Q. Why isn’t it enough if I just get sober? Now one of my buddies asked me to go to a CoDA meeting with him. He says it will make me a different person. Is that really true?
A. Yes it really can be true if you desire to work the program and make it meaningful for you. You can’t do it for your buddy.
The benefit of adding Codependency recovery to your sobriety is more of a complete transformation. Becoming sober is definitely a good change for your mind, body and enjoyment of life but you need more. Stopping at that point leaves you sober but still engaging in self defeating behaviors.
Alcoholics might stop drinking but start smoking or eating excessively or spending too much time and money gambling. The issues that created the addictive behaviors are usually still the same. So I stop drinking, now what am I going to do? Go to meetings, yes a very good choice. But what about growing as a person, gaining insight and wisdom into your destructive and dysfunctional behaviors? They probably won’t go away just because you quit drinking.
Codependency explores childhood belief systems that became your adult belief systems. Do they still work or have you ever really thought about them? What role did you play in your family of origin? Chances are that is the role you are still playing. Does it work for you?
Did you know that you can write new belief systems for yourself and you can play a different role? If you were the quiet child who did not cause any trouble because your big brother caused so much chaos for the family; how is it working for you today to stay quiet and not speak up?
Are you repeating the same dysfunctional dynamics of your childhood? Did you watch your father come home after a night of drinking and slap your mother and pick a fight with your brother and destroy property? Did you tell yourself you would never marry a man like your father? But you did. Have you ever wondered why?
Have you noticed that you need people to like you so much that you give up sleep, delay eating until you are starving, quit exercising to help others and you can’t remember when you did something fun for yourself?
Being codependent to the point of losing yourself is dangerous and sad. No wonder we drink, drug and totally throw moderation to the wind.
So I suggest you go to the CoDA meeting, what do you have to lose?