Walking the road of sobriety is a long and winding road to say the least. Having worked in the addictions field I have seen men, women and yes even children, ages 18, still in teens, to me is a child, come in to the center at their lowest of lows. They have hit bottom, each a different bottom but all the same and the only way out was up. The first step is admitting there is a problem and then begins the healing.
As I look back on my blog posts I can say I am guilty of putting so much focus on the addict, when there is a world around that addict that should be addressed as well.
I think it is such a great thing to watch an addict evolve into someone of great strength yet realizing they will always have a weakness, their drink or drug of choice, actually anything that becomes more important in their lives than life itself.
To begin this post I am going to lay out the 12 steps and then get into what I really want to rant about. Can you hold on till the end? (smiling) Bare with me or is that suppose to be spelt, bear? J
The 12 Steps @ Alcoholics Anonymous
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
For many of us — we got sober and remained miserable. We weren’t getting better. We only THOUGHT that we were actually taking the Steps and practicing the 12 Steps.
Here is the Great Fact For Us…
We were doing it wrong!
Once we got the Big Book out and really started following the instructions PRECISELY to TAKE the Steps BEFORE trying to practice the Steps — we not only began to see progress — we became transformed!
You NEVER have to drink or use again.
You CAN be restored to sanity — and live a very sane, healthy and good life!
There IS a Solution. The Solution is in The Big Book.
.. As posted @ step12.com
The alcoholics disease can and will spread to the world around them and like any disease, all those infected need to seek healing and treatment. Again it is admitting that we being someone who loves or lives with an addict also have issues we now need to tend to. And like the addict, we have to be first to admit there is a problem.
I have had several addicts say to me over the years..”I can only attract people to AA and not promote it.”
And with that said, the same goes for those who love(ed) an addict..
The Co-Dependent.. I, Snowy, can only attract a co-dependent to begin healing from within and not insist they do.
A lot of times a co-dependent person does not see what they are doing and see what is wrong with what they are doing. It can be such a vicious cycle, going round and round, never getting on the straight and narrow road that can be one of healing. No ones pain is greater or lesser than the person next to them. The alcoholic started some where down the addicts road and yes at times have come upon a speed bump, which I call a co-dependent person. Yes we try to slow them down, but once they get back on the straight stretch, the addict begins to pick up speed again and will run down the co-dependent in their path. No co-dependent person can be knocked down so many times and come out of it unscathed, There will be bruises, aches and pains, that need to be healed.
Next is some of the personality traits of a co-dependent person. As stated at eHOW.
Desire to “Fix” Other People
A co-dependent personality is obsessed with meeting the needs of others, rather than focusing on fulfilling his own needs, or addressing the deficit in his own personality that causes him to be attracted to needy people. Sometimes being the adult in a relationship makes the co-dependent feel important or in control. Co-dependents are also often preoccupied with the whereabouts of the person with whom they’re in a relationship, and feel threatened if that person becomes close to other people.
An enabler is someone who covers for a loved one with an addiction or mental health issue. Examples include a wife who makes excuses for her husband’s alcohol-related work absences, or a parent who allows her adult child to live at home while her child makes no effort to become a self-sufficient adult. The enabler is dependent on the irresponsible behaviour of others to make herself feel more competent, or to distract herself from her own problems.
Lack of Self Esteem
Co-dependent people often grow up in environments in which the focus is on someone else, and their own needs and preferences are often not acknowledged. For example, the family was so caught up in reacting to the drama of the alcoholic or the mentally ill person that the co-dependent may never have had the space to look within to identify emotions. Because her needs were ignored as a child, she has grown up believing her needs are not worthy of fulfilling.
It’s normal to want to be helpful, but people who are constantly going above and beyond to deal with other people’s problems are engaging in an unhealthy behaviour. As children, they may have been rewarded for selflessly trying to help the damaged person in the family. Because this role is familiar, these people may give up their own lives and exist solely to help others. In this way, a co-dependent personality uses another person’s deficiencies as an excuse for not fully living her own life.————————————————————————————————-
Does any of these traits sound familiar to you? Or will you even admit to one or 2 of them? Facing reality is hard at the best of times and when it is at a time that you have to look at the person in the mirror, it can be really hard, for the addict and the lover, friend, family member of an addict.
One thing I will promote is professional care, seeking help from groups such as ALANON, counselling of some sort. We think we can do it without help is like the dry alcoholic who quits drinking but never got the spiritual care needed to live a clean and sober life.
Working at the center I was able to go through all the steps of The Big Book, understand them and then take on what I needed to heal my spirit of co-dependency. Of course there are days that character will peek through my daily life, but I do my best to catch it and sort it out.
For those that do know me, and have said how much I have become an inspiration to them, for that I am humbled and will admit that walking a healing road is a great thing and its okay to admit you need to. Taking the first will be the hardest step, by once you do, you will be happy that you did.
A great read is by, Melody Beattie – Codependent No More
God Bless you what ever road you are on.