These are the first four Steps of the Program
1. We admitted we were powerless over [our hearts]- that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
The Twelve Step Program brings alcoholics back from the brink of self-destruction, and has been adapted for use with every other addiction as well. In our case, it is the most effective treatment for codependency.
The very first step is to admit. It is knowing that our relationship problem was caused by an addiction to people or to love. Now you may feel that “addiction” is a strong word. Is the one who can’t stop drinking really like yourself, the person who allowed themselves to be abused?
Well, did you feel like you could not stop thinking about this person and their problems? Did you give too much time, value and attention (TVA) to them, and very little to your life and your other family members? Were you so dependent that separation gave you pain? Did you stay, despite obvious abuse?
Those are all signs of codependence, and also signs of addiction.
Next, did you put this person in the position of “God”? When you start to examine the relationship, you begin to notice how you made the other person your Higher Power. You think you depend on God, but do you really?? If you think that another person is your Provider, your Source of income and support, and that you won’t survive on your own without them, then you have made that person equal to God. And that is a form of “shirk”, a form of disbelief in God.
So in step 3, we have examined our false beliefs and we re-commit to a pure Tauheed, or monotheistic approach. We give up and we let God take over. We want to stop being “God” to others, stop trying to solve their problems for them.
Finally, in the fourth step that we are discussing today, it is time to get out pen and paper. Let us do a “fearless moral inventory”. The question about TVA should be applied to all relationships in retrospect, including parents.
So let’s list every codependent relationship in your life, starting from childhood and ending with the current one. For each person that you are listing, note these things:
1. Thought of them as your Higher Power or god
2. Gave them too much time, value, and attention
3. Had unrealistic expectations that they would love you
4. How they left you alone through an addiction of their own
Hopefully you will begin to see where you stopped valuing and caring for yourself, and where you stopped relying on the Higher Power that is eternal and not human.