CoDA Inc – Youtube channel (2020 > )

CoDA Inc – official You Tube Channel of Co-Dependants Anonymous

What is Codependence?

Somewhere along this road we learn about codependence. We hear it from a friend or a therapist. We see it mentioned in the news. Many of us wonder if codependence describes who we are. Codependence is a disease that deteriorates the souls. It affects our personal lives; our families, children, friends, and relatives; our businesses and careers; our health; and our spiritual growth. It is debilitating and, if left untreated, causes us to become more destructive to ourselves and others. Many of us come to a point when we must look beyond ourselves for help. When we attend our first meeting of Co-dependents Anonymous, many of us find a source for help. Each of us arrives here from different directions. Some of us are urged by family members or friends. Some of us come to CoDA when our physicians, psychiatrists, or therapists see the need.

What is Codependence? (English)

Que es Codendencia? (Spanish)

2021 – CoDA Internet Retreat

Voices in Recovery

Fellowship Forum

Non English Language

CoDA Teen

CoDA Inc – Official Youtube channel


CoDA Meeting In Print (2016 > )

A quarterly CoDA recovery and support publication.
Recovery is for everyone, and we hope you enjoy reading these shares.

Meeting in Print contains CoDA-approved literature, including shares, uplifting quotes and artistic material from CoDA members. We hope you find this issue both enjoyable and insightful.

Please feel free to contact us with comments and suggestions – and, as always, your contributions!

Your Meeting in Print Subcommittee

CoDA Meeting in Print Archive


SoCal CoDA Shares (2020 >)

Shared with thanks to South California region of Co Dependents Anonymous

The Southern California Region of Co-Dependents Anonymous provides a bridge between the many SoCalCoDA Communities and the CoDA World Fellowship. We are dedicated to all co-dependents who still suffer and have a desire for healthy and loving relationships.

1 – Finding Joy– Heidi A

2 – Christmas in June – Darcie D C
3 – The Journey to finding heaven within – Jeff L
4 – LGBTQIA+ in recovery – Arielle S
5 – My Subconscious cant take a joke – Barbara L
Related documents
6 – Tools to maintain balance in my life – Theresa B
Related documents

7 – Seeing my higher self through friendship – Thuy K & Darlene H
Related documents
8 – Setting priorities through calendaring – Vanessa C
9 – Cultural Codependence – when cultures clash with recovery – Isabella Y

Please note that all presentations are shared “experience, strength and hope” (ESH) from individuals who are CoDA members who have signed agreements to follow the CoDA 12 Steps and Traditions.  Individual opinions or views are not necessarily endorsed by Co Dependents Anonymous.  Take what you like and leave the rest. 

 © 2006-2021, SoCalCoDA


CoDA Retreat Shares (2021)

Shared with thanks to

2021 Online retreat – March 2021 – Power of Connections through Loving and Healthy Relationships or Service

1 – Let it begin with me– Liz vR
3 – Couple in Recovery – Evie S / Leo C
4 – What would I be doing if I wasnt so afraid? – Karen D
5 – Prayer circles in the air = Judi P
Related documents
Powerpoint presentation
7 – Low self esteem patterns, compliance, and denial patterns – Dakota M
8 – CoDA – It Works! – Tonya B
9 – In this moment… (video) – Tameeka
10 – (Portugese) – Codependence and Spiritual Misery – Sindai
Related documents
Powerpoint presentation
11 – (Spanish) – ¿Que Estas Haciendo Con Tu Vida? – Pilar G

If you experience any technical problems, please email Content issues, please email

Please note that all presentations are shared “experience, strength and hope” (ESH) from individuals who are CoDA members who have signed agreements to follow the CoDA 12 Steps and Traditions.  Individual opinions or views are not necessarily endorsed by CoDependents Anonymous.  Take what you like and leave the rest. 

 © Copyright Codependents Anonymous 2021


Recovery Speakers (1988 > )

Shared with thanks to Recovery Speakers

Recovery speakers is dedicated to collecting and preserving the audio history of the 12 step fellowships – captured from late forties onwards.

