182: Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) – Everything You Wanted to Know (Sort Of)


We are exploring the world of Co-Dependents Anonymous. CoDA for short, the program explores unhealthy relationships and unhealthy boundaries through the 12 step lens. It’s the 12 step program we said everyone needed when we got to our respective programs. We talk about what signs might look like that someone is struggling with co-dependency. What kinds of things have to be changed to find freedom in CoDA. And how to get started if you think CoDA might be for you. Listen in as Beverly joins us to help explore the world of Co-Dependent’s Anonymous, and then share your thoughts with us.

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Transcript:

recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or Fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature [Music]

welcome back it’s recovery sort of I am Jason a guy who definitely has codependent traits and I’m Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery I’m Jenny I’m also a person in long-term recovery and with us today to help us explore the program of codependence Anonymous also known as Coda for short which is much easier to say we have Beverly hi Beverly hello Jason and Billy and Jenny and everyone else who is here I’m Beverly I am a grateful recovering codependent one day at a time and I am also a law a person in long-term recovery whatever that means about that too yeah to me one day is long enough you know so especially when it comes to CODA because they’re I actually really believe that I mean I come from different 12-step programs but at the core I think it’s Coda that drives all my desire to uh to feel better the Character defects of coda so they’re you know they are uh in general uh low self-esteem trying to control trying to um trying to manipulate being a compliant to you know to people and and authority and um there are some other ones but generally I’ve always wanted to feel um happy you know I think I started this with I wanted to feel peaceful that’s not even true I’ve always just wanted to feel happy so when I was young I learned very early on that um submitting to specifically my father was the safer place for me to live so I I don’t remember rebelling because I don’t remember very much about my childhood but uh when I grew when I grew up a little bit older I remember trying to rebel against my father and that never ever ever worked so my guess is that I was a rebellious child and I was told to shut up or you know or and so I learned to submit and that got me kind of a long ways for a long time the only emotion I actually really knew was happy if I was if I was sad and I’ll give you a reason to cry and if I was mad it’s like you know shut up and um and so you know if I was afraid there was nothing really to be afraid about huh well how do you feel safe when all you feel is afraid all the time so I don’t want to I don’t want to picture I don’t want to kind of portray my family my parents as tyrants or I don’t really want to label them because it wasn’t their fault they just did the best they could like we all are always doing just because that’s what we could given what we have in the moment and so um I will say though as a child if I am being punished and then my um you know and I’m holding and crying because I’m not allowed to cry then my mom will come in and she’ll say you know your father loves you he doesn’t really mean to do that and you know that was really that’s really messes with the brain of a child that’s what I learned love was punishment so my father didn’t allow me to uh have uh like I said have any any emotion aside from happy so I learned just to people please I tried to please him constantly he was an impossible person to please and later I after many years of therapy realize a therapist told me oh he’s a classic narcissist I didn’t that gave me so much peace to hear that like oh that’s the reason you know that’s the reason he can’t love me and um and then my mom class at codependent in absolute compliance and it could had no control to stop my father from from you know his own anger you know so um so let’s see uh I want to go fast forward this people-pleasing really um was fantastic for a little while because people liked me you know here in the programs all the time that uh I’d never fit in I fit in really good because I just turned into exactly exactly who you wanted me to be and uh I used to pride myself I’m a chameleon you know and uh and but whenever I’d have so if I’m one on one I’m fantastic because I’ll be exactly what you want me to be I’ll eat the food you want I’ll wear the clothes that you wear I might cut my hair the same way as you I mean I just wanted to be light I was looking for love in all the wrong places and uh inside there was this rebellious little girl who was uh wanting to be seen and wanting to be heard and I just had no place to express that safely so um fast forward all my relationships are about me and that was the best friend I was the best worker I was the best daughter to my mom my father I could never please I was the best sister and how that looked was I learned how to anticipate your needs and then I gave you what you needed before you even knew you needed it it’s brilliant a brilliant way of manipulating people into loving you you know and and it was uh really detrimental to my health so how it happened is I uh my uh character Character defects FEA are not dealt with so in Coda we learn how to feel our feelings and in order to deal with them in order for them for healing to occur and um and I didn’t know any feeling except happy and everybody just thought I was bubbly Bev and I you know she’ll do anything for you and if you change your mind it’s okay she’s going to be okay with that and I started getting sick physically so I was at age 26 diagnosed with crohn’s disease and the way it manifested in my body is I could not um assimilate I could not digest my crap literally and later I learned that that that meant that I couldn’t digest assimilate my emotions because I only had happy I had a husband I married uh uh young and I mean every relationship I had which wasn’t they weren’t there weren’t too many I had long-term relationship eight years with the guy who was super duper um I mean I went from what did they say from the fire the frying pad into the fire with this guy very abusive man and um I just thought that was love he he gave me attention and he must love me because he was he gave me a negative attention and that’s all I knew and so um then I married a man who is uh I mean that man was a rageaholic and then the man I married was an alcoholic we were together for 31 years and so I ended up in Al-Anon first people always told me I needed Al-Anon for for the longest time and uh you know and so I came into the rooms in 1984 the man the year I got married to this man but I didn’t stay in the rooms and I didn’t stay come and stay in the rooms until 2012. and uh and the re the way I got into the rooms was I was so desperate I felt like uh I felt like I was underwater and I had my my lips were just above the water and there would be like this small wave that would come over it every once in a while like I just wasn’t going to live another moment I couldn’t take another breath and um I’ve tried a lot of things for for a long time and a lot of them worked for a little while I did a lot of therapy I got into yoga and meditation deeply and um became a yoga therapist and and uh and I even tried codependents Anonymous so a girl a bunch of girlfriends and and I tried a bunch of different Faith Traditions you know and all of those worked for a little bit for a little bit and um that thing was sustainable I’ve even had a few like really amazing spiritual uh epiphanies of Oneness and love but those are fleeting I was looking for I mean I would hold on to that like that’s how I have to live and you know what that’s how I get to live actually but even you know it’s really incredible well you guys know okay so codependence Anonymous book this didn’t come out I think till 2000 and 12 or something like that but before it came out we got a girl some girlfriends of mine found the book the language of letting go by Melanie Melody Beatty and it’s a one day at a time reading about codependency so we would read that and we would discuss a little bit we’re codependent we’re a codependent we just did it on our own and it it was enough for a little while everything was a pretty good for a little while and then uh I started getting migraine headaches I was having Crohn’s attacks I was I was ended up with migraine headaches 24 7. and I couldn’t work and I I couldn’t teach yoga every it was horrific so I finally found um I’ll just say quickly I found Al-Anon picked my husband out of the house and uh and Al-Anon allowed me to bring him back into the house before he died a year and a half later from the disease of alcoholism it’s a beautiful beautiful year and a half together so the program gave me that then um then I realized oh wow if I’m with an alcoholic that long I better start looking at that my therapist told me to go to AAA because Al-Anon wasn’t on the island uh at this point and I had done Al-Anon and then it was gone and uh and she said go to AAA and um so I started going she just said sit in the back of the room and I started hearing my story so I had Ellen on first and then I I had code a long time with my friends didn’t really work the program we just read the book and thought okay we’re cured and then we um and then I went to um Al-Anon and then a a H dipped a little bit into n a because I had a lot of Narcotics I was taking for all the pain and um and then landed in Coda I still have one more program which every time I find a new program it really pisses me off because well why do I have to have another program why can’t the 12 Steps work for everything so maybe we’ll get into that a little bit and yeah so that’s how I found coda I realized I met a I met a man in a my husband dies I meet a man he goes hey have you heard of Coda yeah yeah and so we started we brought a Coda meeting to the island and that’s when my program really took off it sustains all program all the programs but there is a reason why I have different programs because I you know I’m an addict through and through but what I what I have to ask myself is what is going to kill me today

