Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Gary – 4-30-19

I frequently return to Step 1. Although I have worked all my Steps during my years working my program, I find myself facing situations and people in my life that I am unable to control. In fact, it’s in my most intimate relationships where I find myself wanting to control the people who affect me daily. It’s in these relationships that I most frequently act out my codependent patterns and characteristics. That’s a given. These behaviors never disappear completely; instead I learn how to manage them. Of the many tools I have available to me, I often return to my Steps, whichever ones are most appropriate and effective in helping me achieve emotional sobriety.

What I most appreciate about Step 1 is that it reminds me that I am powerless (over other people) and unmanageable (when I reactively try to control others). I don’t want to admit this; I am full of pride and negative self-talk, and in returning to Step 1 this pride tells me that I am a failure and that I am weak. I then have to use healthy self-talk to remind myself that I have not been cured, that I am not a failure and that my goal is to be honest with myself and to manage my behavior in order to realize Promise 2: to overcome my fears to act with courage, integrity, and dignity. And when I do this, I am stronger. But I have to start with the awareness that I just acted out in a manner that is not consistent with my goal. I must take ownership of that and not be afraid to admit it.

Gary L. – 1/31/19

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