Welcome to CoDA of Charlotte
The Codependents Anonymous Program of Recovery
We would like to welcome our Charlotte friends and neighbors to the CoDA Charlotte community. As a newcomer you are greeted as the most important person at our meetings. We hope you will find you’re in your right place. We will invite you to pick up a Newcomers’ Packet and you may purchase the CoDA Blue Book and other literature, which should answer many of your questions about CoDA
CoDA guidelines encourage attending at least six meetings as a way to determine CoDA’s relevancy in your life. The various meetings are different and one may be more comfortable for you than another.
Codependents Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships through the discovery of, and recovery from, habitual codependent behaviors. Such patterns are often a holdover from childhood coping skills, adopted in response to dysfunctional family situations
The only requirement for membership is a desire to overcome these dysfunctional behavioral patterns and, using the tools we are discovering, replace them with healthy choices and attitudes, bringing us true fulfillment in all areas of our lives.
We gather to support and share with each other a journey of self-discovery—learning to love and respect the self. Living the program allows each of us to become increasingly honest with ourselves about our personal histories and our own codependent behaviors.
Here we find a safe place where we 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. This renewal process is a gift of healing for us. By actively working the program of Codependents Anonymous, we can each realize a new joy, acceptance, and serenity in our lives.
Most of us have been searching for ways to overcome the conflicts in our relation-ships. Many of us were raised in families where addictions and dysfunctional behaviors existed. Perhaps some were not. In either case, we have found that codependence has become a deeply rooted, compulsive behavior, born out of our sometimes moderately, sometimes extremely dysfunctional family systems. We have learned that “codependence is a disease that deteriorates our soul.”
We have each experienced in our own way the painful trauma of emptiness in our childhood and our relationships throughout our lives. We attempted to use others— our mates, our friends, and even our children as our sole source of identity and value, and as a way of trying to restore within us the emotional losses from our childhoods. Our histories may include other powerful addictions, which at times we have used to cope with our codependence.
We have all learned to survive life, but in CoDA we are learning to live life. Through applying the Twelve Steps and principles of CoDA on a daily basis we can experience a new freedom from our self–defeating lifestyles. It is an individual growth process, each of us growing at our own pace. We will continue to heal as we remain open to God's will for us.
No matter how traumatic our past or despairing our present may seem, there is hope for a new day in the program of Codependents Anonymous. We no longer need to rely on others as a power greater than ourselves. We will find here a new strength within, to be that which God intended—precious and free.
CoDA is an anonymous program. We ask that you respect the privacy of each person in this meeting and that: “Who you see here, what is said here, when you leave here, let it stay here."
Our sharing helps us to free the emotional bonds of our past and the compulsive control of our present. In CoDA we each learn to build a bridge to a Higher Power of our own understanding and we allow others the same privilege.
After a period of sharing our experience, strength, and hope—which often includes newcomers unburdening themselves of emotional issues which may have been tightly stored for many years—we close the meeting with the following statement:
In closing, our desire is for all who have attended to find in this fellowship the hope and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy—and which has helped many of us find new ways of participating in life.
By being willing to modify our own attitudes and behaviors, we find not only our lives, but the lives of those around us begin to change–within families, with friendships, and at work.
The loving exchange of help among members, and the daily study of CoDA and 12-step literature make us ready to receive the priceless gift of serenity.
To those who haven't been with us long: Whatever your problems, there are those among us who have faced them as well. If you learn to keep an open mind you will find help. You will begin to realize that there is no difficult situation nor unhappiness that cannot be reversed, and no deeds that cannot be forgiven.
The welcome we give you is warm and sincere. And it is intended to help you love yourself, as we will grow to love you. The ‘We Care’ book is available for further contact and support, but let there be no gossip nor criticism of one another. Instead, let the understanding, love, and freedom this program offers continue to grow in each of us—one day at a time.
We close our meeting by reading the Twelve Promises of CoDA and by reminding ourselves of the powerful Serenity prayer, and often adjourn to a local restaurant for coffee, etc. and more conversation.