Tag Archives: codependency

500 Days of looking up!!! 

500 days of focusing on my needs. My program. My journey.

500 days of not looking back. 


500 days of understanding how my life was overtaken by chaos and having a plan in place to never allow that nonsense and foolishness to rule my world again. 

500 days of saying no to what no longer serves me but yes to things that do. 

500 days of trusting that I’m heading in the right direction. One step at a time. 
500 days of listening to my life tell an amazing story of understanding and letting go. 
500 days of steps forward and a few back, and sometimes standing still while feelings pass over me. But those steps back and standing still moments did not derail me, they did not stop my forward momentum. Instead those moments gave me rest to keep going. 

I am 500 days away from the addict/ codependent dance that I knew so well. 
I am 500 days closer to the person God wants me to be. 
I am 500 days closer to the life that I got off track from.
I still have work to do for sure but it’s amazing what can happen in just 500 days if you just let go and let God. 

500 days of looking up and thinking…I trust You. You hold the answers. I will praise You for all you have done in my life. 

My journey continues….one day at a time. 

I took this picture from my back yard and use font candy to add the text. 

12 Things I’ve Learned 12 Stepping 

I didn’t know anything about 12 step programs before 2015. Maybe a few jokes here and there. Maybe how it was depicted on a sitcom. 

I was a Seinfeld fan and there was an episode about Step 9. And how George was looking for an apology from someone who was in AA. So my concept of 12 step programs was from a sarcastic place and that all anyone talked about who was in a program was the program. 

Now look at me 16 months of working a 12 step program. And yeah I do talk about the program a lot. 

The thing is, my life has changed and I am continuing to grow closer to my Higher Power, HP or who I believe is Jesus Christ. I am continuing to understand and let go. I am continuing to be that much closer to my authentic self and who God wants me to be. 

So in no particular order, 12 things I have learned from my 12 step program.

1. Working a program is just that, work. You can’t just show up to meetings and do nothing else and things get better. So I….Got a sponsor. I have surround myself with  a sober community. I read recovery materials. Celebrate Recovery has a step study which are workbooks that ask some hard questions on each step that you answer and share with a small group, so I joined that group. I read the Bible. Putting all these things into action is working a program. Doing all of those things, you can’t help but change. 

2. What you struggle with does not define you. The 12 step program I attend is for anyone with  hurts, hang ups or habits that separates us from God and that you want to change. I love that when we introduce ourselves we say ‘I struggle with’ not I am. Mistakes of my past doesn’t mean that is who I am. 

3. Forgiveness is not for the other person but for yourself. I will never contact my ex boyfriend again but I have forgiven him. The freedom of owning my part and understanding his and forgiving him is life changing. I no longer carry the guilt and shame of my actions. 

4. Forgiving myself has been the hardest thing.  My actions hurt other people, I knew it and then I isolated, shut down and hind because of my shame and guilt. Forgiving myself took me the longest to do but then a friend in program reminded me that God had already forgiven me and I should too. 

5. Worry does not change ourcome. If fact worry is a form of not trusting God. God is in control and already knows what is going to happen and knows the mistakes I will make in the future. He has a plan in place to help me through these times too. So worry only takes energy from the now and prevents you from being present. 

6. Understanding codependency. I learned to cope with life by being codependent. When I thought I was helping, it actually caused damage. I made excuses, lied to cover up for and took care of things that were not my responsibility. And it turned out that I prevented the other person from growing from the experience of managing his own problems. 


7. I’ve learned about setting boundaries. Boundaries not only keeps me in a safe space, it also allows me to communicate in a healthy way what I need and what I am willing to do. I don’t always have to tell others my boundaries, me knowing in some cases is enough. This has not only helped me with my relationships but also with work. 

8. It’s hard to complain when you are grateful. Gratitude reminds me of the things in your life. Often addictive behaviors starts from lacking something and it’s a way to escape. It’s so hard to bitch about life when you start to become aware of all the little things to be grateful for everyday. I am grateful for all the little things, the good things and the trials too. 

9. Feelings are hard and that’s ok. No one likes to feel unappreciated or hurt or singled out or not heard. Addictive behaviors are often to avoid those feelings. Feeling of not being good enough. Feelings of not being enough. Feelings of being disappointed or disappointing someone else. But there are also feelings of love and acceptance and joy that by avoiding those negative feelings you also miss out on the good ones too. So sometimes you have to sit and feel those feelings that you don’t want to and then move on. 

10. You are exactly where God wants you to be. In number five, I said that God has a plan in place for my future mistakes but He also has a plan for the good times too. I am in the right place…..right now. Maybe there is a lesson that has yet to be learned. Maybe there is someone else that you will cross paths with for you but what if it was actually for them. Isn’t that a cool thought. Don’t worry about where you are right now, just be there and enjoy every second. And before you know it, you will be in another place with new challenges and new good times and then that is where you are supposed to be. 

