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CoDA MiP December 2020 (Ed. 18)
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                     Meeting in Print

 December  2020 (Ed. 18)

For Everything There is a Season


In This Issue:


Opening Readings


Community Shares

“Holding up the Mirror”

"As I Reflect"

“The Buried Vault”

“Painting Pictures”

“As I Write”

“One and a Half Weeks in CoDA”

“The Bridge Between”

“Transparent and Vulnerable”

“One Year In”


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.

                                                -Linda R.                                                  

Community Shares

 "Holding Up the Mirror"
One of the key components to my brain’s composition is being critical — not in a mean-spirited sense, of course, just in the tweaky kind of way where every time I look at something good, I am almost always thinking of ways it could be better. It’s a truly charming personality trait that never EVER causes any relationship problems (sarcasm!).

I promise I’m not trying to be unkind when I insist gently suggest the way you’ve just done something is wrong; I’m just convinced I have a better way. Improving on your best effort is how I show you I care and WOW don’t I sound like a fun wife and mom???

But critical thinking is one of the things that makes me good at my job, and it’s a hard quirk to turn off. Being a creative producer means using critical thinking to problem solve on set before problems even arise, using discernment to zero in on the details and make decisions for the better outcome of the overall production.

In photography, being critical is my competitive advantage that’s really to my client’s benefit: since many shoots don’t have the budget for a stylist, I can lend my critical eye to making sure the pose and the light is just right and everything else in the frame is, too. Got a weird hair over your left eye? Not to worry, I got you, and yes I can fix your crooked smile in the edit. My critical eye never sleeps!

I only recently started to notice that the way I conduct myself at work is very similar to how I behave at home. We have an egalitarian household in every sense of the word, meaning I am not the sole responsible party for cooking and cleaning. In fact, I don’t do nearly as much housework as house tinkering, earning myself the nickname “Director of Special Projects” from my husband for the way I putz about the house “improving things” organizationally while he and our daughter do the heavy lifting of, uh, all the other chores.

Yet even though their help is a blessing that affords me the opportunity to write every Saturday morning, I still find ways to criticize their methods. When my husband is cooking dinner, I have his full permission to disconnect and do *literally anything else*, but I’ll still ask him a million questions about how he’s sautéing those veggies. Yes, I have a better way of doing things that are not even my responsibility!

Never more has my critical tick been more apparent than this year, now that we’re all home all the time, but especially over the summer when my husband experienced a mental health crisis, landing him in the hospital — a story that is not entirely mine to tell.

You see, for years I’d tried everything I could to help improve my husband’s mental health and get him to show up for his life in ways I thought he needed to:

I ragged on him to get a therapist, without ever acknowledging my own need for someone to talk to about the inner workings of my mind and heart.

I demanded he reignite relationships with friends who were not great for his self-esteem, insisting he “needed community!”…while never once examining my circle of friends who were partly great/partly toxic, and my own social calendar that was entirely exhausting.

I wasted time, energy, and money in life coaching, talking about how we could get MY HUSBAND TO TRY LIFE COACHING, because I was secretly sure that was the very thing he needed to try to really show up for his life.

It seemed I was constantly looking for the next tidbit of advice that would help my husband thrive, and when he didn’t immediately take my criticism advice to heart, I became tired of trying, and so so angry.

I was so busy suggesting ways my partner could “cure” his mental health, I didn’t see my own anxiety crouching in the corner, waiting to pounce.

It was only while he was in the hospital recovering from a true blue depressive episode, that I realized every single thing I wanted my husband to change in his life was a change I needed to make in my own.

It was time to hold the mirror up to myself.

I just ask whatever you preach, how do you live it? We all want someone else to change. And sometimes, the most toxic is the one staring you in the mirror.” — said by a wise woman, my friend.

One night I crumpled under the heaviness of all the things I couldn’t change, and, from a place of desperation on the bedroom floor, I signed up for therapy.

