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I'm a newbie
June 16, 2004
10:32 pm
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Sponge_Barb
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Hi everyone,
I'm new here. I found the site while doing a web search on codependency. I'm the adult child of an alcoholic, my mom was bipolar (she passed away in 99) my 21 yr old son is also bipolar and my husband is an alcoholic. He's not abusive, he just drinks every night after work. I chose the name "Sponge_Barb" because my good friend tells me that I'm a sponge for other people's problems and emotions. I guess I am but isn't that a part of codependency? In fact, what led me to this train of thought and searching the net was a disagreement that we had. My friend told me that I make him very uncomfortable when I tell him "I have been worried about this or that about you." He says I take on EVERYONE'S problems; My friends, my kids' friends, people I know and people I work with. But I have been in therapy for the last 6 months and am really doing a lot better with it. The friend that I am referring to is an internet friend. However, we have been friends for about 6 years and my daughter and I met him in person when I took her to NYC as a graduation gift. He (my friend)has been in therapy for 20 years and has offered a lot of insight for me. He suggested (for the longest time) that I try therapy and I finally did. It has really been beneficial for me. But he really hurt my feelings when he told me that it makes him uncomfortable when I say I am worried about him. I realize that I AM a sponge but I think his own "issues" are factoring in. I think it makes him feel inadequate when I say that. He is in severe financial distress and his marriage is failing. He and his wife are miserable with each other but he can't leave right now because of finances. So yeah I worry about him! Is that wrong?

One last thing. Have any of you out there been involved in any 12 step program? My therapist and my friend are harping on me to try it and I'm considering it. I just have no idea what to expect.
I look forward to your responses.
S_B

June 16, 2004
11:31 pm
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CAMER
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Welcome Sponge Barb: i know its probably hard for you not to worry about your friend, but with coda, its supposed to keep the focus on YOU
not on others, and yes a lil' worrying I guess does no harm, as long as you don't obsess about your friend and his problems.

I am also somewhat familair with bipolar disorder and alocholism, my
fiance took his life to suicide when he was 29 and had both illnesses and
struggled alot. I have been to AL anon meetings b4 and AA meetings with my fiance and found them both beneficial,....most of it is to
focus on yourself, and with Al anon...if your hubby drinks, let him, don't try to stop or fix him, that is something HE needs to work on. I learned the hard way, being an
enabler with my fiance, thinking that was the right thing to do. I have learned so much over the years, especially when he passed away, I learned and focused alot on my codependency, I live alone, and was
left without my fiance to face myself, and I did, I became stronger, and more in touck with my higher power, I am still coda but much better at "not worrying" about
others.

I guarantee you will find this website so helpful, I joined about 2 mos ago and I love it, everyone here is so helpful and most of the stories I can somehow relate to, and I know I am not alone.

You are taking good steps for yourself with therapy and checking out this website, maybe if you read some books on coda, there are some really good ones out there!!! and
went to a coda meeting or AA or al=anon, that could also benefit you.

Have a good nite...Camer

June 17, 2004
12:09 am
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gabriella
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Wow, I'm liking this website. I really loved all the advice CAMER gave. CAMER is right. Coda, Ala-non, AA--its all good stuff. AA saved my life.

June 17, 2004
3:58 am
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Sponge_Barb
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Camer,
Thanks to you and gabriella both for your responses. And thank you also for the advice. I have read "Codependent no more" and am reading it again. I also ordered "Adult Children of Alcoholics."
I think these will both help me a lot. I appreciate the welcome. This is a great site. I'm so glad to have discovered it. I can use all the support I can get.
Have a great day all...
SB

June 18, 2004
12:20 pm
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newangel
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I am also new to all this. Can someone answer me, what exactly are "the 12 steps" that everyone keeps referring to??

June 18, 2004
12:49 pm
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kathygy
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the 12 steps:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

June 19, 2004
12:30 pm
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Freedomthree
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I am a very complexed person. Feel in love in "2002" wiith a man l9 years younger. He brought me a great deal of joy in my life and I do believe is my soul mate. He had a bad turn in his life and is now incarcerated for life. I've gone through a great deal of numbness because I love him in the bad times and the good times - I just love the person and see only good in him and the spirit of God in his heart and then there is life and the tribulatioins. I need someone to talk to and to be totaly honest with to help me thorugh this process. I'm also still married and have two grown boys and soon to be three grandchildren. If my soul mate was standing in front of me now - I know I would go with him - knowing it might not be the best thing for me and my other loved ones in my life. There is a real love story here but I really don't know where to begin? I counseled a little when he first got into trouble and the thearapist' comit was that you could never convince me that he is O.K. I do believe in rehabilitation and the intervention of God and his support - and at the same time have a lot of unanswered feelings and questions. I'm sort of regrouping and at the same time still have communication with his mother and letters from him.
Don't know what to do????
Need a friend and someone to talk to.

Blessings to all, Freedomthree

June 20, 2004
12:52 am
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Incense
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I am new to this site too, but I really like it. I have been in AA for 16 years (it saved my life also). I got involved with a practicing alcoholic 4 years ago. I watched his disease progress until he became very violently emotionally abusive. It took a lot of Al-Anon meetings, but I was finally able to get out of the relationship and start a new life for myself. I like this site because I can read about others who are struggling about the issues and participate from a distance. It is still hard for me to share in real live meetings because my trust level is so low. I still go and am beginning to open up a little. I started therapy a few months ago and that helps also. I think the 12 steps are AWESOME!

June 26, 2004
1:38 pm
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Sponge_Barb
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Dear Incense,

Welcome to the site. I'm still a newbie but I felt really badly when your post had gone 5 days with no response. Just reading about the things that go on in the lives of the people here is so very helpful to me. It helps me feel that I'm not alone with my troubles.

I so repsect and admire you for being strong enough to get out of the relationship you were in! Sometimes it's so hard to change even when you KNOW it's the best thing to do. Expecially if you're coda. We don't always adapt well to changes. I also admire you for going to AA and Al-anon. I have been very resistant to this even though I feel that it's something that I need to do.

Best of luck with your new life!

~sb

June 26, 2004
2:20 pm
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Anonymous
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Hi there Incense sorry I didn't realize I missed your post.. This is a great place and there are alot of great perspectives here.. I hope that it helps you.. I am also in recovery and go to AA. It will be 4 years in October. That is a big step for you to get out of your destructive relationship.. This is a great place to come and vent, give advise, and ask for advise.. also just hang out.. Welcome I hope you like it here..
*smiles*

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