and today it’s food so I’m also an OA I had no idea but here I am and that’s a different that’s a different story so all right that was a little bit longer than I thought it would go but that’s all right Beverly thank you so much and I and I want to I wish there was like some amazing set of words to say here that could like truly honor you being vulnerable and sharing all that with us because that was a lot right that’s a lot of personal stuff so just thank you um I mean you said so many things I have all these notes written down over here I’m like where do I want to start one uh Melody Beady right also wrote codependent no more yes yeah one of the main books about that um so I guess maybe one of the things I want to start with you’ve been a person who has struggled with you know what is being called codependency by the program and maybe there’s some other words we call it in in the therapy language um but I remember hearing a talk by someone who who was one of the creators of the word codependent and codependency back in the the 80s or late 70s or whatever it was and they were talking and lamenting the idea that like they wish they would have called it something else because the idea of codependency that you know it was almost like the the backlash to people being codependent was oh you need to go out and just provide yourself with everything and then your relationships will be healthy and like that’s not exactly accurate because we do need other people and like we’re social creatures and so how do you feel or do you have any feelings about that do you like accept or like the codependent moniker does it bother you because it feels like it’s a little off because you need people do you not even think about that because you’re happy today like tell me about that yeah uh good question um I don’t really have uh I want to say I don’t have an emotional attachment to that but it’s not true because you know labels can keep us so limited I think and uh and it doesn’t actually really matter it doesn’t actually matter codependence you know there’s just what is codependence I mean it’s different for everybody it shows up differently for everybody and I have a sense that most of us have some codependency Tendencies You know the the uh and I’ve had therapists say you know you’re not a codependent and then I read what is a codependent and I’m like what are you talking about I’m so codependent to me though what matters is um am I happy am I truly happy you know what did I have to do with those emotions that we’re not happy I stuffed them I compartmentalized them if I was going to use a clinical term it was it would be disassociation I that’s why I was when I was drinking I was a blackout drunk because I just didn’t want to feel anything but happy so I just blacked out and everything in every way I could and so um to me it doesn’t matter what it’s called and I don’t want to get hung up on it I can understand why

actually I think it’s fantastic now you know this is my brain it just moves all over the place every moment is a different a different perspective and that’s what I have to live with all the time and that’s okay because life is uh you know a moving Target s it’s so constant so you know I just have to go with it but what I’m thinking about now is it it’s so vague and so complicated and so individual that maybe it gets people thinking about it and that’s enough okay if one person thinks about dipping into codependents anonymous