I quit doing things I hated, blaming the pandemic at first but then growing two steps braver and honoring my own intuition. I began to be honest with people who drained me in their taking that I could no longer give to them, and they’d need to help themselves. In other words, I stopped showing up for friends who were not really friends at all.

I wrote a plan of what I want for my life, no strings attached, and started working that plan for my benefit, not anyone else’s. I addressed hurts from the past, examined my behavior in situations where I felt I was truly the victim and realized there’s a villain and a victim inside of everyone — and I’d rather be a woman of valor than a victim or a villain any day.

Once in front of the mirror, I realized so clearly what was obstructing my view of everything else. I saw, as Jesus said, what would always hold me back if I didn’t address it:

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the plank that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye, when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. – Jesus, Matthew 7:3-5

There in the mirror I began to see my critical eye’s biggest blind spot: me.

It was an aha moment for sure.

We always think we’re helping the people around us into helping themselves, but once we hold up the mirror we realize yes, we are looking at the only person we can truly control.

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. – Romans 14:12

Mirror gazing can have some consequences. Once you see your own issues clearly, right in front of you, you might find yourself asking for forgiveness from the people who you’ve tried to control and change. In my experience, being confronted face to face with my own inadequacies has made me more gracious to the shortcomings of others. You might, as I did, find yourself holding something that looks like compassion for people who think differently and operate in different ways than you do. And you might discover a greater compassion for yourself, too, and for your own little inner control freak.

At least, that’s what I discovered when I held up the mirror.

-Kylee L.

"As I Reflect" 
As I sit and reflect here in this moment, I do so as the most authentic version of myself that I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

I found CoDA and myself in August 2019 following the encouragement of my therapist and at a point in my life where I had finally hit my rock bottom after 40 years of digging.  It’s been over a year now and I can honestly say that the program and the fellowship have been an incredible blessing and continue to be in all ways possible.  The black hole that once consumed me is now a glowing light inside of me and as I work my program one moment, day, and step at a time this light shines brighter.

I was pretty much an only child who became my mother’s main carer from a very early age.  She suffered in her childhood and projected her emotional and psychological needs directly onto me, which included narcissism, multiple addictions (alcoholism, drug abuse, sex / love), personality disorder, depression, and an eating disorder.  I was taught at a very early age that my dad didn’t love nor want me and that under no circumstances was I to leave her, as she would have no choice but to commit suicide.  I was manipulated with gas lighting, conditioned and shamed with passive aggressive behavior, rejected, abandoned in my own needs and difficulties growing up, and subjected to domestic violence within her relationships on many occasions.

The program of Co-dependents Anonymous has helped me to not only face the consequences of such a childhood but to finally stop running and more importantly put down and hand back all that was not mine to hold onto.  I honestly believed that there was something so very wrong with me and felt utterly alone and truly disconnected from the life that seemed to swim around me, something I have come to term as a half-life.  I have used people, places, jobs and things to try and meet the unmet needs of my experiences, which have resulted in a succession of increasingly dysfunctional relationships, long term use of marijuana, disassociation, depression, anxiety and a total loss of identity and purpose.

Today I live and feel the wonderful 12 Promises flow through me and into my daily life.  As I work through my Step 8 and incorporate the incredible tools and resources in the program, I learn to Accept, have Compassion and Forgive not only those around me but myself too.  The gift of experience, strength, and hope found in the resources, meetings, retreats, workshops, my Sponsor and all those in the fellowship have helped me connect with Myself, my Higher Power and the miracle of life.  I have learnt to grieve, to release and to let go and in doing so I have discovered unconditional love, joy, and freedom.

The Serenity, Courage, Wisdom, Patience, Appreciation, Tolerance and Strength have and do guide me toward the greatest love of all, that of my Higher Power who teaches me every day how to love myself from the inside out and the meaning of healthy relationships.

Grateful to provide service within CoDA, to those in the fellowship and to Codependents who still suffer.

“It works if you work it, so work it because you ARE worth it”

-Hannah H.

-Linda R

“The Buried Vault” 

It’s closed for a reason.

Must not go inside.

