Co-NNections Recovery Stories

A Beautiful Gift – November 28, 2023

I’m Carmen, a grateful Member of CoDA.

I came to CoDA desperate, afflicted and terrified! I had made the decision to separate from my husband, who I’d been married to for 20 years, with 3 children, all of them minors. I had thought that this relationship would be lifelong, but no…I was overwhelmed by a relationship that had been damaged by lies, dishonesty, lack of responsibility, control, and complacency on my part.

I hit rock bottom…it was like throwing myself into the void, with only one income, debts in common, a house to maintain and school age children. I knew that my husband would not take responsibility, because until now his had been an absentee presence in the relationship.

One day, I heard a person on a television channel talking about alcoholism and a recovery center in my city. A light went on! I thought that was a way out of the problem! I made an appointment. After talking about what brought me to the center, I was surprised and disappointed when the person I spoke with helped me understand that they couldn’t do anything for my husband if he didn’t acknowledge or accept his problem, but that I could do something for myself, since I was CODEPENDENT. Briefly, he introduced me to the subject of codependency and invited me to participate in a CoDA group in my city.

That was the most important message I received from my Higher Power, although at the time I did not recognize it as such. But with the program I have come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, has been lovingly directed by Him. Avidly, I began reading about codependence, attending the CoDA group in my city, attending internet forums, getting a sponsor, writing and sharing. That perseverance and work paid off. It has been the most beautiful path I have taken in my life, the most precious gift! I started that journey of discovery and little by little I recognized how damaged my self-esteem, my perception of reality, my ME was!

The CoDA program taught me that the problem was mine, that I couldn’t do for others what they don’t do for themselves, that the only responsibility I had was to take care of myself. I learned to recognize my feelings. Little by little I realized that I had to repair my relationship with myself. I had a terrible self-concept and relationship with myself. I started walking the path of the Twelve Steps, at my own pace, with hope and dedication! I was learning to love and accept myself, even my defects. I was also finding beauty in me and what I could salvage. I was learning to trust my Higher Power to sustain me in all the moments of my life. I give infinite thanks to my Higher Power, who for me is God, for having led me through this painful experience to this life.

Program has been a beautiful gift for me!

Carmen A. 8/30/2023

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