Co-NNections Recovery Stories

The Importance of Remaining Open – Dec 8, 2020

The other day while walking the dog with my husband, I was talking about my shutting down and isolating process. I was able to explain to him how it happened to me by following my codependent umbilical cord back to the beginning.

Being raised in a strict, abusive household and learning early that I couldn’t trust anyone, I was forced to run away at the age of 14. On the streets, there were even more people posing as friends, teachers, doctors, and therapists. Over and over again, the oath of secrecy went out the window, with trust being right at its heels.

I went from being already broken to my psyche, heart, mind, and bones becoming a bit more closed and rigid each time it would happen. This lack of control and constant berating by others resulted in my pessimistic view of the world and an overemphasis on the bottom line survival skills.

“Hooray, I’m alone and I don’t have to put up with people shaming me after they abuse me.” Yes, sarcasm was yet another tool in my codependent arsenal. I became angry inside and listened to heavy metal music to help deal with my anger. I released the anger by throwing knife stars at a huge piece of plywood. The worst thing that happened is I closed my mind and heart off and built the biggest wall I could find to drink behind.

I was an alone drinker. My days, weeks, months, years were consumed by me trying not to run out of alcohol, and no one could tell me anything or I would become triggered and lash out. The constant upkeep on my liquor inventory took over my life as I drank and shut more people out of my life.

I came to CoDA 2 years ago after almost dying and spending five months in hospitals. I went through group rehab and another recovery program before I joined CoDA. Being a small local CoDA group and most of us being single, we offered to have Thanksgiving at our home. I was still walking with a cane and in a lot of pain but I wanted to get better and to prove it to myself by cooking a feast for my fellows. I wish you could have seen the spread. Magnificent!

After dinner, it was time for my first CoDA meeting, and one of the guests asked me to chair. I was so nervous and making nervous jokes. Finally, I just followed the script, had my first CoDA meeting in the living room, and received my silver welcome chip and a hug in my home! Perfect!

I now remain open and willing to accept that I can do nothing without a power greater than myself. It has been freeing to not have to do everything by myself or to try to get people to do what I thought I needed. I remain open and honest by doing what I can and leaving the rest for the universe to sort out. I remain open to the turning of the wheel of the universe, and its predestined alignment for me.

So as I pick up my 2-year CoDA chip on Thanksgiving, I am grateful for two things.

  1. I’m thankful for the program of Codependents Anonymous for its help in so many ways.
  2. Quoting my husband’s grandfather, ‘’I am thankful I’m not a turkey.’’

Thanks for reading my story,

P.N.W. – 10/30/20

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