January 6th, 2012 was when I found this site. 6 years ago. Last night I read my first post here. Yikes. It's been a long journey. When I began here all those years ago, I was deeply stuck in my enabling with my daughter .....and as it turns out, with mostly everybody. I'd been working on these issues for many years, but when my daughter's life went completely off the rails 6 years ago, everything heated up and merged into a huge, hot mess. I could see it was an opportunity for me to finally heal this, but I didn't know how. At the same time I found this site, I had entered into that codependency course which in addition to the support I was receiving here pushed me into a recovery I actually didn't know I needed. But the circumstances with my daughter got so out of hand and so ugly, something different had to be done. At that point in time, I didn't know how much of my life was about to change. The codependency course showed me a new way to live, a different way to respond to those in my life who I was in patterned, dysfunctional, unhealthy connections with. My daughter was the catalyst however, my codependency reached into every part of my life. It's an inauthentic way of being. I focused on healing it with her. But, as I healed, there were many other areas of my life which had to change if I were to truly recover and heal. As I learned to put myself as the priority, set boundaries, say no, stop over-giving, check in with myself to determine what it is that I wanted and needed, learned to let go of control, accept what is, stop arguing with reality, stop feeling responsible for everything, stop the guilt, lessen the fear, learn ways to communicate without resentments/angers so that I got seen and heard, figured out how to ask for what I want, to express what I don't want, to take a stand for myself, to let go of people, a job, beliefs, judgements and old strategies that ceased to work anymore and to promote more compassion, kindness, love and empathy for myself........the world as I knew it began to insist on many changes.....I let go of old friends who were part of the old way of being, who couldn't love me the way I now needed to be loved......I let go of family members who are too mentally ill to successfully have loving, healthy relationships.....I let go of my career.......I let go of the way I was eating, I changed my entire diet to now incorporate the simple, healthy diet which works best for me.....I let go of my role in my family as the responsible caregiver... I let go of an enormous amount of guilt I had carried about my siblings and my unhealthy sense of duty towards them.... I let go of my propensity to not believe I was worthy of a good life......with the wildfires here in California, I even had to let go of my home and my belongings before I knew they had survived the fires......I let go of so much that by the end of this last year, I felt completely empty. And, then I got the flu on Christmas Day. In the last 2 weeks as I've been healing from the flu I've been processing a lot. I went thru so much grief in the last 6 years......I believe grief is necessary in order to move on. I believe grief needs to be expressed so that we can let go of it and open to the new. These last 6 years have been enormously sad for me, there's been so much to let go of....so much to accept.....so much to grieve.... It's been hard. As I've been lying on the couch recovering from the flu, I've been going over these last years, recognizing how far I've come, how much I've let go of, how much life has changed. All of the letting go and learning to accept what I have no control over has been an incredible gift......we humans hold on so tightly to control and yet, if we can learn to let go, on the other side is relief, a big empty space of possibility, an openness and an availability to life that is not open to us if we are holding on tightly to how we believe things SHOULD be and demanding they stay that way to protect us from the inevitable pain of having to change. My daughter was what put me on this path of recovery.....her negative behaviors pushed me to change. And, we've both changed. The tools I learned to detach from her lifestyle and choices were the same tools I used to change the rest of my life. As I've mentioned before, I see this journey we're on here as a spiritual path of self discovery, awareness, opening and learning to be our authentic selves. I believe a big part of that journey is to learn to accept life the way it shows up and to learn how to thrive in that understanding, without fighting it. I argued with reality about my daughter for a long time.....until it got to a point where it was killing me.......and then I began to learn how to let go....often I think our troubled kids turn out to be our greatest teachers, at least that's been my experience. I've learned to love myself so much better and that lead to being loved so much better .....which lead to seeing the world thru new eyes of kindness......for me, for my daughter, for everyone, for life. So, as the New Year begins, I have a new and very cool sense of excitement for whatever happens next. I have not had that for 6 years. I don't know what is coming next however, I'm going there without the baggage of my past and the enabling tendencies..... I'm going there with a light heart filled with gratitude. It's been an honor, a privilege and a gift to be a part of this group....you've all offered so much of yourselves.....you're all a blessing to me.....thank you. Happy New Year.