(Check the bottom of this post for BONUS content...worksheets that can help with one of the methods of change we reviewed in the meeting)
In an attempt to further share my experience, strength and hope with the group, I chose to share a model of change that helped me better understand the process of change in general, how it is a cyclical ongoing process and how to utilize it for better results in changing behavior...it worked for me and gave me some much needed self-compassion because facing our codependent behavior is tough to begin.
Progress NOT perfection...this is NOT a one and done kinda program...it MUST be "applied in our daily lives"
Reading everything I could about recovery from codependency created a situation of info overload and a huge mountain that really seemed impossible to get over...in my defense, those were the feelings I had at the beginning of my journey. CoDA provided me with tools I use everyday to maintain my ongoing recovery. As we touched on in the meeting:
The Program of Co-Dependents Anonymous is an ONGOING process of growth and recovery, that means there is no "end-point."
What I did learn was that change is hard, compulsive behavior becomes and automatic reaction, and that a proven structure to help me on my mission was something I could wrap my head around and hold onto. I focused on my step work and making time for it had to become a priority. I have a family, work fulltime, was in therapy three times a week for nearly two years due to the severity of my "unmanageable life."
For many of us, CoDA is a supplemental program in addition to counseling, therapy, other programs, etc. There are more ways to work on your codependency, so if CoDA isn't for you...that is OK.
Meeting Topic and Slide Share
The Stages of Change Model was helpful and something I learned about in therapy. I try to share as much material as I can to everyone and especially for those who can not afford therapy...this is one that is easy to apply and helped me see the cyclical pattern in a clear way. There are MANY other similar models, this is the one I found and I am sharing it for that reason.
It is OK to be on whatever stage of change you find yourself on. Just be honest with yourself and re-access if you are doing all you can for yourself, or if you desire to do more.
Honest is HONEST, its not RIGHT or WRONG...just embrace wherever you are and know that when you are READY...the program is here.
In order to determine "where I was" in my recovery, this chart gave me a clear way to find my place...and wherever I was...was better than avoiding the process so I reminded
myself of that constantly. The next slide elaborates each step and the motivation behind each one...very very helpful. I had a problem identifying my feelings and emotions, this gave me a "compass" to find my way.
The last thing I shared was the SMART goals guide...I like it because it helped me to isolate specific goals and set myself up to SUCCEED instead of overload myself to fail. Empowering myself has become a theme in my life and finding ways to resource myself...(even resources involve others, sponsor, etc.) is a key aspect of how I continue to do that.
The pic above is helpful with the description, but THIS one below is easy to print out as a reminder and save to your phone too...
The meeting was filled with NEW members and we celebrated several individuals that were celebrating the codaversaries! If you are celebrating in July, let me know ASAP especially if you are finishing your steps with your sponsor (have your sponsor contact me) or for years in recovery. Even though we are online I can mail your chips to you...its important to celebrate all of your milestones. The last Monday of each month is when we do that. If you have finished your steps and want to talk at the meeting let me know ahead of time, also if you have a year marker to celebrate...you also can speak at the meeting. Just please let me know ahead of time so I can make sure to time the meeting accordingly.
Thanks for everyone that attended, and don't forget we have our step study meeting on Thursday over Step 7 and our Next Step (non-CoDA) support group discussion forum meeting on Friday (nextstepwew.org).