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CoDA MiP March 2021 (Ed. 19)
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                     Meeting in Print

 March 2021 (Ed. 19)

Live in the Moment


In This Issue:


Opening Readings


Community Shares

“In the Moment”

"I am Ready"

“Today’s Meeting”

“The Phoenix Saga”

“Just Like Us”

“A Middle Way”

“The Old Cage”

“Identity Found”


Closing Readings

Greetings from your CoDA Co-NNections Committee

Welcome to the quarterly issue of Meeting in Print a CoDA recovery and support publication.
Recovery is for everyone, and we hope you enjoy reading these shares. Meeting in Print contains CoDA-approved literature, including shares, uplifting quotes and artistic material from CoDA members. We hope you find this issue both enjoyable and insightful. Please feel free to contact us with comments and suggestions – and, as always,
your contributions!


Your Meeting in Print Subcommittee

Opening Readings

The Welcome of Co-Dependents Anonymous

We welcome you to Co-Dependents Anonymous, a program of recovery from codependence, where each of us may share our experience, strength, and hope in our efforts to find freedom where there has been bondage and peace where there has been turmoil in our relationships with others and ourselves.

Most of us have been searching for ways to overcome the dilemmas of the conflicts in our relationships and our childhoods. Many of us were raised in families where addictions existed -some of us were not. In either case, we have found in each of our lives that codependence is a most deeply rooted compulsive behavior and that it is born out of our sometimes moderately, sometimes extremely dysfunctional families and other systems. We have each experienced in our own ways the painful trauma of the emptiness of our childhood and relationships throughout our lives.
We attempted to use others -our mates, friends, and even our children, as our sole source of identity, value and well-being, and as a way of trying to restore within us the emotional losses from our childhoods. Our histories may include other powerful addictions which at times we have used to cope with our codependence.

We have all learned to survive life, but in CoDA we are learning to live life. Through applying the Twelve Steps and principles found in CoDA to our daily life and relationships both present and past -we can experience a new freedom from our self-defeating lifestyles. It is an individual growth process. Each of us is growing at our own pace and will continue to do so as we remain open to God's will for us on a daily basis. Our sharing is our way of identification and helps us to free the emotional bonds of our past and the compulsive control of our present.

No matter how traumatic your past or despairing your present may seem, there is hope for a new day in the program of Co-Dependents Anonymous. No longer do you need to rely on others as a power greater than yourself. May you instead find here a new strength within to be that which God intended - Precious and Free.

The Preamble of Co-Dependents Anonymous

Co-Dependents Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships. We gather together to support and share with each other in a journey of self-discovery – learning to love the self. Living the program allows each of us to become increasingly honest with ourselves about our personal histories and our own codependent behaviors. We rely upon the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions for knowledge and wisdom.

These are the principles of our program and guides to developing honest and fulfilling relationships with ourselves and others. In CoDA, we each learn to build a bridge to a Higher Power of our own understanding, and we allow others the same privilege. This renewal process is a gift of healing for us.  By actively working the program of Co-Dependents, we can each realize a new joy, acceptance, and serenity in our lives.

The Twelve Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous

  1. We admitted we were powerless over others - 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 lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
  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 God 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 God, praying only for knowledge of God's 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 other codependents, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The Twelve Traditions of Codependents Anonymous

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon CoDA unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving higher power as expressed to our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for membership in CoDA is a desire for healthy and loving relationships.
  4. Each group should remain autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or CoDA as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to other codependents who still suffer.
  6. A CoDA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the CoDA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim.
  7. A CoDA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Co-Dependents Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. CoDA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. CoDA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the CoDA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions; ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

-Per B.

Community Shares

 "In the Moment"
Part of learning to love myself is being unafraid to show myself.  I am an artist and a poet even if not professionally.  There is nothing more authentic to being me, than revealing this side of myself that I usually keep hidden within the pages of endless journals never really seen.  This year, I challenge myself to be authentic in all ways.

I am learning to rid of my Peacemaker self, embrace my ugly-shadow self, and learn to love all of me.  I struggle immensely when I see people yelling with anger and rage. I desperately need it to stop.  So much so, that I will make it my business when it’s not.  I want to stop other people from yelling - I want to stop being triggered by what I used to know as my hurt and pain.

 I am also learning about all my fragmented parts.  Those little inner child parts of myself that rise up to keep the rest of myself safe.  My Peacemaker is likely one of those.  I am finally after almost four years of CoDA, looking inside myself to see those little girl parts of me that are in so much pain.

I can practice, in the moment, saying to my little self, “It’s okay; he is not ignoring you; you are not unimportant.  I have you, right here in my arms, and you are important to me.”  Or, “Don’t worry little one, you are not in danger.  Anger is sometimes an explosion of emotion and violence does not always follow.  You can let him yell, no one is likely to get hurt.  I have you, I am holding you, and you are safe.”

And a wise woman once told me, “Give people the dignity to have those ugly parts of themselves and those experiences that help them grow.”  My Peacemaker can try to stop that from happening.

