work. I am grateful I did. It hasn’t been easy, I wanted to leave the ACA program so many times in the first few years. I can honestly say, I am grateful I didn’t. I am grateful to all the ACA members over these years, it has taken a global village for me to grow and heal. 

As I walk on this path I look forward to meeting my ACA family of the heart as we continue this life long practice.  As we move forward may we be present and mutually supportive of each other in every step and stage of our healing process. 

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