we’ve all done our job here if we stay a little bit sober emotionally you know and otherwise we’ve done our job here it’s all we need is that so I I’m I’m happy for the question I think it doesn’t matter personally to me in this moment yeah awesome um this is a a question that’s going to have a little bit of my own bias in it so feel free to call that out or just ignore it or whatever um thinking about this idea of one of our questions is what does your program say the problem is right and generally for most of the 12-step fellowships that is there’s this spiritual void or or spiritual lacking right or emptiness um and it’s one of those pieces actually of the 12-step world that I think in 2023 I it’s starting to bother me a little bit because I think I understand what happens a little bit different than just a spiritual emptiness um but I’m really interested especially with Coda feeling like it comes more from the world of like therapy or or Compassion or do they say that it’s a different necessary problem or do they get into what the problem is or more of just how to help it today foreign [Music] yeah I can only speak from my own perspective around it okay not for Coda as you know gotcha um but you know the only requirement for Coda membership is a desire for healthy and uh I think it’s healthy and happy relationships I don’t think I don’t know that’s right let me see it’s a tradition the only requirement for membership encoda is a desire for healthy and loving relationships that’s the only requirement that’s beautiful who doesn’t want that right I got a question about the relationship part so can you be codependent on not humans like for example social media or codependent on a uh like a brand of clothing like I am not whole unless I am wearing this brand of clothing it like it like my understanding of codependency is it fuels your self-worth can you be does coda is it just relationships with people or is it replacement relationships with like non people too or is it just people so I can see some idea being people too yeah yeah it it at the core is a low self-worth I believe I think that’s at the core of Being Human you know so um I think that it for me absolutely social media and outside sources so when we do um you know the fourth step it’s just like any other four step you know what where am I what am I upset with so I actually um well I want to I want to be specific about your about your question it’s a it’s really it’s really a good one the answer in in short for me is yes yes I can be codependent with things that I think need to be different uh there I if I need to have a Louis Vuitton purse in order to have self-worth it’s not really a problem actually unless it’s a problem unless my finances are in trouble because I have to buy a thousand dollar purse you know and and and and there it’s so nuanced that it’s hard to pinpoint but for me it comes down to am I living in Integrity with myself because the relationship with self with my higher power and then with all the world not just people it’s every establishment it’s every situation it’s it’s every little thing like I mean I could go off in a whole bunches of places

so I want to ask first if um if that’s sad if that if you have any more to ask about that specifically no you can you can go on your tangent

well you know it’s it’s uh I’ll give you this example I’ll try to be succinct so I am I love the earth I love the planet I want I feel responsibility to it my husband loves the Earth and loves the planet doesn’t feel that doesn’t feel have the same responsibility as I have so here we are he’s got the front part of the house I’ve got the back part of the yard and he wants grass so he’s putting down grass seed with not what I call poison because it’s fertilizer and uh and we’ve got deer and birds and squirrels out there and oh I can think about is how can you put that I say [  ] on this oh yes please how can you put that poison [  ] on our you know how can you do that our beer are going to die I mean it’s just terrible and um and so we would fight about it now that’s a problem he and I not being able to come to come we’re not we’re not supposed to come together on every little thing but that’s an outside problem that is internally affecting me and I’m feeling horrible and I’m making him wrong and blah blah blah but it’s it’s about the planet it’s not necessarily about him but I’m making it about him anyway it’s too much to go into the whole process of it but basically I work my program and now I realize that um I have a false sense of responsibility that’s not mine to do it’s not mine to protect the environment it’s mine to do my own little part if I want to recycle I recycle if he wants to throw something away that’s on him you know so I I don’t have to but I know it sounds more personal like it’s about us but it’s about different perspectives and this program gives me a uh A New Perspective about everything one moment at a time it’s really about am I Disturbed we all have this gut thing it’s a gut disturbance about a thing about anything and if I’m disturbed I I need my program that’s kind of the bottom line and the program always works for me I’ve tried so many things so many things so many religions so many other therapies so many so many things and the program is it always works for me always just this morning I woke up wanting to avoid this I almost I almost wrote I can’t do this you want to hear that story

so I’m not preparing for this because I don’t want to prepare anymore I just want to show up and I’m a real perfectionist and I need to prepare everything it’s how I’ve always done it and whenever I’ve told my story I’ve always had little cheat sheets and all this stuff and I just said I don’t want to do that and so I’m just going along with life and my husband decides yesterday he’s going to paint or paint the roof the ceiling in this room this main room that I’m usually in and uh my first response is really you know I almost have never anything going on I have this coder thing going on tomorrow and you’re gonna take my room away and uh

but I didn’t say that as but it’s certainly first thought wrong always my first thought is always wrong anyhow so there was a bit of a resistance if I’m in resistance I am in a character defect it might be subtle but it’s there and uh I’m in resistance and I remember going well if you can set me up because I’m not physical right now someplace else so I can do this code of thing that’s cool and um I thought I was okay with that I I didn’t know that it wasn’t okay this is how subtle it can be so he’s painting painting painting everything’s out of sort and um I start feeling physical pain and I think it’s because I’ve been a little bit more physical than usual and I uh This is Gonna sound so ridiculous I think but that’s okay I’ll go with it anyway I’m in physical pain and I can hear my brain starting to go you know of all times to do that that’s still with me you know a resentment is a re feeling that’s what the resentment is and it has nothing to do with the moment it has everything to do with these these places for me where I didn’t I wasn’t acknowledged I wasn’t seen I wasn’t hurt I wasn’t considered and this is how I must be feeling but I don’t recognize that yet I have a really hard a difficult night I’m in a bit of self-pity I wake up and I’m like man I don’t really think I’m like really in a lot of pain how am I supposed to show up in program when I’m in so much pain you know luckily I have a husband who’s also in program and uh and we started chatting and just it you know eventually I was done I’m like it’s an hour out I just have to be quiet for a moment within within really seconds I I got do a 10th step I started doing a 10 step and within minutes I was feeling better and uh and the pain is gone so I am really grateful for pain I don’t like it when it’s happening and I think I have to do something I’m doing something wrong I need to do more more prayer more Outreach what am I what am I missing that I’m in so much pain because now I know pain is an indication of something deeper but I just couldn’t access it when you’re in the throes of it when I’m in my own delusion of thinking I have any power over anything it doesn’t go well at all so luckily the 10th step you know so I just did it it took me like five seconds well not five seconds maybe a few minutes I don’t even know where my notebook is excuse me and I just saw all this self self self self