If you would like to listen to more speaker talks from other 12-Step Fellowships, you can find them at

CoDA shares – (1988 – 2020)

1 – Mary R – Columbia MD (Founder share)
1 – Newcomers
3 – Phylis – I Met My Inner Child
4 – Shame and Codependency
5 – Sherill S – Womens Issues
6 – Importance of Sponsorship
7 – Steve S
8 – Ted M
9 – Wally – Recovery if the wildest thing
10 – Judith – CoDA is God’s programme
11 – Karmen P – Experience strength hope
12 – Jim and Ann D (1988)
13 – Jim – Spiritulity – whose got my soul
14 – Culle V – National Service Comittee (1989)
15 – Charles C – Relationships and Intimacy
16 – Carmen N – Pocket full of anger

Voices in Recovery (2018)

Shared with thanks to

These recordings were made at the 2018 CoDA Service Conference.

Chris J
Lisa B
A Upcoming Events B News Homepage News Share

CoDA Fellowship Forum – event (and shares)

Hosted by CoDA Communications Committee

Join us for CoDA Member shares
with time for questions and fellowship

WHEN: Last Saturday of every month:
8 PM (GMT-UK),12 PM (PT), 1 PM (MT), 2 PM (CT) and 3 PM (ET),Sun. 7am (AEST-Aus)

Join Zoom Meeting!
Meeting ID: 997 1221 0733

Sign up for event reminders!

© Codependents Anonymous, inc 2018-2020

This podcast is the property of CoDependents Anonymous.  

Reproduction without written permission from CoDependents Anonymous is not permitted.

CoDA Fellowship Forums purpose is to share information with any & all CoDA members, especially that which may effect CoDA as a whole.

CoDA Fellowship Forum send out regular emails with CoDA events, announcements, issues & CoDA business of interest to both specific regions & to the entire CoDA fellowship.

Per the 2nd tradition, 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. Developing a group conscience requires an informed fellowship, & to be effective trusted servants those you’ve elected must know the group conscience of the fellowship.

Jun 25th – CoDA Unity
May 28th – The Labels of Codependency
Apr 30th – Boundaries & Jealousy
Mar 26th – The 12 Promises
Feb 26th –
Trauma Bonding
Jan 29th – Forgiveness & Acceptance

Dec 25th – Anonymity – David A
Nov 27th – Gratitude – James K
Oct 30th – My First CoDA Meeting – David A
Sept 25th – Intentions vs Actions – What is my authentic self? – David A
Aug 28th – Willingness – David A, Jim K
July 31st – Hope – David A
June 24th – Spirituality – Facilitator – David A; Speaker – James K
May 24th – Dealing with Change – How to the Principles & Guides Help Me?
Apr 24th – Let’s Talk About the Power of Pause – “What is 30 seconds?”
Mar 27th – Silver Linings
Feb 27th –
Let’s Talk About: Service

Dec 19thLet’s Talk About: How Do I Feel?
Nov 28th – Let’s Talk About: Gratitude
Oct 31 – Let’s Talk About: How To Deal With Fear
Sept 26 – Let’s Talk About: Sponsorship
July 25 – Let’s Talk About: Inner Child
June 27 – Let’s Talk About: Writing for CoDA   
May 30 – Step 12 – Service (Open Sharing)
Apr 18 – When Life Gives You Lemons…CoDA Tools to Use –
Mar 28 – Speaking My Truth Was Liberating
Feb 29 – The Twelve Service Concepts, Spiritual Guidelines, Alive & Strong

( View full index of – fellowship forum shares)
(Subscribe to receive reminders of new recordings from


CoDA Audio Shares (2007 > )

Shared with thanks to CoDA Portland, Oregon and Metro Area

all recordings were made at CoDA events (meetings, conferences, workshops) and that recordings were made with the knowledge and permission of the speaker.  As with any CoDA event, each speaker is sharing their personal Experience, Strength and Hope.  The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the person who gave them.  Take what you like and leave the rest. 

