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help, anyone cry uncontrollably at their first CODA meetings?
May 12, 2009
6:08 pm
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It's like I open my mouth and this wave of emotion just overwhelms me and I begin to share and start crying uncontrollably. It's very awkward to say the least, and of course I don't get to express myself. It's hard to focus anyway. I'm such a mess. But I do seem better before I try to share, then I fall apart.

This happened when I began NA too. Is that common? I feel like CODA is going to be harder than NA was, NA felt like a more natural fit- but CODA is what I need now... it's just a hard thing. I'm having a hard time with it. I need to talk to people here, because the no crosstalk thing leaves me cold.

Thanks,
ella

May 12, 2009
6:12 pm
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Also, I remember being in day treatment for drugs, my first or second day clean and doing the same thing.

I was in group and they MADE us share, and I cried. This girl next to me turns around and said "Is that all you do all the time? Just cry like a baby?" I was in shock. So much so, that I didn't get upset with her, only answered "No, not at all. It's just been a day or two... I feel raw."

Now when I think about that at first I get mad at her and I wish I had been more reactive! But in retrospect, she was getting clean too and probably wasn't exactly at her best. She obviously had her problems too being in there. But I do remember that when this happens and feel uncomfortable about it.

May 12, 2009
6:32 pm
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It was like this for me when I first went to counseling for codependency. I started to talk and this wave came over me and I cried uncontrollably almost the whole time. I have learned with CODA that we tend to push our feelings under the mat and we focus on the problems of others, so much so that we don't deal with our own hurts. When we do finally start to deal with our own pain it can be really hard. Good luck and keep going to the meetings. It's a great start to get better and be more healthy.

May 12, 2009
6:36 pm
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Shaney
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My first few sessions of therapy, I cried to the point of not being able to talk or breath. I'm not usually a crier either. I was really embarrassed until my therapist told me that most people unload their first few times. It's a huge release of emotions that have been stored up for longer than you probably realize. And therapy and group meetings are the place to do that. You're there for you, so do what you need to do to get through it. I think once that initial emotion pours out, you'll become more of a participant in the meetings. I know it probably feels like it, but you're far from the only one who has done that. Everyone is there for the same reason, and they understand. Hopefully, you can keep that in mind the next time you go.

May 12, 2009
6:43 pm
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It gets better! Believe me. I have come a really long way from the first time I started to deal with these issues to where I am today. You cannot get better until you admit you have a problem and you can't admit it without letting all those emtions that have been bottled up release!!

May 12, 2009
6:55 pm
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sdesigns
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Yep, thats what I did too.

I found a meeting for women only and decided thats where I wanted to go.

There were only about 10 women and it was in a very small room and we all sat around a table.

I was terrified, and hoped to sit in the back and watch- but there was no "back".

The meeting went on and was almost over, I thought I was safe and wouldn't have to talk- and then the moderator asked me to introduce myself and share.

So, I started blubbering.

But women came over and hugged me, gave me their phone numbers, one lent me her book, another stayed and talked to me outside.

I went to a few more of those meetings- and they were always in a dif room after that.

I didn't really like the no cross talk either- seemed someone else's input would have been valuable.

(((((ella)))))

sd

May 12, 2009
7:06 pm
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i cried a few times at my coda meetings, cried many times with my therapist, and cried with my "group" therapy of 5 people.....its just feelings, tears are good, heck i have seen countless people cry at both my group therapy and coda meetings...i think its very common.

May 12, 2009
10:34 pm
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I remember going to Alanon for my one and only time and feeling extremly emotional. It was a huge group. And I had to sit and listen to all of these women talk about how they just ignore there alcoholic husbands and were so proud for doing so. They looked like the most well groomed, polite, employed, educated group of females that I have ever seen. All I said is that the only reason why I was there is cause I wanted OUT! Then, I think I started crying and everyone came around and started to comfort me.

I went to CODA ran by MFCC students. It was fantastic. They gave me great advice that I wrote down. Right out the gate they told me I had to let go of him and everything that had to do with him.

Well none of it happened over night. I hung out here. Got great advice and have been out of it for 8 months.

I never ever thought I would be where I am now. But, it sure feels GREAT!

