I had called my wife codependent a thousand times.
She filed a protection order against me because I called her a name. She used things I said or did over the course of our 10-year relationship and presented them as if they were one incident. It was a bad read. The judge agreed. I was without my son—through whom I have recognized and re-experienced my abandonment issues—for about 10 days. I went through drug-like withdrawal symptoms.
It was during this time I had an eight-hour road trip and downloaded a book on codependency, completely believing it would contain the answers I’d need to manipulate my wife into believing she was the problem.
Surprise! Even though she might be codependent, so was I. I found a local CoDA meeting and have regularly attended for 2 years. I have since slowly inched away from the shores of solving my problems through intellectual means. I’m a smart guy. I can get away with it. But at the end of the day, you’re left with a house unconnected to a concrete foundation. This is why I could get jobs, but couldn’t keep them.
Now I have a new fight against my muse. The War of Art. My subconscious will do everything it can to not see me finish the book I’m writing, not write music, not do the fourth step. But working the first three has given me a new way of life. I also recognize a new fear: the fear of everything being ok. In the past, as a result of the strange, unfamiliar feeling of things going well, it seems I somehow upset the apple cart in pretty dramatic ways (ended relationships, cheated on my significant other, lost jobs).
My higher power delivered those 10 days back when my job situation allowed me to work from home during my son’s holiday vacation period. Without CoDA, I would not have realized that the structure my relationship was built on with him was not sound. I could not have identified and found the courage to accept my abandonment issues. I could not have registered my parents as undiagnosed Adult Children of Alcoholics. I could not have understood the magic of boundaries and kept my relationship with my wife.
I still pursue balance. But I believe in the magical quality of my morning prayer.
I’m not alone. My higher power is always with me. Before I am a father, worker, son, anything—I am already a unique and precious creation. I’ll believe that a little more each day.