Co-NNections Recovery Stories

CoDA Tools, My Neurological Condition

Hi, my name is Caryn, and I’m codependent. Additionally, my brain is a little different from most folks’ because I have a neurological condition that affects the way I feel, think, learn, and communicate. Just like my codependency, I’ve had this neurological condition my entire life, but I didn’t know what it was until just a few years ago. I knew there was something “off” about me and I didn’t fit in, I just didn’t know what it was or what to do about it. I came to CoDA many years ago with a friend; listening to the readings and shares, I identified with so much of what I heard. I knew that if I could work this program it would work for me. But I felt daunted and quit because I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to work the program the way other people were saying they were doing it. At that time, I did not understand what “progress, not perfection” was all about. Years later, I finally found out what my neurological condition is. I started learning how to deal with my unique brain, just the way it is. Then I had a relationship end and I admitted that I could not handle the pain alone. I prayed and Higher Power guided me to seek out CoDA again. This time, I better understood how to work with my brain on its terms. I have come to accept that the way I work my program won’t look the same as anyone else’s. I’ve learned to adapt some program tools so I can work my recovery at my own pace and in ways that work for me. I try all the tools I learn about; some work for me as they are, others need modification to fit my needs, and I’ve even made up my own, but whatever doesn’t work for me I gently set aside. If Higher Power guides me to try something again, I will. I don’t work my program in a vacuum, so I have also learned how to advocate for myself with my sponsor, in meetings and in service groups. I make sure to be clear up front, I explain any relevant challenges I face, set boundaries and request accommodations respectfully, trusting Higher Power to direct our group conscience. Whether I get what I ask for or not, I try to accept the outcome gracefully and look to my Higher Power so that I can make the most of the gifts and the lessons given to me.

Gratefully in Recovery,

Caryn – 7/13/20

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