Updated: Dec 13, 2021
"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other codependents, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs."
The twelve steps in Codependent's Anonymous (CoDA) are not easy to complete, we have to challenge our old belief systems, deal with our current and past issues, and work hard to keep our boundaries to stay emotionally sober. Each of us have unique life experiences that create a different journey. The process of doing our steps will look differently than others, as it should. What we do have in common in CoDA, is a desire to have healthy and loving relationships and the steps are a consistent guide to helps us move along in our journey to living our best lives. The gifts of recovery are vast from; experiencing a new love of self, learning to set and hold boundaries, forming healthy relationships, to finally seeing our inherent value. What an amazing feeling we experience when we complete our steps, what an accomplishment! But recovery is not linear, it does not magically make life perfect, we have to honor the strength that the steps offer and continue to use them for guidance as we ATTAIN and MAINTAIN our healthier and happier lives.
In Women Empowering Women CoDA group, we celebrate with you through acknowledging when you have finished your steps by presenting you with our butterfly coin. It is heavier than the previous ones and those that precede it. The reason there is a weight difference is to remind us of the responsibility we "carry" to share our message of recovery to others. We learned early on that; we can not change people, those who are trustworthy have actions and words that align, and we do our steps daily, they do not end. Our growth process requires that we always work our steps, or we are working on returning to codependent behavior again. We will influence others through our actions and how we teach others how to treat us, with respect and dignity. We come to realize that our story of recovery is our strength and will stay that way unless we revert back to our old way of thinking and living. Codependency is a compulsive behavior and we are destined to repeat it if we do not stay engage in our recovery program.
Beyond our own personal commitment to recovery, we can practice the principles in all of our affairs by; doing service work, sponsoring others, helping our home group, lead meetings, working with our local intergroup, etc. There is a commonly known stage model of the Twelve Steps which is; GIVING UP, FESSING UP, CLEANING UP, and STEPPING UP (ACA Steps Workbook, p175). Step twelve is where we STEP UP...Step twelve is a new beginning and that is the gift we receive and that is the gift we carry to others who still suffer.
It does not matter where you are in your journey, you could be into your steps, just starting, or contemplating doing them. The steps are always here, as a roadmap to a healthier life. The only thing needed to complete this journey is to commit to it. If you are ready, we welcome you! As we say at the end of our meetings; "It works if you work it and you are worth it!"
Kimberly Sprintz, Founder and Director
Women Empowering Women Support Groups