CoDA Weekly Reading Archives

 

CoDA Weekly Reading 08/4/20

August 4th 2020 PDT

Forgiving myself is very heavy lifting, and letting myself find happiness an endless daily pursuit. My family life growing up was, in short, traumatizing. There were nine kids, an alcoholic father and uber-controlling, bible-thumping mother. Chaos reigned daily and fear of being beaten or chastised weaved through the fibers of my daily existence. At nine years old, I dreamt about my funeral continually, not knowing if I would physically survive, and if anyone would ever know I was missing. F ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 07/28/20

July 28th 2020 PDT

Tradition Nine Ever since I started doing service beyond attending meetings I have been puzzled by Tradition 9. “CoDA as such ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.” What is “CoDA as such” and what isn’t? Recent experience has cleared some of the fog for me. Years ago I started doing service with a CoDA group doing work so demanding that we could not deal with organizational matters involving other parts of CoDA serv ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 07/21/20

July 21st 2020 PDT

From Being Codependent to Being Sufficient I had the feeling of being always alone, even when surrounded by dozens of people, even when I had a long list of so-called “friends”, even when being a favorite of many people, and even when fulfilling all my responsibilities in a perfect manner. Then surfing around the internet one day I came across CoDA and read all about codependency. I got a sudden wave of shock and goosebumps all over my body; I am codependent. All the feelings of loneliness, of ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 07/14/20

July 14th 2020 PDT

I write. It's therapeutic. I tell my story. It keeps getting better. I grew up in dysfunction. Heavy drinkers. Work addiction. Sexual abuse. Neglect. Religious fanaticism, which was mom's escape. I did a geographic, which quit working. I worked hard and that quit working. I repeated what I learned in dysfunctional family. Familiar. I was emotionally. spiritually, psychologically bankrupt. Doctor suggested treatment, where I learned about meetings, 12 simple steps. Thanks God. Did 90 meeting ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 07/06/20

July 6th 2020 PDT

My journey through service in CoDA has been bumpy but one of the greatest spiritual learning experiences of my life. I fell into a committee, attended a convention, and met people just like me from all around the world. I laughed and laughed and laughed, and inwardly cried and cried and cried, that I had come home to a family of wildly sensitive, intelligent, spiritual, wounded, suffering codependents, just like me. I spent a year serving on a committee without realizing that at the same tim ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 06/30/20

June 30th 2020 PDT

“I can only keep what I give back” I was born in 1962 to a single mother. My father had left for another state and I did not meet him until I was 2. He was an active alcoholic. My parents married and I had a childhood filled with active alcoholism accompanied with neglect and abuse. I went into foster care at the age of 13. I was told my father’s drinking was because I was a "bad kid”. Flash forward—I am now 58 years old. I got into recovery in my 20s with ACA. I learned that alcoholism ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 06/23/20

June 23rd 2020 PDT

“Thanks” My cell phone rings. Usually an out of state area code. I usually answer "Are you calling CoDA?" Usually a timid female voice asks if our "classes" would help? Sure. I ask what's up? And listen for a bit. Then suggest they surf all over the website, including the characteristics. All too often they say they don't have a computer, or internet service. I go upstairs to my desktop, suggesting we go to www.coda.org. I help them find meetings and 1) suggest they go t ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 06/16/20

June 16th 2020 PDT

“Fear” A CoDA friend called me this morning. His voice was strained. He apologized for calling, stumbling over his words, his voice thick. He said "...you don't understand. In my case, I'm alone..." and his voice broke. I did my best to comfort him. I said it is normal to be frightened--this is an unprecedented event, we are in uncharted territory. Nothing is the same anymore. Nothing like this has ever happened before. In 1918, influenza spread across the globe. But in 1918, we ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 06/09/20

June 9th 2020 PDT

THE ENIGMA I used to think that life was a random series of events with no rhyme or reason. Nothing made sense to me when I was growing up and there were many questions, but answers were few. White was black, straight was crooked, horizontal was vertical, but only on some days and that would be dependent on the moon and how it’s affecting the physical chemistry of its victims on any particular day. I thought that bad luck just happened to me no matter how much I tried to prevent it. Things— ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 06/02/20

June 2nd 2020 PDT

Came to believe I joined CoDA about 14 years ago after I asked my husband to leave because he was a sex addict. I had two young children and had been devastated to finally recognize that his behaviors were getting so bad that we could not have him in our home. It was a painful time of great uncertainty. Telling our kids that my ex was not treating me with the love and respect I needed was not all that helpful to them. When I went to my first meeting, I was afraid there would be homeless peop ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 05/26/20

May 26th 2020 PDT

RESIDENTIAL SOULS Sitting in my CoDA meeting I looked around at the circle of faces. No two expressions alike. There were half-smiles, intense brow furrowing like one gets when trying to absorb as much information as possible. “I love it here” I thought. Then I thought of an amusing analogy that all the people are like houses and within each house is a soul. Each soul is different, just as every house is decorated differently on the inside and outside. It reflects who we are on the inside. What ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 05/19/20

May 19th 2020 PDT

KEEP COMING BACK I thought I was cured and heading in the right direction in life. I did all the steps and the program fulfilled its promise. I found true serenity. But, I ventured off..... after no meetings for 3 years. When something is so ingrained as being co-dependent you don't just wake up one day cured after you: finish the steps with a sponsor, read all the literature, get a grip on your life and feel some relief. Not even if I practice the program for a few years and think I'm all bette ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 05/12/20

