I’m a codependent. I’ve been in CoDA for 10 months now and have been attending the CoDA Strong Monday meeting consistently all of that time. I have a CoDA sponsor and I’ve worked through all Twelve Steps with him. We are now engaged in working the Twelve Traditions with a focus on how they can help us with relationships.
That brings me to my current CoDA issue with my wife. Over the past five years of my sobriety from pill and sex addiction, my wife and I have enjoyed somewhat of a honeymoon. So I forget what it was like before that sobriety started. I forget those feelings of abandonment and loneliness alternating with righteous indignation, resentment, fear, and impending doom. But five days ago my wife and I became “estranged” again. It was painful and scary. It feels foreign now because it is so rare.
It started with her adopting a pregnant female cat and spending a whole lot of time trying to introduce the new cat to our household with two 10-year old male cats. She started sleeping downstairs and staying up all night to make sure the cats didn’t fight. That’s where I started feeling abandoned. So I did what I have always done and crawled inside myself with books and some inappropriate internet images. My old M.O.: escape and avoid. It stayed like this for several days. I tried to reach out to her but our communication had kind of shut down by this time.
Slowly over a period of several hours my program began to kick in. I began to identify my feelings and embrace my new reality. To help me with this, I began to journal about my fears of abandonment and slowly I looked at “my part.”
It became clear I could take action, try to communicate with her. Let her know I love her. Show her affection. Realize that she too was suffering, rather than dwelling on my victimhood. And I shared it with my therapist who advised take a deep breath, don’t panic, wait and see. I prayed to my higher power that he remove my character defects, like fear, impatience, avoidance, control, selfishness, self-centeredness, etc., that were worsening the situation and making me miserable.
Then, I brought it up with my sponsor. In talking to my sponsor, I noticed that I was really angry at my wife, condemning her as someone who was impossible to communicate with. I knew this wasn’t true but I heard myself talk and the realization of “my part” slowly dawned on me at a deeper level.
I claimed my space, I trusted this insight and realized how much I love my wife. Then, in my mind’s eye, she was transformed back into my soul mate and my intimate life-long partner.
Today the dark clouds have disappeared as quickly as they came. We were able to connect again and love each other as we have many, many times before over our 30 year relationship. I could see that she had been hurting as badly as me. Working my CoDA program had carried me through and allowed me to change misery into spiritual growth. Thank you CoDA!