Jan 13, 2016

ACA Community

noun  com·mu·ni·ty  \kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē\
Simple Definition of community
Popularity: Top 1% of lookups
·    : a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood)
·    : a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.
·    : a group of nations

When I sought out to find an Adult Children of Alcoholics group, I knew what I needed. I logged on the the ACA world site and searched for groups within my home state. My then-fiance drive me all over our state so I could experience different groups. Turned out the one I felt most at home with was the one nearest to my home—that was helpful! I was ready to travel over an hour to find the group I felt was right for me.

But,  just like  a church community, even though we would like things to stay the same, the people that we’ve come to know and trust eventually leave. And, that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Coming to recovery means you are supposed to be a part, take part in the studies, do your own work, share that work with the community, and grow up, and eventually away from the group. We are  supposed to outgrow the group when we feel we don’t need it anymore.
An occasional check-in is fine.

I checked in almost three years after I had left. The group met now in a different room in the church. The table was a different height. The coffee didn’t taste the same. I didn’t expect to see anyone I knew, but I did.  I instantly recognized three or four people, and they recognized me.
Here I was, back for  a refresher. But I couldn’t help but wonder, had these people never left? Why?

Does a part of our recovery have to be stunted? Or, perhaps we find such a home coming and the group replaces, in a way,  their real family—the family that brought them to seek out ACA recover in the first place. I don’t know. But, I do know after my few years of faithful attendance I was better off heading out into the world, armed with the knowledge and wisdom my ACA family brought me, and feeling I would be welcomed back to that home base, anytime for any reason, no matter what.

Have you ever attended an ACA support group? If so, what was your experience like? 

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