This morning I experienced a powerful and moving CoDA meeting. I cried, without shame, in front of a group of people. That has literally never happened to me before. Particularly with this specific sadness, a sadness I have never been able to openly and comfortably share with anybody.
Working the CoDA (Codependents Anonymous – more about it here) programme has meant a lot to me. My meetings and the other women I see there mean a lot to me. I’m not 100% sold on the philosophy, especially the God / Higher Power stuff, but I don’t need to be. What I take from the programme is the sharing of experiences and strength. There is a whole lot of wisdom and compassion in those rooms.
I wrote yesterday about the deep sadness I have started feeling lately. It’s been years since I’ve been able to cry about anything, but recently I have a few times. It is painful, unstoppable sobbing when it comes, it hurts my chest and my throat aches. But I can only access that when I am alone, or if I’m in bed and it’s dark so my wife can’t see me.
That’s why it totally took me by surprise when I started to cry during this morning’s meeting. We’d read a story about someone whose brother died when she was 11. It resonated with me because, all though he is still alive, my brother died to me when I was a similar age. Everything I had hoped he would be to me died when he started sexually abusing me.
I didn’t realise how sad I was about that loss until I started to speak. The presence of this solid group of kind, open-hearted listeners made it safe for me to feel that sadness and for the tears to come.
But the most amazing thing was that I wasn’t ashamed of crying. I am usually phobic about being seen crying. But today I didn’t feel like I needed to hide. I was glad to be weeping in that room with those people. I wanted them with me. It wasn’t painful because I could see them hearing and accepting me. It actually felt good. It felt comforting and secure.
I am feeling really blown away by this experience. I feel stronger for it. And I feel more love and gratitude for CoDA and my recovery friends than I had thought was possible before.
Photo: The Manic Macrographer, Creative Commons.