I’m Sara, I’m codependent.
BEFORE: ("Have difficulty identifying feelings. Minimize, alter or deny their feelings." Denial Patterns) I came to CoDA on October 16th, 1999 because I was 37 years old and still trying to do whatever I assumed my parents wanted me to do – at my own expense. I believed I could never do enough to please them. I didn’t know myself or what made me happy. I was miserable.
AFTER: ("I know a new love and acceptance of myself and others. I feel genuinely lovable, loving and loved" Promise 5) I learned in CoDA that it’s ok and important to be myself. I learned a lot about my true self in doing my Step 4 Inventory; discovering my assets as well as things that no longer work for me. I set some boundaries and showed my parents my genuine self. Before, I knew they loved me because I was their daughter, but it didn’t mean much because they didn’t know me. Now, they do.
BEFORE: ("Dedicated to the wellbeing of others" Denial Pattern) I used to carry the world on my shoulders, thinking I had to save everyone. I could always think of someone who was sad and "assumed the same feelings" (Compliance Pattern).
AFTER: ("We admitted we were powerless over others…." Step 1) It’s great now that I know everyone has his or her own Higher Power and it’s not me. I believe now that it’s ok for me to be happy. That’s my job and I respect others to take care of themselves and to ask if they want my help.
BEFORE: ("put aside personal interests and hobbies to do what others want." Compliance Pattern) Like I said, I didn’t even know what I wanted at first. Then, I’d just go along with what other people wanted because I didn’t want to make waves.
AFTER: ("I overcome my fears and act with …integrity" Promise 2) I speak up. Those are just three little words, but it’s so huge for me to do that.
This is just a small sample of what CoDA has meant to me. I have a great relationship with myself, with my wife of 18 years, with my parents, with my friends and with my Higher Power. Thanks CoDA!