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  • Shaleigh Rae

Blissfully Recovering

Updated: Oct 8, 2022

Nothing in this text is meant to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition. The words here are my own experience, beliefs, and opinions. By reading this blog post, you acknowledge that you are responsible for your own health decisions. Please do not try anything from my website without proper research and medical supervision.

 

I first heard about Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) from the esthetician I had been seeing last summer (Thank you, Ashley). I couldn't always describe myself as someone who pays attention when people spoke. Thankfully, I had started doing that in 2021 because being present during that conversation saved me from a life of turmoil. Today, I'm absolutely a believer of three things: people are put in your life for a reason, active listening will save you more times than it will waste your time, and divine timing occurs when you're in sync with your higher power. I found all those lessons to be true about a month after that conversation with Ashley when I found myself at an emotional rock-bottom searching Google for a list of "co-dependent meetings,".


My boyfriend experienced multiple life stressors in a short period of time and relapsed with alcohol. Looking back, I am grateful for his attempt to distance his chaos from my life, but as the great codependent I am, I held on for dear life... grasped at every potential straw, and eventually hit that rock bottom I talked about earlier. It was ugly, and the most painful emptiness I've ever experienced. Life as I knew it (i.e. the potential my boyfriend had and the future plans I had made for us) couldn't exist if my boyfriend (as he currently was) wasn't wanting to be involved with me. I felt like I had nothing. Being completely honest, I was suicidal and felt utterly helpless. Thankfully (weird to say that, but may it give you hope), I have had suicidal thinking in the past. The hope, courage, and strength I received from working through those thoughts more than once before, told me I was capable of telling those thoughts to "sit the F down,". I just needed some support.


So support is what I got. I remembered the CoDA meetings and figured I would give that a shot. I attended my first meeting virtually on August 29th, 2021. My first in-person meeting was on my 25th birthday, September 6th, 2021. I connected virtually with a therapist on that day too. Other than marriage counselling with my ex prior to our divorce, this was the first time I sought help for the emotional junk I'd been carrying around my whole life. I connected with my sponsor at the end of September and began my journey through the 12 steps of CoDA.


Other than weekly sessions with a therapist, I also reconnected with my psychiatrist and started antidepressants for the second time in my life in October 2021. In November 2021, I started working with a naturopathic doctor to correct nutritional deficiencies. As much as the medication and therapy helped, I believe my depression was cured from correcting my vitamin D, zinc, B12, and magnesium deficiencies; as well as repairing my gut microbiome with high-dose probiotics and diet/lifestyle changes. Once the negative, hopeless thoughts and lack of interest in life's pleasures (i.e. what depression looks like for me) began to lift, I was really able to appreciate what working with a CoDA sponsor had created in my life.


Today, I completed a huge chunk of my ninth step with my sponsor at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, AZ. I am energetically lighter after having done those indirect amends. I am also inspired to recount some of my experiences here on my blog in hopes that someone with a similar story finds the answers they have been searching for in recovery work.


For more information on CoDA, meetings, and to view the CoDA promises, click here.





XOXO,

Shaleigh Rae

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