Updated: Oct 7, 2021
I spend a great deal of time learning about healthy relationships, the core components that make a relationship healthy vs. the all too familiar components of a dysfunctional relationship, I seriously could have a PhD in the later. The things that scream out to me at this moment in time are the need for communication, honesty, amends, connection (time). I easily see how these are key to a great relationship, because I am finally enjoying the fruits of my recovery labor in my marriage. (I will spare you the gushy lovey dovey...lol)
The same principles that make an intimate relationship healthy are needed in my recovery relationship and with myself. As a recovering codependent and alcoholic/addict, I have to keep my recovery front and center in my life. I can admit it is difficult when days start to go by so fast due to life, work, family, etc. It can become far to easy to place people and things in front of the most important relationship that I can have...the one with my recovery. This means my higher power, my steps, my sponsor, my therapist, my meetings, etc. I must communicate with my higher power, my sponsor, my therapist and within my meetings, as well as to set boundaries with others and internal ones with myself so I HOLD the boundaries and find my courage, strength and hope.
I must stay honest with myself when I want to put something that I really need to do on the sideline so I can assist another individual or project. I must stay honest with my higher power so I can admit the things that I can not change and how angry and sad that can make me feel. I have to be honest with my sponsor so I may find clarity, hold myself accountable, and hear another share their experience, strength and hope. I must be honest with my therapist or they will never be able to assist me in the process of healing myself or in finding tools that I need for my life. I must stay honest in my meetings so I don't let things eat away at me or stay unprocessed. By being honest in meetings, I can inspire and help others who may be going through something similar or by showing them how far they have come in their journey.
I must apply the amends process to my daily life and relationships. When I have wronged someone, I must immediately make amends to them. This process allows me to address things before they have time to fester, because like any wound, the longer it sits the worse it gets. I have learned that resentment will derail my sobriety, be it emotional or otherwise. I give my wrongs too much power in my life when I do not address them promptly. This can also look like journaling or processing with my therapist or sponsor and coming to see when I have harmed someone in my past. It is okay to go to someone when you discover the wrongdoing, this occurs for all of us in the beginning of our step work. The other amends I must make is to myself...to forgive myself when I have wronged someone. Part of my personal amends to myself always includes my higher power. I find I heal and overcome my guilt and shame when I remember I can not go back and change things that have already occurred, but I can let them go and own my part so the issue does not continue the harm.
Finally, connection or connectedness which is important in every relationship and that includes my recovery. Time is precious, we know by observing our children as they grow so quickly into adults, our parents and friends aging and becoming older and wiser. We know time is precious when we remember that tomorrow is never promised and today is all any of us have. The time with our loved ones that gets shorter and shorter as we crowd our filled plate with "the rest of the stuff" that makes adulting so hard at times. I spend time with my higher power sifting through what is mine, what is not, what is worthy of letting go of, what is worth handing over to them. I spend time with my sponsor so that I may have connection with someone that understands my recovery, who has been there before, who is objective and can call me out lovingly yet assertively, this is crucial for me. I spend time with my therapist so I can address things that I would not pay attention to otherwise, so I can connect the dots with my actions and my feelings. With connection to my therapist, I have a greater chance at maintaining healthy relationships and am less likely to project my issues onto others. Connecting with myself is how I stay present in my daily life. I am incapable of staying healthy on my recovery journey without being grounded and connected to myself. When I am connected with my highest good, I care for myself, parent myself, ask for help when I need it, meditate so I may silence the noise of life and hear the truth within my soul.
My recovery took a lifetime to begin and years of pain to finally reach the bottom of my stubborn, selfish defiance. I do not have to face life alone, I am NOT alone, I have myself, my higher power and my family, friends and my recovery family. I have a full and happy life. I am living the promises that our program's remind us of at each meeting. My recovery IS my most important relationship.
Thanks for listening to my share,