Codependents' Guide to the Twelve Steps
"First the Hurt, Now the Healing..."^Millions identified with Melody Beattie in "Codependent No More" and gained inspiration from her in "Beyond Codependency." Now she's back to help you discover how recovery programs work and to help you find the right...
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"First the Hurt, Now the Healing..."^Millions identified with Melody Beattie in "Codependent No More" and gained inspiration from her in "Beyond Codependency." Now she's back to help you discover how recovery programs work and to help you find the right one for you. Interpreting the famous Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Steps specifically for codependent issues for the very first time, this groundbreaking book combines Melody's expertise with the experience of other people to: ^; Explain each step and how you can apply it to your particular issues^; Offer specific exercises and activities to use both in group settings and on your own^; Provide a directory of the wide range of Twelve Step programs -- including Al-Anon, Codependents Anonymous, Codependents of Sex Addicts, Adult Children of Alcoholics, and more^The uniquely warm and compassionate voice of Melody Beattie will inspire you to turn your life around -- one step at a time.^
New from the bestselling author of Codependent No More and Beyond Codependency--the important guide to using the Twelve Steps specifically for codependent issues. Includes tips on how to evaluate programs, a practical guide to each of the Twelve Steps, plus specific exercises and activities to use both in group settings and on one's own.
Chapter 1 "Surrender happens of its own accord. It just dawns on me. Then, peace of mind settles in, and my life starts to get more manageable." Bob T. STEP ONE "WE ADMITTED WE WERE POWERLESS OVER OTHERS-THAT OUR LIVES HAD BECOME UNMANAGEABLE." Step One of CoDA The first time I heard this Step, I didn't get it. I didn't understand. It felt dark, scary, and untrue. Powerless over others? My life -- unmanageable? I thought I was in complete control of myself and others. I thought there was no circumstance too overwhelming, no feeling so great that I couldn't handle it by sheer force of willpower. I thought being in control was expected of me. It was my job. That's how I got through life! And I thought my life looked so much more manageable than the lives of those around me -- until I started looking within. That's when I found the undercurrent of fear, anger, pain, loneliness, emptiness, and unmet needs that had controlled me most of my life. That's when I took my eyes off the other person long enough to take a look at the state of affairs in my life. That's when I began to find a life and come alive. "I didn't know about power and powerlessness," said Mary, talking about the First Step. "Being a victim and being in control was how I was in power. If I was powerless, then someone else was in control." Now we are learning a better way to own our power than being victims and being controlling. It begins by admitting and accepting the truth about ourselves and our relationships. We are powerless over others. When we try to exert power where we have none, our lives at some level may become unmanageable. Let's take a look at some ways unmanageability can present itself in our lives, and where our ideas about controlling others -- or allowing them to control us -- began. MY STORY I can still remember the scene vividly, even though it happened more than a decade ago. Someone I cared about a lot was drinking. He was an alcoholic. And he wouldn't stop. I had done everything I could to make him stop. Nothing worked. Nothing. Neither was I able to stop my efforts to control his drinking. After yet another round of promises, forgiveness, then broken promises, I settled on the ultimate plan tomakehim stop drinking. I would show him how it felt to love someone who was using chemicals. I would make it look like I had returned to drug usage. That would get his attention. That would show him how much I hurt. Then he would stop. Carefully, I set the stage. Although I had been clean of drugs for years, I laid out the paraphernalia of a user: a small packet with white powder in it (I used sugar); a spoon, burnt on one side; a piece of cotton in the spoon. Then I lay down on the couch to make it look like I was under the influence of narcotics. A short time later, the person who was the focus (at that time) of my control efforts entered the room. He looked around, saw the spoon, saw me, and started to react. I jumped off the couch and started lecturing. "See!" I screamed. "See how it feels to love someone and see them using chemicals! See how much it hurts! See what you've beendoing to mefor these years!" His reaction was not nearly as important as my neighbor's reaction later that evening. "What you're doing is really crazy," she said, "and you need to go to Al-Anon." It took me months to learn the truth: I didn't need to prove to the alcoholic how much I hurt. I needed to become aware of how much pain I was in. I needed to take care of myself. That's only one of many incidents that shows the lengths I went to to control people. I was so good at seeing the behaviors, especially the out-of-control behaviors, of another. Yet I couldn't see unmanageability in my own life. I couldn't see myself. And I was trapped, locked into the victim role. People didn't just do things. They did things to
Melody Beattie, one of the seminal figures in the recovery movement, is the author of the international bestseller"Codependent No More", which has sold over eight million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. An expert on codependency, Beattie has written fifteen books, including include "Beyond Codependency", "The Language of Letting Go", and "The Grief Club", and lectures worldwide. She lives in Southern California. For more information visit her website at www.melodybeattie.com.