Next month, I will be celebrating 9 years in the AlAnon recovery program.
I cannot say how valuable the program has been to me. It literally saved life. You see, my codependency nearly killed me. When I entered the program, I was in a partnership with a man who did not contribute to the relationship. He was an opiate addict and I was his host. He had legal problems; I covered for him. He had secrets; I lied for him. He had addictions; I had love that could heal. He had no money; I had three jobs. He needed clothes and food and a home; I was happy to cover it all.
But in all of my “helping” and “saving”, neither of us found any relief. It wasn't enough. He stole my credit cards. Forged my checks for drugs. Pawned my things. Felt entitled to more. Complained about me. And yet I continued… I dismissed any of the damage to me and committed to try harder.
Exhausted doesn’t even begin to describe my devastation. Empty. Spent. Consumed. Completely depleted. That begins to cover it. And somehow MORE was needed from me. I felt so worthless. My love wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough. I was FAILING.
Out of desperation, I turned to antidepressants. I had never felt so hopeless in my life. I was so busy trying to survive I didn’t have the smallest bit of time for my own dreams or life.
When I walked into my first AlAnon meeting, I thought they would help me fix him. If we could JUST get his addiction under control, my life could get back to normal.
Fast forward a year…
AlAnon did NOT help me fix him. Turns out only he could do that.
AlAnon DID give me the tools I needed to honor myself enough to walk away.
The consequences of my own relationship addiction were steep.
I left with $30,000 of debt and my savings gone.
I left with a very bruised self image.
I left with distrust in myself.
My friends were gone.
Family relationships were not close.
My perceived self-worth had taken a beating.
I’m sad to say I was not done healing my codependency at that point and went on to date and marry another addict. The consequences for that 6 year relationship were even more steep than the first.
AlAnon was there for me the whole time, without judgment.
AlAnon gave me the tools to stop making other peoples’ crisis, my crisis.
AlAnon gave me the courage to set boundaries.
AlAnon empowered me to live my own life and chase my own dreams.
AlAnon helped me gently loosen deeply embedded, damaging beliefs and programming.
AlAnon paced with me as I grew.
AlAnon loved me and nourished me, when I needed it desperately.
If you find yourself in a cycle of relationships that damage you, take from you, and consume you but you can’t understand why, girl there is hope! There is so much unconscious programming at play and it is HARD to unravel. But you can. My life is now dedicated to helping women unravel this old suffocating programming.
I still attend AlAnon and probably always will. I’m not done recovering or confronting damaging beliefs. That’s a life process. But I can say, I am FREE. I don’t stick around for relationships that damage me and consume me. I don’t choose suffering because someone else is ill. And I am forever grateful to AlAnon for beginning my healing process. <3