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  • Welcome To CoDA!
  • Preamble
  • Codependent Behaviors
  • The 12 Steps
  • The 12 Traditions
  • The 12 Promises
  • The Patterns of Recovery

Welcome to Co-Dependents Anonymous

We welcome you to Co-Dependents Anonymous —a program of recovery from codependency where each of us may share our experience, strength and hope in our efforts to find freedom where there has been bondage and peace where there has been turmoil in our relationships with others and ourselves.

Most of us have been searching for ways to overcome the dilemmas of the conflicts in our relationships and our childhood. Many of us were raised in families where addictions existed —some of us were not. In either case, we have found in each of our lives that codependency is a most deeply-rooted, compulsive behavior and that it is born out of our sometimes moderately, sometimes extremely dysfunctional family systems.

We have each experienced in our own ways the painful trauma of the emptiness of our childhood and relationships throughout our lives. We attempted to use others —our mates, our friends, and even our children —as our sole source of identity, value, and well-being and as a way of trying to restore within us the emotional losses from our childhood. Our histories may include other powerful addictions which at times we have used to cope with our codependency.

We have all learned to survive life, but in CoDA we are learning to live life. Through applying the Twelve Steps and principles found in CoDA to our daily life and relationships, both present and past, we can experience a new freedom from our self-defeating lifestyles. It is an individual growth process. Each of us is growing at our own pace and will continue to do so as we remain open to God’s will for us on a daily basis. Our sharing is our way of identification and helps us to free the emotional bonds of our past and the compulsive control of our present.

No matter how traumatic your past or despairing your present may seem, there is hope for a new day in the program of Co-Dependents Anonymous. No longer do you need to rely on others as a power greater than yourself. May you instead find here a new strength within to be that which God intended, 

Precious and Free.

Passage is taken from the book titled
"CoDependents Anonymous"

The Preamble of Co-Dependents Anonymous

Co-Dependents Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women whose common problem is an inability to maintain functional relationships.

We share with one another in the hopes of solving our common problem and helping others to recover. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and fulfilling relationships with others and ourselves.

CoDA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution’ does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. We rely upon the wisdom, knowledge,12 Steps and 12 Traditions, as adopted for our purpose from Alcoholics Anonymous, as the principles of our program and guides to living healthy lives. Although separate entitles, we should always cooperate with all twelve-step recovery programs.

Passage is taken from the book titled
"CoDependents Anonymous"

Patterns and Characteristics of Codependence

These patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation. They may be particularly helpful to newcomers.


Denial Patterns:

I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
I minimize, alter, or deny how I truly feel.
I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.
I lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others.
I label others with my negative traits.
I can take care of myself without any help from others.
I mask my pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
I express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways.
I do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom I am attracted.

Low Self Esteem Patterns:

I have difficulty making decisions.
I judge what I think, say, or do harshly, as never good enough.
I am embarrassed to receive recognition, praise, or gifts.
I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings, and behavior over my own.
I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.
I constantly seek recognition that I think I deserve.
I have difficulty admitting that I made a mistake.
I need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and will even lie to look good.
I am unable to ask others to meet my needs or desires.
I perceive myself as superior to others.
I look to others to provide my sense of safety.
I have difficulty getting started, meeting deadlines, and completing projects.
I have trouble setting healthy priorities.

Compliance Patterns:

I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or anger.
I put aside my own interests in order to do what others want.
I am hypervigilant regarding the feelings of others and take on those feelings.
I am afraid to express my beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from those of others.
I accept sexual attention when I want love.
I make decisions without regard to the consequences.
I give up my truth to gain the approval of others or to avoid change.

Control Patterns:

I believe most people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
I attempt to convince others what to think, do, or feel.
I freely offer advice and direction to others without being asked.
I become resentful when others decline my help or reject my advice.
I lavish gifts and favors on those I want to influence.
I use sexual attention to gain approval and acceptance.
I have to be needed in order to have a relationship with others.
I demand that my needs be met by others.
I use charm and charisma to convince others of my capacity to be caring and compassionate.
I use blame and shame to emotionally exploit others.
I refuse to cooperate, compromise, or negotiate.
I adopt an attitude of indifference, helplessness, authority, or rage to manipulate outcomes.
I use terms of recovery in an attempt to control the behavior of others.
I pretend to agree with others to get what I want.

Avoidance Patterns:

I act in ways that invite others to reject, shame, or express anger toward me.
I judge harshly what others think, say, or do.
I avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a means of maintaining distance.
I allow my addictions to people, places, and things to distract me from achieving intimacy in relationships.
I use indirect and evasive communication to avoid conflict or confrontation.
I diminish my capacity to have healthy relationships by declining to use all the tools of recovery.
I suppress my feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable.
I pull people toward me, but when they get close, I push them away.
I refuse to give up my self-will to avoid surrendering to a power that is greater than myself.
I believe displays of emotion are a sign of weakness.
I withhold expressions of appreciation.

The Patterns and Characteristics of Codependency may not be reprinted or republished without the express written consent of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. This document may be reprinted from the website www.coda.org (CoDA) for use by members of the CoDA Fellowship.  

Copyright © 2010 Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. and its licensors -All Rights Reserved.