Peacemaking can be harmful.  It can hide or deny truths in an attempt at peace.  Today, I give my Peacemaker self over to my Higher Power.  And today I wrote this, and it helps me:

In the Moment
Loving my child,
In the moment,
Will stop the hurt.

Giving myself a voice,
In the moment,
Will stop the resentments.

Accepting another’s ugly parts,
In the moment,
Will stop the blame.

Acknowledging and seeing the ugly inside myself
In the moment,
Will bring compassion.

This is my road,
In the moment,
To serenity and peace.

-Michelle M.

-Linda R.

"I am Ready" 
I may be like everyone else. Imagine such a thing: that I am normal, after being told from as far back as I can remember that something was wrong with me. Now after all the self-sabotaging actions that I learned early, I am in the middle of a break up of a 40 year marriage. Just recently a stranger who had been in CoDA for 20 years looked at me and said, “You need to go.” This was the first time I looked at myself and saw me as codependent. I had a total breakthrough at that moment and realized what had been going on in my life. I am now 63 years old and trying to find out who I am. I reported sexual abuse to my mother at age 10. Which of course was kept the family secret after that announcement. Little did I know it was something that happened to several generations of my family including my mother, and it was not allowed to be spoken. We were a church-going family. They had pride. I crumbled.

I became a promiscuous teen, pregnant at the age of 14, married without my permission at age 15. A mother at age 15 and again at age 17 and finally divorced and on my own at age 18. The boy I was married to started to beat me after the first two weeks of marriage and continued until the day I left with the children. It was his mother that gave me permission to leave. My family seemed to just say, you get what you deserve. I’ve worked from the age of 16 until now. I’m recently retired. I learn to deal with people and life by sitting back and keeping my mouth shut. In truth, I guess I became passive aggressive with an avoidant personality. I remarried at the age of 21 as a man’s third wife. We had a son after 5 years of marriage. He was very controlling; although, I did not realize it until recently. I had what I needed, but I was very cautious about “trying to be very good.” As though I needed to be a good girl. I had no control over finances or the children. Everything he did was right, and if I didn’t, I was wrong. So, I learned to stand back behind him and let him do everything to keep me out of trouble.

We adopted a little girl, and the massages he liked to give her to make her feel good bothered me emotionally. I spoke out and then all of a sudden, I’m being told I’m crazy again and that something was wrong with me. I went to get counseling and this thought of mine was turned into the police department. A quick investigation was done by the police, and it was an unfounded allegation. Of course, I was quickly thrown out of the house with the demand to “go get help, because you are sick.” So now, I am on my own and alienated from the family. Which when I am forced to look back at my teen years, I see it’s the same picture. In the middle of this Covid, and because I have been secluded for so long in my past, I find myself reaching out for someone to share my story with as I try to find myself for the first time. And it’s funny because I’ve always been right here and just did not know who I was. I had given myself away to other’s opinions, hoping someone would approve of me so I would be all right. I hope someone who reads this might understand because maybe they feel the same way and are on the same journey. I can’t even tell you how many, many times I thought death would be better than life. I even had abortions standing on that thought. I have had to overcome the regrets of all the wasted years of my life. I spent so much time in sacrifice trying to help others heal from their problems while all the time thinking I wasn’t worthy to be healed from my own. It took a recovering stranger to look at me, to see the problem, and tell me that I was worthy. “When the student is ready the teacher will come.” I guess I was finally ready and somebody did come. CoDA thank you.

-Jenita H.

-Per B.

“Today’s Meeting” 

Today's meeting is for

shedding old patterns and

learning anew

today's meeting is for

affirming my good and

sharing my truth

of pain.

today's meeting is for

empowering and recovering

from shame.

Everyday a meeting, one day at a time, healing my story for God's glory.


-Per B

The Phoenix Sage

Death/Divorce both are ugly words.

What happened next felt worse.

Chest pain so piercing

I wondered, if indeed,

There was a knife in my heart.

I did not think heartache was real

And I was sure mine was breaking

Or dying or both.

My world decimated in a day.

Surrounded by carnage and loss.

The dead lay in front of me at every turn.

And at every waking moment,

I rose to a new scene

That was nothing like the day before.

And resembled nothing I knew it to be.

Magic elixir numbed my pain.

Violent words escaped my brain

Via my lips.

Those I loved were left to fend.

I had no means to a joyous end.
I was incapable of caring for myself.

Thoughts emerged from somewhere beneath

Skipping past my awareness.

Actions ran without my knowledge.

My body has a shortcut

From storage cells of the soul

To be brain and back again

That I fail to comprehend.

“Who was that?” I’d asked myself.

I knew nothing of the life and home

In which I existed.

It was crippling; the FEAR was crippling.

Little is what I imagined

And even less what I hoped.

I sat in a pool of despair

And wondered…

“Where do I go from here?”

In hindsight,

My fantasy was so opaque

It appeared solid.

A pure projection, a hologram

Of my creation.

So real and yet so not.

“WTF just


Is happening,

Continues to happen.

To me?”

“How to choose?”

“What to do?”
“Who to be?”

How to become a new version of me?

Where is the road?

I need a path!

I will die if I don’t escape this aftermath!

