As I sit and reflect here in this moment, I do so as the most authentic version of myself that I have ever had the privilege of knowing.
I found CoDA and myself in August 2019, following the encouragement of my therapist and at a point in my life where I had finally hit my rock bottom after 40 years of digging. It’s been over a year now and I can honestly say that the program and the fellowship have been an incredible blessing and continue to be in all ways possible. The black hole that once consumed me is now a glowing light inside of me and as I work my program one moment, day and step at a time this light shines brighter.
I was pretty much an only child who became my Mother’s main carer from a very early age. She suffered in her childhood and projected her emotional and psychological needs directly onto me, which included narcissism, multiple addictions (alcoholism, drug abuse, sex / love), personality disorder, depression, and an eating disorder. I was taught at a very early age that my Dad didn’t love nor want me and that under no circumstances was I to leave her as she would have no choice but to commit suicide. I was manipulated with gas lighting, conditioned and shamed with passive aggressive behaviour, rejected, abandoned in my own needs and difficulties growing up and subjected to domestic violence within her relationships on many occasions.
The program of Codependents Anonymous has helped me to not only face the consequences of such a childhood but to finally stop running and more importantly put down and hand back all that was not mine to hold onto. I honestly believed that there was something so very wrong with me and felt utterly alone and truly disconnected from the life that seemed to swim around me, something I have come to term as a half-life. I have used people, places, jobs and things to try and meet the unmet needs of my experiences which have resulted in a succession of increasingly dysfunctional relationships, long term use of marijuana, disassociation, depression, anxiety and a total loss of identity and purpose.
Today I live and feel the wonderful 12 Promises flow through me and into my daily life. As I work through my Step 8 and incorporate the incredible tools and resources in the program, I learn to Accept, have Compassion and Forgive not only those around me but myself too. The gift of experience, strength and hope found in the resources, meetings, retreats, workshops, my Sponsor and all those in the fellowship have helped me connect with Myself, my Higher Power and the miracle of life. I have learnt to grieve, to release and to let go and in doing so I have discovered unconditional love, joy and freedom.
The Serenity, Courage, Wisdom, Patience, Appreciation, Tolerance and Strength have guided and do guide me towards the greatest love of all, that of my Higher Power who teaches me everyday how to love myself from the inside out and the meaning of healthy relationships.
Grateful to provide service within CoDA, to those in the fellowship and to Codependents who still suffer.
“It works if you work it, so work it because you ARE worth it”
Hannah H – 11/25/20