I had a fellow reach out to me Beth do you have a few minutes to chat I don’t have a few minutes to chat are you kidding I’m in pain I can’t help you yeah I didn’t say that but that’s my my thinking is so sick so you know a lot of us come from the big book or you know of AAA that’s our the founding of the the first of the 12 steps and I really believe that if when when I’ve done this when I’ve changed the word drinking for thinking it applies every single solitary time it is my thinking that gets in the way of everything and my thinking is from everything I’ve learned it’s my conditioning it’s being a human being how do you get away with that how do you get away from that you stay connected to a power that’s you know has to be two things it has to be not me and it has to work this is as simple as that and that’s how it works for me and I don’t really know if we ever finished that story about the bird seed I mean the the grass seed but what happened was there was a an internal shift an internal you know my sponsor says God’s either going to change my perspective or gonna change the situation my perspective changed another round of grass seed came went on and one more time and then then the situation changed never again that’s how it works for me so that that’s awesome and thank you I think that story definitely highlights like the process that some of us are familiar with of like these little realizations of the messages our bodies are sending us you know along the way and and maybe some of our misinterpretations and getting to the bottom of what they are and all that um I’m curious okay so somebody decides hey you know what I I think maybe I do struggle with some of this and I’m interested in going to to a Coda meeting and they they get there is there a specific bottom line or or rule around it like for Alcoholics Anonymous right you don’t touch alcohol and for Narcotics Anonymous they have their rules of you know what’s unacceptable for you know clean time as they usually refer to it or abstinence um what is is there a single defined definition of this in Coda or is it more person to person you kind of work around whatever trouble behaviors you have yeah thank you for that um it is individual there isn’t the bot it’s so easy uh to just it’s not easy to just not drink we all know that but it’s one thing to focus on and then you know with uh AAA you we’re powerless over alcohols you know as we all know is step one and then there’s never anything about alcohol again it’s really all about how do we connect with the power that helps us in life not and it and it’s a miracle that I don’t have an obsession to drink is a miracle it’s an it’s a miracle in Coda for me that I I don’t have the obsession to control people and um and even to control myself a lot of the time it’s a miracle but it is a moment by moment there’s you know it’s it’s Coda is the emotional relapse of a a you know when you’re in emotional relapse code is for you is will work for you so um okay the original question was is there one thing my experience in that working with you know working with us with a sponsor and also working with sponsees is the one thing is stop making yourself wrong just stop making yourself wrong about anything and also the other side of that is stop making yourself right you know so there it seems like such a you know there’s the there’s the the pendulum that has to swing I just I used to say so for one of the one of the things it depends on that personality most of us have one type of Personality Or Another We’re either write about everything we’re righteous you know that’s the Bill W guy who’s just you know so sure about everything and I’m gonna be you know saving the world and making all this money and then there’s the person who just um is quiet and um kind of a follower so there’s the leaders in the follower personalities and the the person who’s the follower usually has to stop saying they’re sorry because the Bill W the other I hate to say that about Bill W business just that’s his General personality you know he was a he was the the power over oh let me put it this way there’s power over and there’s power under I lived with power under error I was afraid of authority I was being right and I was always wrong so I lived in power under and then there’s the people who love to power over and they bully and they you know yell and they they make p they stop people in their tracks by being mad Maybe and and the program is um about power with how can we be in power with my inner strength my higher power my my lover my friend my you know my co-worker and so it is such an individual thing but in codependence Anonymous just like other programs you will learn it’s a program of self-discovery learning to love the self so I would say if you’re somebody who says you’re sorry a lot and feel less than stop saying you’re sorry first just stop saying you’re sorry when I was given that instruction I think I I don’t remember exactly but I think she said six months don’t say you’re sorry to anybody what a realization that I said it about everything all the time it kept me in such a low self-worth place I’m sorry about my existence you know and then whatever your first thought is turn it around because it’s probably wrong um you mentioned going to Al-Anon and I was thinking wow Al-Anon probably has a lot of you know crossover material with Coda uh just it doesn’t require your person to be an alcoholic necessarily and then I started thinking of like um and I don’t know if you’re familiar with this program or not but there’s a program called sex and love addicts anonymous that has a lot of carryover when Crossover with Coda as well so what uh and if you are familiar with these programs you mentioned Al-Anon but what are the differences or maybe the subtleties or Nuance that could tell somebody oh coda’s right for me as opposed to an Al-Anon or an slaa or something like that right yeah um you know I’m so grateful that I can claim my seat in many programs because I’m actually really grateful for what got me to the program and that was um you know miserable relationship with an alcoholic because otherwise I wouldn’t I don’t know that I wouldn’t have found my way because I’ve tried so many ways and so it’s uh you know you don’t ha the the thing about it is is you know if you want to be an AAA you have to have you have to say that you’re powerless over alcohol you have a drinking problem or you don’t want to quit drinking and with Al-Anon you have to know somebody right same with same with uh sex and love addiction it’s all these relationships that we’re having specifically specific to intimacy and uh but um encoda it’s just if you I think everybody who wants to know themselves anybody who wants a better life can qualify it’s about healthy and loving relationships and that’s with yourself with what you call higher power if you even have one you don’t even have to have one as you know with other people with systems of the world with the government with politics with anything now those other programs will allow you to get there also if you go deeper all these you know for some people it’s just enough to stop drinking and other people want to be happy I’m somebody who desperately wanted to feel what happy really was and um now I do and now I can’t tolerate other than happy I mean it’s kind of funny I can tolerate it because I can feel it but I I have to get out of it quickly and I don’t get out of it by making somebody wrong I don’t get out of it because that feels good it feels powerful it’s about wanting some control over my life that’s why I did all those things that’s why I that even even submitting is a sense of control for me and it makes me feel like I have anything to do with anything because otherwise who am I I never thought about codependency with a higher power When you mention that now um how how does that work because I know in so I did AA 12 steps and now I’m in recovery Dharma but you know like everybody I guess in in the AAA that I went to so many people were living for their higher power that sounds just like codependency um can you talk more about that like you said you in in the coda program you need a healthy relationship with your higher power I think that’s really interesting because so is the question um uh can we be codependent with a higher power is that the question kind of I think so I just want to know what that looks like and what the bad version versus the good version looks like are you guys with me or this is like except for bad and good don’t exist but yeah hopefully you’re unhealthy should we call it that sure okay

