Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Geff – 1-1-19

I’ve been in CoDA for a long time (my first meeting was the last Wednesday in August 1992, LOL). I’ll never forget when I entered that meeting and everyone shared their name. One woman said, “I’m __________, I’m a codependent and a compulsive addict.” After one year of only partially fitting in with another 12 step program, I had found home.

I’ve learned a lot of useful things in CoDA, moderation being one of the most important. Although 26+ years later I still have to work on that on a daily basis—sometimes with success and as my once-baby sister used to say, “Sometimes I fall down”.

Right now I’m thinking about gratitude. (Something I don’t do often enough!)

My life is still very challenging at times, but I almost always get an appropriate outcome, and someday I’m going to get it through my thick head that after I do the footwork, I need to turn it over to HP. What I seem to have challenges remembering is that once I’ve done my part, the outcome is usually the same whether I turn it over or not, with one exception.

If I don’t turn it over I tend to feel crazy; if I do turn it over, I tend to have a degree of serenity. I frustrate myself that after all these years that is still a challenge for me. And what keeps popping up is that the outcome is often the same either way—other than that crazy feeling when I don’t trust the process—though sometimes the outcome is better when I really do let go!

If anyone has been guided to learn that lesson, it’s me. I’ve had a pretty high amount of unpleasant challenges this decade, and almost all of them have ended up working out to my benefit. I have seen this isn’t true for all people; I don’t know why I’ve been gifted with mostly acceptable outcomes to frightening things, but I AM GRATEFUL!

It is so easy for me to dwell on what I don’t “have”. I need to appreciate that I do have a safe home, a loving kitty, and almost 30 years of 100% sobriety. I’ve had 2 awesome sponsors (and several great recovery mentors). I have lots of grown up toys (music, movies, a great stereo and home theater, computers, etc) and most of my needs have been met.

CoDA and the steps enabled me to quit smoking cigarettes in 1995 (which saved my life). They taught me that things didn’t have to go “my way” and even taught me that sometimes it’s better when they don’t. (And man, that’s a hard lesson!)

CoDA also taught me about Group Conscience and Community Problem Solving, enabling EVERY member (every person!) to have an opportunity to have a voice, and much, much more.

I’ve felt for years that the key to my recovery comes in the slogan, ”Gratitude, Not Attitude” and in the concept of acceptance. Both are still a challenge for me. I’m honestly not sure what brought up the “burning desire” to write this today, possibly the holidays.

Geff R  – 01/01/2019

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