When I was a child they were a joyous time, filled with gifts and good food. I understood that everything was provided by my parents, no Santa or God. My parents were my controllers.
When I got married my husband became my controller; little by little and bit by bit, I lost myself.
When we had children the holidays seemed okay to my codependent self. I was under the deception that if my husband made all the decisions everything was okay. I thought I had input but I’m not sure now that I did. If my kids were happy everything was okay. I didn’t have a great many needs but I wanted everybody to be happy. I realize now that I overlooked myself and in retrospect that was due to being brought up in such a way that to think of oneself was selfish.
Now I am divorced. My controlling ex-husband still tries to determine what the younger kids will do. Now I am more aware of my own needs and I allow my children to make their own choices.
With the help of CoDA I am learning to make my own wishes known. I make requests. If my requests are not granted, at least I’ve made them known.
In CoDA I easily accepted that I am powerless over others and that my life had become unmanageable. I am still walking the talk that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. I know certainly that my meetings and the support of my fellow codependents is restoring my sanity. I have not yet fully committed to turning my will and life over to the care of my higher power. I have made one searching and fearless moral inventory of myself and shared it with another, hoping that if there is a God, he was reading over my shoulder.
I was certainly ready to have God remove all my defects of character. I need to practice more asking God to remove my shortcomings. I made one list of persons I had harmed, that consisted solely of myself. I made some amends to myself. I’m considering doing this step again but I’m resistant to putting my ex on it, as I don’t think I owe him anything and to make amends to him might injure myself financially.
I promptly admit it when I’m wrong and the consequences are far easier to take than I would ever have imagined. I don’t always see what amends could be made.
I ask for God’s guidance sometimes but I find it difficult to practice. If I act as if I have faith I feel dumb, blind, naive. I do feel that things go better if I pray daily. Walk the talk. Fake it ‘til you make it. Meditate to sleep. Prefer group meditation, seeking same.
I am still seeking a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, yet I try to carry this message to other codependents, locally and worldwide and to practice these principles in all my affairs.
I have learned to accept the things I cannot change, and I’m still developing the courage to change the things I can and looking for the wisdom to know the difference.