We all have different feelings about CoDA from time to time. Our feelings are not always positive, but those feelings are a part of recovery too. – Mike H.
That is how I have been feeling lately. CoDA-Shmoda. I don’t even know if that is a word, but it makes me smile. I have been in CoDA about 20 months. I attended a meeting in person for most of that time and occasionally jumped into a meeting online. I stopped going to the meeting I had been going to a couple of months ago and have tried other in-person and online meetings.
I spent most of that time trying to reach out to people in the group, but I found that people don’t always reach back. I seemed to have a hard time fitting in since I wasn’t in any of the other 12 Step programs. I could identify with the patterns of behavior since I grew up in a family with a mother who was an adult child of an alcoholic. I had my share of addictions growing up which included religion, work, sex, and food.
I got my feelings hurt though when people didn’t reach back in the group or misconstrued my attempts to connect. I kept trying to remind myself that I am doing CoDA for myself. It doesn’t matter if people reach back or not, but I guess it does. I tend to deal with rejection by cutting and running to lick my wounds, and I guess that is what I have done here. I am tired of cutting and running. It is exhausting! I am ready to change my behavior.
One of the toughest parts of not going to the meeting I had been going to is that when I stopped going, people didn’t reach out to see where I was. Someone sent me a text 3 weeks later to see how I was doing, but when I suggested we get together to talk the silence was deafening. I even had some people over to my house for dinner and some of those people didn’t respond either. Unfortunately, the lack of response just reinforced the way I was feeling about CoDA.
I don’t think the issue is CoDA though. I think there is still value in using CoDA as a tool; I am just feeling a little bruised these days and I thought it would help to write about it. I know most of the weekly readings are about how wonderful CoDA is. I can appreciate that. I have been one of those people too, but sometimes we have other feelings about CoDA that are just as valid.
CoDA is a laboratory for life. I am experiencing in real time the things I am talking about with my therapist. I am trying to let go and ask my higher power to help me. I don’t need other people to validate me since I am validating myself, but it still hurts. I doubt I will ever get to a place where I am not tempted to cut and run when my feelings get hurt, but maybe I can spend less time licking my wounds and re-engage sooner!
Mike H. 12.9.2023