Back To ACA


Tonight I went back to my first ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families) step study in maybe almost a year. Almost a couple of months ago I decided I would go back and do another one. What made me plan to go back was…a couple of things. I haven’t been able to really spend time with my own feelings as much as I thought I was going to be able to. I don’t feel like I have been able to ‘re-parent’ myself as i had hoped. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, Coda meetings, and Alanon meetings are great, but I think I’ve come to need a little more, a little deeper searching after a little break from the last step study. I need the time to really dive in a little more. I have made some progress on my own, and with other things, including meditation, but I am lonely. Lonely in part because I either have regressed to spending time with my ex (although  I havent seen him in about 1.5 months now) and little time with healthy friends. I am literally thinking that I am not healthy enough to spend time with healthy friends, but it is no problem to spend time with someone who is not at all healthy…because…well, maybe because I don’t think I can do much more damage to myself, and I’d rather not embarrass myself with healthy friends. I’d rather G be pissy at me for enforcing boundaries than other people look at me with sadness or pity when I show some signs of pathetic-ness. It’s time to kick my self-love up a notch and try to propel myself into the new world. And sharing all of the things I have been learning about myself in a safe environment feels kind of like ‘coming home’ again.

I felt very good in my first step study, because I fervently tried to be as open and honest about my feelings as I could. Even though I think I hate my anger and what I might call my petulance… I really put myself out there. And I am so relieved to have that basis now, and relieved to know that I love myself more than I thought, and no matter what comes out of this heart and mind and body, it is going to move me closer to sanity.

I have felt really NOT emotionally sober as I have isolated myself. I have been panicky and obsessive and anxious, and bitter, and just getting more and more pissed, even though I am working on myself all alone… But like they say, we can’t do it alone. I can not do it alone. I need to share this experience with a spiritual community, a group conscious, be present with myself and my higher power. And the ACA step study feels like a good place of all of those…

It was a tender-feeling place to be tonight. There were some scared people, I could tell. But there was very little tension, very little ego. Very little resentment. Which is what I know I can bring into such a place, just because I am so scared. So scared to be judged. So scared to feel vulnerable. There are moments when I want to growl like a wild cat to warn people not to &^%$ with me. But there was none of that tonight.  We were all there, vulnerable, and seemingly considerate and welcoming to each other. I like the location as well. This will be my home one night a week for 17 weeks. Yay 🙂

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About wonderfulshantelle

Journey To My Wonderful Self

Posted on March 24, 2014, in 12-step, AA, Addiction, Adult Children, codependence, emotional abuse, emotional sobriety, Inner child, recovery, Relationship, Uncategorized, withdrawal. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. You are blessed to have such a place. We don’t have that locally.
    I need to work through my issues, I know. Sometimes, I can’t.
    I look forward to your posts about your meetings, if you can share. I’m sure it will be helpful to me as well as others.
    Great post.

    • You are right. I feel very blessed to have such resources near me….
      I think you are, in fact, working through your issues. We would definitely not be talking here if you were not.
      I will certainly try to share every week. That is one of the things that will supposedly help the process along. It feels so amazing that help can come across the networks and the miles and appear as something tangible at the other end 🙂
      Have a good day T.

  2. It’s an interesting realization to decide that the healthy alone time can morph into dysfunctional isolation. Some of this work we can, of course, do on our own. However, recognizing when we need help to kick things up a notch is a stellar skill. For me that meant finding a very adept therapist as I had done all of the on-my-own work that could be done, at that juncture.

    In my adult journey, ACA or ACoA didn’t help me. It could have been the flavor of the two groups I briefly tried but I immediately became aware of a large glut of people who seemed to dominate meetings that had been going to meetings for 1-2 decades. They were still wailing in despair and had nothing positive to say. I wondered internally whether they would *ever* get better…moreover, did they even *want* to get better. Obviously, staying stuck in the badness is *not* the objective of these groups and – at that time – I decided I was better off doing my work on an individual basis.

    Having grown up in the AA/AlAnon/Alateen programs, I recognized that Alateen (specifically) had come so far but that some of the ACA/ACoA groups weren’t as healthy as I’d hoped they would be. It wasn’t a judgment by any means, just a signal to myself that this wasn’t my path.

    That said, groups differ everywhere because the influences of the individuals that comprise and facilitate is unique. It could have merely been the two groups I happened to try were exceptions to the helpful nature of most other groups. Either way, it wasn’t for me. I’m glad you find support in the group(s) you attend. “Whatever works, as long as it’s healthy” has become my mantra.

    Keep working your program! You’re doing great!

    • Thank you Dharma 🙂
      Yes, I have had some of the same experiences of coming across meetings (ACA, Coda and Alanon) where I did not feel like the flow or sharing or members were there to heal and support each other. Some meetings I have never gone to because I heard that they are more damaging than others. It’s funny that I’ve been to not ACA step studies than actual meetings. Many step studies happen here, sometimes more than one begins each month (they are about 17 weeks long). I find I can pick and choose a bit and find the most comfy ensemble of people for me. I think I am close to getting an alanon sponsor (finally), actually, but still a little to scared to admit that at a meeting. I think the ACA step study will help me get the confidence. Have you had alanon and alayeen sponsors?

      • I did not have a sponsor for Alateen as that part of the program had not yet been developed. I have not attended Alanon but for a few times. The step studies could be interesting and useful and, again, those were not available when my family was in the program. IDK, everyone’s path is different and anything and everything that works for *you* [broadly used here] is the right choice. I’m less inclined toward groups because the dynamics of group work don’t seem to fill my needs for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, there is a great deal of wisdom and resources to be found in connection with the programs and I am grateful that they are there and continuously improving.

        I look at my therapist as my sponsor, in a way. I have a few people that I know I can text or call when I’m really in trouble. Accountability buddies, I guess. When one of us isn’t demonstrating “sobriety” the other gently brings out the light to help them find their way back. In fact, the person whom I would consider my primary accountability buddy is someone who is a blog friend I made here, at WordPress. We’ve never met and we might never meet. There is no expectation from the relationship beyond support. Then there’s the layer of support here on WordPress. I’ve said before that my blogging friends have really kept me going many times when I just wanted to give up or I felt like punishing myself because I “slipped”.

        No matter how we look at it and work our respective programs, we understand and accept that we are powerless over this “thing” and need support from a variety of sources. I had to square away that first step to include the mindset that just because I’m powerless over my “thing” doesn’t mean that I have to be for the rest of my left. [stuck…oh ick…who wants to be stuck for the rest of their lives? yikes! not me!] But I can see how it can happen and feel lots of empathy and compassion for the stuck among us, which is sometimes ME! LOL!

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