Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Claire 5-23-17

I had three months of severe anxiety when I left a job I loved and started a new one. Anxiety is too small a word really; it was terror. Every day my heart pounded in my head, my stomach was knotted, and I was afraid that I would be annihilated even though I knew rationally that was not going to happen.
On top of that fear was the anger and disappointment that I wasn’t handling it all better. I am eighteen months into my CoDA programme, and I thought that this sort of thing wouldn’t happen to me anymore but it did. It did in a way that I did not expect or could not have imagined. Why wasn’t I better?
I learned a little in my reading about my codependency after it was over. I learned that codependents can become identified with a role so much that when that role is gone that they are devastated. I think that this was what happened to me. I think that the awful fear that followed losing my role revealed to me how much of my identity came from my old job. It was so much a part of me that when it was gone, I felt as if I would stop existing at any moment.
I remember being in terror for a year the last time I changed jobs so the programme has worked for me. It wasn’t perfect and I wasn’t perfect but my recovery has made my life better. My therapist told me to never change jobs again: that is not possible, so I will have to continue to work my programme and believe that if I continue to do my steps and attend my meetings and trust my Higher Power that I will get better and be better the next time a change happens. Maybe someday there will enough of me outside of my roles that I will have nothing but normal new job nerves for a day or two. I trust and believe that that will happen.
Claire G

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