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The Twelve Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous

  1. We admitted we were powerless over others - that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other codependents, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


The Twelve Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous is reprinted from the website www.CoDA.org with permission of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. (CoDA).  Permission to reprint this material does not mean that CoDA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, or that CoDA agrees with the views expressed herein.  CoDA is a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships and is not affiliated with any other 12 step program.

Copyright © 1998 Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. and its licensors - All Rights Reserved

The Twelve Steps reprinted and adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

The Twelve Traditions of Co-Dependents Anonymous

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon CoDA unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority -- a loving higher power as expressed to our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for membership in CoDA is a desire for healthy and loving relationships.
  4. Each group should remain autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or CoDA as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose -- to carry its message to other codependents who still suffer.
  6. A CoDA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the CoDA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim.
  7. A CoDA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Co-Dependents Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. CoDA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. CoDA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the CoDA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions; ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.


The Twelve Traditions of Co-Dependents Anonymous is reprinted from the website www.CoDA.org with permission of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. (CoDA).  Permission to reprint this material does not mean that CoDA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, or that CoDA agrees with the views expressed herein.  CoDA is a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships and is not affiliated with any other 12 step program.

Copyright © 1998 Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. and its licensors - All Rights Reserved

The Twelve Traditions are reprinted and adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

The Twelve Promises of Co-Dependents Anonymous

I can expect a miraculous change in my life by working the program of Co-Dependents Anonymous. As I make an honest effort to work the Twelve Steps and follow the Twelve Traditions...

  1. I know a new sense of belonging. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness will disappear.
  2. I am no longer controlled by my fears. I overcome my fears and act with courage, integrity and dignity.
  3. I know a new freedom.
  4. I release myself from worry, guilt, and regret about my past and present. I am aware enough not to repeat it.
  5. I know a new love and acceptance of myself and others. I feel genuinely lovable, loving and loved.
  6. I learn to see myself as equal to others. My new and renewed relationships are all with equal partners.
  7. I am capable of developing and maintaining healthy and loving relationships. The need to control and manipulate others will disappear as I learn to trust those who are trustworthy.
  8. I learn that it is possible to mend - to become more loving, intimate and supportive. I have the choice of communicating with my family in a way which is safe for me and respectful of them.
  9. I acknowledge that I am a unique and precious creation.
  10. I no longer need to rely solely on others to provide my sense of worth.
  11. I trust the guidance I receive from my higher power and come to believe in my own capabilities.
  12. I gradually experience serenity, strength, and spiritual growth in my daily life.

The Twelve Promises of Co-Dependents Anonymous is reprinted from the website www.CoDA.org with permission of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. (CoDA).  Permission to reprint this material does not mean that CoDA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, or that CoDA agrees with the views expressed herein.  CoDA is a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships and is not affiliated with any other 12 step program.

Copyright © 1998 Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. and its licensors - All Rights Reserved

   Recovery Patterns of Codependence

Denial Patterns

 Codependence

Recovery

I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling. I am aware of my feelings and identify them, often in the moment.
I minimize, alter, or deny how I truly feel. I embrace my feelings as being valid and important. I am truthful with myself.
I perceive myself as being completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others. I keep the focus on my own well-being. I know the difference between caring and caretaking.
Low Self-Esteem Patterns I have difficulty making decisions. I trust my ability to make effective decisions.
I judge everything I think, say, or do harshly, as never “good enough.” I accept myself as I am. I emphasize progress over perfection.
I am embarrassed to receive recognition, praise, or gifts. I feel appropriately worthy of the recognition, praise, or gifts I receive
I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires. I meet my own needs and wants when possible. I reach out for help when it’s necessary and appropriate.
I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings, and behavior over my own. I have confidence in myself. I no longer seek others’ approval of my thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person. I recognize myself as being a lovable and valuable person.
Compliance Patterns I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others’ anger. I am rooted in my own values, even if others don’t agree or become angry.
I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same. I can separate my feelings from the feelings of others.
I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long. I am committed to my safety and recovery work. I leave situations that feel unsafe or are inconsistent with my goals.
I value others’ opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own. I respect my own opinions and feelings and express them appropriately.
I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want. I consider my own interests first when asked to participate in another’s plans.
I accept sex when I want love. My sexuality is grounded in genuine intimacy and connection. I know the difference between lust and love.
Control Patterns I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves. I realize that, with rare exceptions, other adults are capable of managing their own lives. My job is to let them.
I attempt to convince others of what they “should” think and how they “truly” feel. I accept and value the differing thoughts, feelings, and opinions of others.
I become resentful when others will not let me help them. I feel comfortable when I see others take care of themselves.
I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked. I am a compassionate and empathic listener, giving advice only if directly asked.
I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about. I carefully and honestly contemplate my motivations when preparing to give a gift.
I use sex to gain approval and acceptance. I feel loved and accepted for myself, just the way I am.
I have to be “needed” in order to have a relationship with others. I develop relationships with others based on equality, intimacy, and balance.

 

The Recovery Patterns of Codependency is reprinted from the website www.CoDA.org with permission of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. (CoDA).  Permission to reprint this material does not mean that CoDA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, or that CoDA agrees with the views expressed herein.  CoDA is a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships and is not affiliated with any other 12 step program.

Copyright © 1998 Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. and its licensors - All Rights Reserved