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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When things go right 

So I am coming to the end of my holiday a week away by myself well me and the dog! Back to a place I have been a few times before. This exact place 3 times now but first time alone and I have loved it! I have enjoyed being here in the past but it was always with someone else and in my codi mind set always putting them first….so this week – that week we work for and save for and give up other stuff for so we can live the dream week this week has been good. I have had a few ‘Karen’ moments lost my purse ( with my bank card and money) lost some shopping got lost driving but nothing so disasterous I couldn’t sort.  When I was with an addict i became ‘ clever’ with money or deceitful if you like. I hid money I hid bank accounts if you have read my story you know this already but if you haven’t it’s just part of being one step ahead looking out for me and my needs – some might call it control? I call it making sure I have enough to get thro the week or month. So when i realised my purse had gone just stopped the card and re orders a new one and transferred the money into another account which I had a bank card for ….I think my HP was looking out for me because I had not long gone to the bank to get some money out but the cash point was broken, other wise I would have been  maybe £50 down. So lost about £15. I had been saving my coins for parking as parking in Cornwall isn’t cheap and was more annoyed about that than anything as I no longer had change. The shopping? I bought a scarf and was given it in a bag, rather than put it in my ruck sac I carried it stopped for tea and put it down and never picked it up! Getting lost – easy when roads are closed and diversions aren’t clear for people that don’t live in the area. But I have enjoyed myself I have reached a point where I can please myself do what I want  to do. I had plans for the week some I have done others I haven’t. The dog has had some influence over what I could do – places I couldn’t go with her.  But all in all I have had a good week. 

Why am I sharing this on here? Not to say hey I’ve been on holiday! Nope I’m saying it because I have a real gut feeling that I am over my past. I have stopped living I hope – no I have stopped living in hopeless addiction – I live in hope always! I hope every addict finds a way out of the torture, I live in hope that every co- dependent realises the truth and works on them selves to be ‘co-dependent no more’* I live in hope that who ever reads this is happy not to take second best putting others in front of themselves in a desperate hope that person will love them more ( see last hope) but more importantly I live in hope for me! I wasn’t sure if I had much to blog about now but maybe I do. I give service for my fellowship and help out with our ‘help line’. I took a call the other day and the lady i spoke to said things I never thought I would hear – that I gave her hope that there was a way out, that I had been thro so much and yet  was willing to give to others and sounded positive and kind. I give service to give back to the fellowship that saved me. I share my experience strength and hope not for praise or nice words but to enable others to see the way – to live free from the life they live bound up in, the hurt addiction brings to them/us. I do not underestimate the pain the addict has to deal with mentally and physically, the torture they live in, but that is for the addict to say enough is enough not us that live with them and see it and try to deal with it. We can’t change it. As I read back through  this I am seeing step one – accept I am powerless over the addict and my life has become unmanageable!  I am living it now – how great is that – I give thanks to the fellowship and my HP for allowing it to happen and for allowing me to give me will over to my HP to guide me. My story is far from over my step work is slow but that is because I have to believe in every word before I can ask my sponsor to listen to my step. But I know I am in recovery and this week has proved it to me. When I came away before by myself to Cornwall I wasn’t happy I had already started my journey into co-dependency and attachment to an addict. I was wrapped up in him and what he thought and had lost my own will to him even though we had only just met. Other things contributed to my unhappy holiday a friend committed suicide whist I was here and it rained most the time but I wasn’t who I am now – of course! So I sign off with hope for you and me xx  

*Melodie Beatie 

Taking strength from others 

my last blog was about how I don’t want others feeding off dramas in my life…getting a hit a buzz what ever comparing their ‘perfect lives’ with my dysfunctional one. Sounds a bit harsh the dysfunctional! Ok I had drama I had all of a sudden a different life style, I went from an ordinary ‘middle class’ woman with a good well paid job to not having any money and living day to day in a world I knew nothing about…I needed to talk to someone-  of course. That aside my fellowship plus the others NA, AA, GA, FA…. We talk we share we get strength from that, but for me we don’t get a buzz from hearing others pain, we understand we share our own experiences to comfort others. 

