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CoDA Weekly Reading from CODA.ORG

I Finally See Me

How do I want to start? What do I want to say? What if no one reads it? What if they don't publish it? What if people read it and they hate it? 

Rewrite it.

Start over. 

It's not good enough. 

Nothing is ever good enough. 

Why do I bother? I never do anything right. I'm such a failure. I should disappear. People that I love would be better off without me. I make things worse for them anyway. Just look at my mom and dad, ex-husband, and ex-fiancé; look at my kids.

STOP!

pause

explore. examine.

evaluate, interrogate. 

restart.

 

Hi, I'm Ashlea; I am codependent. That paragraph above is how my mind used to work. The minute I had an idea of something I thought I might want to do, all those negatives would flood me, reminding me that I am not good enough, never have been good enough, and never will be good enough. They would remind me that other people's opinions and thoughts matter more than mine. They would remind me that I needed to be small and quiet because that was the best way to be safe.

I joined CoDA two years and eleven months ago. At first, I joined him so I could help him stay sober and give him the best shot at recovery. I remember thinking I would learn all I could about recovery to help him.  

I was so full of everyone else that I couldn't see myself. I was at my bottom. I didn't know who I was or what I wanted. I didn't even know if I liked me. I had never considered myself a person with thoughts, wants, and opinions. I was just there having them. I wasn't considering them. I was on autopilot. I lived every day without any consideration for what I wanted or needed. I was at rock bottom, and I didn't even know it. Looking back now, it is so apparent. I was falling apart at the seams.

CoDA helped me save myself. It taught me how to look into the mirror and see myself, to finally pay attention to what I was thinking and feeling, to give credit to my own thoughts, and to trust in my own instincts. CoDA has taught me how to let go of panic and worry, and it has given me peace. But it's so much more than that. 

CoDA has taught me how to see me. I finally know how to listen to my heart and hear what it's saying. I am finally my own best friend. I am considering myself again for the first time since I was itty-bitty. I think about what I want and what I need. I ask myself what will make me happy. I can validate my feelings and know whether someone else agrees doesn't matter. They are good enough. They are perfect! I finally have a relationship with myself for the first time I can remember. Not only do I have one, But it's a good one. I have learned how to be kind, loving, and compassionate with myself and still hold myself lovingly accountable, and that has bled over into every single interaction I have with others.

CoDA has also taught me never to stop growing. The more layers of the onion I peel, the better flavor I have!

 

Ashlea M. 1/31/24

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