Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Bo – 8-14-19

How the CoDA Twelve Steps Changed My Life.

I am a new person thanks to the Twelve Steps for I understand the nature of my disease now. It is a spiritual disease and the Twelve Steps is a spiritual program, which is perfect to heal my ailment. My spiritual disease can only be healed by reconnecting me with a Higher Power. I understand now that nothing and no one can replace God.

I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father and a codependent mother. As a child I resented my father for drinking, bringing trash home, and beating my mother. I wanted to protect my mother, so I hated my father passionately and I wanted him dead. My emotional needs for safety and affection were not met at home when I was a child. I grew up raising myself, stuffing my feelings, seeking approval in sports and academia. I excelled in everything and I wanted to do everything, so I was on the go all the time. Chaos, distraction, romancing, and no rest best characterize the first forty years of my life.

And then, at 40, I hit bottom when I entered a relationship with an addict, and I got stuck there looking at my life spinning out of control. The emotional suffering was so immense that I went looking for help. I found the Twelve Steps community, which was a Higher Power in action.

How did my spiritual disease start? My mother was a religious devotee and I did not benefit from that at all. I did not find help in faith as she did. I did not learn from her that God could come to my aid. I was disconnected from God because I was playing God saving my mother. At 40 years old, I connected with God through the Twelve Steps and I surrendered my power. Finally, I got a break from playing a savior not only to my mother but also all my romantic partners, and I was able to become vulnerable enough to be saved myself. The Twelve Steps gave me a framework for my life. I was finally allowed to let go because God had my back.

My mother and I share faith now and enjoy talking about the grace that we both found to save us from living with addicts. It was such a great relief to start praying about everything instead of controlling everything. I wished my mother taught all this when I was a child. Maybe she tried but I was not receptive. I simply do not remember. All I know is that the Twelve Steps gave me a respite in my adulthood.

I cried a river over a childhood that I never had, but I will at least enjoy the second half of my life. The Twelve Steps of CoDA clearly show me the way to a happy life. I will be in Higher Power’s divine therapy for the rest of my life and I will be part of the CoDA community that wants to learn how to have healthy loving relationships just as I do. I am on a spiritual journey with my codependent fellow travelers to a source of happiness.

Bo S. – 7/4

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