I have difficulty with writing. When I began my journey in CoDA six years ago, I couldn’t even imagine writing in a journal or answering the workbook questions. The idea that I might eventually submit something for the Fellowship to read was unfathomable. Part of my problem was believing I had nothing of value to add; I didn’t even think my words were worthy of being put in ink on a page. The other challenges revolve around the more practical aspects of composition.
I found my voice by sharing in meetings. When I stayed for fellowship and allowed others to give me positive feedback about how something I had said was touching or insightful, I began to become open to the idea that what I had to say might be important.
I started to discover my personal power by taking on service positions. Through the group conscience process I got practice in expressing myself clearly. I also learned how to accept a group decision with gratitude and grace. Now I have a sense of self-worth as well as humility; my voice matters but it’s not the only voice that matters. I am neurologically atypical, which means my brain and nervous system are different from the norm (sometimes a little, sometimes a lot). And that affects my perceptions, feelings, thoughts, and actions. That includes stringing words together so that what makes sense inside my head also makes sense to people outside of it. My stories tend to meander. It takes hours to create the first draft and days to revise, edit and organize it so that there is a beginning, a middle and an end.
Composing a cohesive story or article can be difficult. The words sometimes flow easily. At other times I am at a complete loss. Most often, my mind jumps from one topic to another and occasionally gets caught in a loop. It’s easy to feel discouraged, but I have gotten so much out of CoDA that it’s worth some effort to share it (Step 12). And, in the process, I continue to gain insights about myself while practicing patience and acceptance. Because of my dedication to working the Steps, applying the principles and being of service, I have been experiencing the Twelve Promises coming true in my life in unexpected ways. Daring to write and submit anything for publication to the Fellowship is only one, but a very clear example that I can point to. Day by day, I come to know new freedoms, see myself in different lights and become familiar with my capabilities. I cannot imagine being where I am today without the CoDA program and the loving presence of our Fellowship.
I am deeply grateful. Caryn T. 05/30/2022