It contains my self-acceptance

My bravery, my courage, and my pride.

A secret pull out compartment,

holds all my hopes and dreams

Conditions not right in this life

Nothing is ever as it seems.

You can’t keep living another’s life

And know who, and what you are.

Desperate for loving acceptance

I made you my shining star.

Your shadow envelops me in darkness

Shielding me from the warmth of the healing sun.

As nurturing force behind each project

I put all my dreams aside

I made you my higher power.

Now our codependent souls collide.

I allowed for this to happen,

You barely had a choice

Come here- now go away.

I seem to have lost my voice.

Separate beings dance,

Music flows in between.

Where I end and you begin

Is blurry still it seems.

I want to tell you something

Our song remains unsung

For locked away inside my vault

Is my shriveled, silenced tongue.

I need to pick the lock,

take out my weary heart to see.

If my worn-torn tattered organ is able to love

without codependency.

To love as one union,

Being free and apart

Unconditional and steadfast

and then,

Unconditional and steadfast

Creating our brand new start.

-Pamela W.

-Per B

“Painting Pictures”

Whenever I used to meet people, I always tried to paint a picture of the person I thought they wanted me to be. Generally, it was a set image. It was made up of qualities that I found attractive in others. I used to think I only did it with people that I really liked, but in reality, it was with anyone I wanted to like me, which was everyone.  

Though I rarely directly lied to people to create this image, I used what I call “calculated empathy”, to try to understand what they wanted, then projected that image so that they would arrive at “their own” conclusions about me. I guided these conclusions about me with carefully highlighted or omitted truths about who I was. I was constantly manipulating opinions. I’d overexplain or backpedal when things weren’t going my way. I assumed that everyone who actually met me would have the same opinion about me that I did, which was awful. So, in my mind, it was hopeless or extremely risky at best to show others who I really was. Plus, I’d been painting pictures since I was a kid, so I really had no idea who I was anymore.

Sure, there were times in relationships that I started to feel more comfortable and willing to show little pieces of who I was, but by that time, I’d already built the relationship out of fabricated personality traits and it was too late to be honest. So, I’d just hold it in or turn on the charm and cover it up more. Over time though, I’d slip up. Sometimes I’d be stressed out and lose my cool, or I ‘d be enjoying myself a little too much and forget my script. The veil would move for a second and they’d catch a glimpse of the real me. Unsurprisingly, it would confuse and hurt my partner. They’d usually say things like “Who are you, really?,” “I don’t even know who you are,” “Is this what you’re really like?!?,” “I don’t like what I see,” “I feel like I’ve been duped,” “I can’t trust you anymore.” Of course, by this time I was head over heels. I needed this person. I needed them to like me, to love me, to want me, and to need me. Losing them was like losing an organ. The lungs, the liver, the brain, and the heart. Them liking me is what made me feel so alive and complete. Without it, I was just an empty and ugly shell.

Then the bully would come out. This, of course, was me. The bully was abusive, hateful, and spiteful. He would never stop punishing me. Like a deep cut on the palm of your hand. Like a cigarette burn on your thigh, you know, where no one can see, but it never heals right because of the pants. He had selective memory: he remembered every bad thing I’d ever done. He would tell me how my girlfriend will probably tell all her friends about how awful I was. How I lied to her. She’ll reread all the love letters I wrote and toss them in the trash while whispering to herself “What a liar. I can’t believe I fell for this crap.” Then he’d keep going. He’d yell at me for ruining everything I touch. “Why couldn’t you just keep your stupid mouth shut?!? Do you think anyone wants to hear what you have to say? Do you think that for one second anyone could possibly be interested in who you really are?” Nope. That’s why she left. You slipped up and let her see the tip of the iceberg, and she ran off screaming. Maybe next time you’ll keep your mouth shut and I won’t have to be stuck here alone with you. She left because of YOU. Just like everyone else. Just like your brother Johnny, just like mom did with her way. Just like your kid will one day. Just like you did.