May 13, 2009
1:25 am
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Hello - well, I made it to my first CODA meeting tonight. I have tried for 2 wks, and no one was there, so I found a phone number to call, and verifed the time. I was off an hour!!

There were only 3 of us. Me, a 36 year old woman and 2 older gentlemen.

I was quite surprised how easy it was to open up and actually talk in this small group. I was nervous, and cried. But, I talked. I can write it on here that "Hi, I am blank and I am codependent" But out loud - I cried.

I think it is supposed to be healing to cry. I usually cry very easy, until I am hurt so bad that I "toughen up". It seems easier to stuff those feelings and be tough.

Well, hope we all can make it one more healing day, and learn from it. I cannot tell you how much I get from this group. It gives me strength to find answers within myself. So, thank-you to all the friends on this on-line support group. One more day...

May 13, 2009
7:35 pm
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RobynB
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I think crying is just a natural release of all the emotions one goes through at that moment: nervousness, relief, shame, anger, it's the whole ball of wax. All those things, whether they are good or bad or justified or unjustified; they come up to the surface and erupt. I certainly doubt it is an abnormal or unhealthy reaction to the pressures you are feeling at that moment.

May 14, 2009
8:11 pm
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Stacers-

It's just weird to me because I don't feel like it's the first time I've had to deal with these issues. I don't know what it is. I've been in therapy since childhood, but maybe some of it is the fact that I have almost no real support system in my personal life and I am there in a group trying to talk and I realize how desperate and vulnerable I feel. All of a sudden, I think, it is feeling all alone, rather than supported personally.

At the same time, it's like people are listening to you, and whether or not they give a shit, it's the effect of when you are a kid and you fall down and get hurt but don't cry until someone asks if you are okay. It's not phoney it's just that it starts pouring out.

May 15, 2009
12:19 am
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sdesigns-

Hi. HUGS right back at you! Thank you...

Well, one meeting was a round robin, I ended up sharing of course. The other I felt like I could do it, or that I SHOULD do it, but I broke down soon after I began.

No one came to me, except I was washing my face in the bathroom and it is a really small bathroom so another woman came in and when she needed to wash her hands we had to squish past each other so we just sort of chuckled and I said "Sorry, just cleaning up the wreckage. I guess I wasn't smart wearing makeup to a CODA meeting." (I had to go somewhere after and was trying to look nice). She shared something I won't repeat because it is hers and that was nice of her. But all in all, no one gave me their number, and certainly no hugs. I think one of the men noticed and just asked if I had a meeting list and told me about some meetings.

I don't know if there are any women only meetings. That would be fine by me! Nothing against men, but I'm feeling a little fragile now and sensitive to certain things I'm not sure they'd understand. But it's okay to go to a unisex meeting, it just would be better to have all girls. Especially now that someone has invited a guy (nice one, but a guy is a guy) into our "girls night out" group that was my only sanctuary of only female company for so long.

Anyway, I'm PMSing too on top of it. And still dealing with the fallout of contact with exbf and not getting him out of my life. I feel like such a loser.

Sometimes I wish AAC at least had holograms so we could all sit in cyber room together and it felt like I went somewhere to hang out with people. I feel so alone, but there are people I've been writing to here, like yourself, for YEARS. Amazing, huh? It means a lot, and I definitely value AAC people.

-ella

May 15, 2009
12:22 am
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CAMER-

If tears are good, I guess I have a lot of good stuff to be grateful for because I have a lot of those!

Maybe I need to keep going to meetings to see more people like me and identify. It helps not to feel like you are the "only one."

May 15, 2009
12:35 am
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Destinystar-

So did you keep going to Al-Anon as well? I did not have the best experience with Al-Anon, although I believe it was the groups I have access to more than anything to do with the fellowship itself being inherently problematic for me as opposed to CODA.

In the Al-Anon meetings I went to, I felt odd because although I was a complete newcomer, I felt like I was in a little less denial then some of the old timers there who were still blaming other people for the present miseries in their lives. I'm not repeating anything shared, because I would never do that, and my memory isn't that good anyway! But I do remember thinking "These folks aren't at the stage yet where they realize THEY are at least a good part of the problem themselves." I guess I felt out of place there because I just got clean from drugs, I am bipolar, and I knew these were difficult things for the people in my life to deal with- but that should have been their program. I wanted to know why I had such a hard time with all the relationships in my life, what was I doing wrong, and if people have faults... as they do, why can't I figure out a way to deal with it that didn't involve me doing something self destructive.

