"We find that a difference in identity and purpose distinguishes Adult Children of Alcoholics from other 12-Step Programs and underscores the need for our special focus." BRB p. 81
Our first ACA meeting may have seemed almost overpowering for many of us. From our war-zone childhood homes, we brought with us our hypervigilance, anxiety, and anger. We were on high alert as we scanned the "weirdos" sitting around us.
Some of us entered these rooms after finding that our other Twelve Step programs weren't giving us the emotional sobriety we needed. Some of us came after chance encounters with people who saw how troubled we were and asked us if we'd grown up in an alcoholic home, or with some other severe dysfunction. It may have felt embarrassing to be so easily diagnosed, but knowing there was a place where we might be heard felt hopeful.
In spite of our anxiety at our first meeting, we were hooked. We heard laughter and secrets from others that convinced us we weren't unique or insane, only sick from overexposure to parental addiction.
As we kept coming back, we found a sponsor and other fellow travelers we trusted who helped us through our Step work. We learned how shame and guilt had controlled our adult lives, and how we were conditioned to take responsibility for other people's problems. We were now on a unique journey to reparent ourselves.
On this day I will appreciate who I am, knowing that going to ACA and practicing its principles can take me home - not again, but for the first time.
Copyright © 2018 by Adult Children
of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
All rights reserved.
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