Recovery is Happening – Here, Now

I never would have believed that facing life on life’s terms would be easier the more I let go – or that letting go could ever be possible for me at all. Life on life’s terms! Wasn’t that the disappointment, fear, and horror of the life I had in childhood and continued to have as an adult? What were these people thinking? Why would I ever even want to do that? I was always running and hiding and trying to escape from pain – all the while creating more and more of it for myself and the people I loved the most. The miracles of this program in my life today are more than I ever imagined that they could be.

Coming to life – really living and feeling – not suffering and struggling so very hard – was unimaginable. Not too many months after the unexpected death of my daughter, while I was in trauma therapy for incest and ritual abuse memories just starting to surface, I gave up on life, myself, and any relationship with a Higher Power. My reality was that the miracle of recovery was not – and never could be possible for me. Maybe for other people. Yes, definitely for other people, but not for me.  I spiralled down into the darkest period of my adult life.

My Higher Power never gave up on me though, and a few short years later brought caring, compassionate fellow travelers who listened to me and shared – actually felt – my deep woundings with true understanding. These people have become my friends and the family that my inner child’s hurting heart so desperately needed. No longer an outsider with her face pressed up to the glass looking in at a happy, laughing people and never fitting in. I’ve been blessed to find ACA and you – whoever you are, here – now – reading this blog post. You are helping me in my recovery this very moment – recovery is happening here and now as I work Step 12 with you helping me by listening to me sharing this message of hope about our ACA program and how it can and does work to change the lives of members everywhere who work it.

Working it – for me – has meant realizing that I am powerless to control the effects that childhood dysfunction has had on my life – every part of my life. I kept trying to fix, manage, and control – not only my own life, but that of nearly every person and situation I ever encountered.

I had no idea how to let go or accept or surrender my will to a power greater than myself. In fact, I repeatedly ask my Higher Power to intervene and do that for me on a regular basis. 

You see, deep down inside I have been living my life from my wounded inner child’s perspective – the perspective of a child so terribly afraid and blaming herself for the abuse and dysfunction in her family because seeing and accepting the truth that the adults are too damaged inside from their own abusive childhoods to truly love her and be there for her and instead are hurting her terribly by passing on the only form of “love” they got as kids was abuse and selfish and self-centered in nature.

That she wasn’t safe and couldn’t trust or tell the truth – not even to herself. So instead, she set out to save them, help them, fix them (control) and unwittingly passed on dysfunction everywhere she went (smile).

Through the 12-step program of ACA, I slowly became able to see that my problem was me constantly reliving and believing and acting out the family dysfunction that was passed on to me. That was the problem. The solution is my Higher Power, with who I am able to trust, surrender, believe, let go – all the miraculous things that recovery brings!  I began to see that I desperately needed – and still need – to surrender to a loving parent that I can trust – My Higher Power, one day at a time. My experience now is that I am blessed daily, finding more and more of myself underneath the wreckage of my past as I surrender it to my true parent, letting go of suffering and the lies of old patterns, addictions, dysfunction, and self-inflicted pain. Knowing that the power to carry this out comes from a loving, all powerful Higher Power and not from me.

I can relax and let life take care of me. What a relief to finally know and accept that I can no more save the world than I could parent and fix own my parents as a child. I am no longer trying to play God or be the parent to other adults or do things that aren’t my responsibility. I can trust that with my Higher Power’s help, I can live life on life’s terms and accept that I am loved and lovable just because I am me. I don’t have to earn love by giving enough to get it. As a child of my Higher Power, I am love – and I am finally free to accept, express, and LIVE that in my life (not perfectly but progressing more each day). No longer are recovery and working the steps and having a relationship with my Higher Power thoughts in my head – superficial ideas, with no real power or love in them. This is the miracle of recovery that ACA has brought into my life – and continues to bring. I am grateful beyond words. Thank you for listening and being a part of my recovery

Celebrate National Recovery Month in September with ACA at RecoveryFest Nashville 2017!

RecoveryFest 2016

September 13, 2017

Check out RecoveryFest Nashville 2017

East Park Greenspace
11:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday September 30, 2017

We are proud to announce that the ACA Tennessee Intergroup will have a tent at this year’s annual RecoveryFest Nashville! RecoveryFest is a grassroots movement that celebrates the positive impact of recovery from all types of addictions, mental health and substance use disorders and is Nashville’s contribution to and celebration of National Recovery Month, September. This year’s event will be held at 700 Woodland Street Nashville, TN 37206 at East Park Greenspace in historic Edgefield. The event will be Saturday September 30, 2017 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and is Free. Friends and family are welcome. Come join the fun and learn more about many groups and organizations that support recovery from addictions and mental health issues. We hope to see you there!



Welcome to the Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA) Tennessee Intergroup!

June 10, 2017

We are glad you found us! The ACA Tennessee Intergroup can help you find telephone numbers for live meeting representative connects and/or physical meetings near you if you live anywhere in Tennessee, North Alabama, or Southern Kentucky. We are a group of 17 meetings in Tennessee, 3 in North Alabama, and 1 in Southern Kentucky.

This website is a resource and a safe place to learn more about the healing Twelve Step recovery program called Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA). ACA is for adult children of alcoholics and all other types of dysfunctional families.  ACA members are adults who continue to be impacted by the abuse, shame, and abandonment issues caused by being raised in dysfunctional homes. You do not have to have been raised with alcoholism or drug addiction to join ACA or attend our meetings; anyone that grew up in a dysfunctional home is welcome.

ACA members exhibit traits that reveal past abuse, neglect, or trauma. Recovery from the effects of family dysfunction begins when one adult child sits across from another sharing experience, strength, and hope. ACA members experience new coping skills and feelings of self-esteem and self-respect often grow when meetings are attended regularly. Part of the recommended ACA healing process is connecting with our inner child again and beginning to re-parent ourselves. The re-parenting process of learning to love your inner child creates feelings of safety and trust that were previously unavailable. Adult children understand dissociation, codependence, obsession, and compulsion like few others. Some ACA members have been diagnosed with addictions, depression, panic attacks, PTSD, dissociative states, and other emotional or mental issues.

To have someone call or email you with more information about ACA or how to find an in-person meeting,  please fill out the Contact Us form on this site.