we’re not really sure how to get my brain goes to a lot of different places in it with it you know as I as I think about it and I start to speak about it I think you guys it’s the same in all 12 steps the codependents anonymous 12 steps is exact and the 12 traditions are exactly the same the only difference is in 12 steps we are admitted we were powerless over others but we still that our lives have become unmanageable is my life unmanageable if it is it’s because I’m relying on self to manage it the problem you know you can’t solve the problem at the level of the problem and the problem is my brain thinking I know anything and but it’s like wait a minute I know things wait a minute I have a manageable life I because I worked you know I did work for a long time and I you know wasn’t in debt after I got out of debt and I learned how to be okay in life and I thought it was okay I was teaching yoga yeah I was eating I was a vegetarian for a long time and and uh you know as look on the outside like everything was beautiful and working well for me my husband was adorable he was a musician I never talked about the addiction and and so it looked really good so when I but on the inside it’s all about the inside if I am not happy I mean it just keeps coming down to that but who is happy all the time nobody nobody’s happy all the time we’re human beings but we can with a higher power let me say it this way I I really love the Frog analogy I think it’s a Christian thing but uh but I don’t really care I just remember some guys walking around with a t-shirt in one of the rooms frog fully relying on God and now I’m so excited to get a tattoo of a frog because I want a reminder because I will forget and I will I will be I will be relying on you I will be relying on me I’ll be relying on the government I’ll be relying on I’ll be relying on my husband I’ll be relying on a doctor I’ll be relying and you think well why wouldn’t you rely on the wisdom of a doctor or why won’t you rely on the wisdom of somebody who’s been in the program longer why wouldn’t you and it’s because also in the big book it says no human power could relieve our suffering so it’s only the power that’s outside of this realm in my brain in my opinion there is a there’s a there’s a power that is outside of everybody and everything and it’s it’s not corporeal it’s an incorporeal experience it’s not some guy in this guy with a big beard and I mean you know even Santa Clauses I’m checking my list I’m checking it twice have you been naughty or nice I don’t want to live in that realm any longer I want to live in the realm of whatever it is that makes life okay that brings the Sun up and the moon up every day this the thing that the thing that makes my mailman come to to my mailbox every day I trust in the mailman more than I used to than in a higher power and um and now I’m learning to trust in a power to even like some days I’ll just be sitting there and I’ll go okay now what do the dishes so I’m bringing my higher power with me to the dishes and it makes the dishes experience much better you know that I I mean it’s just silly the sounding little thing but it’s everything for me today so am I codependent on my higher power absolutely you know it’s kind of like in the in in the rooms of uh AAP I remember people say Beverly you’re addicted to AAA I’m like well it’s a better addiction than alcohol you know I mean it’s about it’s about uh it’s about relying on and so I don’t know sometimes I make mistakes I never used to be able to make mistakes because I was a perfectionist I couldn’t dare to make a mistake I couldn’t Dare for you to see me making a mistake and uh and so with my higher power some sometimes I don’t get it right I hear a message this morning I heard do a 10th step my first thought was yeah well how is that going to help anything I’m in so much pain but I now today I know to just to sit down and do it I can usually do it in my head pretty quickly run through that same 10 step as you guys but I wrote it down because I was in a lot of pain and really within minutes I’m seeing where I am selfish of course I’m selfish I want Pain to End I’m selfish this woman this fellow is asking for help and I can’t be there for her because I’m in my own pain where am I in self-pity well if you had my pain you would be too you know where am I in uh self-seeking it needs to be different this has to be different I cannot handle the pain it has to be different I’m gonna have to cancel Dakota meeting you know Dakota interview where am I in a you know self-doubt well and self-sabotaging self-esteem where am I unfilling unsafe where am I in self relying where am I dishonest and inconsiderate and Afraid all of those places is me and so where do I go I have to give me up to to a power that’s not me and normally when that happens I get clarity and Clarity is king So my husband went downstairs to be quiet because he was like painting in his room but now he started up the um he started up a lawnmower I think can you hear it no okay good all right so I don’t know if that answers your question Jenny about my codependent with a higher power I think the answer is I’m in Japan interdependent with a with a higher power but for a little while I had to be really relying on that power before I can feel any wisdom coming through myself does that make sense yes it does [Music]