A fellow blogger has just celebrated his 2 year anniversary free from drugs the biggy the one no one really understands ( or had taken)  in my circle of people the big H! I can’t tell you how much strength I have had from following his blog, his successes his odd failure trying to give up the cigarettes, his honesty. If you read this read his if you don’t fromstruggletostrength.wordpress.com Eric Ease is the name he uses to write his blog. This man has consitantly given me hope and strength, has been free with his experiences his struggles thro his life. When I read his blog I think if only K could do this, it’s possible this man is living proof! He explains things in a way that is easy to understand even if you don’t have exprence of addiction. He has kept me going at my lowest points, has given me hope for anyone that has addiction, has made me seen how my life has/had to change, how addiction is so bloody hard to leave to one side how it tries to mug you off and persuade addicts to use. 

So this post is to say thank you Eric you are an inspiration my friend, congratulations on your 2 year anniversary you will have many more, you give more strength and hope than you probably realise, and sometimes taking strength from others is all we can do, it’s a positive – and it’s definitely not the same as sucking the life force from someone or getting a buzz from others misery 😊 

You’re a strong woman

I heard that a lot over the next few weeks. I wonder what that means? You are a strong woman?? Well I am a woman, get that bit, but what does being a strong woman mean? If it meant drinking to block out the pain, not sleeping, wanting to die, but not being ‘strong’ enough to do any thing about it, then I am strong! If it meant all I could think about was what he was doing what I had done wrong, why didn’t he want to be with me? Then I am strong. But I don’t think that it means that does it. So what does being strong mean I wonder….this weekend I was asked if I ever had taken heroin or crack. No is the simple answer, having seen and lived with an addict it doesn’t hold much attraction. Of course I wonder what it feels like what the big attraction is…. He once said I would love a rock! We were sat outside a pub in the sunshine in Morecambe, on one of our early dates. We were talking about drugs and he said I bet you would love it. Thank god I just laughed it off and didn’t suggest going off and finding some! 10 years ago if he hadn’t been in rehab I might have….so does that make me strong? It just wasn’t an option.
I coped I go to work I paid my bills ( most of the time) I did what most people have to do to get by, to live, but did that make me strong? I don’t have very good coping mechanisms. Drink is my default. It doesn’t control me, but I abuse it in times of need. Have gone to work with hangovers, but have gone to work. Does that make me strong? I am quite good at organising things have a fairly good work ethic ( guilt probably at letting people down!) good at time management….regarding work. Putting on a brave face in front of those that don’t know me, don’t need to know my problems, that’s just common decency that’s not being strong, holding on to tears until I am alone? No let’s be honest…its more about me shutting off from my emotions not showing it cos I am not feeling it! Becoming completely detached…. Good at that, does that equal strength? I was so sad I felt so low I was on antidepressants I cared for nothing I wanted to die I didn’t clean the house getting a shower in the morning was more of a hinderance than something I wanted to do, if my hair wasn’t so short and fine and didn’t need washing every day I wouldn’t have bothered, and it wasn’t that I was doing it for me, but I suppose I didn’t want to give the wrong impression at work, I suppose somewhere in my brain knew I had to keep my job, if I didn’t I wouldn’t have money no money no house. I knew if I didn’t get my sorry ass out of bed showered and dressed I would loose my job and I didn’t have the strength to go freelance and force myself, so this was the better option. So no I wasn’t strong I did what I had to do to keep a roof over my head, but didn’t care about anything else. No doubt someone will say yes you are strong you got through it….but that’s just it, I haven’t! If I had been able to cope I wouldn’t be having to put it down in a blog, I would just get on with life without the fundamental need to put all my personal thoughts and feelings out in the Internet world for all to see. I would have some way of just getting on with it ( life). I wouldn’t be a victim as he called me a couple of days before I didn’t see him again….victims aren’t strong are they? They might put up with a lot of shit but strong people aren’t victims are they? If I was strong I wouldn’t have allowed my self to get into all this mess I would have walked away I would have had more self worth than to put up with again and again the empty promises, but I did. I couldn’t walk away I wasn’t strong enough to walk away. So ‘you’re a strong woman’ didn’t ring true, then or now because strong women don’t get into this sort of life in the first place do they? I put up with a lot, lies,deceit, hurt, a way of life I had never experienced before, living a life of being scared, scared to say anything in case it was the wrong thing, scared that something awful would happen to him, scared that those he owed money would get him or me, scared his next dig would be his last dig, not having enough food, having the police banging on the door, phoning me up, stopping the car…..you have read it you know what I dealt with, did that make me strong? Does that equate with being a strong woman? Yes I got though it yes I am still alive yes I still have a job….but I didn’t have the one thing I wanted and for all the negatives I wanted him he made me strong, he made me feel alive, he made me have purpose, and if I needed another being to make me feel as though I was someone, that, THAT, is not NOT being strong that is weak very weak!

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