Last week’s class exercise, boundary questioning, and unsavory events at home have really pushed me into an experience I haven’t had in a long time. There was a lot of silence and confusion in me. As I babbled to my therapist this week she responded with: “It sounds like you are going through a paradigm shift”.
The last time I experienced a paradigm shift of this magnitude was when I began attending a 12-step group for Adult Children of Alcoholics (and other Dysfunctional Families) (ACA/ACoA). Beginning that journey challenged a lot of beliefs I had about myself and my family. As I grew with the program, my old understandings and beliefs no longer applied. The transition from my old self to who I was becoming felt surreal. I was walking a new landscape with the wrong map. I had to allow myself the time to learn to trust that the new landscape was safe, and that I could finally let go of the old map.
Now, I attend Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDa) and Al-Anon meetings and as usual, it feels strange at first. I’m a month into it and I’m having that paradigm shift happen again. How I understood the world worked so well for me in the past 2.5 years however, over the last 6 months, I just couldn’t seem to apply this understanding to my life completely. I felt awkward and clumsy. I felt like I had a big blind spot and was missing something.
Attending CoDa and Al-Anon meetings and reading the literature has helped me understand the new landscape I am traveling through. I suppose ACA gave me the map to navigate the journey towards understanding and healing my core wounds, as well as re-connecting with a High Power. Now, the landscape has changed. It’s a landscape that involves traveling with company and giving up the notion of control. It’s a deeper level of self-care that requires a new map.
In ACA I learned to have the courage to ask for what I need. Now, with CoDa and Al-Anon, I am learning that the person I need to have that conversation with the most is myself.