Today’s interview is with Shari. She is a dear friend of mine who has traveled this journey of recovery with me from day one. Yep, she is the one who handed me the materials about codependency at the very first Celebrate Recovery meeting I attended. She is an amazing and caring woman of God!
Tell us about yourself.
I am an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, age 69.
How did you know you were codependent?
I was always a people pleaser to the extreme.
How do you think you became a codependent?
I learned how from my Mother. If she did not please Dad, everyone suffered and life became unbearable. I also learned that I had to be a peacekeeper. I still hate conflict to this day.
Describe codependency in one word?
Do you find being a codependent an embarrassing label? If so, why?
Not any more, I prefer to be seen as a compassionate person.
What were your biggest fears relating to your codependency?
I feared being abandoned and misunderstood. I used to, but not so much anymore. I was desperate to be loved for myself, and not what I could do for someone else.
Do you feel that your codependency controlled you?
It used to control me before I learned how to say NO !!
What was the turning point that caused you to seek help or learn more about codependency?
I got help when my daughter rebelled and left me.
Who did you hurt the most with your codependency?
My children, my husband, and myself.
What does “detachment” mean to you?
Loving people in your life but not living to please them because I found that they are never really satisfied, they always want something more from you.
What does, “Stay on your side of the street” mean to you?
Mind your own business and not intruding with what everyone else is doing.
What does, “Get off the dance floor” mean to you?
Walk away from the drama of others.
How did you deal with boundaries in the past and how do you deal with them today?
I don’t recall having any boundaries in the past, but today I definitely do!!
Have there been any dramatic changes in you, your attitude, or your life since starting your journey of recovery?
I have much more confidence and I stand up for myself which I never did before. Today I can say that I truly love and respect myself.
What is the hardest part of staying focused on yourself and your recovery?
I am very protective of my hard-earned peace, so I don’t allow drama around me.
What is the easiest part of staying focused on yourself and your recovery?
I strongly believe that I have earned the respect and peace I fought for and I fiercely protect myself from those who would threaten to take it away.
Without all the drama that codependency brings, do you find life, work, and relationships boring now?
No, not at all! I have adjusted to being at peace and I guard against anyone who would threaten to take it away.
What are some of the tools you use to help you stay in your recovery?
I pray and talk to God daily and only God can give me the peace I crave.
Do you have a favorite saying, quote or mantra that helps to keep you going?
I still repeat the serenity prayer whenever I feel anxious, frustrated, or complacent, and it helps me to accept the things that I cannot change.
What words of encouragement or advice do you have for others who are seeking information or beginning their journey of recovering and healing from their issues of codependency?
I have highly recommended Celebrate Recovery which changed my life significantly. I encourage others to trust in GOD alone and He Will Give them the Peace that only He can. God Heals when the world fails them, and the world will always fail you!! Love God and Love yourself.