May 12th 2020 PDT

Dream Resuscitation Sitting by the window in the back seat of the car as my dad drove home from our friend's house in Germany was always a healing time for me. The German countryside was so beautiful and lush. Home was a place of constant fear for me, but when I was in the back seat of the car I could be anything I wanted to be. My spirit lived in the dense forests that rolled past my backseat window. I would jump from the car out of my heavy physical body and dance among the trees. I was free a ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 05/05/20

May 5th 2020 PDT

EGGSHELLS “Walking on eggshells” definition: 1) To be overly careful in dealing with a person or situation because they get angry or offended very easily. 2) To try very hard not to upset someone or something. 3) A metaphor that is often used when describing a feeling of being trapped by another’s will and our voice being silenced. When I was growing up, all of our family knew mostly when it was time to be “walking on eggshells” around my father. He was a volatile man and known for his scary ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 04/28/20

April 28th 2020 PDT

Bowl Of Liquid Mindfulness My constant worrying and projected visions of impending doom have been robbing me of the now. Being in CoDA and working my program I am beginning to see progress, but of course, I want the changes to come quicker. I have always hated waiting and have always pretty much had a ‘git er done!’ type of demeanor. I realize that a solid foundation means that every brick is in place to help support all the others and possibly a few structures close by. However, the bottom line ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 04/21/20

April 21st 2020 PDT

CoDA Reflections A dense fog covers the emerging daylight. No work, no church today. Life is happening at home. No travel. Feel uneasy going to the grocery store. Love the gas price, but no need for gas. Had a CoDA online meeting yesterday, instead of a planned CoDA Intergroup workshop. Principles are good, but people are upset, angry and irritated, even me. Humor helps, but tension is high. Business may close. Relatives in New York City are sick. I feel sick. I am hopeful for my recover ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 04/14/20

April 14th 2020 PDT

And The Oscar For Best Actor Goes To: I think that abused people are the greatest actors of all. They have to be. They spend their whole lives trying to hide the pain, shame, and brokenness behind humor and a smile so people don’t know how defective they are. I am one of those people. I made jokes, did whatever it took to weave a web of kindness around others to distract them from the mistake that was me. Always on the verge of tears, teeth clenched into a forced smile as I performed my way ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 04/07/20

April 7th 2020 PDT

The global and local phenomenon of the pandemic has provided me with some challenges and lots of food for thought. I am finding that there are two areas in particular—which I've had to work on a lot in my CoDA recovery journey of the last eight years—that are currently extra challenging to maintain but I feel extra important for me to maintain. Those areas are 1) boundaries and 2) moderating my tendency to catastrophize. Ironically, my physical immune system is important right now, but as I ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 03/31/20

March 30th 2020 PDT

My Codependent Journey I had been drifting in and out of the realization of my codependency for many years. The day it hit home for me was in a relationship with someone I cared about deeply. My life became focused on this person in unhealthy ways. I began to be controlling, trying to fix things, fix him. I was judgmental, and very hurtful, then on the flip side, loving. An abundance of emotions began to surface that I could not understand. There was a lot of push and pull. I wanted to be close, ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 03/24/20

March 24th 2020 PDT

Pandemic The global and local phenomenon of the pandemic has provided me with some challenges and lots of food for thought. I am finding that there are two areas in particular—which I've had to work on a lot in my CoDA recovery journey of the last eight years—that are currently extra challenging to maintain but I feel extra important for me to maintain. Those areas are 1) boundaries and 2) moderating my tendency to catastrophize. Ironically, my physical immune system is important right now, ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading Seeks New Articles

March 17th 2020 PDT

Are you ready to share your story and help another codependent find their experience, strength, and hope? Sharing your story is the greatest of all CoDA service work. Sometimes, somebody out there needs to hear exactly what you have to say. If you want or need to share your experience, strength and hope with others about how CoDA has helped you, then we welcome you to submit your story. If you believe as we do that the Weekly Reading is a valuable way to carry the message of recovery to ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 03/10/20

March 10th 2020 PDT

Winds of Resentment Wind whipping violently matches my mood tonight. Even a cloud floating by looks like an angry silhouette of a woman. My dog Redbow happily running around trees without a care in the world. Why can't I be more like Redbow? In time, I too can be happy, joyous and free. As I pray to my higher power the force of screaming winds whip and thrash leaves about in an ominous symphony of power. All this is what I am feeling inside me right now. It's my resentments. I pray for these emo ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 03/03/20

March 3rd 2020 PDT

Holidays are a difficult time for me. When I was a child they were a joyous time, filled with gifts and good food. I understood that everything was provided by my parents, no Santa or God. My parents were my controllers. When I got married my husband became my controller; little by little and bit by bit, I lost myself. When we had children the holidays seemed okay to my codependent self. I was under the deception that if my husband made all the decisions everything was okay. I thought I had ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 02/25/20

February 25th 2020 PDT

Kindness, and how it's misunderstood. Since I have been in CoDA my kindness is being met by all sorts of different responses and expectations and I must like myself enough to set boundaries when needed, but not in a mean way, or allowing the incident to cause me to withdraw and isolate. I need to learn to be ok with it no matter what, because changing from a caring to a hard, unkind person just isn't in me. I just don't want to allow these different events to disempower me and prompt me to retre ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 02/18/20

February 18th 2020 PDT

Relationship Bootcamp I isolated, never knowing how to deal with people in a healthy way. I was never shown or taught how. All I knew was how to communicate and deal with people in a manipulative, passive-aggressive way. Being on my own since the age of 14 it became a survival tool that I honed in order to get by. If I told people what they wanted to hear, worked hard and was honest and trustworthy, it would secure me a place in this world and help me gain friends and allies. But how can I b ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 02/11/20