There is dying

And there is withering.

And I was withering.

Shrunken into a curled ball.

Bones and skin

No sense of vitality – none at all.

The shell of a woman on the floor.

I became a robot among us.

Intake of commands. Output of results.

Seemingly living and yet not.

I retreated, retracted.

I hid far inside and buried myself deep.

Paralyzed. Shutdown. In remission.


Revival. Reboot. Re-emergence.

A re-birth. A do over.

A year did pass.  Moving through the motions.

Sometimes living and sometimes not.

Then I see, a glimpse of possibility.

Hope shines its light on me.

“Am I ready?”

That is the question I face today.

“Am I ready

To let go of the gray?”

Do I have the strength?”

I wonder…

Could destruction be purposeful?

Does the old need to die to rebirth the new?

Do miracles really happen?

…Is this a question for you?

-Michelle M.

“Just Like Us”

Lake Superior/Duluth/North Shore Area

She is beautiful.. raging waves.. placid and peaceful.. birthing smoke or frozen and broken. She is art... she is perfect. Just like us.

-Linda R.

“A Middle Way

As Codependents, we seek comfort in extremes. In our survival/denial mode, before we find CoDA, the world is always in sharp contrast, all black or white. Angry, we don’t know why we feel that way, and we arrogantly reject a suggestion that we try to get in touch with our feelings because we were taught that “feelings are for sissies.”

When we find a CoDA program, we talk about feelings; for many of us it is for the first time, and the feelings start coming back. Not all at once, thank heavens! Little by little, the first one, and then another. Soon, they come in bunches, like wild horses, seeming to tear away the confident facemask we struggle to hold on. We feel uncomfortable, we feel vulnerable for maybe the first time since childhood. It can be terrifying to be alone with feelings. The bluff, angry facade disappears into new faces. We look in the mirror several times a day, asking, “Who is this guy?”

At my first meeting, I was challenged to attend CoDA six times. Then a meeting a day for six months. I was in overdrive - another extreme. Some of us stay in overdrive for months, years, even tens of years, keeping a watchful eye out for a cool breeze that lifts us up from our sadness.

Are we trading one obsession for another? Or, is there a middle way?

After 55 years of arrogant denial, and 4 and a 1/2 years of obsessive searching a history of dysfunction and abuse, I am seeking another way to live, a middle way.

What does a middle way look like?

Since I have learned about the psychopaths in the world, and because my childhood was abusive, I tend to be drawn to them. I am mindful of my boundaries. Secure in my boundaries, I can be tolerant of others and patient. If someone attacks my boundaries, I defend them and will be wary of that person in the future.

One characteristic of a middle way is a willingness to let go of obsessing. Since I have spent a lifetime obsessing, this is proving a difficult step for me. But, when I am able to let go, I feel like a child who can wander from one thing to another. Curious, excitable and able to move on to the next thing.

Another characteristic of the middle way is freedom. Freedom to explore, freedom to be happy, to be sad, to be tired, hungry; all those things I used to rigidly deny myself.

Once I had a narrow list of criteria for friends, my new list is more inclusive. And where I once held to friendship like a familiar winter coat buttoned against the cold, now I am learning to open the buttons, to occasionally remove the sweater and coat, to be open to new faces, and new ideas.

A middle way.

-Ed G.


-Per B.

“The Old Cage”

This is a song I wrote. It highlights my life journey to where I am now…at the beginning of recovery. I would like to dedicate it to my therapists and support groups who have guided me through this process.


The old cage is gone

But shadows of bars remain

The past bleeds to tomorrow


today is lost in pain

Left are my spies - collecting lies

They pull and push -the tug of war hurts my mind


Running running doing this and that

Pretending, smiling - ways to distract

On empty I take off flying - until I


float away

Years go by

until I lose who I am


float away

Years go by

until I lose who I am


Then you said breathe and listen

Create your own voice inside

And show the face your feel


You can heal your pain

And find some comfort too so you

don’t have to fly away anymore

Running running doing this and that

Pretending, smiling - ways to distract

On empty I take off flying - until I


float away

Years go by

until I lose who I am


float away

Years go by

until I lose who I am.

-Elizabeth  L.

-Per B.

“Identify Found”

My precious identity I took for granted

It wasn’t my fault I didn’t know I should care

Carelessly tossed aside

My identity was lost

I searched high and low,

through every face that passed by

I couldn’t find my identity

No matter how hard I did try

I fell over backwards and sometimes with great thirst

Broken and struggling to be someone’s first

Trying to recover what I had lost without thought

I worked hard and searched for the answers I sought

My identity was near, it was close all along

I just needed to find that sweet, sweet song

To love myself like I loved all else

In recovery I came to be myself 

-Resa G. 

-Per B.

Closing Readings

The Serenity Prayer

Photo: Kathy G.

Meeting Close

We thank our Higher Power for all that we have received from this meeting.

As we close, may we take with us the wisdom, love, acceptance, and hope of recovery.

Affirmations and Promises

“I promise to take time for myself to enrich my own mind.”
“Today I will live in the moment, embracing even the smallest joy that comes my way.”
-Per B.