Tag Archives: 12 steps

Promises…

Why does addiction start? Is it running from something? Is it escaping feelings? Is it trying to mask who they really are? 

Addiction in this sick way makes promises to the addict. Whispering promises like:

  • You Belong
  • You are in control
  • You are strong 
  • You can trust 
  • You have hope
  • You are confident
  • You are brave
  • You are full of joy
  • Your life is full 
  • You are worthy
  • You are not judged

And at first it works. The addict feels strong and in control and that they belong and that they can  use this mask to cover up what’s really going on inside them. 

After those feelings the addict is hit with guilt and shame and sadness that this illusion didn’t last long enough so they use again and again again to escape themselves and this internal prison. 

Here’s the truth…… RECOVERY DELIVERS EVERYTHING ADDICTION PROMISES and more. 

It is only by the power of recovery that you are able to:

  1. Admit you can’t 
  2. Know that God can
  3. Let God
  4. Look within
  5. Admit wrongs
  6. Get ready to change
  7. Seek Gods help
  8. Become willing 
  9. Make amends
  10. Do a daily inventory
  11. Pray and meditate
  12. Give it away


And just like how Recovery delivers addictions broken promises. These are Gods promises too. God has promised us:

  • we are forgiven
  • we are free
  • there is hope
  • we each have purpose
  • we each are gifted
  • that we are valued 
  • and that we are blessed! 

My journey to serenity continues….

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. 

Life is short…..missing my friend

Yesterday I texted my friend Mike….’hope all is well in your corner of the world.’ I’ve sent this message many times to him as to others. 

To my shock, Mikes wife texted me back that Mike had passed away from a massive heart attack 13 days ago. She was so sorry for having to tell me by text. 

I am just beside myself with grief. 

I read through all of the text massages between Mike and I and wanted to share…..

Mike was an engineer and worked for NASA for a long time. He owned every tool you could imagine and many he owned 2 or 3. 

We became friends when the high school did Fiddler on the Roof and we built the cart for the show together. Well he designed and built it and I handed him tools. but it was easier with 2. I asked him questions about why he did things in that order and he liked my curiosity about how things worked. 

Mike had no idea what he got himself into when he offered to repay me for helping with the cart, he would work on my car for the cost of parts. Over the years I can’t even count how many times he worked on my car. Always wanting to save me money, he would take things apart and replace only what was needed to be replaced. Sometimes that worked and sometimes not so much and he would end up replacing the entire part. 

Most of the time I was there when he worked in my car. And he always explained stuff to me and I happily listened and asked questions and handed him tools. 

When he was done he’d say ‘I have one question for you. Who da man?’ And I’d say ‘YOU ARE’. 

Mike came to all the plays the boys were in both at school and with community theatre. 

We talked about family and I know how much he loved his kids. Keith who died at 13 from a brain tumor. And he would beam when he talked about his daughter. 

Mike wanted to stay connected to his son and was very active with the high school drama even though Keith never made it to high school. His daughter was active in theater, she was a senior when my son was a freshman. (Keith would have been a sophomore) the year that Keith would have graduated, Mike went to help set up the chairs. They had a chair for Keith but Mike couldn’t stay. It was just too hard. I think he just wanted to make sure no one forgot about Keith. 

I laughed at some of the text messages we exchanged. I’d say ‘ok awesome’ and he wrote back ‘what no sauce’ ‘Ok ok awesomesauce.’ I’d say back. Or in one of our last text conversations he said I was doing pretty well on my own and while money won’t buy happiness, happiness won’t buy groceries and to hang in there. 
Earlier this year I told him that my man picker was broken and I wasn’t going to date anyone. He said….I have a theory…..that I should park in front of a hardware store, barber shop, auto part store and the like (just not a bar) and put my hood up. And the man who comes to help me is observant, caring and capable…..or he could just want to wear your skin as a suit. There’s always that element of surprise. Thanks Mike for the advise. 

I’ll miss you Mike. You were a blessing to me for a long time. Thank you so much for you did for me. I am so very grateful for the time we had together. You will never be forgotten. 

I feel like someone stole a security blanket. I knew he was always a text away. My heart hurts that he is not anymore. 

Until we meet again…..

My journey to serenity continues…