OF ACA RECOVERY
- We go to meetings, and call program people to discuss recovery issues.
- We read ACA literature and learn about the experiences of others while gaining clarity on our own experiences.
- We define & enforce our boundaries.
- We work & use the 12 Steps & 12 Traditions.
- We identify the people, places and things that are healthy and useful to our lives today, and discard those that are not.
- We reconnect with our Inner Child or True Self.
- We work with a sponsor & build support networks.
- We attend meetings that focus on issues upon which we need to work.
- We give service in ACA.
Listening to others and ourselves share at meetings helps us in our recovery. Sharing at meetings sometimes helps us to focus, define and clarify our problems. We express our feelings. Talking out loud helps us to resolve some problems. We talk about our action plans to change our lives, or how well our current plan is working. At times we report our progress or victories. We often use meetings as a reality check on our overall program, comparing our current life in the program to our adult life before coming to the ACA program.
In the meetings we come to understand how our childhood experiences shape our attitudes, behavior, and choices today. We hear others talk about their experiences, and we recognize ourselves. We learn how we can change. We sense that within ourselves are people who are not who we were taught to be. Some people call these our “inner children.” We discover ourselves.
We read literature about ACA issues, often using the literature as life rafts. We hang on to what we have read when the seas get temporarily rough. Many of us write on a daily basis, finding that it helps us to put things into perspective for us. Some of us write to get in touch with our inner children. We write about our childhoods, daily thoughts, recurring struggles, and discoveries about life and ourselves. We write about new issues as they arise. We use ACA functions outside the meetings to learn spontaneity and how to have fun.
Gradually, we begin to recognize the negative parenting messages from our childhoods that drive our lives. We learn how to replace them with healthy behaviors. This is a first step toward “reparenting.” As we gradually reparent ourselves, our outlook on life changes. We begin to look at it from an emotionally mature perspective. Ultimately, we become happier, stronger, more capable people — more able to handle life. We learn to respect others and ourselves. The quality of our lives improves as we learn to define and communicate our boundaries, and insist that they be honored.
We have learned by experience that those ACA members who make the greatest gains in the shortest amount of time are those who use the “tools of recovery.” We have also found that all of us recover at our own paces, and in our own time. We are individuals who come from varied experiences and backgrounds.