Today is my 3rd anniversary of joining NAR-ANON. Every year I learn more about myself and how the program works. I came broken, I put blame on the addict whilst refusing to think that I had done anything wrong. Locked in my codependent mind set I saw myself as a victim. Granted I hadn’t been treated well, but had made all my own decisions to do what I did. I didn’t think that of course at the time I thought I didn’t have the choice to walk away, I wanted to fix something that wasn’t mine to fix. Being told over and over to have faith that he would get back into recovery held me there. The worse it got the more I wanted to stay, to see it thro, to prove I wouldn’t give up on him. Now with every passing month I see the changes I have made, by giving strength and hope to others starting in their journeys I see myself, lost desperate for help, wanting the addict in their lives to stop using, but the pain we experience is inflicted by our own wants and desires, not the addicts. I understand that now, but probably took longer than it should to accept or even realise.
Step one – Came to realise We are powerless over the addict and my life had become unmanageable.
My life was in a mess that’s for sure I even believed I was powerless over him, but not to the point of understanding I have now. What that really means. To be fair I think it was post step 3 ( turn my will over to the God of my understanding) that Step 1 started to make sense. It’s not my job it’s Gods job to guide the addict. My job is to let go let God and focus on me. I dare say as I work the program and I mean work it not be a passive passenger, I will look back in another year and think how much further I have come on again, and that’s good. I look forward to it. My journey to recovery in both the fellowships I am now attending is positive, I am starting to get a feeling for me and who I could be, left it a bit late but I am finding serenity and for that I will always be grateful.
Today I did something I would have never contemplated doing a year ago, well if I am going to be truly honest something I wouldn’t have done a month ago! I probably won’t even sound like a big deal, but to me it is. It’s confirmation that I can put my self first. I value myself enough to know that although it won’t be liked ( very probably) my health and needs come first. The reaction to it will be useful for me too, to judge the coming next weeks. When you put others before yourself you eventually become sick. Co-dependency is a term that is used for people in my predicament – that’s the name of my illness. Some of you already know this I am sure. I have been in denial because I didn’t actually understand what it meant. But now I do. It may have been why I struggled with my recovery because I didn’t understand enough about my condition. Well no more excuses! So this big thing I have done? For those that know me on Facebook you will know I haven’t been so well this last week – physically I mean not spiritually! I have a cold – sore throat, ache, cough, in a couple of days it will have probably passed but today the thought of getting up getting dressed up driving waiting around going in then driving home just filled me with dread. I cancelled my prison visit. I didn’t want to go! Not because I didn’t want to see him but because I just felt too ill to go thro the rigmoral of it all. Like I say not much but it feels like a big change in mind set! I am not playing the martyr by turning up ill, thinking how awful it must be for him not getting a visit, so I have to go. Nope I put me first. No drama just an email to cancel the visit and sent him an email to explain why I had canceled. No big apologies just don’t feel well enough will rebook a visit. Like I say I look forward to the reaction but not scared of it. Before I would have been too scared to cancel because 1 he might get angry 2 he might think I didn’t care 3 I shouldn’t be so selfish putting myself first, think how horrible it must be for him not seeing anyone. No today I am focusing on me and my needs. I don’t feel well enough to go out. That’s it. No big deal. And yet for me it is. Not sure there’s any point in saying much more.