Recently I was reminded that "an isolated group can be like an isolated Co-dependent." When I stopped being defiant and arrogant about how I was living my life; I finally broke my own isolation. I embraced CoDA recovery and I got better! In the same way, it seems when CoDA groups stay connected with each other that the group’s aura of recovery improves which makes the group attractive which in turn helps the individuals in the group; everyone wins.
One thing that helped the groups near me was encouraging CoDA members to make other meetings as possible. This wasn’t for the purpose of "comparing" or "conforming" to any standard or imposing any rules because one group did something that another group didn’t it was just to break isolation. People are allowed to be different and groups are allowed to be different! It has been sloganeered that "each one can teach one."
Each group can elect a GSR, (group service representative) who can make the attempt to be in touch with other groups. In my time, I have witnessed amazing results from this action. Groups get together to hold recovery events, make newsletters, maintain meeting lists and if they are lucky help to send a delegate to the conference (CoDA CSC).
The conference is where important topics are discussed which may seem dry at first, but in the end can affect everything from how a person finds out about CoDA all the way to the literature used and even the wording of our foundational documents!
In this way, a group helps to shape the direction of the fellowship on matters of importance as well as contributes to the unity of CoDA. Being disconnected and focusing only on ourselves, we tend to forget that we are part of a greater whole; we then find that we are living a life with a very limited viewpoint– mainly our own. Many Co-Dependents can attest to the fact that isolation becomes a vicious cycle that can be hard to break!
This doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone doing CoDA service is presently living a happy or healthy life but usually will indicate a strong desire to do so. These people deserve our gratitude and when possible our help.
CoDA’s 1st Tradition (as well as CoDA’s 1st Concept of Service) teaches CoDA members to value the principles of recovery and informs us that our lives actually depend upon advancing our individual recovery or we falter. I remember the suffering quite well; there is no desire to go "backwards"!
However, this relationship is a two way street. The GSR is not a "CoDA police officer" and the service board is not the government–the principles of recovery also apply to the service board! The conference and the service board must respect the groups; never govern from above as the power in CoDA rests in the groups.
But if a group isolates, and a CoDA service entity makes a decision that doesn’t agree with the group then who is responsible for those left behind? Where does this responsibility lie? What is the answer?
To bring balance and serenity when faced with these tough decisions I ask myself; "What can I do to contribute to the good and welfare of CoDA, rather than just trying to get my way because it is my way?"
Usually an answer comes quickly; I then discuss it with a CoDA recovery peer; sleep on it and find it is the right thing for me as well as for CoDA.
Thanks for letting me share!