Tag Archives: shame

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….

Letting Go is POWERFUL

I am amazed in the power of letting go. 

Since I have been involved in 12 step programs I have heard over and over the you need to let go. 

Letting go sounds nice and also sound pretty easy. Like holding a pen, you can choose to just let the pen go. The pen hits the floor and magically it’s done.

But hurt feelings, brokenness, anger, fear, worry, grieving, shame and disappointment are not so easy to let go. My story holds all those feelings, just like everyone else’s story does. 

Working the steps, one step builds on the next. They are designed to be done in order. It’s by design that you don’t skip steps. You have to start on Step 1.

I’ve been working the steps with my sponsor for many months. I’m getting ready to take part in a women’s step study group. Which I think is awesome. I’ve just about done with step 4 and 5 and I think this is the perfect time to put some work in with a group. It will give me the opportunity to start over the steps and ensure that I am on solid footing before moving through steps 6-12. 

Because I’m new at this, I may have missed something or forgotten something. It’s not s race. It’s actually investing in my heathy self and my future. 

The freedom I have experienced from steps 1-5 are just amazing. Hard to put into words. 

  
I have let go of the hurt that I have carried with me for a long time. Even the hurt that had from a lack of understanding. 

I have let go of brokenness that I have felt from things that were not my fault and that often involved another broken person. Broken people hurt broken people. 

I have let go of anger that kept me stuck in unforgiveness. And have learned to have compassion and empathy. 

I have let go of fear. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the what if. 

I have let go of worry. Worry does not change outcome. And means I am not trusting God when I over worry.

I have let go of grieving all the loses in my life. I have lost people I love dearly. I have lost things and I have lost hopes and dreams. Everyone experiences loss in many different ways. Grieving happens but I don’t have to stay there. 

I have let go of shame. This is huge for me. I carried shame for things that happened, for decisions I made, for protecting others and shame for not being truthful. 

I have let go of disappointments. Disappointments of what wasn’t or broken promises. For not being able at the time to say what I needed and that what was going on was just not cool. For expectations not expressed. 

All of these feelings are like a prison. Making me feel trapped and stuck. 

Letting go of all these things and trusting God is just so powerful. It means I am strong when I have conversations with my ex husband. It means I am strong as I guide my sons and watch them thriving in their lives. It means I am strong when my ex boyfriend got out of jail this week and I honestly can say, I wish him all that life has to offer him. 

There’s no more hook, there is no more excuses for someone’s bad behavior or trying to save someone from consiquences or hurt feelings and putting myself in harms way. 

Will I feel those feeling again? Of course I will but now I have tools to cope in a different way now.

Letting go is POWERFUL 

My journey to serenity continues….

Meeting Takeaways…

Hi my name is Mar and I struggle with codependency. 

I never noticed that other people said ‘I struggle with’ and not that ‘I am’. What an awesome mind shift. My codependency does not define me. 

I am working on the parts of me that are broken. Those parts that made me think that codependency meant you love someone.  The parts of me that makes me want to control things that I can’t. 

I am Mar and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with codependency. 

If you have not followed my blog for long you may not know that I attend Celebrate Recovery (CR). It’s a Christ Centered 12 step program. It’s for anyone who struggles with hurts, hang-ups or habits. What we struggle with may be different, what got us to walk into the meeting may be different BUT how you heal and recover is exactly the same. 

The start of the meeting is with the worship band. They sang a song I never heard before. 

Break Through by Don Moen

Break through all my doubts
Break through
Break through all my fears
Break through
That I may worship You
Break through

Break through all my pain
Break through all my guilt and my shame
Break through like only You can do

You are brighter than my darkest night
Stronger than my toughest fight
Just one touch from You my King my Friend
And I’ll never be the same again
O break through all my pain

Break through all my guilt and my shame
Break through like only You can do
O break through like only You can do
O break through like only You can do

  

Only with God can I recovery from my doubts, fears, pain, guilt and shame. 

I am not my doubts.
I am not my fears.
I am not my pain.
I am not my guilt.
I am not my shame. 

I am stronger than yesterday. 
I am perfectly imperfect.
I am joy.
I am love.
I am light.

I am forever changed. 

I am Mar and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with codependency. 

My journey to serenity continues…

I painted the pic and used Font Candy to add the text in this post. 

Youngest daughter point of view…

Disclaimer…..this post is not well organized and may trigger feelings. It’s raw and real. 

Hi my name is Mar. I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I am codependent and the daughter of alcoholics. 

I am shaking writing this. I’ve been thinking about this post since I started this blog just 12 days ago. I will not post this blog on my Facebook account because so many people don’t know that I grew up in the home of an alcoholic. And I don’t want to upset my siblings for talking about it. 

So here it goes, from the youngest daughter point of view of my alcoholic home….

