This is a guest post by my recovery buddy and friend, J. He surprised me by sending me this guest post for my blog out of the blue one day. It really touches my heart that he wanted to share with me—via a blog post no less—how he feels toward my recovery over this period of time.
We met at CoDA in early 2016; I stopped going for meetings for a while and started going again after Chinese New Year (Feb 2016). We grew closer because it turns out we were neighbours! The Universe (Higher Power) sure works in mysterious and wondrous ways.
Without further ado, here’s what J has to say…
When I first met Girl
I remember when I first met Girl at a CoDA meeting. I had not been in the program very long—no more than a couple of months when she walked in the door.
The meeting was the usual fare. We read the format. We checked in. We said our affirmations. We held hands and prayed in a circle.
I remember watching her at the meeting
She seemed quite sad. She seemed to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. She held back tears and didn’t say a word, even when it was time for everyone attending to check in.
I intended to approach her after the meeting just to say hello and exchange pleasantries, but ironically she approached me.
We found out we were neighbors
In the months to come we would become friends. We both lived near the same subway station, so we would ride the train home and talk after meetings. In fact, I could see her building from the window of my condo.
Early days in CoDA…
At first Girl didn’t really do much in CoDA. Her attendance was sporadic. She wasn’t working the Steps. She wasn’t reaching out on the phone.
We would talk occasionally or meet for a coffee, but at this point she wasn’t committed. In meetings she would often sit and cry without really saying much, if anything.
By the time the meeting ended, she would often have a mountain of wadded-up tissues sitting on her lap. Those early meetings, for her, seemed painful and exhausting.
You cannot always wait for the perfect time, sometimes you must dare to jump.
And jump she did.
The changes I’ve seen since I first met Girl in Therapy
Girl started to share at meetings. About her family, about her job, and about her feelings. At first she shared quietly, body arched forward in a slightly fetal position.
She continued to make Tissue Mountains, but it seemed clear that some sort of change was happening. She was now talking openly. And she was speaking her truth.
She started using the phone and connecting with other CoDA members along with attending some after meeting dinners. She started working a program.
During our occasional coffee get-togethers, Girl would confide in me, fearlessly so, about the ugliness in her childhood. I think it took a lot of courage for her to do this. She was totally honest with me.
The changes in Girl seem massive. When she speaks, it is with courage. That meek, sad, hunched over, tissue-mountain-making girl I met a little over a year ago has grown noticeably.
Girl then and now
Is she perfect now? Is she fully healed? Of course not, I mean…..is anyone?
The important thing is that she keeps showing up at the meetings. She keeps chipping away at her mental health. She persists. And she has now become an integral part of our local CoDA fellowship. People notice when she misses a meeting.
I have since moved to the other side of the city so our coffee meetups aren’t really happening anymore. That’s OK though. She’s there if I need her and I’ll try my best to be here if she needs me.
Celebrating recovery in Codependency
Recovery has changed Girl in so many ways, and for the better. She didn’t quit before the miracle happened. She keeps coming back. And she keeps working it.
Way to go, Girl!
About the Author
J is the Director of Communication for the Virtual EMDR Therapy Program which uses at-home, online EMDR Eye Movement Therapy to help people treat depression, trauma, PTSD, anxiety, grief, addictions, and compulsive behavior. You can learn more on his blog, www.virtualemdr.com/blog.