foreign I just want to say there’s the pendulum that swings you know at first I hated myself and then I love myself that I didn’t care what you thought about me you know and now there’s this more middle place of I care about me and actually I care about you what’s going on with you about me I mean there’s this middle place and so that was the same thing with the higher power I had to do so many four steps on my higher power because what kind of higher power would give me the life that I had I mean really I was so very mad at my higher power for many many many many years it’s just really the last I would say like three or four years that I started realizing oh there it it says right here came to believe that a power made a decision to turn our will in our lives over to the care of God as we understood God the care of God I I didn’t think there was any care in God I thought God was judging and punishing me and you know I thought I had to suffer in order to I had to sacrifice in order to prove my worthiness it’s also crap to me today what kind of uh what kind of misconceptions have you run into that people have about either the coda program or codependency the idea of codependency in general and what what kind of things like how do you do you bother to correct them or try to inform them or do you just kind of let people have their assumptions or yeah it’s the same with everything else it’s a it’s a attraction rather than promotion and um I show up at meetings and people ask me if uh they could call me that’s why I always have my phone number on my screen I invite anybody to call me at any time and um and I and I I work with people but I do not any longer spend energy on letting people know about a solution that they’re not actually interested in I don’t spend any more time on that I used to do that all the time well this is what you have to do this is how you have to do it I mean when I first came into 12 so I thought everybody needed to be in 12 steps but this is not the only path there’s other paths it just didn’t work for me you know so um and who knows what’s what’s to come I don’t know I’m always wondering wow look look who I am now I wonder who I’ll be in a year from now because I’m constantly different so no I I don’t uh offer I’m very open about recovery when I’m talking to people I I will say you know like as far as food is concerned because I’m in OA I’ll say oh no no no no no I I I don’t eat that oh why don’t you eat that bad well I realize that it doesn’t that doesn’t work with me and my body I you know wow and I’ll say well I learned that in a way I used to be really afraid of food so I would restrict for days because I would be so afraid to eat and now I’m not afraid to eat and it’s it’s a miracle you know so I do I’m very open about all of my 12-step programs to people who are interested if I see that there’s a little opening and interest I might say I do but I never say you do because no I didn’t want to hear that you told me what I had to do how I had to do it I wasn’t interested until I was at such a bottom so until I was at such a bottom that I had no place else to go so for me my first higher power even though I thought I knew God was my sponsor I gave her every I gave me to her completely I was told come to meetings get a sponsor worth the steps you don’t have to understand it you don’t have to believe it you don’t have to trust it you don’t have to know it you just gotta do it so get a sponsor and then the hardest part do what they say well what are they telling me to jump off a cliff I said no that is a spot what makes a good sponsee and a sponsor is a motivated sponsee if so I stopped questioning and I started asking what do you want me to do now now what do you want me to do now and now what do you want me to do because it doesn’t take very long to start seeing results I have a new person that I’m working with in coda she’s only been in the program a few months but she can’t she’s still on step one still thinking she has some power over a bunch of stuff in her life and justifying the hell out of it that’s okay that’s step one we stay there until there’s a realization an understanding a submitting a surrender to the idea that oh my God am I not life is unmanageable I mean I most people can understand that they’re they can grab a hold of their life is unmanageable they can’t really grab a hold of their powerlessness but it’s an important step and um and so the reason I bring uh that person up is because [Music] um I can sense not because I can sense and not because I’ve been doing this for a little while but because a higher power gives me that sense it’s a sixth sense of living you know I can sense that she wants it very very badly and yet she’s still arguing for her limitations so I’m not going to say you’re done you know I’m done with you because you don’t want to just listen to me I’m going to be with her right where she’s at because they’re still sensitive she can already tell what a difference she doesn’t understand it I go you don’t have to understand it’s not time to understand you’re in step one I know I’m confused I don’t know why you don’t have to know why you’re in step one step one is not a fun place to be there’s still a lot of confusion in that so um yeah I don’t remember what the original question was that a kind of question about the step process or your experience with the steps in Coda uh do they have like a step working guide do they go off Dittos is it just is there any writing involved like what’s the step process in Coda looked like for you yeah thank you well it’s different for me for now because but when I first started working with Coda we worked this book here hmm now look at this to thy known self be true it still has our has our you know so it’s a discovery recovery self-respect because I know selfie trip so there is there’s you know there’s a little reading for each step and then there’s questions like for instance in Step One am I controlling at that step one people do not know this they’re just reading the material and then writing the answers exactly as they’ve just read and that’s appropriate that’s okay you know you know what does surrender mean why do I need to surrender over what do I need to surrender there’s a lots of really wonderful questions for each step and so people just and then I have one code uh sponsor who’s gone through all that and everything and and now we’re working through a really beautiful book it’s a Richard Rohr book breathing underwater and it’s a it’s a 12-step uh recovery focus and it’s a really really so now we’re doing that and you know this program is very it can go it’s endless in the discovery itself because I believe that until we really truly know who we are which is already everything we’ve ever ever wanted um in life we will seek and I want to I want to say this a quote from uh I heard it from Rupert Spira but I don’t know if it’s his but he said um the thing that we’re looking for we cannot find by seeking but only Seekers find it and that’s us that’s that’s that’s awesome I was thinking about the sponsee or the prospective sponsee that asked about you know what if my sponsor tells me to jump off a cliff and I was thinking the answer to that is well if you do you probably qualify for Coda if you’re exactly you’re willing to jump off the cliff or something right right so also in this little work in this workbook there’s uh characteristics and uh of in step four patterns and characteristics of codependency so there’s Let’s see we have denial patterns I’m just going to read a few of them off would that be all right okay so denial patterns you have a difficulty identifying what they’re feeling you know that was me only happy no no I really am only happy I never fight with my husband because he’s perfect I don’t know man this is such a delusional state of being um perceive themselves as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others like you know I’m trying to save the planet and everyone on it and all the animals and everything lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others that you know I’m a very uh I’m an empath a lot of codependents are empaths and I I had no problem with feeling the feelings of others what I had a problem with was thinking that they now it’s my responsibility to deal with their problems you know just a real false sense of responsibility a high expectation of myself and perfectionism that was completely unachievable I’m just a human being another Bose on the bus doing the same stupid things everybody else on the planet you know I’m no better I’m no worries I’m just exactly like everyone I just have a deep desire to live a a peaceful and useful life and uh I was just looking for it in every other way then I really resisted the higher power thing so okay and then there’s low self-esteem patterns there’s a whole bunch of them have difficulty making admitting a mistake okay making a mistake is different than admitting a mistake I could never admit I was making a mistake yeah look to others to provide their sense of safety I would say at the core of one of my issues and codependency is safety never feeling really safe and um I didn’t know that I didn’t fit in until I came to the 12 steps and my all my all my coping mechanisms were taken away then am I now I’m just left with me and my body and I’m so uncomfortable in every situation into my life so it’s about learning to get comfortable in my own skin in every situation Knowing When to Walk Away knowing when to run away you know extremely loyal remaining in harmful situations too long you know and that’s this that is also straight from the book The Big Book is we put ourselves in positions that later caused us harm so I just want to say control patterns you know use charm and Charisma to convince others of their capacity to be caring and compassionate I used to have a friend who used to get so mad at me barely just split her around bubbly Beverly you just flitter around getting all this attention I had no idea that was me just really just trying to be seen you know I didn’t know that it was harming her and her relationship with her husband because now he’s looking at me he’s like you know that’s harming to my friend it wasn’t a very nice thing to do I’d be all flirtatious and everything and yeah yeah and then avoidance patterns suppress their feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable you know avoid emotional physical or sexual intimacy as a way to maintain distance

