Recovering alcoholics owe their lives to the 12 Steps.
But over time, many of us battle a vague sense that something is missing in our sobriety. Even as we go to meetings, defects and twisted emotions stubbornly remain.
If you grew up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional family, there is hope. Adult Children of Alcoholics®/ Dysfunctional Families is an anonymous 12-Step fellowship that helps you find Emotional Sobriety—the deep healing of mind, body and spirit first envisioned by Bill W.
In ACA, children of dysfunctional families experience unconditional self-love, with the help of our Higher Power. We slowly release the distorted thinking and discontent that are legacies of our upbringing.
Recovering alcoholics focus on living in the present: One Day at a Time. But if your childhood was twisted by the chaos, neglect and abuse that are common in alcoholic households, ignoring the past can be a deadly mistake.
Without help, adults with this history get caught in a tragic generational cycle. They experience chronic shame and self-doubt learned in childhood. Many, but not all, become alcoholics or addicts. They struggle with personal relationships, at home and in the workplace. In their pain, they often mistreat those closest to them.
These repetitive life patterns are described in Traits of Adult Children. If you identify with these traits, you may be affected by family dysfunction, alcoholism, or a comparable childhood trauma.
ACA is not a substitute for alcohol sobriety, but it strengthens our recovery.
Bill W., who himself suffered deep childhood trauma, predicted in 1956 that a new fellowship would someday use the 12 Steps and a caring community to heal long-buried “psychic damages.” In ACA, much as Bill W. envisioned, we face our past together and stop reenacting what was done to us.
Using ACA’s tools and adapted steps, we accept powerlessness over our hurtful past and use a blameless inventory to heal our behavior today. Drawing on our Higher Power, we treat ourselves with love and kindness, and form nurturing relationships with people who value us for who we are.
With Emotional Sobriety, we release our childhood Traits and experience ACA’s 12 Promises. At long last, we know “happy, joyous and free.”