After decades of living like this, I realized I couldn’t take it anymore. Then, I found CoDA. With the help of the Steps, the stories, the sponsors, and the sharing, I started healing for the first time in my life. I had and continue to have moments of clarity almost daily. The bully in me was wrong. People didn’t leave because I showed them who I was. They left because I never showed them in the first place. The bully wouldn’t let me speak; he wouldn’t let me love. The only times I ever experienced joy or warmth in the past were the times I couldn’t hear him momentarily. I’m not so bad. Especially when I’m using my own steering wheel instead of someone else’s So, I pretended to be calm and collected, when I was really just anxious and scared.

Now I know it’s okay to be scared sometimes. Life is scary. I pretended to be patient, when I couldn’t wait another second. Now I know it’s okay to be impatient sometimes. I don’t know how much time I have. I pretended to be independent and self-sufficient when I didn’t have any idea how to function alone. Now I know it’s okay to hold on sometimes. I’m just learning to let go. I pretended to be humble and sure of myself, when I was really just arrogant and insecure. Now I know it’s okay. I’m just meeting me, at 28 years old.

Instead of attracting people with who I’m not, I’ve decided to try being me as often as possible and see what happens. It’s true that less people like me now, but it’s because I’m not tricking them into it anymore. They don’t need to like me. What about the people who are like me? CoDA has shown me that we’re not as rare and broken as I used to think. Other people have their own bullies too. Other people are just learning to be good to themselves. They don’t need scripts. I don’t either. I can be me. I’m tired of memorizing lines and gestures. I’m sick of hiding. Though it’s scary and awkward at first (and at moments here and there), it feels so nice to just talk. No calculation, just conversation. All this time, I thought my codependence was my best bodyguard. Through CoDA I’ve learned that it’s my worst bully. The bully still tries to sneak its way into my life at times, especially when I’m stressed and distracted. But the fact of the matter is, it’s no longer welcomed in my life. I am learning to become my own bodyguard.

-Jesse S.

-Per B

“As I Write

As I write I'm asking my higher power to help guide my words. This wasn't ever something I did before working this program. I didn't know what it meant to "have" a higher power; I didn't understand what people meant when they said the word "God." I would look at people with strong faith and beliefs and feel on the outside. I would judge them for being weak. But then I would go home and continue to get lost in my obsession and my insane actions in my relationships (to me, they were truly insane, defying all logic as
I repeated them over and over again).

People and situations: When they were going my way or doing things my way, I felt great. Those were the peaceful times. I enjoyed the comfort I got from others - their approval, reassurance, attention, and love. Wonderful things in some ways, especially love. But what I really wanted from people was for them to express love to me in the way that I wanted. I wanted them to behave in a way that made me feel wanted, appreciated, honored, and loved. Not to love me, but to act like they loved me (the way I defined it). The truth is I wasn't capable of being truly loving to them in badly as I wanted to or as much as I did love them. Because I constantly needed them to be different from who they were. Depending on my mood or situation, I needed their words, appearance, moods, and problems to be how I needed them to be for me to feel comfortable.

I never saw it like that before. I just felt like I needed to speak up and that people weren't treating me right. But the truth handing relationship books to a partner wasn't loving to him, it was me trying to control him. Giving advice and judging my family wasn't loving to them, or accepting them for who they are, it was trying to control them so I could feel good. And giving all of my time and energy to people in my life wasn't was often me trying to get others to like me or treat me a certain way, or return the favor.

I know today I'm not a bad person. I hated myself before the program, but at the same time thought myself superior. My ego is such a strange thing. But I'm not a bad person, I'm a human being with a lot to offer the world and the people in my life. But I couldn't stop controlling others. So my relationships suffered, my
mental health suffered, my self-esteem of course suffered.

I reached a point of absolute desperation in my codependency. I didn't really understand what my problem was. I thought I just needed to work harder, or understand my past more, or get new friends/relationships, or love myself more. I tried so many different methods. My world got so small; I was terrified of people and myself, exploding emotionally or feeling numb, hurting people in my life in subtle and overt ways, and dark thoughts overwhelmed me. The only thing that has truly brought lasting, incredible changes in my life has been working the 12 steps.