Ken and Mary – CoDA Founder Shares
Dr Donna Bevan-Lee – CoDA Speaker Events
Melody Beattie – CoDA Convention Share

Listen to the full index of shares shared with us with thanks to
CoDA Portland, Oregon and Metro Area

A Upcoming Events B News Homepage News Share

UK Speaker Recordings – Co-Dependence Matters

Sessions are run most Saturdays by the group

Saturday, 7pm (GMT)
Join Zoom meeting: (NEW LINK)

Meeting ID : 87616355527
Password: 861572

Where recordings are taken – theyre anonymized to remove names of attendees.

These recordings are made freely available for use by all CoDA groups and members and may be used and redistributed for free maintaining attribution to the speaker event organisers.

May you find what you need from the recordings.

1 – 8th Aug 20 – Christina
2 – 22nd Aug 20 – On Service
3 – 29th Aug 20 – Heidi
4 – Charlie
5 – 24th Oct 20 – John
6 – 7th Nov 20 – Andy
7 – 31st Oct 20 – Frank – Steps
8 – 31st Oct 20 – Frank – Traditions
9 – 10th Oct 20 – V
10 – 21st Nov 20 – Lyn
11 – 16th Jan – Ken R – Founder CoDA
12 – 23rd Jan – Mary R – Founder CoDA
13 – Susan
14 – Emily
15 – Penny P
16 – Scott
17 – Lennie
18 – Alice
19 – Frank – Sponsorship
20 – Heidi – Shame
21 – Richard and Karen – traditions 1 to 4 of the 12 piece relationship toolkit
22 – Heidi – Self Parenting
23 – Richard and Karen – traditions 5 to 8 of the 12 piece relationship toolkit
24 – M

CoDA Founder Shares (2007 > )

Ken and Mary Shares – Shared with thanks to CoDA Tucson, CoDA Arizona, CoDA Portland, Oregon and Metro Area

All recordings were made at CoDA events (meetings, conferences, workshops), recordings were made with the knowledge and permission of the speaker.  As with any CoDA event, each speaker is sharing their personal Experience, Strength and Hope.  The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the person who gave them.  Take what you like and leave the rest. 

Ken and Mary – CoDA Founder Shares (2007 >)
Ken and Mary – London / Liverpool Sessions (2019)
Ken and Mary – Living the Third Step – (March 2020)
Ken and Mary – Journey Through CoDA Twelve Steps – [ Part 1 – (Steps 1 – 3), Part 2 – (Steps 4 – 5), (Steps 6 – 7), Part 4 – (Step 8 – 12)]
Mary – Virtual CoDA retreat 2020 – “The Movie in my Head”
Mary R – Co-Depence Anonymous – Columbia MD – Nov 2020
Ken R – Co-Dependence Matters – Jan 2021
Mary R – Co Dependence Matters – Jan 2021
Ken and Mary – Global Conversation – July 2021 – Audio
Fear and Communication – handout [English / Italian / French / Spanish ]


CoDA Tucson – Workshops

The purpose of the Tucson CoDependents Intergroup (TCI) is to support local Co-Dependents Anonymous groups as they carry CoDA’s message to codependents who still suffer.

Email if you have any questions

CoDA Tucson – Past event recordings

Stop Obsessing

Boundaries (Audio – part 1, Audio – part 2, graphic 1, graphic 2, slides)

Ken and Mary – Journey through the CoDA Twelves Steps (audio starts on open)

CoDA Tucson – Workshop recordings (audio starts on open)

CoDA Tucson – Spanish recordings

Intergroup Links

CoDA Tucson – Announcements

B News Share

Ken and Mary – Living the Third Step

Shared with thanks to Arizona CoDA Events Committee

Founders of the CoDA Programme, Ken and Mary introduce session on living the third step through these unusual times.

Two and half hour session of experience, strength and hope, with exercises prepared by the founders and team.

