Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Codependent ‘I’~solation – August 11, 2020

Being in isolation with another recovering co-dependent can be tricky at the best of times. Emotions get tangled and it’s hard to know what baggage belongs to whom? I sort through what could be my stuff, so I can take responsibility for my issues, and leave my husband’s to himself.

For many years I have seen us as a highly functioning team. Being in CoDA has helped me see it for what it has been all along up to now. It’s been a pretty serious relationship of co-dependency, and I realized I ceased to live my life and began living his life instead.

 It was as if over time I grew fainter, and my childhood ideas and dreams—as well as all of my dreams after—became lost in my obsession with helping another. In the end, it robbed me of my self-worth and led me again to alcohol as a coping mechanism. I am the kind of person who gives till it hurts. I could be dying of thirst and would give the water to someone else instead if they need it. Now after being in CoDA I can see and connect the dots of my past to my present circumstances. CoDA is giving me a hawk-eye view of when a certain co-dependent pattern was born and the exact occurrences that created whatever I am now. It’s challenging as well as tiring work, so naps are crucial during this time for me to process and integrate the memories and emotions that are gushing to the surface of my psyche and making me feel like a screaming baby wanting the love, patience, understanding, and care that I never got. My mom left when I was merely five months old and set the whole tone of my life. But I suspect that she left me much sooner than that.

Being in Isolation with my husband—who is working his own program—is challenging and scary. There are many toxic brain thoughts such as: what if this or that happens as we heal? What if both of us discover we don’t like the other person very much? I am aware of it now, so it’s a matter of recognizing my behaviour and choosing to act more in accordance with my recovery.

It’s a good thing we have a larger living space now, so I have lots of alone time in my personal space while healing and can be respectful of my husband’s personal space. It’s tiring work. Afterward, I discuss my experience in great length and detail with him and he does the same. This part is very important to me. I need to be accountable for my personal recovery and respectful of my husband’s at the same time.

Thank you for reading my story.

Pamela W. – April 13th, 2020

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