I’m the poster child of being codependent. And it’s no wonder I have made the choices I have in men. My last relationship was when a man I’ve known off and on since high school (twenty something years ago). I knew he had struggled with drinking and he told me he was sober. Reality was he was dry not sober. I thought ‘ok I know what this looks like’. I can handle this. But boy was a wrong. But this post is about before this relationship. Totally different kind of alcoholic and that’s a story for another day. 

I was the youngest of 6. Spoiled or so my siblings say. Maybe in some ways but not in others. 

I grew up in a house where my parents drank every night. They drank to the point of passing out on the sofa….every night. 

The smell of Canadan Club turns my stomach. 

The sound of ice clinking the sides of glass and a drink stirring makes me shake my head. 

The sound of someone slurring their words brings me to tears. 

They drank every night. And they got up every morning and went to work. They worked hard to support the family. 

I’m sad to think why they learned this as how they coped with life. 

My dad carried a lot of shame. That’s my belief anyway. He died 13 years ago. I miss his wise advise, kindness and fairness. 

My mom had a difficult childhood. Her brother passed away. He was hit by a car and I think she blamed herself. She was the litte sister. Her dad was not a nice man. They moved a lot. She died 8 years ago. I miss her support, love and quick wit. 

They learned to cope with life by drinking. 

At that age when you start to go on sleep overs, I remember thinking, why weren’t their parents drinking and falling asleep on the sofa? So that’s not normal. 

Only trusted friends spent the night at my house. Which was only a few and when I was older (high school) and likely because we were drinking too and they wouldn’t notice. 

Not long after high school. I fell in love with the class clown. The life of the party. And all I wanted to do was fade into the background. I didn’t drink by choice and he did plenty of drinking for the both of us.  My life quickly became about family and kids. His life didn’t change much. And after 16 years together I decided I had enough and I left. 

 When my dad died in 2002. My moms drinking got worse. It got to the point, that I called her earlier and earlier in the day because she wouldn’t remember what we talked about the night before. 

In late 2007 my mom was diagnosed with cirrhosis. But she didn’t tell us. We found out when she was taken to the hospital in what was basically a coma. 

There was nothing to do but ride this diagnoses out. 

Fluid backed up in her system and her skin would crack and water just driped out of the cracks. She would be so bloated with fluid, they would drain off liters at a time. 

She was DNR. Do not resuscitate. She had to say it with every nurse shift change. I know she hated to have to say it out loud everyday, several times a day. 

She was slowing dying. 

She spent months in the hospital and a nursing home. I went to see her almost everyday. I put lotion of her feet and brushed her hair. 

Then we had ‘the family meeting’. There was nothing left to do and she should go home with hospice care. 

I will never forget the look on her face when they said that. Hospice, hospice is for dying people…..oh shit I’m dying. That was what she was thinking. 

She was transferred home the next day. She didn’t opened her eyes again 24 hours later. When I left that night. I wispered to her….it’s ok to go mom, we’ll be ok. I love you. 

She passed away that night a few hours later.  

Today is the 8 year anniversary of her passing. 

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about and miss her. 

She was an alcoholic but she was my mom. And I love her so very much. 

It’s not her fault. It’s not my dad fault. It’s just how life played out for them. And for me. 

But I’m stopping the cycle. I will not allow myself to be in another codependent relationship. I want to model a healthy relationship for my kids. Realtionships with God, with yourself, with each other and with who they love. That’s what matters. 

My journey to serenity continues…

This Thing Called Grace…

I am overwhelmed by the positive responses, love and support to my first blog post. 

There truly is so much power and healing in sharing yourself with others. It is only by the Grace of God that I am in recovery. 

You now can see strength and courage but what I have felt was shame and embarrassment. And what saved me is this thing called Grace. 

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What does the Bible say about SHAME 1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

  
What the Bible says about GRACE           2Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.



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While religion was an important part of my childhood, as I hit my late teens it was not important to me. And my faith became quiet. As I grew older, I felt something was missing in my life. After I got divorced in 2011, I began seeking for what was missing. 

I didn’t know at the time but what I was lacking was a relationship with God. 

I went Church Shopping. I did a few Bible studies but didn’t click with the people in the group nor did I feel I fit into the Church. But I kept seeking. I found a Church home in 2014. I loved what they were teaching. It’s what I was looking for. They were teaching the Bible. They encouraged to join a group and study together. Which is what I did.

I was walking the path that God had planned for me. Or so I thought. 

In 2015, smoke and mirrors covered the truth of the path I was on. I was convinced this was part of Gods plan. And then life happened and the man I was with changed in what seemed like a second. I ignored the warning signs and got caught up in his addiction. Trying to save him from himself became my job. 

Codependent much? 

When I finally hit my bottom, I not only walked away, I ran. 

The Grace and love that God has shown me from friends and family walking along side me during this time brings me to my knees.

I can never repay the countless people who knowing and unknowingly supported me. But what I can do, is share my story. I can celebrate my recovery. I can shine my light bright. So bright that I shine on someone else’s darkness.