Copy of exercises included below video.

CoDA Third Step Prayer – Exercise

God, I give to You all that I am and all that I will be for Your healing and direction.

  1. What does it mean to you to “give to your Higher Power all that you are for your Higher Power’s healing and direction”?
  2. What does it mean to you to “give to your Higher Power all that you will be your Higher Power’s healing and direction?”

Make new this day as I release all my worries and fears, knowing that You are by my side.

  1. How does knowing that your Higher Power is by your side help you in releasing all your worries and fears?
  2. How does knowing that your Higher Power is by your side help you during this time of pendemic?

Please help me to open myself to Your love,

  1. What is your process to opening yourself up to your Higher Power’s Love?

To allow Your love to heal my wounds,

  1. How do you experience your Higher Powerr’s Love healing your wounds?

And to allow Your love to flow through me and from me and from me to those around me.

  1. What is your experience emotionally, intellectually, physically and spirtitually when you allow your Higher Power’s Love to flow through you to others?

May Your will be done this day and always.

  1. What do you generally think your Higher Power’s will is for you? Is it Loving? Demanding? Fearful? Affirming? Joyful?


Possible Solutions and Tools for living our 3rd Step while dealing with advertsity, including the pandemic.

These tools are meant for suggestions only. Some are meant, clearly, to be practised on a daily basis, while others can be practised every week or two.

Remember that Self-Care is always about action, which is also the process of CoDA recovery.

Natural tools to deal with depression and anxiety through loving self-care

  1. Pray Daily… this is always #1, connect and talk with your loving Higher Power, always and in all ways.
  2. Step Work (possibly: I am powerless over the pandemic and feel like my life is unmanageable… we altered this a bit 🙂
  3. Meditate
  4. Breathe Deeply, Exhale Slowly… repeat and repeat
  5. Exercise
  6. Connect with others:
    (Zoom CoDA Meetings, Face-Time with friends and family, Phone Calls, Email, Social Media)
  7. Zoom CoDA Study Groups using the CoDA Blue Book, The CoDA Green Workbook and/or CoDA Pamphlets and Booklets.
  8. Ask yourself: “What would my Higher Power say about…?” “How would my Higher Power comfort me?” etc.
  9. Daily dialog with your Inner Child and Inner Teen.
  10. Loving Affirmations
  11. Journal your thoughts and feelings
  12. Releasing Emotional Energy from your body (see attachment)
  13. Do a Fear List Exercise:

    “Write out one liner’s of what you are afraid of, anxious over, worried about or fearful of.

    Separate the fears into 3 categories:
  • Problem Solving Fears: these are fears that you can get into solution with like: I’m low on groceries and need to get to the market before they close.” We can intervene on these fears by taking action through problem solving… like, going to the market and getting groceries before they close.
  • Fears of Shame: fears where we are afraid of looking dumb, stupid, not enough etc. (our negative self-talk). We can intervene on these and affirm the loving truth about who we are and who our Loving Higher Power see us to be.
  • General Fears of Bad Things Possibly Happening: this includes self-doubt, what-if’s, Ya Buts. We can intervene on these to stop scarig ourselves about the future and instead look for solutions, especially coming back to our 3rd Step and being willing to turn our fears over to the care of God as we understand God.
  1. Stick to a reasonable daily schedule
  2. Bathe and brush your teeth
  3. Participate in some form of hobby, recreation, and productivity
  4. Play games with friends online
  5. Play games with family
  6. Find new creative ways to play and have fun
  7. Healthy Diet (avoiding too many stimulants like sugar and caffeine).
    21 If you are in a relationship at home, make sure that you create consistent time apart to avoid circumstantial enmeshment.
  8. Is you have children at home, shared parenting is vital to everyone. If that is not possible, then asking for help from others is of great benefit in order to have some relief and balance in your responsibilities and for the children as well.
  9. Get outside for sunshine and fresh air.
  10. Watch the stars at night… notice the expensiveness of the Universe
  11. If possible, drive to a new destination every 2-3 days
  12. No matter what, know that you are not alone. We truly are all in this together. Practising loving self-care and loving self-acceptance of where you are right here, right now. It is enough!

