Tag Archives: recovery support

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…

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…

Standing in Solidarity

As you may recall, I attend Celebrate Recovery which is a blended issue group. Anyone with any hurt habit or hang-up that separates you from God and want to change is welcomed with support, grace and love. 

Those who struggle with food, alcohol, drugs, codependency, anxiety, pornography and the like are all represented in the room. From every walk of life. And in every stage of recovery. We support one another in what we struggle with with much love, encouragement and grace. 

About 10 days ago, one of my fellow CR attendees lost her battle with her addiction. She struggled and was a fighter. She loved the Lord and trusted Him and His plan for her life. She touched many of our lives and I am grateful for the times her and I chatted before a meeting. 

Last night we honored her in only the we could. We had our meeting. The first 30 minutes we have a band play song and last night was no different. Songs filled with hope and trusting God plan for each of us. We laughed and cried and shared stories of our relationships with her and how she touched our lives. 

We stood in solidarity with her and with each other. 

According to Webster’s Dictionary, solidarity is defined as…

sol·i·dar·i·ty noun

unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group

synonyms: unanimity, unity, like-mindedness, agreement, accord, harmony, consensus, concurrence, cooperation, cohesion, fraternity, mutual support; 

“our solidarity is what gives us the credibility and power to make changes”


My recovery family means so much to me. I would not be in this place in my life without their support, grace and love. They have taught me what friendship looks like, in the room and outside the room too. 

To my recovery sister – I know like I know like I know that you are free from your pain and struggle. You are with the angels, rejoicing in our victories and saving me seat in the most amazing meeting that I cannot even imagine filled with support, grace and love. 

My journey to serenity continues….

Thank you google images for the pic used in this post. 

That space between…

I don’t know what to call it, I’m sure it has a name. But that space between when something happens and your reaction to it. 

In a split second, the committee in my head hold an emergency meeting, deciding who is heading up the reaction. Is Anger in charge? How about Fear, is she in charge of this situation? Fear wants me to be safe so will isolate. How about Happy or Joy? 


During that space between between there is a lot going on. 

If you had asked me 18 months ago how would you react to ———. And if you asked me today how would you react to the same ———-. I’d like to think that my reaction would be different.

In fact, I more than I’d like to think and here is why…..

Before recovery, I was reactive. Often with tears because every was overwhelming. Or I would have tried to figure out how to fix it without upsetting anyone. Very often putting my needs last. And sometimes just walking away and isolating. 

Now, almost 18 months of WORKING a program, my reactions to similar situations are different. I’m much more neutral. Skills I’ve learned like boundaries or expressing my actual feeling in a healthy way. 

I can now say no, and it’s a complete sentence. I don’t have to justify or explain it. It’s just no…..what the hell, that’s a real thing! Who knew! LOL

Those emergency committee meetings in my head, they still happen and sometimes Angry and Fear want to be in control but now it’s different. I now have a team of recovery friends I can reach out to and ask for help. Get a reality check. Or just get support. 

That space between, I like that space. There’s a lot of good stuff that happens in that space between. 

My journey to serenity continues…

A soft place to fall

I’ve been a fan of Dr Phil for a long time….like since he was on Oprah back in the day. 

Along with ‘so how’s that workin’ for ya’, another of his catch phrases is ‘we all need a soft place to fall.’ I always loved that one, the idea of being a soft place to fall for someone else. 

I realized that I misunderstood what being a soft place to fall really looked like for a really long time. 


I used to see it as making someone’s landing softer by fixing their problem for them. For example calling in sick for somesone because he was still drunk and couldn’t make the call themselves. Or doing something for someone else before they have even asked. Or I even paid a utility bill for someone who’s water was cut off and I didn’t tell them I did it. 

But what this did was it prevented the other person from having to deal with the consequences of their actions or lack there of or even letting them figure out when they should ask for help. 

I would often quietly take care of it. Not for the recognition. Not because I wanted to be thanked for doing it. And not even for them, it was really for me. For me to feel like better about being a good person. How selfish and ridiculous is that.  This actually makes me feel awful about all the times I interjected myself under the illusion of being helpful. 

Gosh this isn’t at all where I thought this post was going. I guess it’s a good thing I’m heading to my step study meeting. 

It’s so hard to see when you are being codependent when you are in the middle of doing it. 

My intentions were always from a loving place and I never wanted to harm anyone from growing from an experience. But I know I have. 

We all need a soft place to fall. I see this so different now. It’s not my place to just go fix stuff. Sometimes sitting on my hands is what I need to do, and let things play out. Boundaries help keeps me working my program. I can still be a soft place to fall with boundaries and waiting. 

I need a soft place to fall. I don’t have to do everything myself and am learning when I need to ask for help. 

I’ve got to jump off here and get to my meeting. So until next time…….

My journey to serenity continues…

On This Day….

I have a love/hate relationship with the On This Day section of Facebook. 

It’s actually one of the last things I do just about everyday. I typically go to sleep after midnight so I check to see what happened on that day in my Facebook account. 

It makes me happy so see pictures of the past of the kids doing activities they love. Or remembering the exact day pets were adopted. Or words of wisdom I have shared over the years. 

But there is a darker side of my On This Day list. It makes me sad or bring up situations and feels like they just happened. 

So I am always pretty real on Facebook. It’s not just my high-light reel, I keep it real. The good, the bad and the ugly. 

If you haven’t been reading my blog for long you may not know for sure what got me to the beautiful place of recovery. And I’m sharing more in this post than I have before about this addict/codependent relationship I was in. 

