For many years I struggled with my thinking. I often occupied any spare time with worrying about other people and my relationships. I could sit in a room for hours and just think, and think, and think! In a sense, I felt comfortable and at ease alone with my thoughts, even the dangerous ones. Obsessing about other people was like my secret power. It seemed to get me the best things in life. I was a “good girl”, a rule follower, and a people pleaser. I got a lot of praise from teachers and adults, but I never really fit in at school and had to try really hard to gain approval. I let popular boys cheat from my quizzes and would try to invite myself to gatherings. I struggled with romantic relationships a lot!
During college, when I started dating more and being intimate with men, I began to do some crazy things! One day I would try to please them at any possible length, with favors, playing their therapist- (unsolicited), paying for things, trying to fix them, as well as control them. When they didn’t do things my way, I got emotionally and physically violent sometimes. Always regretting it and swearing I would choose better people next time. But this went on for over a decade. Over, and over, and over.
I tried so many forms of self-help and countless books and workshops. I even hired a relationship coach. I was never able to maintain any boundary or method long term. I even blamed and was emotionally violent with some of my teachers, facilitators, etc. I made everyone my God. My relationships with men, my mother, my sister, and my gurus. I was constantly trying to control everyone to do, think, and feel how I wanted.
I came to CoDA when I finally reached a point inside myself. The point is that “even when I want to stop controlling, obsessing, manipulating others- I just can’t stop.” I chose to find a sponsor and work the 12 steps right away. I needed a solution. From working the 12 steps for CoDA I have found freedom. I experience release and reprieve from my mental obsession with others.
I don’t try to control or worry about people or my relationships. I have my Higher Power to thank for the serenity and peace on a daily basis and find purpose in helping others by sponsoring and carrying the message every day. My thinking has been restored to sane and normal.
My relationships with my family are calm and loving. And All I have to do is work my program (steps 10-12 daily) and God does the rest. I don’t have to stay away from anyone or restrain myself from doing anything. My problem inside just doesn’t exist for me anymore. The steps really do work. My desperation was the biggest gift that God has delivered.
~ Lisa B., 12/15/20 ~