Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Turning Humans Into Loving People – May 21, 2024

Before I came to CoDA, I was in the habit of calling people “humans.” I tended to use this term only half-jokingly as an accurate description of alienation, abuse, and abandonment I sometimes felt in my interactions with my fellow sufferers. I had been in CoDA for only six months, and I was starting to feel some hope that it would be possible for me to experience more healthy and loving relationships. But due to my pretty extreme avoidance patterns and a curmudgeonly nature (among other things), I was not sure if I really believed I could change that much

As of this writing, I’ve been in CoDA for about 2 years and 9 months and my perspective on these so-called “humans” is slowly changing. In fact, I can’t recall using the term in this way for at least several months. I’m starting to love these people more as my relationships with family, friends, fellow CoDAs, and even acquaintances are becoming more healthy and loving. With my wife, I’m learning to pause when she does something like give me precise and commanding instructions on exactly where I should park our car. Why get irritated and defensive? I love her, and the place we park has absolutely no bearing on the quality of my life. More importantly, if I blow off my resentment and push back in the name of establishing petty control, it just ends up in a silly argument or even worse. With my daughters, I am realizing how much I love them and even though at times it seems they don’t need me much anymore, I can pray and write and ask my wife about ways to be helpful in their lives and still show them how much I care. At a sponsee’s suggestion I did some “research” and learned that my older daughter particularly appreciates acts of service. Knowing this, I can do things like offer to take her food tray downstairs when she’s resting after a long, stressful day of work or offer to do her dishes or ask her about her day and listen attentively. And in these gestures, we can both feel our love for each other.

So, I just wanted to share this with my fellow CoDA members to put a marker in the sand of time to show progress in my CoDA recovery. One day at a time, I can put the Twelve Steps into action by living my life with more humility and love. When I give love, it’s amazing how these humans become precious loved ones and fellow travelers.

Jim H. 04/14/2024

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