11. Being in program taught me how to listen. Being in dysfunctional relationships, I often felt that I was not heard. During the share time, each person is given 5 minutes to share whatever they want. No one can interrupt them. No one can ask questions. No one tell you how to fix it. No one can tell you that you are wrong. It’s only 5 minutes but it’s the only 5 minutes that are like that in my week. I’ve learned to listen. And I don’t judge or think less of them because I know they don’t think less of me. It’s how this works. During the week I may check in with them or next time I see them, we’ll talk about how whatever went or ended up. 

12. Recovery doesn’t end, it’s a lifestyle. I hate to be the one to tell you, but working a program is not a one and done thing. You have to work and embrace the steps everyday, every single day. And when you do, you change, you become aware. You feel things that you don’t want to but you cope with it in a new way. You learn to recognize and own your part and you set better boundaries for next time. And you share your experience, strength and hope with others. And why do we do that? We share our story for His glory and to show others what God has done in our lives.
I want to add a 13th thing I’ve learned because people joke about the 13th step. The 13th step is that someone in program hits one newer member of the group. 

But this is my experience of other people in the group…..

13.  Sponsors, accountability partners and friendships born from recovery are amazing. People in the program are full of wisdom and grace. And this combination is incredible. They have worked the program. Your sponsor will push you in a loving way. You accountability partner will ask you questions that will make you think and maybe give you reason to pause. And the fellowship you share with other members of the group is like no other friendships you can ever have. I have learned how to give grace because others have given grace to me. 

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

My journey to serenity continues…

Fruit of the Spirit

Have you ever had something nudging at you? Not knowing what it’s about but a phrase that keeps showing up. Making you want to ask what does this mean? I want to learn more and more. 

So this has happened to me recently with the Fruit of the Spirit. It’s been in a meditation, a pod cast, during a step study meeting and on and on and on. 

So first I looked it up. Wikipedia says ‘The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a Christian according to Paul the Apostle in his Letter to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’

I did some more reading and looked for a podcast to listen to and you tube videos to watch.  So all of my time I have trying to figure out what God wants me to learn. I just ordered a study guide on Galatians. 

First thing I noticed is it says fruit not fruits. To me this means that it’s one package deal. All 9 words are equal, part of each other, work together. I should strive to be all of those things every minute of every day in all my encounters. So that when people look at me, they see those words first written on my soul. Who wouldn’t want to be these 9 words. It’s amazing. I know people that when I think of them those are the words that come to mind  and have even said to them, I want to be you when I grow up. 

The next thing is it’s the fruit of the spirit not the seed. Otherwise Paul would have said seed of the spirit. The hard work is done. The seed was planted, and the soil was perfect, there was the perfect amount of water and the right nutrients to feed the seed. But there may have been hard seasons where the seed was not in the perfect environment but the seed is resilient and continued on its path. Resting when it needed to, taking from one place to make up for another. Trying to keep itself balanced and become what it was intended to be. The fruit is a result of the years of hard work from the seed. 


The fruit is….love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

I’m going to end here and have a part 2 to this post. I’m working on where I am on living my life in the fruit of the spirit and where I need to focus more. So stay tuned while I work this out! 

My journey continues

This girls journey to serenity…

Ps I painted the picture used in this post. 

Ripples From Yesterday

May 5. 2015 2:12 am was the exact moment my heart broke. The man I loved began drinking and this took me on a codependent journey that I had no idea what all was about to happen. 

This is the post I posted on Facebook at 2:12am

‘Ripples in water……did it start from a single tear rolling down someone’s face? Did it start from a kind word that changed someone’s day? Did it start from a single act of service for someone else? 

No matter how it started…..know the effects are long lasting. Rippling the waters for moments to hours to days to time beyond what you can imagine. 

Be kind. Be supportive. Be understanding. Be forgiving. You never know who you may touch with one single tear, word or small act.’


I read this today and see myself sitting on the sofa sobbing, not understanding and not ready to face the truth. 

I feel myself sitting next to myself saying….you are going to be ok, better than ok in fact. The next few months you will not be yourself and you are going to make mistakes but know that this is going to take you to understanding and you will be ready to face the truth. 

Ripples that started 2 years ago, pushed me to THIS place. Now being 450 days in recovery from codependency and having the understanding of how I got there.  

And ripples from today being a healthier person and LIVING life will push me to even better places. I attend my home group meeting every week and I am working a step study, I am starting another study. I am spending time with like minded people in recovery. 

My journey continues…

This girls journey to serenity. 

If I Had a Super Power…

For a long time I have asked myself ‘if I had a super power, what would it be?’ 