***I give details that I haven’t before so if you may be triggered, please stop reading and go read one of my other posts or skip down to the last 2 paragraphs.***

2015 was a very difficult year. The year started out with reconnecting with a high school friend who was starting his life over and needed someone to take a chance on him. He was a dry alcoholic and very newly sober which I didn’t realize it at the time. 

He told me all the things I so desperately needed to hear and molded his life around mine. I looked past the warning signs because how I felt and it made everything else fade into the background. 

July 2015 was particularly difficult. In May. I kicked him out he began binge drinking and squating in a house a few blocks away. In June, I took him to court drunk because he knew he was not leaving that day. He wrote me letters everyday and called me all the time. He talked about that we were meant to be together and he loved me like no other. I went to see him in jail every weekend and cried in the waiting room wondering how did this become my life. He told me about a book he read, something about men carrying their gold and silver sword for their family. And that he could not do that for me from jail. That if I bonded him out of jail, he would not only pay me back but it was also investing in our future. 

A month to the day, I knew it was wrong thing to do but I did it anyway.  I got a loan and bonded him out of jail. With all the hope and promise that life had to offer. This fantasy life that could be. 

I got a hotel room because the next day I had to go get kids from 2 diffferent camps and the plan was to tell the kids the next day that he was moving back in with us after 3 months of not. 

I went and got the kids from camp and came back to the room to find him drunk trying to order a pizza on my tablet. What a fucking hot mess he was. I should have walked away. But I was crazy Codependent and still couldn’t see what was going on. I burst into tears and yelled where is your gold and silver sword. I’m risking everything and you are fucking drunk, really!? He wanted to drink one last time and stop on his terms. 

I told the kids and they packed up and left. I was heartbroken. 

I let my ex stay with me a few day while the kids were with their dad and I was devastated. 

A few days later…..he continued to drink by the way….shocker……I woke up to find him on top of me, he had just hit me in the face. It took everything I had to continue to block him and get him off of me. I yelled and screamed his name to stop. He said he was dreaming and he fell back asleep and I sat curled up on the floor in fear. I asked to pack his shit and leave, that I couldn’t do this. I had to figure out how to get my kids back. 

Now mid July, he left, the kids were still gone and not talking to me. 

I was so broken. I cried for hours. Until I had no tears left in me. I was sobbing. I wanted my pain to end and considered ending my life to make the pain stop. I started to write a note and I had a knife by my side. I even thought about going to the hospital but figured I’d loose the kids forever if I did that. The thing that stopped me was actually a conversation with my oldest son 2 years earlier when a classmate committed suicide. It’s only transfers the pain to someone else and you don’t fix a temporary problem with a permanent solution echoed in my head. I dried my tears and did the only thing I knew to do, chase after my ex. 

Ugh. These memories are so hard to feel again. But this year is better than last year and this year I have even more skills and tools than last year. 

I took out my tool kit from my  3 Circles Method post and keeping that close during the next few weeks while these memories pop up. I have to have a plan to not get into a dark place. 

My advise to myself or anyone else that has these types of memories is to be gentle on myself/yourself. I was doing the best I could at the time with what I knew and felt. And now, I would make a different choice but there is no sense in beating up who I was because I’m not that girl anymore, i’m this girl now!!! 

My journey to serenity continues…

NOT my Circus. NOT my Monkey…

Hi my name is Mar and I am codependent. 

We all come into any relationship or friendship with ‘stuff’ from our prior relationships and how we learned to cope with life.  

Some stuff is good while other stuff, well not so much. 

 I come to the table being a fixer. I am a home owner and run the household and solve problems by myself. I am a single parent and help my kids resolve conflict and manage schedules by myself. I have bills to pay and I manage my money by myself. I work for a service company and with every phone call, I resolve a problem or answer a question. I am a fixer. 

I got into a relationship with an alcholic who at the start was dry but not sober. But I didn’t know the difference at the time. 

A dry alcholic is someone who is not drinking but may be in denial that they have a problem and is just one step away from drinking. Or someone who is substituting one addiction for another like over working or over eating and not dealing with the underline issues. 

While sobriety is a journey where the person deals with the underline cause of the addiction and has a support system and tools to cope differently when life happens. 

Suddenly I was dealing with all my monkeys (house, kids, job) plus someone else’s problem monkeys that were running amok because he started drinking (drinking, lost his job, not paying support, court dates) when life happened. 

    

His first reaction was to find the bottom of a bottle….for days and days then it was weeks and weeks which turned into months and months. During this time there were glimpses of wanting to change. Wants and actions were not speaking the same language. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s hard. Really really hard. There are a million steps and decision points  between wanting and doing.  Picking him up after detoxing at the hospital for him to drink again as soon as his could his hands on it was inconsistent for sure. Support and tools are available when the person makes the decision to use them. 

My first reaction was to drop my monkeys and try to round up and fix his and get them back in control. Clearly I’m a terrible monkey trainer. As a result, my monkeys started to run amok and I had one mucky circus going on. 

Now that I am no longer in this relationship, I’m back to dealing with my monkeys. I have to say my monkeys and my circus is much easier to deal with now that I have support and tools to help keep them that way. 

I am powerless over being codependent. I believe that only God can restore me to sanity. I know Gods got this and me! I understand myself better. I know I’m a fixer. But I have learned to accept the things I cannot change….the courage to change the things I can….and the wisdom to know the difference.