Co-NNections Recovery Stories

“….and other systems” – March 15, 2022

I had wondered about the addition of “…and other systems.” to the Welcome when it took place some years ago. Here was this statement CoDA members heard over and over at every meeting attended. What important understanding is being asked of me?

It happens that I personally feel more included by it. The family I grew up in was a solid, nurturing family of eight children who went on to responsible lives of contributing one way or another. Yet, I struggled for half a century with not accepting myself. Only after many CoDA meetings did I find true serenity.

With this addition to the Welcome, I didn’t need to mentally sidestep all the references to family as the source of codependent angst. I could lift my eyes to the power of television advertising distracting me from my own values. I could allow myself to acknowledge unjust power exercised face-to-face or at levels up to that of world affairs. I could free myself from needing money to validate my worth. I could see my alienation from others based on superficial markers of race, poverty, background, mental functioning, cultural differences. In contrast, I realized my genuine yearning for human unity as I projected more broadly CoDA’s Tradition One, “…. personal recovery depends upon CoDA unity.”

And I am startled by the wisdom of that Tradition as I reread the first half, “Our common welfare should come first…” Meaning my recovery is not my private task. It cannot happen in isolation. Only in community can I be wholly myself. I have a life-or-death stake in healthy human systems.

JB – 2/1/22

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