Co-NNections Recovery Stories

At the Foot of the Mountain – June 20, 2023

This is the (I imagine) rare story of a pre-Step 1 codependent. The type of story I wish I could see more of. People who, like me, look at the recovery mountain they have to climb and tremble in fear.

It has been the worst two months of my life. And as I read reports in the Blue Book and in this magazine, I almost feel ashamed to complain about mine. I didn’t grow up abused or neglected to the degree many have. Yes, my parents fought a lot, and I got caught in the middle of their mind games. I was raised to be distrustful and paranoid. Similarly, I haven’t lost jobs, family members or significant others as many have.

The kickstart to my story was being excluded by a group of people that I played video games with. I became obsessed with recovering my place, and ended up driving away the rest of my friends – many of whom were also friends with the first group – that got tired of seeing me hurt others and myself.

This led me to turn inwards to figure out what was wrong with me, and I found codependency to be the answer. And, as I write this, I struggle to keep my motivation. It’s hard to push away thoughts like “why even bother, now that everyone went away”. And as I look into how hard of a journey I have ahead, and how alone I feel right now, the desire to just quit and pretend all of this was a fever dream is strong. The desire to just blame them instead of myself and try to move on through the power of hate and spite.

Which, thankfully, I now know is also codependency at work. I need to do this because I love myself, and I owe it to myself to have healthy relationships. The problem is, I don’t love myself. Not yet. I love them, even though they told me they don’t believe I will ever improve and change. They said the group doesn’t owe it to me to take me back even if I do change (and, on that, I know they are right).

I don’t love myself, but I’m trying to learn. And I believe I can. The first Three Steps float around in my head constantly. I know I am powerless, but I can’t help but to keep trying to control my life, with disastrous results. I do believe in a Higher Power, but I am afraid to relinquish my control to them in the fear things don’t go the way I want to. But then again, things already haven’t. Maybe I should give it a try. Just a try.

I believe I will be able to get there soon. And if I’m also staring in fear at the challenge in front of me, I hope I’m able to get there soon too. The journey can’t start until we take the first step.

—– Takeshi I. 5/19/2023

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