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Things I Learned About Acceptance from My Recovery Program for Codependency

Recovery is for people who want it, not for people who need it.

Catherine N Wight
3 min readSep 17, 2020


“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

~Joseph Campbell

My end was the beginning. Ten years ago, I joined a recovery program for codependency. I didn’t show up to my first meeting on a winning streak, but I had begun a new life journey.

Alcohol addiction and codependency have been part of my life since birth. Living with chaos, I learned many things that have taken me years to unlearn. Today, I am grateful for my journey and the full life I lead. Acceptance is the key.

Ten years ago, I lived with alcohol addiction, but I couldn’t accept that someone I loved had a problem. I covered up the issue, overachieved to compensate, and continued the cycle of secrecy. The rules in my childhood home, though never explicitly said, were: don’t think, don’t talk, don’t feel, and don’t share. I passed these lessons on unintentionally to my children.

When I admitted my life was out of control, I became willing to get help. These are lessons about acceptance I’ve learned along the way.

What acceptance doesn’t mean to me.

Acceptance doesn’t mean accepting unacceptable behavior, or that you can’t work on changing things. Acceptance doesn’t mean blaming others or taking other people’s choices personally. I cannot cure, control, or change anyone but myself.

Acceptance does not mean not having many expectations of someone with an addiction, even if they’re in recovery. We cannot expect them to do for us what they cannot do for themselves.

What acceptance means to me.

Acceptance is an active process that must be continually practiced through our actions, interactions, and learning to regulate our emotions.

The process, not the outcome, is the goal. Accepting what is, not what we wish reality would look like, teaches how to set boundaries and take care of ourselves. When you accept your current life and accept who you are, you will grow and…



Catherine N Wight

Former restaurant reviewer and newspaper photographer. Married to a part-time goat farmer. BA Communications; MAEd.