Mary’s Closing reading

Our CoDA 3rd Step “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God” helps to remind us that loving self-care is an important part of being “willing to be willing”. If we are not taking care of ourselves emotionally, spiritually, physically, intellectually or sexually, we can be more susceptible to returning to a “conflict in gods” making ourselves, others, even our feelings more important than our Higher Power.

“Making a decision” includes intentional thought, intentional surrender and intentional willingness to allow our Higher Power to guide us, to teach us, to heal us, to LOVE us right here, right now.

The tools we have listed are helpful for self-care, self-love and loving surrender. This is a short list, for there are engless ways we can love ourselves. In taking action to love our Higher Power and ourselves, living the 3rd Step is much easier.

It is always important to remember that we are human beings, loveable and fallible. There is no perfection in recovery. No perfection in life. It is a process made from a beautiful loveing heart that we continue on this journey.

If you would like to join the CoDA Arizona mailing list email

Coda Arizona group on Facebook
CoDA Arizona retreats and events on Facebook
CoDA Arizona website
CoDA Arizona – Live Workshop Library
CoDA Arizona – Saturday Speaker Series – Workshop Library

Share Sponsorship shares Uncategorized

Sponsorship in CoDA: 2020

Frank – Sponsorship Committee Host – Aug 2020

I remember when I started in CoDA, it took me a long time to find a home group where I felt at home. When I found that group, I hid out on the back row, not talking to anyone, escaping at the end of the serenity prayer. It took me a long time to realize I could talk to people after. And longer after that to start doing service.

I would recommend finding a CoDA group on Zoom which suits you, where it feels like home, where you can hear shares of Experience, Strength and Hope.

Once there, and you hear someone share who you identify with, reach out to them through the chat box when sharing ends. I’m finding this WhatsApp group a learning experience.

We don’t really have trusted servants here with roles. There are a few admins. I’m one. We don’t have newcomers reps etc. I think we’re still finding our feet.

I do service on the committee for the sponsorship workshop which is running on Zoom now too.

In the meantime, I’ve just seen this page for newcomers: and this page on the same site for sponsorship:

Some people are successful in their search for a sponsor through Outreach. I attended face to face meetings many years ago and found someone there who was willing to sponsor me.

I chose him because I could hear his recovery in his shares, and he could hear my willingness to work the steps in my shares. You might be able to do this in the online meetings.

I have also seen many people join step groups, who couldn’t find sponsors. The step group lets all the participants work the steps together.

When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of Fellowship always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.

A Upcoming Events Events Share

CoDA Arizona – Speaker Series (2022)

The Arizona CoDA Events Committee organizes and sponsors workshops to provide people with options to explore and deepen their CoDA. Since May of 2017, over 40 workshops and fun events have been held on many different subjects. The fun events give opportunities for fellowship with other recovering co-dependents in a relaxing, comfortable environment. recovery.

Join CoDA Arizona event – via Zoom
Zoom Password: 010247
Saturdays 8pm – 10pm

Email if you have any questions

Questions / Tradition 7 Donations are accepted via Paypal to

CoDA Arizona – event recordings

CoDA Arizona – Past Event Recordings
CoDA Arizona – Live Workshop Library
CoDA Arizona – Saturday Speaker Series – Workshop Library

If you would like to join the CoDA Arizona mailing list email

CoDA Arizona – Upcoming Events
CoDA Arizona retreats and events on Facebook
CoDA Arizona website

B News Share

Ken and Mary 2019 Speaker Event Recordings

During October 2019 two weekend long speaker events were held, one in London and the other in Liverpool, during which Ken and Mary shared their experience, strength and hope with the fellowship. The sessions were recorded and following anonymisation work to remove names for all attendees are now available.

