For the most part, I had a relaxing day yesterday as my schedule has changed leaving me more time for myself. I still attended my three Fellowship meetings, one being CoDA (Codependent Anonymous). I’m glad there was one because yesterday afternoon I almost fell into a codependency trap.
Many of us as addicts like to focus on other issues instead of ourselves. For instance, I drank to escape the feelings of anger, frustration, fear, anxiety, guild, shame, etc. As I grew up as an adult, I began to focus on the well being of someone else, trying to fix them and their problems. In turn I felt it helped me fix my problems. In reality, I only destroyed many relationships with other people, as well as myself. I was just inviting more insanity into my life whether I was in active addiction or in recovery.
Here is a good example of a codependent based on what happened yesterday with me and one of my roommates. I knew the previous day my roommate wasn’t feeling well. I saw him briefly in the morning. However, throughout the day I began to worry. I wasn’t sure if he was busy with things he needed to do, therefore was out and about. Or was he was still laying in his bed all afternoon either sick or in a depressive state.
Late in the afternoon before my CoDA (Codependent Anonymous) meeting, which he usually attends, I sent him a text, “out and about or in your room?” No response. I asked around. No one had seem him all day. I knocked on his door – still no response. Fear crept in – was he in another depressive state, was he so sick he really should go to the doctor, is he possibly dead? I started to panic while attempting to tell myself, “It’s not my life. I have no control over other people (Step 1 of CoDA). I’m not getting involved.” So off to the CoDA meeting I went explaining my codependent issues were in full swing, thus grateful for the meeting.
But, I had to do one more thing before the meeting got started. It was an automatic response. I sent a text to my other roommate, “Can you knock on [roommate]’s door and peek in to make sure he’s okay?” Then I didn’t look at my phone until later in the meeting when I felt that buzz (a message). I never look at my phone during a meeting. The chairperson even looked at me sideways. But my other roommate responded, “I’m not going to knock on his door and just barge in . . . he say’s he’s okay, so I ran LOL”. Whew. Now I was complete.
These are behaviors I’m working on with both programs, Alcoholics Anonymous and Codependent Anonymous. One, I’m not going to pick up a drink and I can’t control other people. Instead I went to both a CoDA meeting and an AA meeting right after. Two, I made a mental note to write a journal entry of the experience. Now it’s in front of me, I won’t forget it and I can learn from the experience. Three, I need to identify those feelings I was going through, feel them but not act on them.
In other words, it’s okay to worry about another’s well being. However, if I believe in a Higher Power, knowing my Higher Power has a plan, I don’t need to get involved not matter what happens. Everything is going to be okay as it should be. That in itself, is the real message I need to hear and learn before falling into another codependent trap.
2 thoughts on “The Codependency Trap”
I wish we had coda here. I can see it would help me.
I’m desperately trying to detach from my husband. It’s so difficult to do, and it’s distressing to see how easily I put others needs above my own.
I’m working with me therapist. It hard to know who to be if I’m not helping someone else love their life….
I perhaps have an answer for you. We only have a meeting once a week, but as you can see my codependency doesn’t wait for a meeting. So I found Online CoDA which has other meetings during the week. I was in a meeting the other night with 50 people!
Here is the calendar on the website: http://onlinecodameetings.websitetoolbox.com/calendar .
It’s an old bulletin board / chat room so it may be hard to navigate. For instance, there is a meeting tomorrow 8:30 am EST.
You have to register for both the bulletin board and chatroom, so do both. Once you register for the chatroom, I just go to the link: http://onlinecodameetings.discussionchatroom.com/ , sign in and bang a meeting!
If you need meetings converted to other time zones, let me know, its not that difficult either.
I just listen / sit in there until I get the rules and such down, then I’ll participate.
I hope that helps!