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My First CODA meeting
September 18, 2005
12:38 am
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RaggedyAnn
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I had my first Coda meeting yesterday. It was very difficult. I felt so awkward and weird. When I first walked in at 7:30 PM the beginners meeting, there was a really nice couple and they totally made me feel welcomed. There was one lady who was supposed to be the Chair of the meeting that really wasn't very friendly. She had unfriendly piercing eyes and she wasn't very friendly at all. But there was one lady who totally made me feel welcomed and took me under her wing so to speak and explained what the meeting was about. She made me feel welcomed. I stayed for the entire meeting it was really intense and sad. Everyone wrote for about 10, 15 minutes then shared their stories. I wanted to share but couldn't, I tried two times but couldn't. One of the writing questions that were asked was:

1) What is playing on the picture screen of your mind? Is it positive or negative? How do you control negative thoughts?

I would like to share with you my answer if I may....

"Right now the picture screen that is playing on my mind is negative. It is that I don't feel like I am co-dependent. I don't think I am co-dep. I'm just being myself, this is the way I am".

"I feel embarrassed that I'm here at this meeting. I feel powerless and weak. Like a weak person who cannot handle her problems. Listening to everyone share tehir stories, what an eype opener. I feel bad for these people. I wish I could take their pain away. I feel like crying for these people".

"I don't know what to write here. what am I doing here. I'm confused. I'm not perfect, I make mistakes. But I'm not co-dep. I want to understand. I feel so helpless. I'm sorry".

September 18, 2005
3:20 am
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Randomwomen2
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why are you sorry hun and you are not powerless and weak you are actualy taking steps to make yourself into a better person how to cope with life and that doesnt make you weak that makes you strong in my book

September 18, 2005
9:15 am
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br549
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I also attended my first CODA meeting yesterday. There were two people there besides me. Very nice people. It was somewhat hard to introduce my self as co-dep. But everytime you spoke that is how you started, it soon got eaisier. I have been through the checklist and recognize myself as co-dep. I have also been in therapy for 6 months and have been told I am co-dep. However, I did not see myself as being similar to the two other people in the meeting. They too were very intense, one sad, one angry. I guess I am mostly confused. Is there degrees of co-dep? Can one be only a little bit co-dep? Am I in denial? One of these people had been in recovery for 8 years the other 15. Does it ever end? Is therapy more important than meetings or maybe the other way around?

September 18, 2005
9:25 am
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Anonymous
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and yet my coda meetings are very different from both.

I got to my first one early - and the lady there first spoke to me and made me feel VERY comfortable - sweet older lady who's husband is a recovering alcoholic.

the rest of the bunch trickled in and all in all, there were 17 people.

our meetings were regulated - we read the standard procedures out of the book, then read the steps, then the speaker, the kind older lady, talked about her feelings on a subject and then opened it to "sharing"...we closed with standard procedures and then we adjourned - but then everyone met in little groups to hug and talk and share - because during sharing time we can't "cross talk".

you don't HAVE TO talk or share - and there are times people don't even if they look like they should cuz they are openly in pain. But it's not a requirement. The exercises are purely to open up your mind and thoughts. To expose you to new ways to think and to hear how everyone else is thinking.

and to BR549 - yes, there are different levels of codepenedency. There are different stages. There are different symptoms. I know when I started here, I was in persecutor and victim stage - some are still rescuing - some are obsessive and controlling - some are just being controlled - some give too much of themselves - some give a little, but then turn to persecutors, like me, for not getting anything in return.

so yeah, there are differences - a group of two isn't a very good cross section...and there are many women in my group who have been in CODA for more than 10 years which scares me - but guess that's the nature of the beast.

if you think of it as an addiction - no, perhaps it doesn't end - depends on how strong you are and how good you are at removing yourself from those bad situations - learning how to stay healthy. Think of someone who goes on a diet, and then maintains for years - but has backslides - same as alcohlism - as well as any other addiction. So yeah, perhaps it's lifelong - but you don't see the one that beat it and don't need the meetings cuz they are doing well cuz they don't attend meetings.

most therapists recommend meetings to go with therapy - cuz there is only so much you can do in therapy alone.

September 18, 2005
11:38 pm
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RaggedyAnn
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Thank you all for your advice. I realize that I am co-dep. I went thru the steps today and I realize I am. It was a very hard thiing to do, to admit that I am codep. At first I could not admit it.

Today was very hard for me...I kept thinking of my xbf and cried several times, looked at some pictures of us on my computer. But I decided to stop crying and looking at pictures. I removed the pictures and put them on a disk and I will continue attending my coda meetings. Is this a first step toward recovery?

Thank you.

September 19, 2005
12:32 am
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hottamales
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hi 🙂 could someone please tell me what CODA stands for? thank you!

September 19, 2005
2:33 pm
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RaggedyAnn
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CO-DEPENDENTS ANONYMOUS = CODA

September 19, 2005
6:30 pm
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hottamales
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Thanks Raggedy

September 19, 2005
7:02 pm
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Anonymous
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raggedy - yeah, you are taking good first steps.

go to the meetings, post here, and clean out the "baggage" - meaning clean up reminders - makes no contact easier.

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