††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† CSC and Me
It was my first time at the CoDA Service Conference (CSC).† I was so excited and scared all at the same time.† The opportunity to give back to the program that saved my life was something I felt really good about.† Iíd been working my program hard and felt ready to take on the work of CSC.† My passion is literature so I joined the literature committee.† Iím not a writer or editor but I thought,† ďI can offer other things that are useful.Ē† I wasnít doing a good job of taking care of myself at CSC.† I kept volunteering to do things, way more than I could reasonably do.† Iíd fallen into the old rut that I lived in for so long, getting validation from things outside myself.†† Feeling good because I was doing, doing, doing.† I misplaced the confidence that I was enough, and instead felt I wasnít worthwhile unless I had something concrete to offer.† So I stayed up late, got up early, got resentful and got exhausted.† I had to take a good look at me with the question, ďMary, what is your part?Ē† I know what others did or didnít do, but what was my part? ď† I had the chance to look at the Steps and Traditions and slowly make changes that allowed me to value myself as a child of God.† Not because I could do something, or was willing to do something just because I am Mary.† I admitted that Iím powerless over how others perceive me and I have control over how I perceive me.† I believe there is a power greater than I, and he doesnít make junk.† Iím a kind, caring, smart, articulate woman.† Iíd decided to turn my will (They have to like me, donít they?† They will be mad if I set a boundary?† They wonít like me if I say I need help,) over to God.† Tradition-ally, I recognize for me to support the common welfare, I donít do it all; it isnít healthy for the group.† In order to carry the message, it canít be my version; it needs to be the group conscience.† I found that I could breathe easier this way, and by the next conference I was prepared to be Mary, the human being rather than Mary the human doing.
For many years this was something I knew about a part of my experience at conference.† No need to talk about itÖ.
Then I was recently challenged to share my story about CSC.† This allowed me to look again at shame and how it can nip you when you least expect it!† The share was to be on relief versus recovery.†† Sharing how I found relief at CSC while sometimes practicing old, unhealthy behaviors brought on a feeling of great shame. So I knew it was important for me to share about it.† It had become another of those secrets, and the sharing of it releases the shame.† Shame is not a healthy thing and I did nothing wrong.† I was human, I worked my recovery, and I continue to do so.† I am a child of God.
Mary I† (July 2012)