Dear Hurting Soul…

Dear Hurting Soul –

This letter is for you. You who love an addict (no matter what they are addicted to) and your life is out of control and you are wondering how this became your life. 

I see you. 
I know your pain. 
And I was you. 

Please know that you are not alone. 
Please know that you are not crazy. 
And please know life doesn’t have to be like this. 

You may be lying or hiding things from the addict or from your friends. You may feel overly responsible for the addicts actions or lack there of. You may be doing more than your share. You may be tired from this dance of fixing and taking care of the addict. You may be checking their phone to see what is going on. You may even be pissed off about broken promises. You may be hurting that you are not being heard. Or you may even be hurting that your addict is choosing their vise over you. You may feel all or some of these things. 

Can they change? Maybe. But right now, it’s not about them, it’s about you. I know, I get it, that feels really strange to have this about you. After all, you are not the addict. 

Hmmm or are you? The chaos that happens when the dance starts. The drama of it all. Feeling needed. 
When I went to my first meeting, I was shocked that we were supposed to talk about ourselves and not the addict. ‘I just want to fix him’, I remember thinking. What am I supposed to do to to help him? 

It’s not about them. It’s about you. 

You need support and your friends can’t help you with this. And to find a group to help you navigate this. And you need to find the right group for you! 

I went to one group for several weeks. I didn’t really click with them. That group, at that time of day happened to have a lot of parents of addicts. I couldn’t exactly relate to them and I didn’t feel like they were relating to me. But someone told me to go for 6 weeks and I would get to meet more people and get an idea of what that group was about. 

I’d recommend that if your schedule allows try different times for different groups. Don’t let one meeting make a decision for you. Meetings are made up with people and different nights or times can have completely different dynamics. 

I think I went for 5 or 6 weeks and felt it was not the right group for me. And I found the current group I’m with. And I love this group. 

If you are like me, you likely have looked up online where meeting are and the times. I did several times before I decided to go. 

Crossing those doors for the first time is scary. You don’t know anyone. You don’t know what to expect. You don’t know if you will be judged. 

You can do this because you are worth it. It’s time to stop the madness and choose you! Yep, now is the time.  Right here. Right now. Choose you! Choose peace. Choose to do something different and to stop the crazy dance. 

I know you are hurting and scared. I know you are because I was. 

But I promise, once you find the right group, you will find your people. And they will love on you and take your hand and say let’s do this together. 

You will find hope.
You will find people that understand 
And you will find an amazing healing journey to healing that soul of yours. 

Choose you! You are sooooooo worth it. 

Your journey starts now. 

My journey to serenity continues….

PS if you have gone to a few meetings and not sure what to do next, I’d recommend a post from last year that you may enjoy Just Start Rowing

no shame in my game…

I did an interview for another codependency blogger and will be featured in a few days. Pretty excited for that. One question that jumped out was…..Do you find being a codependent an embarrassing label? 

My answer may surprise some. I answered not at all and I’d like to explain more. 

I had never even heard the term codependency until late 2015. But I have been codependent for most of my life. It’s how I learned to cope, it’s what I thought Love looked like and for some time it served me well. That’s is until it didn’t and my life got completely out of control. 

Now that I have an understanding of codependency and where is came from for me, I have no shame around this term. 

The more people I met that struggle with this, the more I know that I am in good company. Men, women from all walks of life. Codependency for me has always come from a good place. A place of love and trying to protect someone. I know now this form of love is hurtful and doesn’t allow the other person involved to grow from the experience. 

Back 6 months ago or more, I want to a training event for Celebrate Recovery (CR). We were welcomed by a motorcycle group with CR Patches on their leather jackets with a big logo on the back that said ‘my chains are broken’. These men and women who on the surface not approachable but if you talk to them you know very quickly that they love the Lord and made the attendees feel welcomed and excited to be there. Was another example of not judging others. 

Just like during my regular meeting, I heard many of them introduce themselves just like I do…hi my name is —-, I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with codependency, YES! I’m in such good company. 