February 11th 2020 PDT

Pillow Talk I have been in CoDA for over a year now. My husband has been in CoDA for two years and he introduced it to me once I regained some health, dignity and strength after almost dying from abusing alcohol. I had never had a place where I could share my experience, strengths and hopes before. Nor did I think anyone wanted to hear about them. After more than 50 years of not being able to speak, to now be encouraged to speak in order to heal seems so foreign to me. “Suck it up. Get ove ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 02/03/20

February 4th 2020 PDT

The Abyss. Over three years ago I knew I needed help. I was not making it. Everything hurt. Everything. Of course, I had a great smile to put on all of it, and I was sure that I would be able to push through by pleasing and charming others. I figured I was just simply not meeting the right people and that those around me did not fit the ticket. They no longer seemed to fill the abyss of a codependent that simply wanted to be told he is loved—wanted to be told he is loved, cared for, praised, ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 01/28/20

January 28th 2020 PDT

Fear-Based Survival Fear has robbed me of fifty-three years. In the past, whenever bad things happened I developed coping mechanisms such as aloofness, isolation, astral and out-of-body travel, sarcasm and self-inflicted pain as ways to have control in my life. I honed these survival tools into strong weapons that I used on myself or anyone else who was a threat to my safety or well-being. They served me well in my teens and twenties but have become the very things that are preventing me from ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 01/21/20

January 21st 2020 PDT

Co-dependency Used To Rule My Life Co-dependency has ruled my life for 62 years. I was attached to someone, giving all I was and forgetting about my needs. I seemed to end up with takers that would take advantage of my kindness. I also thought that I wouldn't be loved if I didn't do for others. When love did not get returned I became depressed and did a lot of negative self talk. I really didn't know there was a type of living that was called co-dependent. I married a co-dependent and he was all ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 01/14/20

January 14th 2020 PDT

B-O-U-N-D-A-R-I-E-S Being raised very strictly as a Southern Baptist military brat, my boundaries were set for me. They were cut and dried, and to cross one meant extreme punishment. Eventually even respecting these unreasonable and inconsistent boundaries led to excessive beatings, so the lines became obscured and life became even more stressful. I have never known how to have or respect boundaries for myself or others. The only boundaries I've ever experienced were built upon fear of conseq ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 01/07/20

January 7th 2020 PDT

The Secret Attic Throughout my life prior to CoDA I had a recurring nightmare where I was shocked to discover a hidden part of my house: a walled-off attic. This attic was so dilapidated that it threatened to destroy everything beneath it. Although I intellectually understood the dream's symbolism, it wasn't until my wife was in the Intensive Care Unit dying from alcoholism that the reality of this nightmare finally hit home. Due to workaholism, my codependent pattern of "walling off&qu ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 01/02/20

January 2nd 2020 PDT

Fear has robbed me of fifty-three years. In the past, whenever bad things happened I developed coping mechanisms such as aloofness, isolation, astral and out of body travel, sarcasm and self-inflicted pain as ways to have control in my life. I honed these survival tools into strong weapons that I used on myself or anyone else who was a threat to my safety or wellbeing. They served me well in my teens and twenties but have become the very things that are preventing me from fully embracing life or ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 12/24/19

December 23rd 2019 PDT

In the past few days, I have had a number of women ask me why I have shaved my head. They have told me that they liked it or that they didn't like it; I actually don't care whether they like my shaved head or not. After a lifetime of very long hair, 'my glory,” and long, shapeless dresses and skirts (because wearing jeans was 'cross-dressing') it is a relief to be who I am: gay, codependent, old, woman, self-partnered. It is a relief to not be called a “witch”, “unsubmissive”, “out-of-order” ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 12/17/19

December 17th 2019 PDT

But....I Joined CoDA To Stop Myself From Doing Too Much! (Excerpted From A Longer Article) I believe this issue is one of the reasons we've had so much trouble attracting new intergroup members. First, we do not encourage new comers to CoDA to join intergroup, there is much service to be done at the meeting level! But once one has 6 months - 1 year (depending on the person) service on a larger scale can be a wonderful opportunity to grow in CoDA. I've personally found doing service to be a grea ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 12/10/19

December 10th 2019 PDT

WOW did I get some “hands-on” recovery at the airport after leaving the CoDA Convention! I made it through the airport fine UNTIL the TSA x-ray scanner detected something in my back pocket. I took out the paper and threw it out. TSA MASSAGE The TSA Agent informed me that he would need to inspect me physically. Normally I’m okay with a “TSA massage” when it’s my shoulders and back, but when he informed he was going to be patting down my buttocks and GROIN I felt UNCOMFORTABLE, but inste ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 12/03/19

December 3rd 2019 PDT

I took the dog out to relieve himself before bed and while gazing up at the clouds in the night sky I could see the moon behind them struggling to peek out. Staring at the beauty of it, I stood motionless with my flashlight in hand thinking about how I was like that moon struggling to shine above my spiritual stagnation and move towards higher transformative vibrations. All my life I have been like that struggling moon, enduring clouded visions and unrealistic expectations. What I see is just my ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 11/26/19

November 26th 2019 PDT

A week after our one-year anniversary, my boyfriend told me about his porn addiction. It was definitely a shock, and I was angry at him that he kept it from me for so long and angry at myself that I didn't see the signs. My mom was a recovering alcoholic, my sister a recovering drug addict, and my brother a suspected alcoholic. And with all this family history, I should have seen the signs, or so I thought. And I also thought I knew how to deal with this new information. I mean, my family dealt w ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 11/26/19

