Throughout my life prior to CoDA I had a recurring nightmare where I was shocked to discover a hidden part of my house: a walled-off attic. This attic was so dilapidated that it threatened to destroy everything beneath it.
Although I intellectually understood the dream’s symbolism, it wasn’t until my wife was in the Intensive Care Unit dying from alcoholism that the reality of this nightmare finally hit home. Due to workaholism, my codependent pattern of “walling off” and my enabling of her addiction, both of us had nearly been destroyed.
During this crisis I told a family member the situation and they suggested Codependents Anonymous. By attending meetings and working the CoDA Steps with my sponsor, I learned that my dilapidated attic could and would be repaired as I diligently applied the tools of the program in my daily life.
Obviously, I had no way of knowing whether my wife would live or die, nor if she would choose recovery if she did survive. All that was beyond my control, but I did know that by focusing on my own recovery and by being willing to honestly connect with fellow CoDA members despite discomfort I could repair my dilapidated attic and shed light onto all its secret, shame-filled corners. Further, by practicing good self-care I was providing a healthy foundation that could attract my wife to recovery in CoDA, if she chose.
After almost two years of diligently continuing to work my program I have repaired many secret, broken corners of my attic and life has improved. Fortunately, my wife did survive and decided to work the CoDA program with her sponsor. Although there are still some dilapidated spots that need repair, with the help of my higher power, my CoDA sponsor and the Fellowship of Codependents Anonymous, I now know I have the tools to repair any secret, broken places.
Richard W. – December 7, 2019