Hi. My Name is Annie D. I am Codependent.
On October 29, 1986, I attended my first CoDA meeting. I didnt know what codependency was. I didnt know Ken or Mary R. I had no idea how this meeting had begun. I was just told by another 12-step person, about this meeting, as he had attended the first meeting on October22, 1986. I showed up, and lo and behold, the majority of the people there, I knew from other 12-step programs. As the weeks passed and the meeting grew, again most of the people were from other 12-step meetings. Those very same people I had sat with, listening to, each struggling with their questions on how to move forward, and to try to heal from their past journey. Willing to go to any lengths" As I was.
I can only speak for myself on this matter, yet some how I know through only my perception, that most of the people in that meeting room, along with all other rooms I had sat in for 12-step were sick! For what other reason would we all be there? The information I had accumulated at that point in my journey (and it still holds true today), is that this was a place people came, together, to talk, to share their EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH, & HOPE (powerful words when used right), about their journey with the dis-ease. This was done with utmost respect, anonymity and non-judgment.
Now if you have taken the time to read this far into the letter, let me now tell you why I am prompted to write this letter.
Last weekend I had the privilege of visiting the birthplace and grave, of a man named BILL W. (the CO-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous). While standing there the feeling of emotions were many and so deep they brought tears of connection. Connection to that place inside of me, where my truth lives. That place where I know that my journey on this planet, was to be a person who had the privilege, yes!! Privileged, to be "one of the sick ones afflicted by this dis-ease". Through that DYSFUNCTION, I was ALLOWED TO FIND OUT WHAT MY LIFE was all about, and then how to connect to the joy and bliss. Realizing and owning to the full extent of how this dis-ease can afflict me, knowing that Ill never "be cured". Knowing that to survive with any sense of calm and honor, I would have to really come to terms with GOD. The strange thing though, is that even though some people (in CoDA 12-step) have come to realize these things too, I find there are some others that "think" they have. And as sad as it is (and sometimes very difficult to deal with them too) these people stand out as reminders, to each of us, just exactly what we all "are really doing here".
Over the years Ive heard many things from "this group people". Things, that when you really listen, have no connection to god, or to the real meaning of the steps and traditions. As I sit and remember my experiences with some of "these people", I for some reason cannot remember a conversation with any of them, that really included GOD. Nor did it include the first word of the 12-steps "WE". I think the words most used were "you did", "They were", etc.
Today more than ever, I realize when I look back, just how privileged (there's that word again) I was, to be a part of CoDA in the beginning. I had the honor to sit as a member of the first CoDA Board of Directors. I was the first Hospitals and Institutions chairperson. I did this for 3 years. I had no idea what I was doing. Had never sat on a board before.
Wasnt even sure what "codependency" really was. There were no descriptions of codependency. There were no books. No pamphlets. There was nothing but a bunch of people, brought together by God. Yes GOD! The energy and awesomeness of watching this experience manifest and come to light was beyond words. TRUST was the key factor here. TRUST. As I said in the beginning, what would we be doing here, if we were not sick? So when I hear these derogatory comments from these "people", I am so grateful that they somehow recognized the fact, that like in most cases throughout history, God has always chosen the SICK and the WEAK, to be the ones used to bring forth changes in the world. I cant begin to tell you how honored I am to be included in this group. It would take me days, to tell all the positive ways these experiences have completed me as a person. And continue to do today.
12-Step program, as I understand it, is a place where you come to be supported by others, who have the same dis-ease, as you each fine your way. So to honor that, I offer my hand on the journey, to those "other people", if you care to walk with me. There is only one thing though, if you choose to do that, my journey does include foremost the concept "WE" (and that definitely has GOD first person on the we list).
Walk Gently on the earth