CoDA Weekly Reading 2/13/24

 
From: "CoDA Weekly Reading" <co-nnectionreadings@codependents.org>
Date: February 13th 2024

Learning to Thrive

Hello, my name is Sean, and I am a grateful, recovering codependent.

“Yes, having a major trauma happen to you at age 8 does affect your entire life!” This was the first time I had heard this message. I was in therapy for porn addiction and my therapist said it was ok to recognize my past traumas and that they have an impact on me today as an adult.

My journey to CoDA started after a divorce of 25 years. My life completely revolved around my family. I had friends and hobbies, but I really had no purpose, ambition or drive unless I was directed by my ex-wife or children. I just bounced around life like a pinball in a pinball game. Reacting to this problem or that situation, always trying to keep the peace and make everyone happy. When I found myself alone, divorced and kids all grown I had no clue what to do with my life. No direction. No desires. No dreams. Just feeling sorry for myself. So, I did what I imagine every grown man does in their 50’s, I bought a classy sports car!

After my divorce I spent money dating women all over the state. I was looking to replace my family, looking for someone to fix me and fill my voids. After spending a lot of money and wasting a lot of time I settled into a dysfunctional relationship where we were both trying to find someone to “complete” us and make us whole.

My new partner had three children and wanted to get married as soon as possible. After 10 months of a whirlwind romance, I started to get lost in her life and her family. There was something deep inside me that knew I was falling into another person’s world, and I was losing my identity a second time. I had a mental breakdown and left the relationship. I went to a therapist and begged him to tell me what was wrong with me and he gently directed me to a CoDA meeting.

I was desperate and would try anything to figure out what was wrong with me, so I attended an online meeting for men and from the first meeting I knew I found my people. Everyone was so welcoming, and I was listening to people share and I could not believe what I was hearing. Everyone was saying out loud all the thoughts I had my entire life. “The feeling of loneliness even when you were with loved ones”. “Feeling like other people's happiness was more important than my feelings”. I understood at that moment that I was codependent and that I wanted help.

I bought the CoDA Blue Book and other literature. I read every story in the Blue Book and related to the suffering and took joy in the recovery stories. By a miracle I was invited to join a step study and have been meeting for the last 6 months with the same men working through the Steps. I have an amazing sponsor and have opened up my life to being a sponsor.

The struggle is real, and the pain can be unbearable at times. But now I am starting to feel again, starting to heal, starting to understand. CoDA has given me tools to learn how to live, to thrive, not just survive.

Sean B. 12.07.2023

 

 

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