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-WISPY-'s Photo -WISPY- Posts: 24,200
2/16/14 5:33 P

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WOOHOO, I am so happy to know that you are also in the programme. It is so helpful especially in letting go of what the other person says and does and focusing on working my own programme.

I found enabling was one of the hardest things for me to let go off, especially with my son. I love him to bits and know that the kindest thing is to stop rescuing him. He is now 50 and thankfully I was able to set the boundaries when he was still young. The most important thing to me is that he knows I love him and why I will no longer lend him money, pay his debts or get him out of any scrapes and we have a great relationship.

"Give thanks for everything until you are absolutely sure it is not a blessing in disguise." Eastern Proverb.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Be the change you wish to see in the world.." Mahatma Gandhi.
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"Quitters never win and winners never quit." Anon
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Make the decision to enjoy today. Do what you need to do for tomorrow - but live fully in TODAY.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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CETANISTAWI's Photo CETANISTAWI Posts: 1,685
2/16/14 1:27 A

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I'm in al anon, thanks. emoticon


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-WISPY-'s Photo -WISPY- Posts: 24,200
2/15/14 7:48 P

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I also had an alcoholic partner and also another family member. I joined a group called Al Anon - which is a programme for the family and friends of alcoholics.

It is one of the best things I ever did. I learned so much and the people are very friendly and welcoming. Also right down to earth and it helped me in so many ways.

Edited by: -WISPY- at: 2/15/2014 (19:49)
"Give thanks for everything until you are absolutely sure it is not a blessing in disguise." Eastern Proverb.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Be the change you wish to see in the world.." Mahatma Gandhi.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Quitters never win and winners never quit." Anon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Make the decision to enjoy today. Do what you need to do for tomorrow - but live fully in TODAY.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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CETANISTAWI's Photo CETANISTAWI Posts: 1,685
2/15/14 7:42 P

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I find that I do better in my compassion towards my husband if I quitting referring to him as an alcoholic, and phrase it that he has alcoholism. He is not just an alcoholic, but if I label him that way, then it becomes too easy for me to only see that part of him.

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-WISPY-'s Photo -WISPY- Posts: 24,200
2/13/14 8:07 P

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My pleasure. Discovering I was co-dependent just helped me so much along the way. I was never able to understand that acceptance did not mean that I had to be a doormat until I read the Melody Beattie book. I discovered there was an enormous difference between following the AA programme and being a doormat.

I used to think acceptance meant that I had to accept everything that was dished out to me and just be a 'yes' person. I did not understand what acceptance actually means and that it takes far more strength and courage to learn how to say No.
I needed to learn that once I accept something - the choice of what to do about the situation is then up to me. Acceptance that I know the truth and so now have a choice.

I guess putting it in terms of drinking. I thought acceptance meant accepting that I was an alcoholic and so had to keep on accepting what alcohol did to me and just tell myself I was an alcoholic so I had to make the best of it. A bit like "You've made your bed now you have to lie it in".

Then discovering what acceptance meant gave me the choice of keeping on being battered and bruised emotionally by alcohol, or taking the initiative and removing myself from the thing that was causing me pain.

Edited by: -WISPY- at: 2/13/2014 (20:17)
"Give thanks for everything until you are absolutely sure it is not a blessing in disguise." Eastern Proverb.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Be the change you wish to see in the world.." Mahatma Gandhi.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Quitters never win and winners never quit." Anon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Make the decision to enjoy today. Do what you need to do for tomorrow - but live fully in TODAY.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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CETANISTAWI's Photo CETANISTAWI Posts: 1,685
2/12/14 1:32 A

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emoticon wispy!!!
emoticon

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2/11/14 6:56 P

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Thanks for sharing that, Wispy. I got my start in Al-Anon. It was the first steps that put my on the path I had been searching for my whole life.

Let's walk!


