A recovering co-dependant

I am Michael, A recovering co-dependant. I am new to this, I found CoDA through AA. I am a double winner as they say around 12 step programs.

I grew up in an alcoholic family, my mother was a beauty queen alcoholic, my father was a civil engineer who had no time for inconvenience. Most of what was missing in my house was love and stability. I was not sexually abused, most of the abuse was mental. I am 28 now and just coming to terms with everything.

My earliest memories are of my mother moving me across the country, from one coast to the next, California to Georgia, I assume looking for the best geographical cure, and running from my Father. Her drinking cost her custody of me. In Oklahoma she had relationships with men that drank like she did. Out of money, we went to Georgia to live with her sister. She would promise to take me to the fair, but we never made it out of the driveway, she would pass out at the wheel. Finally she died of liver failure when I was nine, abandoning me.

I was left to live with an alcoholic father who though he never physically abused me, he made me feel like an inconvenience. His love came when he had a few drinks in him, I can still smell the bourbon on his breath. I would wake him up, and tell him it was time for bed. I learned early that responsibility was the way to his heart, so I took on as much as I could, it only came natural after caring for my mother. After another move, he died when I was 24, leaving me alone again.

My co-dependency started earlier than I can remember, I cannot remember finding myself at any age until I found recovery. In relationships with friends, I would take on other people's personalities, even so much as laughing the same way they did. I had no identity.

I have been lonely for so long. I learned to manipulate early in life, I would get people to feel sorry for me, help me financially or take me in. I was truly the prodigal son, as soon as I got what wanted I would throw it all away and do it again. I thought it was normal behavior, no one ever told me different. My life was a horrible cycle of distrust, abandonment, resentment, anger, and controlling self righteousness, with no one to blame but me.

My drinking made things worse, I felt no emotional pain, I treated other people the way I had been treated as a child. I was worse than both of my parents. Relationships failed because I would manufacture emotions that weren't true to get out of the relationship before I was the one hurt. I had zero capacity to be honest. It was push/pull, I was erratic and selfish.

All I knew growing up, was that I was not going to be like them (my parents), but the truth soon found me, I was exactly like them, and now I alone like always. I had pushed everyone away again. I was drunk, doing drugs, and feeling sorry for myself. At the time, I believed that God had nothing to do with me. I was agnostic, I even hated God. But the real truth was that I hated my concept of God. My concept of God was that of a cruel punisher. Out of desperation and total powerlessness, I asked God what kind of decisions does a person make to die the way my parents did.

That night God spoke to me, and I found recovery. Through AA and CoDA, I have come to know the loving God that has always been there for me, waiting for me, with patience and love, understanding and gentleness, guidance and stability, in fact, all the things that I have needed and wanted.

Through my CoDA group, I receive the gentle, loving help that I have so desperately been searching for my whole life. All I know today is that this thing works if you let it work. My progress is not perfect and it doesn't have to be. I can love myself today and for that I am so grateful. Thank you.

Michael L.

PS There is so much more to say, gaps to fill etc.
Thank you for the outlet, is so nice to have a place to share this,
I could not imagine my life without this program of recovery.