November 26th 2019 PDT

A week after our one-year anniversary, my boyfriend told me about his porn addiction. It was definitely a shock, and I was angry at him that he kept it from me for so long and angry at myself that I didn't see the signs. My mom was a recovering alcoholic, my sister a recovering drug addict, and my brother a suspected alcoholic. And with all this family history, I should have seen the signs, or so I thought. And I also thought I knew how to deal with this new information. I mean, my family dealt w ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 11/19/19

November 19th 2019 PDT

Hi, my name is C. I’m sorry to say that I am responsible for hurting a member of this group, and I am deeply sorry I did that. My behavior has caused damage to our relationship. It will probably take good deal of time before this person would see me as someone she can count on, and that is a loss I can’t recover. In the past, I have been so sure of who I am, and who I am not. This assurance comes from my beliefs. I believe that if I say I am going to do something, then I need to follow throu ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 11/12/19

November 12th 2019 PDT

As a codependent who has been gradually letting old behaviors go for many years I find the term "character defect" offensive. I know that it is the lingo we use in this program. However, defect has a quality of blame or negativity about it that I no longer find useful. The codependent behaviors that I want to drop were at one time valuable behaviors that helped me to survive in a hostile environment as a child or young person. So I prefer to think of codependent behaviors as behaviors ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 11/05/19

November 5th 2019 PDT

Here is my story: In October of 2009—after several hospitalizations—I was diagnosed with Severe Depression and Anxiety and admitted into the Intensive Outpatient Program at the hospital. I began working on my issues of depression and was told repeatedly that I was codependent. It was suggested that I attend CoDA meetings as well as therapy. I screwed up the courage, found a meeting and went. It was the third week of October. I got lost (I am also directionally challenged). I was tearful and ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 10/29/19

October 29th 2019 PDT

Self-love Deficit Disorder Codependency and sex and love addiction appear to be related according to a prominent writer who wrote about these subjects. As an adult child of an alcoholic, I concur based on my own personal experience. I have gone to all the support groups that I felt appropriate: ACA, SLAA, S-Anon, and SA and now CoDA. I was involved with a sex addict, a narcissist, a codependent and other dysfunctional types of people. I think I have been around the block and then some. I arrive ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 10/21/19

October 22nd 2019 PDT

Loose rock, loose brick. I've been in Codependents Anonymous for a little less time than I've been under a doctor’s care for cirrhosis. Not having proper tools to deal with problems in the past, not trusting anyone, not knowing how to ask for help and always thinking that it was just easier to do it myself led me down a path of desolation and despair. I would have one bad experience in a certain area and would I swear off whatever person, place or thing which I thought was responsible for the re ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 10/15/19

October 15th 2019 PDT

My journey with CoDA started three years ago when my life was falling apart. To be quite honest I only joined to keep my marriage together but once I saw that I needed help I knew that I was the one that I had to change and not my husband. I bought the CoDA book and sought out a sponsor and when things seemed like it couldn't get any better I called my sponsor and she worked it out with me (baby steps). She worked with me twice a week and slowly I started seeing changes in myself. I started beli ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 10/8/19

October 8th 2019 PDT

I came to CoDA at 26 after a tumultuous and devastating break-up (I had only barely begun to chip away at my denial involving my dysfunctional family and lonely childhood at this time). I was desperate for some relief, so I found a meeting in my town. I thought it would be a place where I could talk about how terrible my cheating partners were, or how my alcoholic mother was to blame for my difficulties in relationships. I felt I was simply a victim to these people and circumstances, and I wanted ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 10/1/19

October 1st 2019 PDT

I lost a friend to suicide this week, and even though it was devastating and upsetting it hasn't debilitated me and I can see the Higher Power and my program of Codependents Anonymous at work. I also lost a friend a couple years back who was like a daughter to me. The only way I knew to get through it was to numb it with alcohol. I abused alcohol so badly that I had to spend five months in the hospital fighting for my life. The past year and a half I have been abstinent from alcohol and have bee ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 9/24/19

September 24th 2019 PDT

I was unhappily married for 14 years. Since then, I never had a “real” or “normal” relationship. I was good with keeping things superficial but didn’t fully realize that this was a strategy for keeping safe. I could never allow anyone to see the REAL me—it simply wasn’t good enough! Finally, many years later, I set out to have a “legit” relationship. I felt so hopeful, but two failed relationships later, I found myself falling apart in every way when they ended. I was beside myself. I was left fe ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 9/17/19

September 17th 2019 PDT

I have recently realized that my tardiness has to do with social anorexia, controlling patterns, selfishness, slothfulness, false pride, perfectionism and fear. It surprised me to see all those factors contributing to me being unable to arrive early to meetings. I recently decided to start an experiment where I leave early for meetings. I wanted to be useful and of service to participating fellow travelers. When I was leaving earlier than normal to make it to a meeting yesterday, I clearly felt ...Continue Reading

CoDA Co-NNections Meeting In Print Issue #13 Is Out

September 16th 2019 PDT

Meeting in Print (MiP), a CoDA Co-NNections subcommittee, is proud to announce that the latest issue of its publication, themed "New Freedom" MiP is a quarterly publication that gives you the feeling of a live meeting while opening up space for texts, poetry, artwork and even music to help the CoDA community towards recovery. Each edition contains the following elements required in a CoDA group: * Welcome * Preamble * Twelve Steps * Twelve Traditions Along wit ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 9/10/19

September 10th 2019 PDT

Owning My Power I own my power when I am clear with my boundaries, when I take full responsibility for my part and don’t take any responsibility for someone else's part. I own my power when I use the words "I", "I want", "I will", "I can", "Will you help me with ...?" I own my power when I let go of someone and sincerely wish them all the best. I own my power when I say "No, I can't do it this way. How about doing it this other way? ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 9/3/19

