Just a few years ago, I never would have believed what would become one of my favorite CoDA sayings: “Blame keeps wounds open, and forgiveness lets wounds heal.” I was too busy blaming, shaming, and seeking revenge on my alcoholic spouse for years of abuse.
I’ve slowly come to realize I was a willing participant on that roller coaster ride. It was easier to blame someone else over and over, to ignore my own defects and to turn a blind eye, than to face my own fears; so easy to deny the facts, so difficult to face them; so easy to stay on the roller coaster ride with all the ups and downs. I was ashamed and angry at both of us and felt things would never change. Sobriety led to one disappointment after another. Little did I realize what a huge part I played in that dysfunction.
Eventually we parted ways. Life seemed more peaceful …for a while… until I realized I wasn’t as perfect as I thought. I had issues of my own to face – the lingering issues I had never dealt with in the past. I never saw the part I played by trying to control the uncontrollable. I spun further out of control, repeating my same old bad behaviors in new situations. I knew I needed help. I finally accepted I was powerless.
CoDA, as well as my faith, spouse, supportive family and friends, have all contributed to the changes I try daily to make in myself by being more honest with myself. I’m much more aware of how my old behaviors no longer fit. I try daily to do unto others as I would have done unto me. I had to have compassion and forgiveness for others first; only then could I begin to have compassion, love, and forgiveness for myself. It had to begin with me.
I’m grateful every day for the recovery path I’m on. I’m thankful for my belief and acceptance in myself. I see it in better relationships. I know I’m not perfect and never will be…and that’s ok.
Thank you, CoDA, for showing me the way to let it begin with me.
Dee – 1/4/2022