withhold expressions of appreciation I used to not be able to take compliments oh no you know this whole thing or yeah I just couldn’t take a compliment today I can take a compliment and say thank you instead of what’s wrong with you for thinking that you know good because you’re doing a great job yeah we’re doing a great job yeah I wanted to read this just because I I feel like it’s a good paragraph about the the program it says Coda defines codependency as a pattern of behavior characterized by a compulsive need to control and care for others to the detriment of One’s Own well-being this can manifest in a variety of ways such as constantly seeking approval or validation from others avoiding conflict or difficult emotions sacrificing one’s own needs and desires to please others and feeling responsible for the happiness or success of others encoda codependency is seen as a learned behavior that can be unlearned through self-awareness personal growth and support from others in the program Coda aims to help members break free from codependent patterns and develop healthier more fulfilling relationships with themselves and others interesting um which seems a little bit different from some of the other 12-step programs right maybe not as different from an Overeaters Anonymous but this idea of seeing the behavior as a learned behavior that can be unlearned through self-awareness personal growth and support from others which sounds a little different than than like that spiritual void we kind of talked about earlier even though it might necessarily come from the same place I I kind of like the way they talk about the behavior did did that help you any when you were coming in Dakota like this idea of unlearning it as opposed to just you know I think some of us struggle with this I’m bad and I I don’t want to be a bad person but an a learned behavior doesn’t sound like I’m a bad person it just sounds like I got taught wrong right exactly so it’s kind of when I’m when I’m hearing you say that I mean I’m absolutely agreeing with everything that’s you’re reading I’m thinking that’s kind of like cognitive behavioral therapy you know let’s just change the behavior and it is true it’s kind of like um so in these patterns of uh characteristics of uh codependency all of those things help me to survive just like alcohol helped me to survive just like food soothes me a bit to survive every one of my addictions you know helped me they were coping mechanisms in order to feel okay about myself and um and so in the 12 States one of the way in this particular book the 12 steps and traditions of Coda and workbook they’re one of the ways that you can there’s several ways to work the step four one of them is to go through each one of these and hang out there for a little while my low self-esteem patterns where so having difficulty making decisions so you know just with that one little bit of awareness you go around the next week and you think you you have this in your head am I having difficulty making decisions right down to what am I going to wear it’s not about the motive oh well they think I look pretty in this or fat in this or whatever it’s more about just am I having difficulty making decisions and so and and the question is how do I harm myself or others in having difficulty making decisions how do I harm myself or others so I don’t even know what I wanted to eat when we go out to eat I always said I didn’t care I don’t care whatever you want to eat and one time one girl got mad at me one of my friends said Beverly don’t I just want you to make a decision so I said okay okay I want Italian and then she said oh I don’t want to tell you is that just reaffirmed that my decision making is bad you know wrong and so uh so that was way before recovery and then I submitted again and just went wherever she wanted to and uh I used to have a lot of heavy power over relationships in my life and now I just have power with and it’s lovely so um but so yeah there is there is behavioral change and it but it’s I don’t see it that different than um on cable and I want to say it differently there is change that has to happen just like in any other 12 steps there’s only one thing you have to change and it’s everything I need a personality change that can change but there’s always this uh in the even though I have a lot of healing and I have a lot of strength and I have a lot of courage and I have a lot of self worth and self-esteem those little voices of the past like this morning will try to get me into avoidance so avoidance and something’s wrong with me and now I’m starting this pattern again and now she never tell me a story ever ever again I mean it’s just ridiculous but instead of forcing myself just to show up I have to get quiet and hear and live in the solution the solution for me is the program and what it looks a little different sometimes it’s called somebody sometimes it’s you know but it’s always the program there’s really isn’t it stop blaming myself it’s stuck so that’s a behavioral change is oh I the 12 steps for me changes my behavior it’s not a forced change Behavior like I would like I um like saying stop saying I’m sorry start saying thank you when somebody compliments me those are behavioral changes that I had that I was super uncomfortable with and so there’s a part of that little bit of uh just do it even though you don’t get it even though you’re uncomfortable with it even you know you don’t want it just do it so I don’t know if that addresses your question but I do think it changed behavior in order to change yeah I think it definitely does and just keeping an eye on time here Bev we’re getting close to the end so I I want to say that I am looking on coda.org that is c-o-d-a dot o r g that is the hub for probably finding meetings and any information anybody wanted to know that maybe they didn’t hear today if somebody did hear something today that really felt relevant to them and maybe they wanted to go check out a Coda meeting is that the easiest place to find where all the meetings are is there a better is there somewhere else you want to send people to to look for information or is that the main spot that is the main spot uh there’s also if you go to codependency you’re gonna lots of stuff is gonna come up there’s a there’s where the founders are from Phoenix Arizona there’s a whole website there I can’t remember exactly what it is I could probably figure it out but um there’s a lot of good podcasts with speakers and who will probably you know tell your story if you’re interested and um but coda.org is the main place I understand that they are revamping their website and their user and uh and so it’s a little wonky sometimes but um I was on there I found it super useful and it was pretty easy to navigate so they had a lot of good frequently asked questions they had a lot of good literature and information on there so I found it easy to work with okay oh I’m super happy to hear that yeah there’s so much good information on there the meeting portion is uh can be a little bit difficult to navigate moment but uh but yeah there’s so much good information and um yeah and there’s meetings every day all through the day take my number feel free to call you know what I saw on the website when I was looking at it this week was um Coda has the 30 second rule I don’t know about this in any other 12-step everything that comes out of the whole pamphlet about how to handle difficulties in like a group uh conscious setting and they have this 30 second rule I know sex addiction meetings have a three second rule but I think that’s going to be something very different than this 30 second rule so I’m just I’m curious what is the 30 second rule is it like wait 30 seconds before you respond or Beverly do you want to describe that 30-second Rule and have you ever used it in a meeting uh I have seen it used I’ve not used it myself uh and I don’t is it I don’t know if it originates from coda but the idea about it for me is let’s take a moment and get just get quiet and reorient try to find another perspective without trying to find another perspective sometimes you just gotta stop the Insanity by stop talking yeah the way I read it it sounded like anyone could just call like a timeout basically to to kind of stop right when you were telling the story about your process of like last night and the painting in the room and and you know this morning and being in pain and having to like kind of stop it it reminds me of that 30 second rule and it reminds me just generally that like all the growth I’ve had in my life has come really from stopping and stepping back right whether it’s meditation whether it’s a form of breathing that to enable my parasympathetic nervous system and calm down all that you know craziness going on that’s where I’ve always found and that’s what I’ve heard you say today is like where I found my pieces from like stopping that roller coaster of whatever I used to do and just just stopping for a minute just finding some Stillness and then things seem to come to you from there and that’s been my experience too and that I don’t know maybe that’s what the 30-second rule kind of is just like slow everything down I believe it is I’ve seen it mostly in group conscience meetings because that’s why there’s a lot of heated exchange oftentimes and it works very very well it’s like you just say you know like that I like to ask for 30 seconds and and then everybody just stops you know it seems like that would be a fantastic a fantastic behavioral change like every hour take 30 seconds you know and just stop Wherever You Are just take 30 seconds see what comes because I it is that other realm you know the sunlight of the spirit is not of this realm and you know our brain my brain is like a computer it takes it in and wants a process it spits it back out that’s not the realm of the spirit and I’m trying to tap into that realm because that’s where all the answers are so that I love the way you said that Jason just you know just get quiet for a moment and that’s where the answer emerges it doesn’t take long but it does take practice so if you’re just starting and you’re just starting trying to get quiet and your mind is going a million miles an hour just keep doing that so I I love what my sponsor now says I hear well there’s two things one is you know we always say keep coming back she goes just don’t leave even if you’re in a real just don’t leave don’t leave don’t leave don’t leave because when I go out I don’t come back for a little while you know and then the other thing she says is uh p-m-s-ss this is the way to uh peaceful and useful life prayer meditation is p you know I do it every day pray and meditate before I wake up and before I go to bed I pray and I’m quiet for just a little while it used to be long periods of time now it’s just a little bit here and there uh meetings go to meetings you know they say meeting makers make it but really step workers make it in my opinion and people continue working the steps and then prayer meditate meetings PMS get a sponsor and S worked this steps so I worked the steps with the sponsor always I mean I’ve been in program a little while but I always have a sponsor who