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-WISPY-'s Photo -WISPY- Posts: 24,200
2/11/14 5:32 P

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Here are 20 Steps to get you thinking - if you are not sure - from Melody Beattie's classic best seller - "Codependent No More"



Care Taking

Codependents may:
1. Think and feel responsible for other people---for other people's feelings, thoughts, actions, choices, wants, needs, well-being, lack of well-being, and ultimate destiny.
2. Feel anxiety, pity, and guilt when other people have a problem.
3. Feel compelled --almost forced -- to help that person solve the problem, such as offering unwanted advice, giving a rapid-fire series of suggestions, or fixing feelings.
4. Feel angry when their help isn't effective.
5. Anticipate other people's needs
6. Wonder why others don't do the same for them.
7. Doing more than their fair share of the work, and doing things for others that they are quite capable of doing for themselves.
8. Not knowing what they want and need, or if they do, tell themselves what they want and need is not important.
9. Try to please others instead of themselves.
10. Find it easier to feel and express anger about injustices done to others rather than injustices done to themselves.
11. Feel safest when giving.
12. Feel insecure and guilty when somebody gives to them.
13. Feel sad because they spend their whole lives giving to other people and nobody gives to them.
14. Find themselves attracted to needy people.
15. Find needy people attracted to them.
16. Feel bored, empty, and worthless if they don't have a crisis in their lives, a problem to solve, or someone to help.
17. Abandon their routine to respond to or do something for somebody else.
18. Over commit themselves.
19. Feel harried and pressured.
20. Believe deep inside other people are somehow responsible for them.
21. Blame others for the spot the codependents are in.
22. Say other people make the codependents feel the way they do.
23. Believe other people are making them crazy.
24. Feel angry, victimized, unappreciated, and used.
25. Find other people become impatient or angry with them for all of the preceding characteristics.

If this is you - take heart - it was like a blueprint for the person I was. A light came on for me once I read this book and I began to free myself from my co-dependency.

"Give thanks for everything until you are absolutely sure it is not a blessing in disguise." Eastern Proverb.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Be the change you wish to see in the world.." Mahatma Gandhi.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Quitters never win and winners never quit." Anon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Make the decision to enjoy today. Do what you need to do for tomorrow - but live fully in TODAY.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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CETANISTAWI's Photo CETANISTAWI Posts: 1,685
2/11/14 5:10 P

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sure! go ahead! afterall, we're here to improve every aspect of our lives, right?

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-WISPY-'s Photo -WISPY- Posts: 24,200
2/11/14 5:00 P

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So delighted you made it to Al Anon. I am a sober alcoholic with AA and the 12 step programme. I also had an alcoholic partner and afamily member. Al Anon was a constant joy and support from the day I started looking at the issue from the Al Anon point of view and the friends I made in that group were a daily life support system. Stopping being an enabler and learning how to let go with love changed my life.

I am also a co-dependent and learned through the Melody Beattie book how to
become Co-dependent No More. I joined a group called CODA, which is also a 12 step group. The two worked together to set me free not only from alcoholic behaviour in others, but also my co-dependent nature to be a yes person.

There is a 20 step questionnaire to discover if you are co dependent. If you are interested just let me know and I will post it on this team.

Hugs Wispy.

"Give thanks for everything until you are absolutely sure it is not a blessing in disguise." Eastern Proverb.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Be the change you wish to see in the world.." Mahatma Gandhi.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Quitters never win and winners never quit." Anon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Make the decision to enjoy today. Do what you need to do for tomorrow - but live fully in TODAY.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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CETANISTAWI's Photo CETANISTAWI Posts: 1,685
2/11/14 2:12 A

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I finally made it to an al anon meeting 1/27...that will probably be my "birthday", because it's when I finally gave myself permission to be reborn to what I know to be true: that I don't have to, and I CAN'T, do it all...

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VTRICIA's Photo VTRICIA Posts: 1,956
4/8/13 1:03 P

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Maestra: I read that about you being a recovering alcoholic married to an alcoholic and thought that sounded pretty intense. And then I realized I am a recovering compulsive eater married to a compulsive eater. It's funny, in a way, how he'll often express concern that I have an eating disorder. I do have an eating disorder, and I have to turn it over to my higher power one day at a time. I don't know that he'll ever find recovery. It's a thing to be accepted.

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-WISPY-'s Photo -WISPY- Posts: 24,200
4/3/13 5:00 P

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Jen honey, I so understand, it is not an overnight job to change a lifetime of being a kind of doormat - in my case, so that people would like me..... and to avoid confrontation.

