Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Just One Brick

I’ve been in Codependents Anonymous for a little less time than I’ve been under a doctor’s care for cirrhosis. Not having proper tools to deal with problems in the past, not trusting anyone, not knowing how to ask for help and always thinking that it was just easier to do it myself led me down a path of desolation and despair. I would have one bad experience in a certain area and would I swear off whatever person, place or thing which I thought was responsible for the rest of my life. I thought I was protecting myself from hurt. I didn’t trust anyone or anything. Not therapists, doctors, support groups, hair stylists, eating establishments—and the list goes on and on.
In my mind telling someone in my circle of friends and acquaintances about my fears and problems meant exposing my weaknesses. I felt like a turtle overturned on the beach with the seagulls pecking out my innards. I kept it bottled up and I stayed bottled up inside liquor bottles to avoid reality at all costs. If I didn’t think about the problem or feel the problem, then the problem didn’t exist. But I did exist and I was the problem. Being in CoDA all these months has shown me that and I am grateful for the program of Codependents Anonymous.
However, I know that I could move one little rock and think that it’s not going to make a difference and before I know it there’s an avalanche and my fragile world starts crashing down around me as the floor gives way. Suddenly I’m falling and I did it to myself.
So over the past year, I’ve been getting stronger health-wise and reducing my medication amounts and I have been getting a good bill of health from my doctors. I’m also getting stronger and stronger by going to my meetings and working the steps in my day-to-day life. I know now that my codependent issues are deadly and one small removal of a rock can cause a destructive avalanche.
 I have a friend who has a good analogy regarding this. He uses the brick and archway analogy. We know how strong an arch is. An arch is designed that way. Each brick supports the other bricks. But to remove even just one of those bricks would mean that the whole structure loses its stability and comes tumbling down. Much like our physical bodies cannot survive without our Higher Power’s support. Things have been progressing in a healthy direction but I know that this is a cautious time. A time where I need to take a personal self-check daily and make sure my ego isn’t trying to take over again. I think I’m doing well but all it takes is one little setback, one little codependent tendency given in to, for my life to spiral out of control again. So I recognize that I’m actually in a very dangerous point in my recovery, where I need to keep my ego in check, stay humble, work my program and trust my Higher Power to guide me in all aspects of my life. I need to trust my recovery, trust myself and my Higher Power and continue to work my program. It’s as important to my well-being as oxygen is to my breathing.
As long as I do this diligently and with an open, kind, loving heart I know that things are going to be better than I could ever imagine. So, I take my inventory every day and I think about things a little longer before I act. I question if a person, place or thing is an asset or a hindrance to my recovery.
I see fear as a huge obstacle because it’s fear that caused me to put up my walls, the very walls that came tumbling down and almost killed me last year. I am so grateful for CoDA and as I wake up every day I thank my Higher Power for giving me a second chance to get it right. Because all it takes is one rock or one brick.
— Pamela W. 7/ 9, 2019

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