Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm Suzi and I'm Co-Dependent

I have for eight or ten years been seeking and trying various counseling, self help, and support groups in an effort to find the right path to my recovery.

Each one of those experiences has brought me some measure of healing and understanding of myself.  I can honestly say that no matter how brief the experience, each one has played an important part in my healing process.

Recovery from what? you might ask, if you do not know me, let me introduce myself ... Hi, I'm Suzi, and I am the victim of domestic violence, I have a mild clinical anxiety disorder, an inferiority complex, fear intimacy, and what I have discovered in the last year, at the heart of all of this, I am a co-dependent.  And what, exactly is that?  What does that mean, co-dependent?  I had heard the term before, and being married to a drug addict, I attributed its meaning to me being an enabler.  I did not research further into it for many many years.  I am discovering that the difficult thing, really, is that co-dependent means different thing for different people.  It has more to do with our personal, deep, motivation for doing the things that we do.

One evening, my boyfriend lovingly commented to me that I seem to have some co-dependent behaviors I was still dealing with.  I pulled my hand away from him, and felt the hot tears welling up in my eyes.  I felt my stomach turn over.  I could not look at him.  The chink in my armor had been spotted.  I decided that if it was that obvious, I had better consider looking into that more seriously.

It took me about a year to get brave enough to dive into discovering this next level of "what was wrong with me".  Then one during the fall of 2009, I just started searching the web for different words and phrases that popped into my head about how I was feeling, and what I was afraid of.  I started reading various blogs, and counseling web sites, until I came across the CoDA web site . I read the opening welcome page, and then clicked on the link that said "Am I Codependant?" ; a list of behavior patterns and tenancies popped up.  I could not stop reading as the color drained out of my face, and I felt a pit in my stomach ... this list was about me!!  I had discovered the missing piece of my heartache puzzle!

Over my adult life, I have come to discover that for myself that the first half of my recovery from any condition, be it medical, mental, or emotional, is in knowing and understanding what that condition really and truly is!  Right from the moment that I read that list, I felt relief!  There was a name for what was wrong with me!  And if there is a name for it, then there is a path of healing.

Next I started reading on the site ... what is the cure?  There isn't one ... it is a healing process.  A process of essentially behavior modification.  So, what do I do now?  OK ... find a local support group ... and I did.  And just my luck, there is a Women's Focus Group about 20 minutes from my home. I emailed to verifyu it was still active, and get directions to the location.  I have been attending most every Wednesday evening for the last 8 months.

From the moment I walked in the door, I felt like I had found what was missing in my recovery process.  I felt safe to talk about my struggles.  I felt encouraged to explore my previously bottled and ignored up feelings.  I felt no judgment.  I felt accepted for me, just the way I am.  This was a huge hurdle for me in that it was a group of all women.  Not my usual venue.  I have not often had a lot of female friends, and had let myself call very few women friends during most of my life.

Perhaps, when I am feeling a little more confident in this part of my recovery process, I will be ready to face the issues I apparently have had with accepting women as friends.  But for now, this enough to keep me moving on a forward and healing path.  I was thinking the other day that I would like to start writing about my "work" through the 12 steps or recovery, and sharing them with you here ... I'm not sure that will happen, but I am thinking that being willing to think about sharing that is certainly a step in the right direction ... Recovery!

Consider the areas  you might need to seek healing, and
Live Well
Love Suzi~Q