I did not realize that I was co-dependent. I took my boys to a concert, and I brought along a book on co-dependency. I bought a drink to relax and sat down in the corner to read. As I read, I began to realize that I had many co-dependent traits. I had been attending Nar-Anon meetings and I wondered why I was not getting better after the addict was out of my life. I thought I was working the steps, but I still had so much craziness, anxiety and insanity in my life. I reminded myself of a dog chasing its tail, going in mad crazy circles, chasing something I was never going to catch. All my focus was on that tail! When I did stop chasing it, I was too exhausted to do anything else. Mental and physical energy were things of the past. I did not know “what my tail was.” I felt as though someone was sitting on my chest all the time. I was so wound up. I found relief in drinking until I fell asleep, or taking a drug to put me to sleep.

The drinking and pills were becoming a habit. I was craving them daily. At first, I only drank at weddings. If there were no weddings, then I did not drink, period. Sometimes it would be years between drinks, but now I was doing it almost every night.

Suddenly, it hit me like a ton of bricks: I needed someone or something to take care of. I had no clue how to live without being needed. I needed to be needed! I needed to take care of someone, not just me. I did not care about myself. I had no money and went without my insulin, and my health suffered. Now I see that this is classic co-dependent thinking. When I realized my insanity was caused by my need to care for others, it was as if the fog had lifted. The weight of the world was off my shoulders… It felt great! I feel great!

Thought for Today: Today I am thankful for my Higher Power. I am thankful for Nar-Anon and its Twelve Steps. With the help of my Nar-Anon program, I have learned that the only person I need to take care of is me.

“There is only one success—to be able to spend your life in your own way.” ~ Christopher Morley