Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Pamela – 5-21-19

A year ago, self-destructive codependent patterns culminated in me nearly dying in the ICU from untreated alcoholism. While lying in that hospital bed I prayed for a second chance. After three months of hospitalization I was released clean, sober but without tools to cope with the core issues that led to these destructive behaviors. Then I found CoDA and was finally able to look at my past through a different lens. I began understanding the root causes of my codependent patterns and how they had impacted every aspect of my life. Instead of working through past traumas I would drink until I no longer felt anything: not shame, pain, fear, nor low self-esteem. If I had found CoDA back in the 1980’s I might have worked through childhood traumas without enduring last year’s alcoholic death spiral. I now realize how lethal untreated codependency can be.

My first two marriages were codependency at its ugliest. I chose husbands based on a familiar comfortable feeling. Now, in recovery, I realize that familiarity was a replaying of my abusive childhood. Almost dying last year was a blessing in disguise because it led me to the CoDA fellowship and has helped me realize that I am not alone, nor were my feelings much different than other codependents. Though I’ve only been in the program for four months I am excited to finally have tools that help free myself from the self-inflicted cage which had held me prisoner for so long. It’s not easy but I welcome the challenge and am already seeing positive results from working CoDA’s program. A sort of magic is happening as I face irrational fears with my new attitude of self-love, acceptance and confidence.

For example, I’m 54 and have always been afraid of driving. In the past, I let my powerlessness over other drivers and my lack of driving skills paralyze me. Now, in recovery, I am learning to be okay with lack of control and the fact that I’m not perfect behind the wheel. Instead of letting these fears disempower me, I faced them, bought a car and am learning to drive. Driving helps me feel less dependent and gives me a confidence I never thought possible. Now each new day is a canvas for me to create my dream on and that dream is being a whole person who lives life to the fullest without letting past fears be their driver.

Pamela W – 2/17/19

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