My life before CoDA was one full of anxiety, anger, control issues, and approval-seeking behavior—doing things I didn’t want to do to be liked or loved, avoidance, and unable to handle changes in my life or when things didn’t go the way that I had expected. I worked hard to try and make everyone happy. I couldn’t make the hard or healthy choices. I didn’t trust anyone or let myself be vulnerable to anyone. I never stood up for myself or spoke my thoughts to other family members because I didn’t want to upset anyone or "rock the boat." I became burnt out and exhausted, and I just couldn’t continue in the same manner!
I had a breakdown in 2013 and sought help for myself. And I started seeing a therapist for a few years but help came in the form of a new friend early last year. After a few conversations with her we connected and she spoke of CoDA and the idea of recovery. So I started going to meetings at her house. It’s been 11 months, I think. I’ve had some ups and downs. I’ve made mistakes but I know that I am not one! I have learned to practice the steps at home with my husband and boys, and it has really helped to change the type of mother I am. I feel much better now, and I’m sharing with my family what I learn so that they don’t have to wait until they are grown up to deal with things and so that we all learn the importance of not trying to control others and being more accepting of others.
Yes, I go to meetings and I have a sponsor. I worked really fast through the steps up until Step 6. Then I just stopped rushing, and now I am taking my time learning to live using the recovery processes and steps as well as taking time to share with others. I thank God for recovery because I don’t think I would have made it this far. I now have better, stronger, safer, healthier relationships with people, and I have learned to identify those who are not available to me and to stay away or get away from those who don’t support CODA or recovery. I have learned to have strength to end unhealthy relationships even if it means a family member. And to not feel guilty about protecting myself.