Co-NNections Recovery Stories

I can only keep what I give back – June 30, 2020

I was born in 1962 to a single mother. My father had left for another state and I did not meet him until I was 2. He was an active alcoholic. My parents married and I had a childhood filled with active alcoholism accompanied with neglect and abuse. I went into foster care at the age of 13. I was told my father’s drinking was because I was a “bad kid”.

Flash forward—I am now 58 years old. I got into recovery in my 20s with ACA. I learned that alcoholism/addiction is a disease or illness. My father was very ill—he died at the age of 54 due to his disease. My mother was the typical codependent and martyr.

I learned to forgive both of my parents as they were very sick people. The 12 steps of CoDA have saved my life. I have lived my life as a survivor. My childhood made me stronger. I have two grown children and I have been an RN for 30 years.

Yes, I have struggled with not feeling like I was enough, perfectionism, an eating disorder, depression and anxiety, and looking for love in several dysfunctional relationships. But I have overcome most of those issues. I now know that I am worthy of love; I truly love myself. With the help of CoDA and working the steps I have a beautiful relationship with my Higher Power and I’m recovering and healing every day.

I absolutely know that I will need this or a 12 step program for the rest of my life. I can only keep what I give back.

With serenity, sanity, peace and joy—the four things I pray for and try to achieve each day—I am able to love and be loved.

Sincerely, Dawn R – 2020

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