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I think so Beverly yes I am here you guys keep leaving me I used to have really big abandonment issues but oh no good I’m glad you’ve worked on that now I just laugh at the whole thing it’s like oh my God it’s so hysterical so we we heard the prayer and meditation meetings uh sponsor steps what was the last s is it service service yeah even if it’s just coming to a meeting but ultimately it will be the only requirement for getting through step 12 is to go pass it on do it you know give it to somebody else right right so we we do have to to wrap up here today Bev we really appreciate you coming on apologize for some of the the technical difficulties we’re getting used to our new space that we’re in and trying to get all that set up right but thank you so much for the information uh anybody who’s heard something you could relate to you can find more at coda.org that’s coda.org um and maybe everyone who listened to this can go into their workplace tomorrow and you know uh stand up once an hour and just tell everybody we’re going to have 30 seconds of silence and it won’t be awkward at all and you know have fun with that everyone but Bev thank you again for coming on and sharing so much of you with us and and about the the coda program hopefully that will help us all move forward and keep growing and learning thank you Jason and thank you Jenny and thank you thank you

be more it’s been lovely to meet with you and uh chat about the the thing that really lights my fire today so oh well have a great week Beverly thank you again thank you love [Music] share it with people you think might get something out of it check out the rest of our episodes at recoverysortup.com also while you’re there you can find ways to link up with us on Facebook Twitter Instagram Reddit YouTube anything we’re always looking for new ideas got an idea you want us to look into reach out to us thank you

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