I had never recognized how much fear was at the center of my life until I started my personal downhill slide into despair. I loved a man dearly. In the beginning, he was wonderful to me, and my two sons. As our relationship progressed and warning signs appeared, I would wonder what I could be doing better, how my sons must be misbehaving. If only my sons and I would try harder, things would get better. Sometimes it did and sometimes not.

Then came the wedding day. It was filled with doubt, buoyed by hope.
I plunged ahead taking the risk of a lifetime. What seemed liked bliss quickly turned to tragedy. Alcohol, drugs and abuse appeared to win.
I was so na´ve. I had not been willing to accept reality. You see there were moments of gentleness and caring. A wink across the room.
A tender hug. A warm kiss. Buttered popcorn. Picnics. Sunsets and moon risings. An extra blanket, even a heater on the Kite Hill. Laughter. Love. But through them all was underlying fear, despair and then dread. Not if, but when.

As he turned to recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous*, I was introduced to the twelve-step programs of Al-Anon* and Codependent's Anonymous*. I would willingly accompany him to an AA meeting when invited. Slowly I was beginning to face my fears. I began to explore my family of origin issues and realized how paralyzing my fears had become. And, at the heart of it all, I desperately wanted to love and be loved. Slowly, safely progress was being made. I was gaining strength and courage to shed the past and build a new future. I felt hope. And then there was none.

From deep within came the courage to say "no more". No more fear. No more abuse. Consistent, weekly attendance at Al-Anon and Codependent's Anonymous meetings gave me the strength. And I was not alone. My support groups listened. My God, my Higher Power, provided comfort and love. Self-esteem, self-confidence and self-love grew.

Twelve-step programs provide safety, courage, strength and hope to all who seek it. Codependency is my addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon and Codependent's Anonymous helped me walk down a new path to healing and recovery. I urge you to seek them and/or other twelve-step programs out. Look in your local phone book, on the Internet, and/or ask a counselor or friend.

I combined the twelve-step resources, with a caring, safe therapist and the following tools as I traveled down my "Path to Peace".





*Here are links to the organizations referenced above: Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon and Codependent's Anonymous.


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