Finding out why I did what I did was a real eye opener. I actually thought I was like that because I was a kind and loving person and my job was to be the servant of all. Once I came to realise my outlook was actually in order to keep myself safe and low self esteem was a big part of the problem I began to work on those issues in other ways. But I still felt guilty when I said No for quite a long time after I began changing my behaviour. People were used to me being a yes person. :)

Sending you love and strength. xx

"Give thanks for everything until you are absolutely sure it is not a blessing in disguise." Eastern Proverb.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Be the change you wish to see in the world.." Mahatma Gandhi.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Quitters never win and winners never quit." Anon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Make the decision to enjoy today. Do what you need to do for tomorrow - but live fully in TODAY.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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BITTERCAT's Photo BITTERCAT Posts: 1,543
4/3/13 10:09 A

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Thank you both! I just love your posts!

I have a whole lot of issues, and to this day, I am still fighting my codependency. The Beattie books have been a lifesaver for sure, but it is an ongoing battle!

Jen M.

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3/13/13 9:59 P

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Way to go, I am so with you in all that you say. It is amazing our change of attitude and behaviour brings about things we could never have dreamed of. I too was a co-dependent wife and also mother. Alcoholism runs in my family and learning to let go of of those people so close to me and allow them to live their lives in their own way and become responsible for their own actions was one of the major changes I also made in sobriety.

It took a much longer time for me to learn the lesson. I also joined Al Anon and then another group called CODA. Co-dependents Anonymous and that was the real turning point for me.



"Give thanks for everything until you are absolutely sure it is not a blessing in disguise." Eastern Proverb.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Be the change you wish to see in the world.." Mahatma Gandhi.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Quitters never win and winners never quit." Anon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Make the decision to enjoy today. Do what you need to do for tomorrow - but live fully in TODAY.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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MAESTRAPLANK12's Photo MAESTRAPLANK12 SparkPoints: (23,308)
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3/13/13 6:22 A

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As of this moment I am 532 days sober living with an alcoholic husband. I count my Soberversary date my Copendenct No More date because when I became sober my life changed drastically. The actual decision to stop drinking was a radical one for me and my spouse. I changed our family pattern and 532 days later I can honestly say that our relationship is incredibly stronger and better simply because I have changed my reactions to everything. I claim and live The Serenity Prayer each and every day. It guides me throughout everything. I laugh now at how I do things differntly and react serenely to stressful situations.

Melody Beattie's books are incredible. I bought them about a month before my Soberversary and found them to be an absolute treasure. They helped me realize how and why my sobriety had empowered me to change myself and my life. For those of you who are sober in the first place, I think the codependent behavior is an addiction in itself. It is a copout. I was raised to be an obedient Southern woman who was placed on this earth to serve her husband. However, it didn't work with me because as a child I rebelled and didn't accept this way of life much to the dismay of my sweet mother and of course to the absolute fury of my father. LOL! There are cultural issues for sure that are intensely interwoven with codependency.

The moment we choose to no longer enable or engage in codependent behavior is the moment we begin to truly live OUR lives. I am delighted to see this topic on our team page. It has been a topic that needs to be recognized and discussed.

CODEPENDENT NO MORE......it feels so good! emoticon

Edited by: MAESTRAPLANK12 at: 3/13/2013 (06:24)
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BITTERCAT's Photo BITTERCAT Posts: 1,543
11/27/12 1:52 P

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Yikes. Yeah, that's a whole other topic. It's her culture, though, so you can't really say much about it.

(I'm a feminist, so that burns my buns, but it's not my business.)

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IAM_HIS2's Photo IAM_HIS2 Posts: 59,999
11/27/12 1:45 P

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Thank you BITTERCAT. I thought I would hit the nail on the head with what I wrote, but was not certain. I do believe with Ethic Background had a lot to do with how I was brought up too.

We have a Korean girl staying with us. She only listens to my husband. I have no right to tell her what to do. Also, she must work on making herself as pretty as possible, her looks determine her job and her paycheck. She spends two hours a day on her face and her hair. I cannot believe how well she uses makeup and false eye lashes--she is only 15 years old.

Thank you for posting.



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11/27/12 11:50 A

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That's exactly it (from my perspective, I want to emphasize): Girls are raised to believe that we HAVE to be caregivers, peacemakers, polite, quiet, not rock the boat, and people pleasers. We were raised with the attitude that "good girls don't...(enter action here)", etc.

