Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Healthy Boundaries

My name is Mark and I am a codependent This week I relearned a valuable lesson. I want to focus on the relearning part. I wonder if working all 12 steps in CoDA will help me not to have to relearn basic truths that make me healthy. Well, either way I am gifted to be able to practice a healthy behavior all over again.
As I was growing up I felt that I had to be funny and pleasing to everyone and agreeable. And a lot of that really was enjoyable. My sponsor or someone I can’t remember told me that it is not wrong to please others. I think what is unhealthy is striving to please others when I don’t really want to do that. When it goes against my truth and/or robs me of my serenity. My sponsor told me this week that the most important thing I can do is take care of Mark. Then I will have a basis to move out and help others.
The problem I had this week was that my relatives were asking for rides almost every day. I don’t mind giving people rides but I started to feel put upon and I started to fear that they were trying to dominate and intimidate me. I felt these ugly feelings inside yet I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong. I talked it over with my sponsor. I had an old tape running that was influencing my behavior. I had interpreted Christianity to mean that I had to give everyone everything they asked for at any time, all the time. I decided to create a boundary when this information was revealed to me. I wrote about what would make me feel most comfortable and then I presented it to them. I texted them and said ” I will be able to give you rides twice a month. You can choose the days and I will be happy to do that for you.”
They refused to cooperate with my boundary and that is totally up to them. They have a right to refuse my boundary and I have a right to withdraw my help. Not to punish them but to honor and protect myself. My serenity and recovery comes first. And it’s a pleasure to live this way today. I feel a power from within and it feels a lot like joy and play. I am happy now that I have my center back. Thanks for listening.
Mark C – 7/11/18

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