Tumbling. Toward fire.

My life had been (to that point) characterized by a martyr complex brought about by generational codependency. I felt as though everything had been a sacrifice to the joys of everyone else, and I was damned tired of it. When a raging untreated codependent martyr gets here, there is almost nothing that’s off the table. Here’s where my story takes a most perplexing turn.

I had many options in expressing my anger, grief and frustration with where my life was at that summer. However, I made the painfully conscious choice to pick the most incendiary, with a nod to my mother’s favorite saying “don’t get mad, get even”.

So, I participated in unfaithfulness to a dizzying degree of mind and spirit, less so of physicality (though that was present). It was if I was shouting at the world that no one was in charge of me except me. I would take for myself first, it’s my turn now. No one would tell me I had to throw myself in front of the train for others any longer.

However, once this truly became bigger than me, my physical body became very ill, as though (like the old cliché) my mind was writing checks my body was refusing to cash. Well, at least some part of me had begun to come to their senses. As the summer waned, so did my need for pursuit of this diversion and with the autumn came regret and sorrow.

But I was not yet in recovery, so I had no way to successfully navigate the harm and wreckage I had caused. The debris field was about the size of a small banana republic and I could hear the words from years ago ringing in my head “I’ll never be like my mother” yet here I was, more like her than not. My disappointment in myself was heavy indeed. And God? I didn’t even know how to ask for forgiveness. This was a willful act of disobedience, not an oops.

Once I entered recovery, I worked hard on my codependency and discussed the issues surrounding this with my sponsor. She listened without judgement, but suggested solid action plans to break free from the dysfunctional shame and resentment I was toting about in my heart over this whole event. As I took the sometimes hard and painful steps toward owning my part, the shame dissipated. Dealing with the resentment has been a slower process but continues to this day. Some of the wreckage of that time is still present. It is a reminder that even though healing and growth is possible through the principles of recovery, somethings will be left permanently behind.

But there are new blessings to take hold of in this process and I would not be half the person I am today without the time spent in recovery, working steps and working with sponsees. It still amazes me that God just gives me what to say in every instance, because I’m really not that smart.

Anyway, this memory brought to you by listening to a piece of music by artist Jesse Cook this morning.

Much love.