By the time I was 10 years old, it was clear to me that I was not like other girls, because I just wanted to be myself: Sometimes a caretaker, sometimes needy, sometimes happy to be alone and not rely on anyone or have anyone rely on me. I preferred to speak out when I felt something was not right. If a boy (or anyone) hit me, I hit back...etc. Then, there's the whole consumerist thing, which you touched on with your comment about feeling you had to buy things to make people happy. In other words, girls are raised to largely internalize negative feelings. Those are the kinds of cultural things I'm talking about.

That said, again, I DO feel it is just as much a genetic condition as addiction. I'm just floored by how our society fosters and enables codependent behavior. I wonder if this isn't why we have a more difficult time recognizing it (we as a society) than we do recognizing addiction?

Jen M.

Edited by: BITTERCAT at: 11/27/2012 (11:52)
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IAM_HIS2's Photo IAM_HIS2 Posts: 59,999
11/27/12 11:07 A

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BITTERCAT, I would very much like to hear about your observations on Western Society fostering co-dependency. I do agree with you.

As a child growing up, I associated love with doing things to make someone happy. So this lead to my being a people pleaser, a care giver. I put myself last.

Also, when I first got married, I allowed my husband to have complete control over me. I was miserable and had no life. Thank heavens my Al-anon sponsor woke me up.

I started to change with my co-dependency behavior and felt I was making really process . But getting involved in the The Lord's Table has brought to light my always buying my children things that they ask for. I have to start paying off my credit cards and I am not using them anymore. I see this as a form of co-dependency--my wanted to please them.

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BITTERCAT's Photo BITTERCAT Posts: 1,543
11/27/12 9:09 A

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Honestly, Vtricia? I feel that our current society fosters codependency in a lot of ways. You can see it a lot in the way girls in particular are socialized.

I did not see this until my lifestyle changed and I came to a place where I live largely OUTSIDE of mainstream, Western society.

Keep in mind this is just my own observation/opinion.

Other than that, I feel that, like other addictions, there's a genetic tendency toward it. It's just that our addiction is to control, rather than to a substance. My biological father was an addict, and my mother struggled with codependency when she was younger, too.

Jen M.

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VTRICIA's Photo VTRICIA Posts: 1,956
11/26/12 10:34 A

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I had a distinct experience where I learned that my higher power could be there for me and I didn't have to worry about whether other people had my needs in mind anymore. So that's when I count my recovery from codependency beginning. It was new years day of 2004. Like any addict, though, I am in recovery and so don't have perfection, just progress. As the OAs say, Alcoholics can slay the dragon, while we have to feed it just a little bit every day.

I have Codependent no more but I haven't read it all the way through, ditto Currency of Hope and Mood Disorders Anonymous. But one idea from the part I read that sticks with me is in what ways is codependency part of my concept of being a mother, a Christian, a good person etc? I think about this a lot. The idea I think about from Mood Disorders anonymous that the disease is not ourselves. I haven't actually picked up enough of Currency of Hope to think on it, but maybe someday. That issue is pretty hard to be detached on.

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11/26/12 9:58 A

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I am going to go to the library to get this book..thank you.

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BITTERCAT's Photo BITTERCAT Posts: 1,543
7/6/11 1:45 P

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That's a wonderful story! My boyfriend knows a couple (he worked with them) with a very similar story. We were at their wedding, and they told the story. It's just amazing! :)

It's good to have a supportive partner, isn't it? :)

Have a great day!

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EDWARDSC393's Photo EDWARDSC393 Posts: 1,749
7/6/11 10:54 A

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I have a wonderful husband! We reunited after 42 yrs apart, still loved him. I was a master hair designer for 40 yrs, and I was good at my job, that was the one thing my ex couldn,t take away from me! But we worked together for 25 yrs, thts why I was so co-dependant. My husband loves me lip reading him from aacross the room. I,m a mild bi-polar, take meds but no problem there. he loves the fact, I,m on this site, it has helped me in more ways then one. actually, he likes what I,m doing for me! Jen, glad you wrote back!

I,m Cherie, Been with sparker for 3 yrs, I like that I'm losing it slowly! Its a lifestyle!