I am not ashamed of this label or being part of a recovery group. 

I carry my recovery tokens on my key chain. Recently, because of my tokens, I had the opportunity to talk to complete strangers about what they meant. And both times the person who asked took the time to share with me where they were in life and what they wanted to change. What a blessing to them and to me! 

No shame in my game!!! 

My journey to serenity continues…

Judging Others…

One thing I have learned first hand from 12 step recovery meeting rooms has to do with judgment. 

While I was spinning out of control on the codependency/addict merry go round, others didn’t understand what was going on and why I was acting like a crazy person. 

I’d ask for advise (while knowing what I should do) but frozen in being able to take action to change what was going on. And the merry go round went around and around and around again. In some ways it felt safer to do what you know. 

I felt like a crazy person. I didn’t understand what was going on. How did this become my life?

Part of codependency is about what others may think of me if they knew what was going on.  So I would take care of things and make it easier for others. I’d paint the picture of it not being THAT bad. Why? Because I didn’t want to be judged in a negative way or for those around me that I cared about to be judged. The shame I felt that if everyone knew, they would be disappointed in me somehow. Because I was disappointed in myself. 

But then I had to DO something and DO something different because I did not want to spin around one more time. With a ton of work and willingness, my heart started to heal and things started to make sense and more connections were made and my heart healed a little bit more.  

For me when I first started to go to meetings, I felt a lot of things but being judged was not one of them. As I heard others stories and where they were, I didn’t for a second judge them. I felt compassion and empathy and just wanted to love them along their journey. 

What a beautiful gift to share with others in recovery who also at one point may have felt shame for their behavior. Being in a space of not being judged. Being in a safe place to share the darkest of their days. Learning to heal and grow and learning to trust yourself and others around you again. Beautiful thing for sure. 

In the Book of Matthew 7: 2-5 it says this about being judgemental…...Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?’ 

Wowzers, pretty clear. Why do people do that? Because it’s easy. It’s easy to point out others flaws or sins and not look at yourself and owning your part. 

Reminds me of recovery sayings like….

Stay in your own lane.
Keep your side the street clean.
Keep your spoon in your own bowl.

Or in Romans 3:23 you will find….’For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,’

Yeah hello, everyone has fallen short and who am I to think that my sin is less sinful than someone else’s. Or that this persons sin is so much worse on the sin scale. (Is that a thing?)  Makes me laugh to think of times I thought that about someone or a situation. Because I didn’t understand that this is not how it works. 

I would not trade my best day on the codependent/addict merry go round for my worst day off it!!! 

I think this is actually called grace. Going to a year and a half of meetings, I have learned to give grace because grace has been given to me. 

I have learned not to judge because they didn’t judge me. 

My journey to serenity continues….

Meeting you where you are….

One thing I love is that God meets us where we are. No need to perform before we start over. No check lists to check off. Doesn’t matter that it’s the 1st time or the 100th time we messed up, we have as many start overs that we need. And the one that matters is the last one. 

What does the Bible say about starting over…

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

See not only do I get to start over but I am also forgiven for the past mistakes. The old had passed and the new has come! 

What does the Bible say about the future…

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

My future is bright because of Gods grace and love. 

As I continue to heal and grow in recovery (it’s 18 months by the way) I love the direction my life is moving. I love the friendships that I have with others in recovery. 

I was thinking about how much this blog means to me and how I love to share about my recovery. And was also thinking about how I’ve been able to use my artwork in my posts. Art work that I made a year before my journey to recovery started. God knew that I would be in this place and be able to use both of these creative outlets. 

What’s next for me in my recovery? 

I’m finishing up a step study, we have a couple of weeks left. We are planning on staying together as a group and do another study together. I was also asked to co-lead the next women’s step study. I am now part of the leadership team for CR and I hope to start to do more for our group, like be able to teach now and then. I am working on a book about my experience in recovery! It’s an extension from my blog. I am in the process of writing it now. I started a local group of bloggers to support each other. We meet twice a month. It’s a fun group and we all blog different topics. 