This program has brought so many miracles to my life that it's almost impossible to enumerate them all. I want to give hope to anyone out there that this thing really works. I ended up working the steps quickly - steps 1 through 9 in a matter of weeks. Since then I've worked steps 10-11-12 every day as I continue to clean up my past. For me, this has given me a new source of comfort, reassurance, and love. It has connected me to a power that I can lean on whenever I need to. I feel like I can be a human being that makes mistakes, because the steps give me instructions for how to make them right. I feel like I can have truly genuine loving relationships because the steps teach me to make "love" a verb and take action to be patient, kind, tolerant, and loving of others. I feel like I'm starting to learn who I really am, slowly but surely, because the program teaches me rigorous honesty, and I can no longer hide using my "fake IDs", the person I pretended to be. I am starting to learn how to have fun again. Real fun. The next frontier that my higher power seems to be showing me is how to tap into my skills and creativity to contribute to others and the world and not take things so seriously. My hope is to pass the joy that comes from being free of that old obsession.  

Things aren't always rosy and life certainly doesn't go my way. But I'm finding more and more that my way isn't that great! My way never worked. But when I let my higher power guide me, I always get something better. I don't do any of this perfectly. I try to grow in understanding and effectiveness. I do that by working the steps every day and trying my best to follow through on my commitment to throw myself in and go to any lengths. That has been really important for me in this program. When I'm willing to go to any lengths, I'm willing to do things that make me uncomfortable but will help others -- like sharing my story for example.  

I hope my story can be helpful to someone because I want to pass on what's been passed on to me. I rigorously work my program each day and what it does is connect me to a power that is untangling my problems in incredible ways, guiding me to be a more relaxed genuine "me", allowing me to be helpful to others through sponsorship and witness more miracles, helping me let go of all the baggage of the past, get rid of guilt and shame as I make my mistakes right, and to be forgiven and to forgive. All these awesome promises and I just have to work a simple (not easy, but simple) program: trust my higher power, clean house
(keep my side of the street clean), and help others.  

-Alli D.

-Per B

“One and a Half Weeks In CoDA

I am only about 1.5 weeks into CoDA and 3.5 weeks into my entire reality as I knew it being shattered. I have always had faith in the existence of God above but never knew how to listen and feel Him. In times of significant need, like my life was on the line, though He came to me when I cried for Him, instilling me with a strength to move that could only come from Him.


For some reason though I didn’t know how to hold onto Him all the time. In my last CoDA meeting the other day we were reading from the Blue Book about step 10. I will admit I was not much interested in step 10 as I am very much struggling with step 1; the memories from my childhood hitting me like lightening bolts and shredding my heart and spirit even further. But I listened and I read along. The Blue Book mentioned that we need to check in with our Higher Power daily, and I took a mental note of this and even shared this in the group that night.


Today I found myself with some free time. At this point I trust no one in my life, most of all myself and my judgement. But my therapist thought I should try and reach out to a friend and have lunch, so I took her advice. I picked an ex-boyfriend who I had remained friends with over the years. This was the only person I could think of that did not try to mess with my brain. However, he did physically abuse me once in the relationship.


***this is where i say I still have alot to work on, but keep reading***


So on my way to meet him for lunch I remembered the CoDA meeting and checking in with my HP. So I turned down my radio and I spoke out loud like I was talking to someone in the car. I said, “God, I don’t know what I am doing or why I chose him, but I trust in you to guide me, to help me see what I must see.” I continued on with praise and love for Him. After that I put on my music and met my old friend. We had lunch, we talked, and I told him a little about CoDA in the sense that I told him I found a place where I could figure myself out. After, he invited me back to where he lives with a bunch of friends just to talk and hang out for a bit. This was a place I went often with him when we were together and I knew all of his friends and my mind was thinking this sounded like a nice escape from all the seriousness weighing on my mind recently, so I went. We hung out on the porch. Lots of people came and went from the house, everyone acknowledged me, and I returned the acknowledgments and partook in different conversations about football, Covid, the weather, etc.