September 3rd 2019 PDT

My Four Year Chip I grew up in a less than nurturing family. My father was scary and abusive to all of us. Physically beating up my brothers and mother. And sexually abusing my older sister and me. My mother was very afraid of him. We all walked on eggshells living in fear about the next violent outburst, which was not often but very volatile. We did everything in our power to please him and not upset him. Relief came when they divorced when I was 10. My mother then went on to marry a milita ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 8/27/19

August 27th 2019 PDT

Conventions and retreats with the larger CoDA fellowship have been a big part of strengthening my recovery over the years. It was at my first CoDA convention that I witnessed functional ways of dealing with conflict. I watched two workshop presenters who were preparing their presentation and struggling to be on the same page pause, say the serenity prayer together and start their conversation over. At conventions and retreats, I receive the gift of fellowship and an expanded understanding of the ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 8/20/19

August 20th 2019 PDT

My Four Year Chip: I grew up in a less than nurturing family. My father was scary and abusive to all of us. Physically beating up my brothers and mother. And sexually abusing my older sister and me. My mother was very afraid of him. We all walked on eggshells living in fear about the next violent outburst, which was not often but very volatile. We did everything in our power to please him and not upset him. Relief came when they divorced when I was 10. My mother then went on to marry a military ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 8/13/19

August 13th 2019 PDT

How the CoDA Twelve Steps Changed My Life. I am a new person thanks to the Twelve Steps for I understand the nature of my disease now. It is a spiritual disease and the Twelve Steps is a spiritual program, which is perfect to heal my ailment. My spiritual disease can only be healed by reconnecting me with a Higher Power. I understand now that nothing and no one can replace God. I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father and a codependent mother. As a child I resented my father for drinking, b ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 8/6/19

August 6th 2019 PDT

We don't need to do this anymore ! ! Having been raised in physically and mentally abusive environments I developed coping mechanisms to help me get by in life. For over 50 years I've used these tools and they became who I think I am as a person. If I remove them, then do I cease to exist? I've been working on my codependent issues in CoDA for six months and I've learned that they're nothing more than character defects. I need to pinpoint them and eradicate them. The problem is that these be ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 7/30/19

July 30th 2019 PDT

On a rooftop in India a couple of years ago, a man yelled at me over and over, "You're an abused woman.” I thought, "I am not. I know women who are: how they act, how they look, how they speak, just being so battered, and I am not." But the tears that ran through my body spoke their own truth. I had surrounded myself with housewives like myself for years, and I had given them advice, always thinking that I knew best. Over the years people have spoken to me as though I am a child, ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 7/23/19

July 23rd 2019 PDT

Howdy, my name is Gayle and I am a grateful recovering codependent. I am sixty years old. My mom got pregnant with me when she was sixteen. My dad was 21 and they were mostly complete strangers when they were forced to get married. Two more children came quickly. I grew up as a caregiver for my siblings. I believe that this responsibility was the beginning of my co-dependency. I was raised in a family where my dad was a dry drunk, workaholic and a sex addict. My maternal grandfather was a pe ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Readings Seeks New Articles

July 17th 2019 PDT

We're writing today looking for CoDA members who would be interested in contributing to the Weekly Readings. We're looking for new material to send out for the Weekly Reading. We are especially looking for articles describing how the program helped you find recovery, happiness & serenity. We are also open to submissions that speak of the pain and struggle associated with recovering from Co-dependency. The format of the submission is left up to you. We may potentially accept any submission re ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 7/16/19

July 16th 2019 PDT

I grew up in a family with secrets and dysfunction. Life has not been normal for me from as far back as I can remember. Too many childhood memories of trauma, confusion, loneliness and despair to count. Although therapy, self-help books and support from others has contributed so much to my self-care and healing, this 12-step program helps me where I am powerless, life is unmanageable, and I need to take accountability and responsibility for my life. It is a highly emotional yet deeply spiritual ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 7/9/19

July 9th 2019 PDT

I used to have this masochistic way of walking backwards with a blindfold on, to slither under fabricated comfort to attempt to alleviate the intensity of recovery. I’ve learned to just be more forgiving of myself. So what, I used to offer my love to the wrong person in overwhelming waves of desperation. But I’ve learned, nothing good ever came of it. I’ve been staring my co-dependency straight in the eyes, asking it one million questions, finding out its secrets, and weakening its strengths ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 7/2/19

July 2nd 2019 PDT

Having codependent habits is discovered when pain comes to a boiling point. A transitional point where awareness of imbalance is felt so intensely that no return to that point is an option. The only option is to find balance and healing, to find a different way. Married too fast too young: I married at the age of 18, had my first child at 19. I had known my now ex-husband for a little over three months before we were married. I did not even know the man. He wanted a family and so did I. He was ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 6/25/19

June 25th 2019 PDT

' I LOVE YOU BUT...' Over the past 50 years most of my relationships have come with conditions. In order to be loved, I would have to change something about myself to make another person feel comfortable or happy. I would bend to their will desperate for love and approval. Nothing I did would yield the desired effect and it was never good enough or appreciated, So I would try harder to fit into the mold they wanted me to and many times I wound up being an extension of them. I would twist myse ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 6/18/19

June 18th 2019 PDT

I spent the majority of my life trying to control everything I feared or deflect and distract myself from my fears and self loathing. I had lived in a dysfunctional household where trauma and neglect occurred on a daily basis. My mother was divorced with 5 children and we had an abusive father who abandoned us. He traumatized my 2 older sisters with sexual abuse and the rest of us with financial neglect. My mother endured and worked full-time while we struggled to live without much supervision. ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 6/11/19

