Letting Go: How long did it take?

Old 06-19-2011, 09:32 AM
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Letting Go: How long did it take?

There have been a lot of posts lately from some very wise people who have come a long way in their journey of letting go of their codependency and living for themselves and creating their own happiness.

Just all the people who have reached this place of serenity in their lives, how long did it take you? I know it's a gradual process and there isn't a day when you suddenly realize you've made it and you're "there" - but generally speaking, what was the time frame from the start of your journey to when you realized you were at peace with your life and the choices you made?
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:38 AM
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Still working on it. Progress, not perfection.

I'm mostly at peace with my mistakes, but sometimes they will still pop up.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:49 AM
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Been practicing for over 5 years, still haven't gotten it totally down. Left, right, left, right one day at a time!
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:51 AM
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I think it has taken me all my life to get to the place where I can post a thread about being present right now and content with it all. It is not the life I thought I was getting at all. But it is the life I have and I can decide how I want to spend it. Do I want to be miserable and unhappy and stuck in something or somewhere that isn't fulfilling? Or do I want to go make the life I want to live that suits me and makes me feel happy and content? Once I answered that question, it was a matter of taking the next steps to make that happen. It was being confident to take risks. Being courageous in the face of fear. Believing in God's will for me...that when I found that path I would feel right about it.

Each step that I took that worked and felt right gave me more confidence to keep walking in that direction. I don't know where this path will take me, and I no longer fear the future. I focus on each day as best I can, knowing it is one more day I don't get to have. I take opportunities I normally wouldn't, exploring each door that opens knowing I may or may not want what is behind that door. I practice the tools I have learned in this journey - compassion, empathy, not engaging in someone else's crazy-making behaviors, etc. Some days I get it right and it feels good. Other days I make mistakes and learn from them to do better next time.

Some days I wake up and feel perfectly content, others I feel sad and lonely. And its ok. I no longer feel the need to run out and "fix" my feelings. I can just feel them and move on. Learning the fine art of detachment is still challenging for me, but each day I practice allows me to get a little better at it. And detachment really is key to fostering those feelings of personal happiness. It allows me to sit on my deck, enjoying my flowers in the sunshine with a good cup of coffee while my daughter rattles on and on about her dramas with her boyfriend. Or to listen to the RAH quack and quack about how everything is still my fault. The hook is swinging just under my nose and now, I no longer open my mouth and swallow it. No one gets to ruin my serenity without my permission.

We say often here and in Al-Anon, "You are exactly where you are supposed to be right now". Embracing this keeps me from the insatiable need to 'change something' so I don't feel anxious or uncomfortable. My Al-Anon friend said this very thing to me yesterday when I said I thought I was headed for divorce. Nothing else, just that phrase. Brought me back around from wallowing to acceptance.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post

Some days I wake up and feel perfectly content, others I feel sad and lonely. And its ok. I no longer feel the need to run out and "fix" my feelings. I can just feel them and move on.

Tuffgirl, thank you for this. Another PERFECT thing I needed to hear today.
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:44 PM
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As the others have said, it's a lifelong journey. It's been 10 years for me from the time I really identified I wasn't happy and didn't really know who the heck I was. It's had it's ups and downs (life always does) but every day I get better, more centered and able to deal with the downs. Before I'd spiral into depression. That said, I can say I started seeing real improvement after two years. And therapy definitely helped me with this. But you have to do the work.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:02 PM
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I've been in and out of the al-anon rooms for 6 years now... And I'm making progress. I don't have nearly as many hooks and claws into my AH as I used to. I'm sure I'll probably be somewhat attached even after the divorce is final... Its a process...

And I don't think there's a finish line. I used to think there was... Now I know that was just me relapsing... Bc I got lazy and stopped working my program.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:28 AM
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Thank you everyone for your answers. I wanted to say something about my journey to this point and I found I had no words, I had very strong feelings for what was going on but I couldn't translate them to words. The journey metaphor works best for me. I see it as a lifelong journey to find the real me, whoever that may be.

Thanks again to all my SR friends.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:57 AM
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2.5 years to disengage from the alcoholic ex boyfriend I saw everyday at work....
Ah it was the most difficult thing I ever did... mourn the loss of an alcoholic.
I still could cry anytime like a baby remembering the good person he was once.
But thanks to recovery I habitate more the present and don't go there mentally anymore.
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