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BITTERCAT's Photo BITTERCAT Posts: 1,543
7/6/11 10:34 A

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Cherie, my boyfriend is deaf, and he runs CIRCLES around most of the HEARING people I know! Never, ever let anyone make you feel you are less capable because of your disability. Sorry to "harp" on that, but it really chaps my behind!

I am glad you are onto bigger and better things now. I hope you are living the life you deserve.

I was with my alcoholic for 10 years. He was sober for about 3 of them, maintained for a couple more, and then the last few years he became very, very ill and passed away. It was very sad, and I grieved him for about a year and a half.

Now, I'm trying to work on myself to find out why I let that kind of thing happen to me (get involved with sick people and abusive, mean people) and get healthier myself. My boyfriend is very, very supportive, and I'm so grateful to have healthier people in my life now.

Jen M

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EDWARDSC393's Photo EDWARDSC393 Posts: 1,749
7/6/11 10:16 A

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The book is called Co-dependant No More by Melody Beattie. Awesome book! I was an extreme co-dependant, to an abusive alcoholic husband for 25 years who put me down every day, and threw up the fact that I,ll never leave him cause I,m legally deaf! Well, guess what! I did, scary, yes! But I was more scared to live with him as I got older. I like me now! And I,m glad I went thru what I did, because it made me stronger! You are on the right track! Cherie

I,m Cherie, Been with sparker for 3 yrs, I like that I'm losing it slowly! Its a lifestyle!


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7/5/11 10:40 P

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Thanks, Wispy!

I am reading that very book now. I'm in the last few pages, and I did indeed see a lot of me in each chapter!

I guess going by your guideline, I'd be 2 years in now. :)

Jen M.

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7/5/11 9:36 P

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Hi there guys, well I too discovered co-depency many years ago now and joined a group called Co-dependents Anonymous which was a great help, but man it was a slow journey for me. However the freedom now is worth every hard earned breakthrough.

I never thought of a birthday, but if I did it would have to be the day I I read the Melody Beattie Book and saw quite clearly it was ME on every page.

I have no recall now of when that was, even the year. Sometime in the seventies anyway.

I think having a birthday would be a great idea Jen and for me it would quite definitely be the day that the realisation hit us and we made a definite decision to do something about it. I know with other addictions, if you slip you start over, but with co-dependency it is a little different. I think was all slip and slide into recovery, but keeping on keeping on and realising that WE do have a problem regardless of what others may or may not do is a major breakthrough and one that has transformed my life and relationships with myself and others.

"Give thanks for everything until you are absolutely sure it is not a blessing in disguise." Eastern Proverb.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Be the change you wish to see in the world.." Mahatma Gandhi.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Quitters never win and winners never quit." Anon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Make the decision to enjoy today. Do what you need to do for tomorrow - but live fully in TODAY.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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BITTERCAT's Photo BITTERCAT Posts: 1,543
7/5/11 11:38 A

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Thank you, Cherie. That IS helpful.

I'm now living a simpler life, but I still catch myself before I get engaged in "the behaviors," but I'm still living some of "the emotional patterns."

It's only been 2 years since I've owned it, so I know I'm still just a newbie on the path.

Jen M.

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EDWARDSC393's Photo EDWARDSC393 Posts: 1,749
7/5/11 10:25 A

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Hi, It takes quite a few yrs to learn how not to enable and be co-dependant. I took classes 20 yrs ago, on co-dependcy, and quite a few yrs at Al-Anon, So I don,t create chaos anymore, I like a peaceful calm life, when you don,t give in, so there are not really any markers for us, except for the fact I,m happier, I don,t worry about what if anymore, don,t have to worry about what the situation will be when I get home... Hope this helps! Cherie

I,m Cherie, Been with sparker for 3 yrs, I like that I'm losing it slowly! Its a lifestyle!


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BITTERCAT's Photo BITTERCAT Posts: 1,543
7/5/11 9:52 A

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I guess this really isn't about the Steps, but it didn't seem to really fit in the General Discussion Forum.

How do codependents measure sober birthdays? We didn't have an addiction to a substance or to food or to sex, so we don't have a marker like "5 years without a tryst/binge/snoot/etc."

Can someone enlighten me, please?

Thanks!
Jen M.

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