Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Hands-On Recovery

WOW did I get some “hands-on” recovery at the airport after leaving the CoDA Convention!

I made it through the airport fine UNTIL the TSA x-ray scanner detected something in my back pocket.

I took out the paper and threw it out.


The TSA Agent informed me that he would need to inspect me physically.

Normally I’m okay with a “TSA massage” when it’s my shoulders and back, but when he informed he was going to be patting down my buttocks and GROIN I felt UNCOMFORTABLE, but instead of being quiet and co-dependently compliant, I shared “I am uncomfortable with this. There was nothing in my front pocket. Why my groin?”

I tried to collaborate by offering to go back through the x-ray scanner.

In an authoritarian voice and tone, he said “Inspection: YES or NO?”

I said “no”.

He yelled “SUPERVISOR!”

The TSA Supervisor came over and explained to me the TSA Agent was going use the “back of his hand.”

I agreed to the inspection.

But when the “back of his hand” went right up my thigh where the sun don’t shine, I was NOT okay!

I miraculously spoke up again and said “stop” before he could inspect my groin area.

Again he yelled “SUPERVISOR!”


Guess what happened next?

No, I didn’t cuss him out.

No, I didn’t get angry.

Instead, I was clearer with my boundaries: “I am NOT okay with a man touching my penis.”

I went on to look them both in the eyes and say “I love you, and know this is your job and it’s for safety. What are my other options?”

The Supervisor informed me that he could walk me out and I could enter the lines again.

AHA! I had another option my frontal lobes could understand, so I took it.



But as I was being escorted out out of the security check by two TSA Supervisors, an old voice crept in:

“What are these people going to think about you?”

I felt ashamed.

I immediately surrendered to HP and heard “I’m proud of you, Son.“


When the TSA Supervisor and I parted ways, not only did we shake hands, but he suggested I take “Line 8” because he was going to shut off the x-ray scanners, so I could go through the metal detectors.

WOW, I was FREE!


I went through security the second time with NOTHING in my pockets and made it through fine.

But when I left security I felt uneasy, so I called my new CoDA sponsor that I had just got from the CoDA Convention.

He affirmed and validated my experience. He applauded my willingness and courage.


I felt calm and supported – another miracle of CoDA.

He also shared that using the “love” word with some people may be inappropriate. That saying “I appreciate and respect you” in this context may have been a better choice.

I agreed.

Talking with him was like my inner child was looking up to a parent, and got to ask:

“Was that the right thing to do?”

And it like was God, myself, and my mentor got to say:

“Yes, Son, you done good.”


This CoDA stuff works! 🙂

Thank you TSA for allowing me to practice my NEW healthy boundaries and speak my truth while being respectful.

This is what my sponsor calls “hands-on recovery.” 🙂


JP – 9/16/19

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