It was a cold, blistery day in 2012 (a beautiful cliché opening).
I was excited for a
play date therapy session at the park with an acquaintance turned friend. As my life spiraled out of control, she stepped in with a calm strength and held my hand. So, anytime we got together I could unload the mess I was going through.
Today was no exception. We sat covered in blankets while our red-nosed children ran wild. In the middle of sharing my latest saga, my phone rang. It was Matt.
Now, this put me in a precarious situation. One, I wanted to answer the phone, because I wanted to save my marriage. I wanted Matt to tell me everything was over and we could go back to normal. Two, my girlfriend knew everything about my mess. I knew she wouldn’t approve of me interrupting our girl time with his phone call.
I sat staring at my phone. Who am I going to please? How am I going to pull this off when two people I adore are requesting two different things?
I answered the phone with a flat hello. Maybe if I sound like I’m not excited to hear from him, my girlfriend will forgive me for answering.
Well, he wasn’t calling to save our marriage. He was calling to see if I had done what he had asked. No, but I will. Ok, let me know when you get it done? Ok. I will.
I kept the conversation short and emotionless. Matt finally got the clue that I was with someone and he wasn’t welcome, so we hung up.
I took a deep breath and prepared to resume my pity party. To my horror she resumed with, “You should join a 12-step program for codependent people”?
WHAT?! How dare she turn this around on me? Is she actually suggesting that I HAVE A PROBLEM?? Must I remind her who the victim is right now?
Needless, to say I didn’t have much to say after that and I left with my panties in a wad.
Wide awake in my bed that night, I couldn’t forget what she said about me, so I decided to Google “what is codependency”.
I read words like,
And it no longer meant being married to an alcoholic. I even found a site with pictures.
Talk about personal crisis. My soul was very sick. Things inside were worse than I could’ve imaged. I laid in my bed in horror; staring at the festering sickness inside. How could this possibly be true about me?? It was too late now, I was aware of the darkness inside.
I stumbled around in a fog for a few days trying to process what I had discovered about myself when my lawyer recommended the work of Melody Beattie and immediately I purchased The New Codependency. Her story transformed my views and gave me hope.
I read Melody’s encouraging words of: awareness, letting go, gratitude, acceptance, boundaries, dropping the victim role forever, and how to love ourselves.
Be who you are.
Her book gave me practical steps on how to make personal changes right now.
Almost immediately, I felt power and life pulse through my veins. I began to experience a freedom that I had only talked about in church.