It’s still hours until the Midnight countdown, but already I can hear fireworks in the distance.  He is in the next room creating a mixed track of “Auld Lang Syne.” He’ll soon post it to Facebook, for what will surely be countless “likes” and “loves.”

Just as it did on Christmas, his phone is nonstop with notifications–Facebook well-wishers and “Happy New Year!” messages from coworkers.  Or, “Happy New Beer!,” as one person wrote.

‘Normally’–I say that loosely–I would have come emotionally undone as my phone sat silent and his lit up like the night sky.

But CoDA stresses to let go of the ego.  It’s not all about me.  I remind myself of this when I’m tempted to jump back onto social media.

I’m in recovery.

I need to let go of my ego.

I’m working on me.

This has become my go to response when I’m asked how I’m doing, what I’m doing, or what I’d like to do.

I’m working on me.

And because I am codependent, and borderline, and in recovery, and–most importantly–increasingly self-aware, I know that doing what he does would be a set-back for me. To jump back onto social media would be be giving away my control.  It would be trying to gain approval, and allowing the success or failure of that venture be the basis of my self-esteem.

In other words, I’d be seeking approval from complete strangers who don’t care anything about me.  Because somewhere in the past 30+ years, I stopped approving of myself and decided that my self-worth would always be measured in someone else’s approval of me–a parent, a teacher, a partner, or a complete stranger.  And with that motivation, I’ve done a lot I’m not proud of.

But no more.

No, I’m working on me.

And that requires me to stay off social media and do exactly that: Work. On. Me.

It means reassuring myself that I am worthy and good and whole without text messages from others reminding me of this.

It means spending time in quiet reflection about this year, and being thoughtful and discerning about what I want next year to look like.  And feel like.

It means making the decision to not let my codependent behaviors surface when I feel anxious and fearful.  Or seeking reassurance.

It means choosing activities that are important to me, that celebrate where I’m at, and honor where I’m headed.

It means recognizing that health is not all about numbers on a scale, but it’s also about the weight in my mind and heart.

It means recognizing my need and ability to make my own decisions.

It means recognizing that if I’m to be the caretaker of anyone, I must be the caretaker of myself.  Because I’ve neglected that for far too long.

It also means, letting go to love again.  Love is so, so, so important to me.  And that’s ok.  I want to honor that, and that starts with letting go of the control, manipulation, and fear, and first loving myself so that I can consciously, and openly love others they way they deserve.

In many ways, 2018 was rock-bottom for me.  I very nearly didn’t survive it.  And yet, by the grace of God, I’m here.  By the grace of God, my paths crossed with people who inadvertently answered questions weighing heavily on my mind and heart.  Who helped guide me where I needed to go.  And who remain the very best parts of my year.

And next year, I will be the very best part of my year.

Because I am working on me.

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