I don't know. In those particular groups, I felt there was a lot of people playing the blame game. I already did that, and wanted a way to stop, not find some people to cosign that behavior. At that time I was probably in someways closer to seeing things for what they were than I am now because the pain in my life was so magnified, the relationships so distorted and dysfunctional... that it was crystal clear I needed help.

It was hard to sit and listen to person after person bash the mentally ill person in their lives for simply being what they were. That person I felt I identified with more than the alanon people themselves. I had to get out of there. It was like listen to someone verbally abuse someone just like yourself. I know this sounds awful, and I am only talking about the meetings I went to. I in no way think that all of Al-anon is like that. Just locally, I wanted to go to a different fellowship this time, and there exists the alternative of CODA. I don't know that there's much of a difference, it's just a clean slate for me.

So did you find a difference Destiny? Or do you go to both still?

-ella

May 15, 2009
12:42 am
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butterfly kisses-

Hello fellow Coda newcomer! How is it going for you? I've only made one meeting a week so far- that makes three. Probably I should make an extra effort to get to more, but it's hard because I work so far from them. So I go on my days off.

Please keep sharing about your meetings if you can and wish. Maybe we will end up doing the steps at the same time! Well, I'm just thinking for today and that is babysteps and I am nowhere near that yet, not having a sponsor or anything and only going once a week.

I did just get some literature, two melody beattie books and the CODA big book whatever it is from online merchants. I hardly know which one to read each night. It makes me wish I had a vacation coming up instead of just past so I could just curl up and read the whole time.

Those books by Melody B. have been so highly recommended on this site, but I've not ever read them. I hope she can help me get my head on straighter.

May 15, 2009
12:44 am
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RobynB-

Yeah, I think there were a lot of emotions at once, too many to sort out, it was weird. Eruption is the right word. So long I felt like I was imploding. Sometimes too numb to cry.

May 15, 2009
5:52 pm
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Shaney
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I asked my mother, who attends a couple of different meetings, whether or not there is anyone who tends to cry a lot at her meetings. She said that there are two women who cry the entire time regardless of whether they are speaking, or listening to others share. The ENTIRE time! She said that they've done this since she started over a year ago. So, while most probably get over it and become more comfortable, there are always going to be those who just wale in those situations. Good luck.

May 21, 2009
12:40 am
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mzrella!!!
good to see you posting on here! its been a long time. that is awesome you are going to CODA meetings. Yes, it is totally normal to cry your eyes out in a meeting. CODA really gets at the guts of problems, the core issues inside of you and confronting them. It takes major courage. Crying cleanses you.

The cross talk thing, I know seems cold, but to me it makes sense. If people were to nod their head or say, yes, I know how you feel, you may clam up, your thoughts may change, and become based on pleasing other people in the room. When I went to meetings and cried like crazy, some people would talk to me after and tell me, I can relate, etc... I do the same thing...

I can talk with you whenever you want about CODA. That is where my recovery started. Now I am almost 2 years in recovery from alcohol. I was a very functioning heavy drinker, on my way to becoming a serious alkie.

I remember reading in the book Facing Codependency, that to truly heal from codependency, one must resolve any other forms of addiction first. Anyhoo, talk to you soon. Keep doing things for you!

May 21, 2009
12:51 am
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mrzella

It is going well for me. Thank-you for asking - sorry took so long to reply. I went to my 2nd CODA meeting this wk. And I did talk again. I think a benefit of a small group. I also had some "revelation" there. I think these programs work as hard as you let them work. Although my 2 wk start by no means makes me experienced - LOL!

I had a medical procedure done today, and I asked my husband to come home and take me. No guilty tone in how I asked, just what I wanted from him - and it worked! He was there for me!

I know that I shut down. I think I have completely blamed him, but I have never said what I wanted from him either. He has made mistakes - don't get me wrong, and we are not where we should be, but one step forward.

One day at a time. Today, I feel surprisingly strong and healthy. My meeting was just last night, so maybe that has part to do with it.