June 11th 2019 PDT

The Four Magic Words of Recovery Magic for me are the words, “ouch”, “oops”, “help” and “no”. I don’t know where they came from. Like so much CoDA wisdom, that will probably always remain anonymous. Wherever they came from, they serve me well. “Ouch” is the first one because I have to start by paying attention to myself. Ignoring hurts is not ok, not only physically but also emotionally. It is not ok for me to be berated or talked over or dominated or even ignored. I have a right to be a res ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 6/4/19

June 4th 2019 PDT

I have recently celebrated two years of continuously "showing up" for myself through the CoDA program. Before attending my first CoDA meeting, I felt extremely victimized by my relationships and the external world. I had no clue I had been giving all of my own choices and power over to other people—my close relationships especially. Growing up in a dysfunctional home where I felt deeply from childhood that my worth stemmed from my helpfulness and needlessness, I did not allow myself to ...Continue Reading

CoDA Co-NNections Meeting In Print Issue #12 Is Out

June 3rd 2019 PDT

Meeting in Print (MiP), a CoDA Co-NNections subcommittee, is proud to announce that the latest issue of its publication, themed "Precious and Free" MiP is a quarterly publication that gives you the feeling of a live meeting while opening up space for texts, poetry, artwork and even music to help the CoDA community towards recovery. Each edition contains the following elements required in a CoDA group: * Welcome * Preamble * Twelve Steps * Twelve Traditions Alo ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 5/28/19

May 28th 2019 PDT

I recently experienced a major shift. Before this shift, any little “attack” from my narcissistic husband or my adult children would be soooo painful it would send me spiraling down into hopeless despair because I thought I needed their love and approval. Their responses to me “defined” me as a person. Since this shift (through counseling and CoDA), it is like the attacks bounce off and I don’t feel the pain. Now I feel irritated and disgusted by the immaturity of the attacks. I am much more abl ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 5/22/19

May 22nd 2019 PDT

A year ago, self-destructive codependent patterns culminated in me nearly dying in the ICU from untreated alcoholism. While lying in that hospital bed I prayed for a second chance. After three months of hospitalization I was released clean, sober but without tools to cope with the core issues that led to these destructive behaviors. Then I found CoDA and was finally able to look at my past through a different lens. I began understanding the root causes of my codependent patterns and how they had ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 5/14/19

May 14th 2019 PDT

Several years ago, I stepped into my first group meeting for codependency. That day helped changed my life and was the beginning of my recovery. Many great women in the groups supported me and were a part of my journey to healing. Without them and the steps, I might have been six feet under (literally). Codependency was a root illness of mine for years, but I did not know this until I was introduced to CoDA. Because of the groups, and learning along the way, I was able to heal and reach the t ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 5/7/19

May 7th 2019 PDT

In my journey to sever my codependency, I've searched deep into who I was when I first married and now, 20 years later, broken and beautiful. I've learned the difference between trust and the benefit of doubt. For the longest time they were interchangeable in speech; I rarely gave either. I came from a family where trust was rare and self-preservation was necessary. Over the years I have learned to give the benefit of doubt but it is difficult, even to competent adults. It takes effort even a ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 4/30/19

April 30th 2019 PDT

I frequently return to Step 1. Although I have worked all my Steps during my years working my program, I find myself facing situations and people in my life that I am unable to control. In fact, it’s in my most intimate relationships where I find myself wanting to control the people who affect me daily. It’s in these relationships that I most frequently act out my codependent patterns and characteristics. That’s a given. These behaviors never disappear completely; instead I learn how to manage th ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 4/23/19

April 23rd 2019 PDT

An Apology Is Not An Amends At least, that’s the way I have come to see it. I have always been uncomfortable with apologies but I have told myself that when I do wrong, I deserve the discomfort from making an apology. Nevertheless, growing more and more during my time in CoDA, I have felt apologies to be demeaning, not good. And in CoDA, I learn that making a mistake is not becoming a mistake, perhaps validating my discomfort with apologies. A mistake is something I did, not something I am. ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 4/16/19

April 16th 2019 PDT

Hello! I'm a codependent by birth! Always wanted other people's attention and love. I was addicted to candy and gum as a child. Would peel it off the ground and chew it! It was as if I needed something to push down my pain. I was sexually abused by my father's cousin at 3!! But I am such a strong person. Always have been. Defeated death many times. My favorite therapist said that I have the strongest spirit he's ever known. My base core problem is "looking for love in all the wrong places&qu ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 4/9/19

April 9th 2019 PDT

I'm Dan, I’m codependent and in recovery. I’m getting better and enjoying the promises coming as I walk through the steps with my co-sponsor and step study meetings. I get to share my story and listen to others like it. I learn to meditate (listen) and pray, play, journal, call other recovering friends, and sometimes answer calls and tell people about CoDA. We call it carrying the message as suggested in Step 12. Of all the service work I've done, sharing my experience strength and hope is the be ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 4/2/19

April 2nd 2019 PDT

The Four Magic Words of Recovery That clever phrase in the title caught my eye. It was from a recent Weekly Reading and it was followed by a reference to Group Conscience, a part of CoDA I am particularly grateful for. Even with meetings and sponsors, my recovery is mostly interior, meeting attitude challenges one by one. The quiet satisfaction of that interior growth is surely gratifying but it doesn't seem enough for me. I need to give it away, somehow, to engage it with others. That is ho ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 3/26/19

