Hello, I would like to share an AHA moment when I was reviewing my notes. I am currently on Step Nine in CODA so I went back and reviewed Steps 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. In Step 8 it mentioned make Direct Amends to all people you have harmed. Of course, I naturally made an Amend to my Higher Power but then came the AHA moment. The person I needed to make amends to was ME! So I wrote a letter to myself. Hopefully, my letter will help someone in their journey of recovery:
Dear Linda: You were very helpful in your own way when we were growing up. You helped me develop coping skills that unfortunately for us no longer serve our best interests. We developed low self-esteem because we were always told we were wrong. So we developed a codependent behavior of difficulty in making decisions. That way we wouldn’t have to be accountable or take responsibility. We had difficulty taking constructive criticism and viewed it as a personal attack.
As time went on, we perceived ourselves as victims and became martyrs. In our relationships we were needy and controlling without realizing it. I suppose this was denial. Because we were oppressed socially, emotionally, and spiritually, we became very naive and gullible. Because of our illness, we were perceived by our brothers and sisters as “different” and we never did quite measure up. But you know what Linda, that is a bunch of “hooey”.
But to be fair, Mom and Dad did the best they could with the tools they had. They were not perfect, but no one is. In fact, with all the illness, separation from family members who have never even tried to get to know us and never will, they gave us a lot of assets that formerly we thought were weaknesses. We are kind, generous, have empathy, are very loyal, are compassionate. We have integrity. We are honest and trustworthy and we are understanding.
So, Linda, we need to “Let Go and Let God.” We need to take responsibility for our choices. We need to speak for ourselves. We need to be proud of who we are and never be ashamed. But most of all, we need to be grateful that we have been given the opportunity to live a life full of exciting experiences. We need to seek God’s help in recognizing these opportunities. So let’s say goodbye to the past and live in the present and be grateful for every day we have. Let’s let go of our resentments, anger, and confusion and replace it with love, clarity, acceptance, and recognition. We must recognize that all the character defects that we have identified are not going away overnight. The key to our success will be a change in our attitude, our feeling of importance toward our character defects, and our consistent and daily progress to better understanding ourselves without giving up our integrity.
Hopefully, someone out there will be helped by my story.