Back to basics 

So I sat down with my work book and read it, really read it, I’m am so pleased my new sponsor asked me to start again! When I first did the steps I had completed I think it was all about ‘getting through them’. That somehow the quicker I got through them the quicker I would recover. Of course I didn’t get through them all that quickly to be honest, I found the questions difficult and the things being asked of me hard to do. I struggled for years to honestly find a HP I could believe in. Yesterday I read the questions differently. I understood what they meant, I understood what it was asking me to do. I’m not suggesting they are any more easier but I’m now at a place where they make sense. From this I have been able to see why it was so difficult before. The denial of so many things. Interestingly when I started another fellowships work book a few weeks ago I found the questions much easier, I thought maybe it was CoDA is all about being kind to ourselves, so I thought what was being asked was easier, but now I think it’s more about the fact I have listened. I have heard some things I don’t like recently, others opinions of me. But I listened. As our fellowship says take what is useful and leave the rest. But something’s were highlighted that I can work on. A lot of the negative behaviours highlighted are totally co-dependent behaviours. So I wasn’t really surprised to hear them even if it is never pleasant to experience it. With out sounding as though I’m justifying these behaviours I still feel at the moment that when I displayed them I actually had no idea – no idea of the impact on others or that they were in fact anything but normal. I thought that was who I was. It is who I am but with my programs I can learn a better way to live, and ask the god of my understanding to help me remove them. 

So for now as I restart my journey I am grateful for what I have learnt so far, and with the help and love of my fellowships know I can become a better person. 

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Starting again 

Sometimes barriers are put in our way so we have to rethink our path. I lost my sponsor and was unsure whether to ask the person I want to ask as a replacement as I knew she had a couple of other sponsees on the go, and didn’t want to ‘bother’ her. So I approached someone else just to get me thro the next 3 steps ( as was suggested by my old sponsor) this person has now decided she doesn’t want to and so I was left with no one. Then I remembered what it says in the program about caretaking! If I assume that I’m helping by not asking then not only am I blocking my own recovery but I’m not allowing the person to make the choice for themselves. So I asked. The answer was yes. But she wants me to start over. Back to step 1. I understand the reason for that, and of course my impatience for getting on and doing it kicked in but now I’m grateful. I am actually excited to go back and start again, it’s been a long time since I started with step one so I’m actually excited to see how my answers have changed, how my understanding has changed. 

We admitted that we are powerless over the addict, our lives lives had become unmanageable. 

Reflections – Keep Coming Back

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. 

Back to Macclesfield 

we had to come back to Macclesfield after Boxing Day as they had only given him a couple of days worth of methadone. I was off until the new year so the next few days we flitted between mine and his. I don’t know how much money he had on release but once we got back to Macclesfield he started asking for money again. I suppose I had come on a bit in my journey but like anything you learn in theory some times putting it into practice is a far lot harder. I now understood that the addiction that we lived with was not mine to help. That if he wanted to use or felt the compultion to use that was his choice. Nothing I could do would stop that. I am powerless over the addict ( step one) I can not control him using drugs any more than I can stop the rain falling. Nothing I had done in the past had prevented him from using.  I might not understand why when he had been free of heroin and crack for 4 weeks he felt the need to start again, there has been a hint that it was so he could cope at my parents but I refused to accept that as an excuse and he soon dropped that one. The only thing I do have any control over is me and my own behaviour. Because part of me still loved this man I had met not what he became and I so wanted him back, I started to relapse back into my old behaviours. I wanted to be with him. Not totally at any cost but enough to start enabling him again. It was just £20 I could afford it – his words not mine. I could tell him yes it was and I could but him using wasn’t part of the deal. I didn’t want to go down that road again. I knew that I shouldn’t help him and yet because I wanted him to want me gave in again and again. For some reason he didn’t have his phone charger. He had bits of paper around the flat with numbers on ( dealers ) and would use my phone to call them. One afternoon he asked if we could go to score. This meant one of 2 places. Congleton or Bolton. He wanted to go to Bolton. I hated going there because I knew that’s where he had been staying with her. But we went and he met up with someone behind a pub in a rough looking area – well I don’t think there is an up town Bolton lol. He got his fix and cooked up in the car and used. I think either because he had had some time off it ( assuming he did when he was inside but that’s not a given) or maybe because the gear in Bolton was a bit less cut, he was out of it. He only had brown but I hadn’t seen him that zonked out before. He was slurring but said lets go. Because i didn’t really know where we were I asked for directions. He told me where to go but I had a feeling it was in the wrong direction. We were in some horrible run down estate pull over he slurs…why why are we stopping here? I knew all to well this must be where she lived how fucking dare he? He mumbled something about getting some stuff he had left there. Really!?! Really you expect me to believe this after 5 months that bitch will still have your things? He didn’t hear me he was out the car stumbling around. He came back after about 5 minutes she’s changed the lock…what is so important that you have brought me here? She has my ID ( passport) and my trainers. Do you really think if it ended so badly she would still have them?

She said she had them.

Oh so you have asked her?

No well she said she had them And left them in the shed but it’s locked.

I felt hurt and humiliated. That he thought it was ok to make me bring him here, well no actually he probably didn’t think it was ok to bring me here which is why he didn’t ask or tell me.

This woman had been completely  evil in my eyes. She had said some hideous things about me and to me. She had somehow taken my man when he was at his most vulnerable and yes if he loved me he would have stayed with me but our relationship had been on rocky ground before he went to detox because we were both so ill. I had become so obsessed with his addiction and was trying to control so much that if it had been me if someone new and exciting had come along someone that hadn’t seen me at my worse was like me free from addiction for the first time in years full of PMA yes I could see why he would hook up with her. I just reminded him of the bad times. But also if he had followed the programme would have to make admends. That means accepting and admitting  the wrongs you have done to others so that you can make admends to those you hurt. I suppose that was partly what I was trying to do do with him. Why I wanted another chance at our relationship. To show him I had learnt the nature of my wrongs and was trying to change my behaviour. That didn’t stop me kicking off big time tho! I think I was partly scared what if she had been in? What if she had come out? But of course worrying about things like that is a waste of energy although it doesn’t stop you. Or at least it didn’t stop me! You know we are told to live for the moment because we will never have that time again yes maybe so but on this occasion it was very much a moment I could have lived without!

There was so much I wanted to say to him but I was wasting my breath because he was still so out of it. I can’t remember now if we went back to mine or his and I don’t suppose it’s important. But another bit of my love for him was eroded that day. Maybe this is what I needed to see him behave towards me like this with no regard for me what so ever as long as he had his £20. It would take a bit more before I had enough and stopped living the lie I had created for myself, but this is my journey to recovery. It isn’t a race to get to step 12 it really is one day at a time.

It’s just over a year since I started coming to the rooms ( meetings ) and I have only just started my step work seriously. I thought if he wasn’t in my life I didn’t need to do the work. That was my biggest mistake. I don’t know if I had continued after he left me if I would be any more prepared – maybe maybe not. But now I can focus on me. I can make sure I do not go down that road again take a different path. I don’t doubt he will call again a couple of weeks. I don’t doubt people will try to take advantage of my good nature but I am not a victim -kindness is not a weakness- it actually takes a lot of strength and courage to deal with the abuse I have gone through. Yes I was in denial of many things but now see it for what it is. I am a work in progress but I am not aiming for perfection!