ACA suggests that newcomers attend at least 6 meetings in a row before deciding whether this 12 step program is a good fit for them or not. Some sponsors or counselors even suggest 90 meetings in 90 days. There are ACA meetings available several times each day. To find online meetings, phone meetings, Skype meetings, and in-person meetings near you, visit http://www.meetings.adultchildren.org/meetings.
Some people find that attending their first few ACA meetings is emotionally difficult. That was the case for me. I noticed that my second meeting was really hard – even before the meeting started. My sponsor noticed that I seemed out of sorts and asked me if I was okay after the meeting ended. She assured me that many other ACAs experience similar discomfort in the beginning. I think part of it for me was that I had found a place where my vulnerable inner child could begin to reveal herself. I wasn’t ready to to do yet, but somehow I sensed that ACA was a place where real, raw feelings were okay and that it was safe to speak my truth at long last.
I attend two other 12 step programs, but ACA is where my heart is. This program reaches down gently and addresses the root under all the issues that I have – a dysfunctional, traumatic childhood. I have never felt as a much a part of any program or support group the way that I do ACA. Like snuggling under a soft, fuzzy blanket, warm feelings of comfort and security wash over me when I walk in and take a seat at an ACA meeting now. Smiling faces and friendly gestures from fellow travelers reach me as a beacon in the night, welcoming me home to my true self and to the safety within where I am learning to re-parent my inner child with kindness and with love.