Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Recovery is a lifelong journey. As such, sometimes we move straight forward and sometimes, we slide backward for a moment, or hour, or day or two. This past weekend, I had a codependent slip.

I bugged my family members about things I wanted them to do my way and when they asked me to stop, I bugged them some more.

Finally, one of my loved ones said, "I think you are having a codependent slip."

And, because 26 years of Alanon and Naranon and over 30 years of 12 stepping does tend to make one self-aware,  I listened, thought back over my behavior of the past two days, and said, "Wow, you are right!"

Still, it took me another couple of hours to stop pushing my will on the people I love.

This is the nature of recovery. We learn new ways of thinking and being, and as we grow, we use them more and more. But not always and not perfectly. Two steps forward, one step back.

This understanding of my own process is important for me to remember, not only for my own self-acceptance, but also for my ability to live with the addicts in my life in peace. They aren't perfect either. They struggle  with behaviors and feelings related to cravings, substances, abstinence, etc. And I struggle with the behavior of trying to control their struggles with their substances, behaviors, feelings, cravings, etc.

Recently, I read in the book Uppers, Downers and  All Arounders: Physical and Mental Effects of Psychoactive Drugs - 6th Edition -  by Inaba and Cohen (2007. CNS Productions), that the brain of an active codependent reacts similarly to that of a using drug addict. In other words, that Alanon saying "they are addicted to alcohol and we are addicted to them" is more than a slogan. It's a brain thing...

So, what does that mean?

For me today, it's a reminder that my brain needs recovery just as much as the brain of the addict I love. So, one day at a time, it's important that I trust God, clean house, and help others; in other words, work the steps, practice healthy thinking and acting,  and let go of old behaviors and habits!

Have you ever had a codependent slip? Would love to hear about it and how you stepped back into a recovery mode!

Love and All the best,

Recovery Coach Bev

Beverly A. Buncher, MA, CEC
Family Recovery Coach

Would you like to have a complimentary coaching session to see if we would work well together? Drop me an email or contact me on http://www.intherooms.com/ . My name on intherooms is Coach Bev. See you there!

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