My answer has been the same for as long as I’ve asked. If I had a super power I would want to freeze time. To stay longer in a place and time. To enjoy the moment. To be able to do things that I just don’t have time for now. 

 
Then yesterday while listening to a podcast a Pastor said that we live life forward but understand it in reverse. 

So that got me thinking the last few days. How I have used time, wished it away (fast forward) or reflecting on the past (rewind), wished I could rewind just 30 seconds to say something differently or turn left and not right.  But I am getting a head of my myself, let me think out each one….

  
PAUSE – I’d love to have a pause button. To stay a little longer in a happy place. To enjoy my sons concert, or play or scout event for just a little longer. To paint for a little longer. To be at a meeting and enjoy the music for little longer. To be in an embrace for that much longer. To fellowship for that much longer. 

REWIND – I have looked at times in my past and replayed it. It’s like watching a movie. I want to yell Mar, turn left and not right, don’t chase him, it wasn’t your fault, let him find his bottom. Rewinding gives us the benefit of knowing the outcome. Knowing how that chapter ends and then seeing how it started and why I ended up where I did. 

FAST FORWARD – I hate to wish days away, but there have been times when I couldn’t wait until the end of day or week. I’ve wanted to hurry up and get to something so that it was over. Because the anticipation of how its going to end is almost too much. 

  
REWIND 30 SECONDS – Ever said something you regretted? Ever made a decision and within seconds wish you hadn’t? Ever turned right but you know you should have turned left? I can answer yes to all of those things. Wouldn’t it be amazing to suck those words back in from the word bubble above my head and say it differently? 

PLAY – is living in the moment, rolling with what life brings your way. Living with recovery means living in the truth. Remembering that God is in control. Living in recovery is owning my part and saying I’m sorry if I’ve said or did something unkind. Living in recovery means hope and trust. Living in recovery means openness. Living in recovery means the truth of with God I have the power to change and I should expect to change. Living in recovery means sanity over chaos. Living in recovery means living in action. Living in recovery means letting go and understanding. I like living in recovery. 

So I guess I’ve convinced myself that I don’t need the power power of freezing time because life with recovery is so much better living in pause. 

My journey to serenity continues…

300 days…

300 days or almost 10 months….I can’t believe it’s been that long. 

  

300 days of focusing on my needs over his. 

300 days of understanding my part in the chaos that once ruled my life. 

300 days of saying no to something but yes to something else. 

300 days of trusting I’m heading in the right direction. 

300 days of listening to my life tell an amazing story of understanding and letting go. 

300 days of steps forward and a few back, and sometimes standing still while feelings pass over me. But those steps back and standing still moments did not derail me, they did not stop my forward momentum. 

I am 300 days away from him and his merry-go-round.

I am 300 days away from the addict/ codependent dance that I knew so well. 

I am 300 days closer to the person God wants me to be. 

I am 300 days closer to the life that I got off track from.

I still have work to do for sure but it’s amazing what can happen in 300 days if you just let go and let God. 

Cheers! 

Open Letter to Codependency…

Dear Codependency –

I didn’t know much about you until late in 2015. But you had been a part of me for a long time. 

It’s how I learned to deal with life. And 2015 was a perfect storm. 

It was such a surprise to me but I woke up daze, confused and heartbroken and then I discovered the truth about you. 

When you (codependency) ruled my day, I….

  • Had an unreasonable sense of responsibility for his actions.
  • Needed to be needed and jumped in that role naturally. He needed me and I needed to feel needed.
  • Didn’t ask questions because I don’t want to know the answer. The fantasy of what I wanted it to be was more important to what it actually was. 
  • Tended to do more that my share. Over achieving doing more or making up for his lack of ability to do it himself. 
  • Would rather have felt awful then be alone. 
  • Avoided making decisions and allowing someone who was deep in addiction to make decisions for me. 
  • Lied to cover up when he was drunk and failed to keep his promises. 
  • Would rather feel nothing and take care of him other feeling how out of control it was. 
  • Fear of being judged by others for decisions I knew were not in my best interest. 
  • Was so trapped in denial that I didn’t see any of the above. 

The first few months of learning about the dance that codependents and addicts do, I was full of embarrassment and shame. How could I do this to myself and my family. 

Then the more learned and started to dig deep in how did this happen? How did I ever get to into this situation? How did this become ok?

  
And the pieces of my life started to come together. I understood how and why. When I got this tattoo on my shoulder several years ago it was because I felt broken and pulled apart. Now it’s about putting the pieces of me back together. 

So codependency, thank you for time but try not to waste anymore of mine. You kept me safe in some ways and harmed me in other.

 I’ve figured you out and am leaving you behind and moving forward with my head held high. I’m learning new ways to cope with life and figuring out what a healthy version of me looks like. 

Driving away and seeing you in the rear view mirror feels amazing. 

All the best. 

This Girls Journey to Serenity ….