These recordings are made freely available for use by all CoDA groups and members and may be used and redistributed for free maintaining attribution to CoDA UK, Ken R and Mary R.

May you find what you need from the recordings.

1 – Boundaries, Relationships and Resentments
(Presentation starts: 14m 22s)
2 – Abuse, Control and Family of Origin
(Presentation starts: 2m 32s)
3 – 12 Piece Toolkit – Relationship Recovery
(Presentation: 7m 55s)
4 – 12 Steps on a Daily Basis and Self Care
(Presentation starts: 4m 56s)
5 – Abandonment, anger and reconnecting with the inner child
(Presentation starts: 10m 50s)
6 – Reparenting ourselves, Letting go of Resentments, Allowing Ourselves to Grieve
(Presentation starts: 0m 55s)
7 – Recovery through Service
(Presentation starts: 4m 44s)
8 – Coda Fellowship
(Presentation starts: 2m 20s)
9 – Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over others – that our lives had become unmanageable.
(Presentation starts: 5m 32s)
10 – Step 2 – Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
(Presentation starts: 3m 50s)
11 – Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
(Presentation starts: 2m 20s)
12 – Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
(Presentation starts: 6m 36s)
13 – Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 7 – Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
(Presentation starts: 12m)
14 – Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
(Presentation starts 4m 08s )
15 – Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
Step 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.
(Presentation starts 2m 33s)
16 – Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message
to other co-dependents, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
(Presentation 3m 10s)

Share Sponsorship shares

Working steps in a group

An account of Step Group – Coda World

What Is a Step Study?
Often regular, listed CoDA meetings call themselves a Step Study when the focus of the meeting is CoDA literature about the Steps, and sometimes the Traditions. These meetings are open and rotate through the literature again and again. New people join the meeting wherever the group is and get a taste of CoDA’s Steps, Traditions, and the experience of the members of the meeting.

When you are ready to WORK the Steps, you might find or start a small group of likeminded members who want to take their recovery to the next level. Members create small groups to support each other by working through all the Steps together. We strongly suggest working the Traditions simultaneously. This is also called a Step Study Group. This kind of group will be the major focus of this document.

Read more

Share Sponsorship shares

Individual Sponsorship

Sponsorship in CoDA – Workshop held in Birmingham 21/4/07

The speaker began by stating how the role of sponsor in a one-to-one situation is a GIFT from recovery; ideally a mutual and balanced relationship and very much a two-way street. The sponsored member may have much to give.

She clarified the role of the sponsor as someone who will take the sponsee through the Steps, and share experience, strength and hope. The sponsor’s ego ideally needs to be out of the equation – the codependent need to ‘fix’ is no more appropriate here than in any other relationship. So it is important that the sponsor takes care of themselves first, in terms of time and energy boundaries, and that the negotiations are for the needs of both. It may be that sponsees new to the programme are particularly needy at a particular point, and the sponsor needs to be clear about what they can really provide; over-reaching can lead to co dependent feelings of victimhood, martyrdom or resentment which will not ultimately benefit the sponsee. Setting boundaries avoids any ‘rescuing’ behaviour and protects the sponsor. Negotiation and dialogue between the two people is absolutely crucial.

And, as with any other relationship, it takes TIME for the sponsor/sponsee relationship to develop and deepen.

Harking back to the issue of keeping the sponsor’s ego out of the equation, she stated how rewarding it can be to see sponsees flourish, but to remember always that it is their Higher Power that does this, not the sponsor! There is a risk that the initial impetus to become a sponsor may be driven out of a codependent need to fix. If a sponsee is continually raising the same question without taking on board the answer, for example, this may raise issues for the sponsor about not being heard – but they then need to let go the outcome. If a sponsee is not working the programme and stays stuck, it may be appropriate for the sponsor to let them go rather than staying with them in their problems.