March 26th 2019 PDT

I had a CoDA miracle in my life last June, and for the past 6 months, I have been walking around in a pink cloud. I thought life was amazing, and everyone God brought into my life was there just for me. I guess it was like being born all over again and seeing life for the first time. Now the real hard work begins! Now I must start rebuilding my life. I will need boundaries, so my life is not too big or too small. I will need structure so it doesn't fall over, and I must build my life with tho ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 3/19/19

March 19th 2019 PDT

I was abused from the age of 14. This is when I stopped growing emotionally and spiritually. I am now 57 years old and no longer feel a victim. My innocence had been taken from me physically and emotionally leaving my self esteem at rock bottom. I continued to have emotional rock bottoms until I found alcohol. To me, this gave me the courage to be me. I now know it wasn’t the real me. It took away my self hate and worthlessness. I drank 24 hours a day for 6 years, then I reached what I now u ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 3/12/19

March 12th 2019 PDT

Even after initially discovering codependency and reading books that helped me slightly to detach, I never truly knew just how abusive my relationship was until I was recently arrested for domestic violence. Never in a million years did I imagine that I, an attractive, seemingly well put together, young petite woman would end up in jail for two nights, with a battery charge. My relationship was built on lies, manipulation, alcoholism, jealousy, violence—the opposite of the definition of love. I ...Continue Reading

CoDA Co-NNections Meeting In Print Issue #11 Is Out

March 6th 2019 PDT

Meeting in Print (MiP), a CoDA Co-NNections subcommittee, is proud to announce that the latest issue of its publication, themed "I Can Climb Any Mountain". MiP is a quarterly publication that gives you the feeling of a live meeting while opening up space for texts, poetry, artwork and even music to help the CoDA community towards recovery. Each edition contains the following elements required in a CoDA group: * Welcome * Preamble * Twelve Steps * Twelve Traditions ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 3/5/19

March 5th 2019 PDT

I’m still so very fragile. So vulnerable. So scared. All the while knowing that there is a God, that I cannot control others, only myself. I make so much ground only to slip back, wanting to save the very person who broke me over 25 years and 6 kids later. I entered this marriage tall and proud of myself and all the accomplishments I had made on my own. I knew how good I was. How kind I was. How I would take care of anyone because I was that strong and I could handle anything. This stren ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 2/26/19

February 26th 2019 PDT

THE TWO DERIVATIVES OF AWARENESS Me as the Codependent Driver of my Disease Me as the Codependent Co-Navigator of my Disease And how I recognise and change both those Me’s to better drive and co-navigate my Codependent Car into Recovery! (phew, quite a mouthful) Just yesterday I was thinking, what’s that ONE thing which CoDA has given me which I didn’t possess before? It is the ability to UNDERSTAND my disease and understand how I used to blindly react to pain and fear and shame and g ...Continue Reading

CoDA Co-NNections Is Seeking New Members

February 22nd 2019 PDT

Do you love reading? Do you benefit from hearing recovery stories? Do you love listening to the heartbeat of someone's writing? Do you have a knack for editing? Do you love helping someone make their voice heard? Are you drawn to doing service work, but are scared of what that might mean? We need you- Because being scared is normal and humble. Step out with HP and serve with us, as we grow in our own recovery while carrying the message to codependents who still suffer. Once a week the ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 2/19/19

February 19th 2019 PDT

This is my story about my two and a half months in CoDA. I call it "Walking Stride for Stride" Not so long ago I was down and out. I couldn't see clearly, my vision was in doubt. Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see. See my mind would play tricks on me. Our eyes are the windows to our soul and without tears our rainbows would have no rainbows. Every day and night the hours just passed. My mind solely focusing on my past. I did not understand the pain inside me ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 2/12/19

February 12th 2019 PDT

On my CoDA recovery journey I have learned new tools that I have been able to call upon when needed. One of those tools is writing a daily affirmation, which I share with an affirmation buddy. In this daily affirmation, I am aware of my internal responses to external circumstances and learn how to focus my attention on what I can control versus what I can't. This has given me a greater sense of serenity and peace on a day-by-day, step-by-step basis. I'd like to share my affirmation for today: ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 2/5/19

February 5th 2019 PDT

The word codependency was introduced to me years ago after I had my first realization I couldn't control my life and those around me. I felt like I was losing my grasp on reality and reached out to my family and they took me to see a counselor the next day. I only saw this counselor once and left his office flustered and feeling resentful that it didn’t "help." He used the word codependency and it has lingered in my mind for the past decade. Shortly after this moment in my life, substa ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 1/22/19

January 22nd 2019 PDT

Self-esteem. It’s interesting to think about what that word means. How do I esteem myself? What do I think of who I am? For most of my life I let others make that decision for me. I was a people pleaser. I let what others thought of me define who I was. In recovery, I’m learning who I am. I am growing. I am more self-aware in knowing my strengths and my weaknesses. Because I am learning who God—my higher power—is and how I am loved just as I am. I can admit when I make a mistake, realizing ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 1/15/19

January 15th 2019 PDT

A Reflection about the Slogans * I practice gratitude. / I adopt an attitude of gratitude. * In order to feel grateful, first I need to trust. * In the morning, I decide what sort of day I am going to have. * You can’t keep it if you don’t give it away. I had to spend several years working the CoDA program – at least five – before I began to understand what the subject of gratitude was all about and its importance to my recovery process. Since I came to the Twelve Steps a very da ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 1/8/19