God met me where I was and sent the right people to walk me out of the mess and chaos that was my life and now the more I trust His plan for me, the more amazing things are revealed to me. Because I’m ready now. I’m ready to share more with others about what God has done in my life! 

Stay on this journey with me….the best is yet to be. 

My journey to serenity continues…

I Love You Like No Other

When I started to date my ex boyfriend, he started love bombing the second we reconnected. 

We went to high school together. Knew each other but were not really friends back then. Fairly small graduating class, everyone knew everyone.

He was watching me and I didn’t realize it. He was grooming me from the start. Commenting now and then, sending messages. Learning about my likes and dislikes. 

Telling me ALL the things I so desperately needed to hear. He like the things I liked. He did things that he knew was important to me. He added to my life by helping around the house and yard. Also added new things to my life like healthier eating, working out and meditation. 

I felt loved, and cared about and that I had a true partner. But I was fooled. He would tell me that he loved me like no other. And all this love bombing clouded my judgement. I was surrounded by this fog that I couldn’t see but the fog, I ran past stop signs and warning signs. But I was living the best I could at THAT time. 

When he said I love you like no other, was he really saying that he was so desperate and he needed me to stay because no one would love him? Maybe. Did he really even love me? Probably not. 

Takers love a giver. And he was a taker. It was the perfect storm for codependency.  

I forgive myself for who I WAS at that time. I was doing the best I knew to do. 

Being in THAT place, was the best thing that ever happened to me. Had I not been here, I wouldn’t be here in THIS place. 

I could be resentful but who does that benefit? How would serve me in my life today, it wouldn’t. My ex boyfriend was also broken and coping with life the only way he knew how. 

Today I have a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ. I have always believed in Jesus. I grew up going to Church but was going through the motions. TODAY, I seek God out. I read and meditate on His word. Today I TRUST His plan for me. Today I RELY on Him for strength and understanding. 

Today I have meaningful deep relationships with others in recovery. 

Today I can look back and be grateful for the lessons learned and for that time in my life with how painful is was, because of the changes that have happened since. 

It is only by the grace of God that I found the Celebrate Recovery program, I found a sponsor, i am working the program and I can say this and mean it to my core. 

My journey to serenity continues…

Two sides of HOPE

Side one…..In the past I had…..

Hoped that he would change
Hoped that he would notice my pain
Hoped that he would keep his promises 
Hoped that he would stop drinking
Hoped he would choose me
Hoped that I would be heard this time 
Hoped that the family would be come first
Hoped that this time would be the time
Hoped that this time would be different
Hoped others didn’t notice
Hoped someone kinda would have noticed
Hoped I can fix it
Hoped I was doing the right thing…..knowing it was the wrong thing


                              Faith    HOPE      Love   Continue 

Side two……Now HOPE is different for me. 

I don’t hope in other people. Or even in myself. Don’t get me wrong, HOPE is all about positive feelings of expectation, trust and desire for a certain thing to happen. 

But today my HOPE is in God and trusting His plans for my life. From the many gifts He has given me not only to be my best self but to also live out the 12 steps and glorify Him in all of my affairs. 

My journey to serenity continues…

I designed this tattoo on my arm. Faith Hope Love and I choose to continue. 

Trust God 

My sister in law passed away on June 1st, at her celebration of life the Celebrant shared this poem with us. 

Jenny’s poem. 

Trust God’s wisdom to guide
Trust his goodness to provide
Trust his saving love and power
Trust him every day and hour
Trust him as the only light
Trust him in the darkest night
Trust in sickness
Trust in health
Trust in poverty and in wealth
Trust him living – dying too
Trust him all the journey through


Struggling with codependency, letting go and trusting God is hard. And shows up in places that I sometimes don’t expect. 

With the loss of a dear friend and father figure. I need to let go and trust God. 

What does the Bible say about Trusting God… Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)

Finding recovery in unexpected places. 

My journey to serenity continues…..