The whole relationship can be a real gift to the sponsor, serving as a constant reminder of the steps and seeing issues from the sponsee’s perspective. The sponsor needs also to be aware that the sponsee may just need to be listened to, without any feedback. Issues may also arise for the sponsor, around boundaries, dependency, fear of conflict, the need to control and the need to ‘fix’. These, too, can be a gift – ideally the sponsor needs to be willing to receive these messages. It may nevertheless be appropriate to terminate a relationship which really is not working – in CoDA as anywhere else.

The speaker then went on to describe sponsorship as a tool, one of many available tools on the road to recovery. It is important to refrain from advice-giving, to share experience, strength and hope – and let God. However, all relationships are valuable in that much insight can be gained – whether the relationship is ultimately successful or not.

The sponsor really needs to understand their own relationship with God before embarking on a relationship with the other person; an understanding which will minimise the risk of them standing in the way of the sponsee’s Higher Power.

The speaker then stated the need for courage to confront difficult situations. There are many potential lessons here about intimacy, healthy communication and only giving what you have available to give.

There is also an issue of manageability without being controlling. Being available every day can be a challenge, for example, though this may sometimes be appropriate. If a sponsee leaves a message, it is fine to leave a reply, but not then to ‘chase’ the other person. It is a matter of trust to let the other person manage their own life and to let go of the outcome.

In conclusion, she stated that though it is challenging to work as a trusted tool, it is also an opportunity and a gift to work through one’s own painful, codependent side. Sometimes being forced out of self-centredness and self-pity to focus on another person can be a gift, too. The sponsee will also receive the benefit of wisdom. At the end of the day, though, the sponsor is a guide only, not a fixer, therapist or coach.

Share Sponsorship shares

Group Sponsorship

Sharing the Experience, Strength and Hope I’ve Found in a CoDA Step Work Group

My name is Kay and I’m a recovering co-dependent. I have been in the fellowship for just under three years.

I joined the fellowship following a bad break-up which left me broken spiritually, untrusting of my own judgement and merits and without hope for the future. Just a few weeks in CoDA saw a marked improvement in the way I felt about myself and my situation, but there was still something missing.

I didn’t see how I could work the programme properly without a sponsor and sponsors were very thin on the ground. I’d tried working with a remote sponsor in America but I found that was expensive and impractical. So, gathering my courage, I decided to end that sponsor relationship. But I still knew I needed support if I was going to take the 12 steps on board properly and make a real change in my life.

I decided to hand it over and see what would happen. Then the London region ran a sponsorship workshop. Here, a group of us decided to put together a Step Work Group to keep us moving forward through the 12 steps.

We meet once a month. At the first meeting, we set out ground rules and decided to use the 12 traditions as the blueprint for our meetings. We start each meeting with the serenity prayer to give it structure and end in the same way. We check in briefly then go on to share our work for that month.

Together, we’ve worked right up to step 9. We use the questions from the CoDA work book, work the questions and share our responses. For me, this has really helped. Not only do I have the support of four fantastic women who support me through my highs and lows and offer me their experience to help me see how I can manage my dis-ease, I also have the experience of their perspective on the programme.

I am a practicing Christian, but watching my fellows work through steps 1, 2 and 3 made me appreciate these steps more deeply, challenging my faith and increasing my understanding. Steps 1-3 have been a real foundation which I’ve turned to whenever I’m in a stick.

Step 4 came after we’d been working together for three months. In that time, we’d started to build a real trust and the safety produced by using the 12 traditions made me feel safe enough to trust that the confidentiality needed for step 4 could be maintained by the Step Work Group. I shared my fear at this step and drew on the knowledge that we were all heading into these waters together as I took bigger and bigger Step 4s.

Each month, we set ourselves a subject – an area to explore, using the questions from the CoDA book and another book which we decided to use by Group Conscience. We’d share our step 4 and then, if we wanted to, we asked for feedback from the group. This helped to give me perspective and clarity over my responsibilities and my part in events. When asked for feedback, we carefully shared similar experiences, giving examples which paralleled situations rather than dictating how people should feel.

We tackled many difficult subjects including family, physical relationships, colleagues, friends. We started with less emotive subjects before tackling the big family members category.