January 8th 2019 PDT

Today we have 3 short readings for you. I was well hidden in my codependent behaviors or at least I thought I was. I had to be better than everyone around me so that I wasn't overwhelmed with shame. I accomplished that by finding flaws in everyone and imagining myself to be a superior spiritual person. The distancing of this strategy was isolating and unsustainable. My first CoDA meeting gave me hope. My first sponsor gave me the steps and, along with weekly meetings and multiple step studies th ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 1/1/19

January 1st 2019 PDT

I've been in CoDA for a long time (my first meeting was the last Wednesday in August 1992, LOL). I'll never forget when I entered that meeting and everyone shared their name. One woman said, "I'm __________, I'm a codependent and a compulsive addict." After one year of only partially fitting in with another 12 step program, I had found home. I've learned a lot of useful things in CoDA, moderation being one of the most important. Although 26+ years later I still have to work on that ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 12/24/18

December 24th 2018 PDT

There was a time when the holidays were about lights, and candy, and wonder, and anticipation. We were *commanded* to be giddy over the religious overtones of the season. And to keep the codependent peace, we outwardly acquiesced. But in our hearts, it was really the toys and the big fat man – the true lord of childhood – that actually counted. Time elapsed, and like so many others, I was dismayed and disillusioned to find that our toy lord was just another fairytale sold to us by Corporate Amer ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 12/11/18

December 11th 2018 PDT

I sit in my office looking at the poster that I see every day, which says in big red and white letters: “Our company wants you to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)”. The more I looked at this phrase the more I thought about my breakdown today that made me have to call my sister. The anxiety just started to build in me. I don't know where it came from and it set in fast. I started to drown. The only thing I could think of is that I didn't want it to go down like I know it could. I am at wo ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 12/04/18

December 4th 2018 PDT

The Loss of Higher Power. When I came to CoDA I had an unspoken struggle with Higher Power. I lost Higher Power and it was the biggest loss of myself in life. Eventually I decided to pretend I believed in Higher Power, because I needed hope. I used to love the Silence. I would set my alarm for 3 am, get up, get on my prayer stool, and meditate. Afterwards writing would pour out of me. Discipline of the heart does not allow for electronic distraction. Recently I stayed with someone wh ...Continue Reading

CoDA Co-NNections Meeting In Print Issue #10 Is Out

November 27th 2018 PDT

Meeting in Print (MiP), a CoDA Co-NNections subcommittee, is proud to announce that the latest issue of its publication, themed "Fall Focus". MiP is a quarterly publication that gives you the feeling of a live meeting while opening up space for texts, poetry, artwork and even music to help the CoDA community towards recovery. Each edition contains the following elements required in a CoDA group: * Welcome * Preamble * Twelve Steps * Twelve Traditions Along with t ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 11/26/18

November 27th 2018 PDT

I walked into the rooms feeling tired of being tired. Thinking I have spent all I could to have a good life and it’s just not so. I was aware the man I was dating for eight years, on and off, was a drug to me and was killing me more than giving me any high. I wanted out but had no idea how or if I had the energy to do it. I tried before, only to return to the poison he gave me. I lived off being the victim. I can look back now knowing I enjoyed sharing my sorry life with others because it gave m ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 11/20/18

November 20th 2018 PDT

At times over the last nine months of attending CoDA meetings, I have wondered whether this is really the right place for me. The stories I hear often recall times of such intense sexual, physical and emotional abuse, which I did not experience. I believe that scares some newcomers like myself away. However, the women (and men) that I have met in my two different meetings have listened to my shares and offered support that has made a huge difference in my life, and I am so grateful for that. ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 11/13/18

November 13th 2018 PDT

I was a hoarder. Because of my codependence I could not tell where I ended or began. I could not tell what beauty existed outside of me and what was within me. Therefore I could not throw out things of beauty in case they existed inside me and were important. But my husband could. Every time we went to throw out the accumulation of family life he would take something from me that I did not know was precious and that was the first thing to go to the dump. When my dancing medals and cups ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 11/05/18

November 6th 2018 PDT

I had called my wife codependent a thousand times. She filed a protection order against me because I called her a name. She used things I said or did over the course of our 10-year relationship and presented them as if they were one incident. It was a bad read. The judge agreed. I was without my son—through whom I have recognized and re-experienced my abandonment issues—for about 10 days. I went through drug-like withdrawal symptoms. It was during this time I had an eight-hour road trip and dow ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 10/30/18

October 30th 2018 PDT

Before CoDA, I felt numb and unable to express my needs, wants, desires and identity in any meaningful way. I hid my expressions to blend in and to keep the peace. In CoDA, I feel a new sense of purpose and emotion which has surprised me and at the same time delighted me. I notice how raw my poetry feels and also how my truth comes from a deep place. Thank you for this gift of expression, higher power, and keep it coming. My companions alone at night In the darkness, my only companions are m ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 10/23/18

October 23rd 2018 PDT

I came to CoDA at a time when I needed it most. I felt God had been preparing me to take this step so that I could heal. I have attended three meetings but have been listening to the CoDA steps on the internet daily and have been journaling regularly (I have done that all my life). While I was reading the steps the first time, I realised that a Higher Power was mentioned on each step. It became easy for me to start practising my religion more at a deeper level and not just out of habit or as ...Continue Reading

CoDA Weekly Reading 10/16/18

October 16th 2018 PDT

Hi! My English isn’t so good because it’s my second language but anyway I will share my story. :) My parents were both alcoholics and my childhood passed in very sick circumstances. I was abused in many ways, not only mentally, emotionally and physically but also spiritually. When I was a child my parents often left me alone to do the household stuff instead of allowing me to go outside with my friends. If I didn’t finish cleaning, cooking, etc., before they come back home then I would get pu ...Continue Reading
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