I have always wanted to submit a story to the CoDA community. I went to my first CoDA meeting in late July of 2016, just a few months after entering my AA program. To this day, the beautiful women I met at my very first meeting, are still just as near and dear to me. They are “my tribe” and my “soul sisters” in recovery. Without their and so many others’ humility, courage, and strength, I don’t know if I would still be here today. Without my strength and willingness to continue to be open, learn, grow, share (especially when I don’t want to share), and be completely honest where I am at, then I would not be here today.
I had a really hard time in my first year or so “getting” or understanding the CoDA program and how I could turn the decades of emotional abandonment, old tapes, real emotional trauma from the time I was a freshman in high school due to severe bullying, and all the fear and shame over to my higher power. So, I was honest, took notes in my CoDA books, reached out to women I trusted, journaled, and kept talking. I started to find myself and trust myself more and more. Sometimes I had to fake it until I made it. All those feelings and experiences was growth. Learning how to trust myself was and still is growth.
When I find myself “off the beam” as my dear friend would say, I can identify that feeling and check-in with myself sooner and ask myself what I need or reach out for help. Or sometimes, I just sit with that feeling, but not pack a bag and stay there too long. Acceptance. That is the power of working the program and showing up and learning and growing for me. I go back to Steps 1, 2, and 3 as many times as I need to get my bearings. I share and keep coming back without shame if I am still stuck. I believe I am where I am supposed to be and keep learning as I go. I may have some, dare I say the word “defects” of character, but when I am checking in with myself, I can say “hello, thank you for helping me right-size that a little better.” The dis-ease (disease) – getting it out so it does not take me out. I deserve to breathe and love myself! Learning this from other’s experience and shares helps me stay on a brighter path on a sometimes-muddy road. I more often find myself dancing on that muddy road than hiding. Thanks to CoDA and my sisters and recovery peers.
Looking back on where I was and where I am now, I can say I have learned to love myself, trust myself and find beauty even in the dark. This is my journey – a miraculous, beautiful journey that has changed me and blossomed me just like a lotus flower. When I don’t know what to do, I just breathe and pray, because I know I am not alone and it will be ok. Keep coming back. You are loved and WE are worth it.
H.O.P.E. – Hold On Pain Ends. This is one of my favorite lines. It is true! We are all miracles every time we show up. It is a true miracle to watch others transform and grow in their program. It is special to be able to pass my experience, strength and hope to another. That’s all I have to do. It helps me and others. The 12 Promises are real. They’ve happened for me. And I am working them because I’m worth it!
Becky F. 9/21/2022