How is your progress going?

May 22, 2009
5:04 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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there is an inherent difference between those who cry for "effect" and those who cry cuz they can't help it.

I cried my first meeting, my second, my third.....I don't know how many times I cried in my nine months of meetings...sometimes it was silent weeping, sometimes it was outright blubbering uncontrollably.

some women cry just cuz they see others crying (empathy).

I know that in my meetings, no matter what the discussion was about, something in my past came welling up, and I felt like "spilling it" and getting on with it....often it made no sense, had no relevence to what I was going thru, HOWEVER, once it was out, I felt so "free" and relieved...and whatever was the problem, seemed better...even if my discussion had nothing to do with the problem.

I found that if I didn't "fight" the feelings...and just went with it, I did better at healing.

nobody can say why those memories that well up mean what they do, and sometimes it's just best not to try and figure it out.

so, if you have to cry, do it...don't worry about what anyone thinks....that's the whole purpose of those meetings...lack of judgement.

-rising

May 22, 2009
5:31 pm
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sad sack
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Hey Rising,

It was so good to see a posting from you!! I hope you are here to stay. Where have you been all this time? Your insight and wisdom has been surely missed.

How is your baby doing? We are eager to hear how you are adjusting to motherhood the second time around.

Please don't disappear again.

(((risingfromtheashes)))

sad

May 22, 2009
5:38 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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motherhood second time around is wonderful and awful at the same time.

he is such a wonderful, animated, high energy baby.

but he wears me right out...lol.

he is a light sleeper, so nights are still an issue...I don't get up with him, but his constant fussing wake me up anyway.

he is a peanut, but gets into everything....he is adorable, and you can't help but not get mad at him.

we have had some medical issues and scares, but overall, he is happy, healhty and doing so good.

sister is finally warming up to him, now that she can interact.

daddy is sooo good with him too.

oh, I got booted for sharing my email.....SC was generous and allowed me to finally come back.

I have dial up at home, so I don't get online enough....on vaca now, so enjoying the high speed.

May 24, 2009
5:07 pm
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Shaney-

Wow, I hope I'm not crying that much a year from now!

May 24, 2009
5:20 pm
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balanceseeker-

Hello old friend!

The no cross talk thing make sense to me too, it's just that no one really came to talk to me and I was too upset/inhibited to approach anyone else. It was different for me in NA, people were more proactive. I realize I will have to reach out to people when I am needing help and that is my responsibility, but sometimes I feel too fragile. It's hard when you are new to a group.

I am reading Melody Beattie's "Codependent No More" and I am a little disappointed with it. I guess I got a lot of the good stuff passed on from the people who read it who visit this site, and I guess my expectations were too high. I'm not done yet, so I should reserve judgement, but I already know all the parts I've read- where she tells you all the horrible things that we as codependents do. Okay, well so we are flawed and a bunch of controlling miserable people... what is she telling me that is helpful so far? Nothing I don't already know or haven't heard, only I've heard it in more therapuetic terms. Maybe if I continue reading I'll be happy with her conclusions. Yeah, I know, let go and let god, what does she have to say that's new? I'm just not getting much out of it. I suppose people will tell me I'm not ready for it or something, but this is the same stuff I've been hearing for ages, so I guess I just thought there was some new gems in there and I'm kind of waiting for those to be revealed.

I also have the coda book and melodie's daily affirmations, which I like better than her "Codependent No More" book, which seems very negative and critical to me. Tell me something I don't know lady. In a way that's not so unkind. I mean the truth hurts, but if a person wants to change... and are reading that book already, it seems to me it's a little repetitive about all the things we do wrong. WE KNOW we are controlling, and we don't like ourselves, this just seems to give me more reasons to feel bad about who I am. And that's not very helpful.

May 24, 2009
5:25 pm
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risingfromtheashes-

When I cry it's so involuntary it just comes at the most inopportune times and sometimes I don't even see it coming. When it happens it's hard to stop it. I haven't been back to a meeting since, and am trying to build up my courage because it was a little traumatic for me to feel that out of control. I also question just what it accomplishes especially if it prevents me from talking and apparently scares people from talking to me about things. It just made me feel like that's all the more reason I have to keep a lid on it.

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