The step 4 work was painful and detailed. We worked steadily, supporting one another between our Step Work Group evenings with phone calls and also ran into each other at various CoDA meetings in the area. Because this remarkable group of women was pushing on with the work, it kept me going too. Their company on my journey helped me to take many difficult steps, knowing that I had their support and, of course, the unfailing support of a loving Higher Power who would restore me to sanity.

Steps five to nine followed on over the next four months. We used the same model as we had for steps one to three, working from CoDA literature and using our other literature to build our understanding of the step. However, when we got to step 9, we found it became difficult to work together at the same pace. Step 9 is for me a very personal step. I make direct amends as and when I am ready to and when the right opportunities arise. So we weren’t all able to work at the same pace.

We’ve decided to keep working together but are currently working through the 12 traditions with the CoDA work book. As and when I approach a step 9, members of the group are there to support, before and after the amend is made. We share our feelings about the amend we’re working through, and our concerns about the future. Voicing these has helped me to move forwards in my relationships and where I have made amends, those relationships have invariably improved.

It’s not all been easy. We’ve had fallings out. But we’ve used “I” statements and CoDA principles to keep us on track. Suspending judgement has helped and we’ve successfully kept out of each others lives enough to maintain some level of anonymity which means that when asked to give feedback, that feedback isn’t clouded by knowing the other person in the situation, only the patterns of our fellows and how we’ve reacted ourselves in similar situations. Using the 12 traditions has helped us to reflect – our individual progress depends upon CoDA unity.

People within our group have sponsees. Again, this has been a positive thing. We’ve been able to share our experiences of how difficult it is to sponsor without controlling! Because the Step Work Group is run using CoDA principles, it’s made these principles more familiar to me and I’ve found it easier to use them when sponsoring.

I find one of the things which makes the group safe for me is that it’s an all women group. This helped me when it came to the more personal elements of Step 4 and I believe that my disclosure in Step 4 would not have been as complete with men present.

When we started the group, we decided that we would work together and see how it goes. We haven’t had anyone leave throughout the process and we also haven’t had anyone join. For me, I feel it would be difficult for anyone to join us now. But, we’ve decided that should anyone ask to join us, we would put it to group conscience and let our Higher Power steer the group where we need to go.

And, so far, so good. Every day of my recovery has its challenges, but I know that I can draw on the support, the experience, strength and hope of some incredible women. I don’t limit my support group to the Ladies Step Work Group. I still go to regular CoDA meetings and I am happy. Just for today.  

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Sponsorship in CoDA – Workshop held in Birmingham 21/4/07

The speaker described how she had been in CoDA for around 3-4 years, following sponsoring in another 12 step fellowship. There was a lack of available sponsors, and the co-sponsoring relationship was set up in the light of this.

She described the ‘mechanics’ of the relationship, which has been helpful in various ways. A regular weekly slot is allocated, and each takes it in turns, both to make the telephone call and to share. The length of the call is also decided on the basis of need. Because of the regular routine, it is very clear whose role is which at any time. She described the benefits of knowing the other person over a long period of time, and the experience of really being known. A great sense of security is also created between contacts, knowing that there will be time available at some point in the future to home in on and clarify issues.

She described the various options available, which include email, phone – where it is not always necessary to receive a reply – and working the steps when this is appropriate. There are different strategies to avoid a sense of victimhood and to maintain detachment, involving both contact with another person and prayer.

She also mentioned the benefits of the ability to be there for another person, to develop listening skills and not to get deeply embroiled in someone else’s life events. As in individual sponsorship, the boundaries are being maintained, but because both parties are establishing them at the same time it may flow more smoothly. Strength and focus are still needed, nevertheless, to deal with the discomfort of raising controversial issues and to maintain boundaries as necessary.

The speaker also felt that there were issues which could still be addressed by her; these included working the steps in depth. Because of the time slot, these could sometimes be skipped over. She also reiterated her own need to stay focused – the co-sponsoring relationship did not negate the need to do other work, too.