At some point my ex’s best friend came out and welcomed me with open arms and filled me in on everything going on in his life in the last year and a half since I had seen any of them last. At the end of him filling me in I realized my ex was no longer there. He had disappeared, and in that moment I silently acknowledged that every-time he takes me here and his best friend is there that I am left in his care and the ex disappears. I said it out loud to the friend too. He also acknowledged it and then went back in side, leaving me on the porch by myself. It was in that moment that I saw the reality of what was going on right under my nose, and what had always been going on. This was a house where people come to buy drugs. My ex was a drug dealer. All of a sudden all the dots were connecting, much like they had 3.5 weeks ago about my abusive husband which led me to connect the dots on my childhood.


I just walked off the porch, got in my car, and drove away; I deleted the app on my phone that I used to communicate with my ex; thankful I had the foresight not to give him my number since I had changed it.


Once in the car, God literally popped into my head, and the radio came on and played one of my favorite Christian Rock songs that has keenly always played when I needed to hear it most. So I said to God, “Thank you for opening my eyes, for letting me see, I trust you, I love you, Thank you.” I repeated this over and over. By now I was on the highway and I was behind an 18-wheeler. The back of the truck was dirty and someone wrote in the dirt “Jesus es mi padre”. I smiled so big. I laughed with joy. The first genuine laugh and smile in 3.5 weeks, but really more like a year and a half (since my husband walked into my life) and God gave it to me.


I can’t tell you the power of this moment. I know the path is long, but for the first time ever in my life I know I am on the right road.

-Tara B.

-Per  B

“The Bridge Between”

The bridge between two realities

straddling life’s wondrous art.

Everything is Nothing

never what it seems to be.

Hiding in plain sight

between parallel worlds


deep within my dreams.


Loneliness is a blessing.

Where all healing starts.

People keep you guessing


Isolation becomes an art.


Gather seeds of wisdom.

Plant them everywhere.

Some seeds will find their way,

to the people who will care.


Judgment, Shame and Ridicule

A constant suit along with

The assigned jester’s hat I wear.

As I disrobe to my humble beginnings

not yet being black or white.

A place where people only judge,

by the qualities possessed inside.


Residing neither here nor there.

Connecting energy with light,

liquid emotions sparkling gently,

like the stars that grace the night.


Drums calling the guardian spirits.

The Four-legged ones, The Friends.

If I stumble and fall

Come to me they will.

But only if I ask them for their help.

Melding together our energies,

whispering in soft growling vibrations,

For me to quietly,

‘Begin Again’.

-Pam  W.

-Linda R


“One Year In

One year in CoDA

A brand new way of living

A family like no other

This is just the beginning

I've been clearing out my closet  

Taking responsibility for my part

In this unrehearsed or scripted play

Dropping labels to the floor

That were never mine to wear

Content to stand here naked

Whilst everyone is unaware

Truly committed to this self-love

A loving relationship from within

Uncovering areas of development

Now with self-belief, I begin

A monumental milestone

Marking a rebirth of my life

From here I go inwards and upwards

Setting aside more emotional strife

One year in CoDA

Learning to be precious and free

Taking the pain of yesterday

As gifts to discovering me

-Hannah H


-Linda R

We are all in recovery and everyone deserves recovery.

I am learning that:

I am not what was done to me,

I am not what I have done to others,

I am not what I have allowed to happen to me,

nor what I have done to myself,

I am me,

a loving, lovable, human being,

who is precious and free,

who deserves better than what I have allowed for myself up until now.

-Becky C

-Linda R


Divinity is in every mountain,

each valley,

the eyes of a friend,

the heart of your spouse.

Let these be your church,

let peace flow with each breath

and breathe. 

-Richard W. 

Closing Readings

The Serenity Prayer

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

“My emotions are real and I have a right to them.”
“A season of change is coming, and that change is mine.”
-Linda R