This is a long post, but I promise it’s worth the read.
Lots of you don’t know this about me yet, but I used to be a text book Codependent.
Not just like a little codependency here and there, I’m talking putting myself in danger frequently, and tolerating awful things ‘for the sake of’ men that I (thought) I loved.
From verbal abuse, physical abuse, being raped multiple times, to rescuing people from shady AF situations constantly. From having my steering wheel jerked and my car pulled off the road in the pouring rain by a guy who had a death wish, to being choked by a drunk boyfriend on his front porch, the list goes on…..
Now, I’m not saying I did anything to deserve any of that, no one does- but the problem was that I willingly kept going back in for more, hoping that something would change if I just held out long enough.
Anyone who understands Codependency will relate to that.
In my mid/late 20’s (this was about 2004), I was in Al-Anon for a few years because I needed help moving past that pattern of dating Addicts, Narcissists and Alcoholics.
Recovery from my own codependency contributed in a big way to the work I went on to do as a therapist around 2007 and today as a Coach.
I learned too much to go into in one post, but one piece of advice from a sponsor at the time (2005 ish) has always stuck out to me.
She said: “If you want to build your self-esteem, do things that are esteem-able.”
Here’s why what she said was so important:
See, one of the aspects of codependency that is often the hardest to heal is the almost non-existent level of self esteem. I was no exception.
On the outside, sure I looked fine. But on the inside I was in tremendous amounts of pain. Pain that actually started when I was really little. Pain that I’d had for so long, it just felt like a normal part of me. To the point that I didn’t really recognize that pain as “other” than me.
If that makes sense.
Like having a scar for so long, that you don’t realize there used to be regular skin before.
I would bend over backwards for men because I assumed that if I could get them to love me or stop hurting me, then I would stop hurting.
(If you can’t recognize your pain as a child, or didn’t have adults who were able to recognize or help you resolve your pain as a child, then as an adult you will default to mistaking the Source of your pain like I did. Read that again- it’s important.)
And I didn’t care about myself. Like at all. So I kept attaching myself to people who reflected that right back to me.
I didn’t even understand what self respect was back then. In fact, if you’d asked me back then, I probably would have said that self respect was over-the-top and “high maintenance.”
I could go on, but my point here is that what my old sponsor said about building self esteem was a key.
Fast forward to today, and here’s my reality-
I’m not interested in treatment or relationships that don’t reflect mutual respect anymore.
It’s not that I’m defending against them, I’m just not interested. It’s not in my reality anymore.
When I see it heading my direction, it just deflects out of my field now. Like browsing for shoes, “Nope, next.”
I don’t bend out of esteem now. Not because I’m trying to have self esteem or trying to behave like a person who has it- but because having it is just my natural state now.
I had to go to people I’d previously tolerated disrespect from, and either ask for what needed to change or just let go of the friendship completely.
It took YEARS of paying attention, healers, coaches, asking for help and doing inner work again and again and again to get there- but the old patterning just isn’t here anymore.
Do I feel the temptation to fall off track creeping in sometimes?
Yep. I just say no now.
I felt called to share this because this message I’m about to deliver is meant for some of you out there reading this now.
Breaking out of codependency is no joke.
It’s a long process. But it’s 100% possible.
It’s part of my story. I think it’s part of many people’s story.
And to be totally honest, it was one of my greatest Teachers.
It showed me how to have esteem. I actually hold respect for the pain I carried because it ultimately showed me how to respect myself, my business, my boundaries, my needs, my clients. I was 100% committed to overcoming it, and healing it no matter what- and that *commitment* led me to my Integrity.
See it was being committed to being present with all of this pain I had, and healing it- that really led me to knowing and seeing who I really am.
The crux of this post is this:
You know that pervasive anxiety and depression that comes with codependency? The kind that can make you tremble and cry alone on your living floor for hours?
I had that. For a long time.
I don’t anymore.
And what I know now that I didn’t understand back then is that that “anxiety” wasn’t really about other people. Or fear of abandonment. Or fear of losing anyone or anyone’s love.
That “anxiety” was Me- trying to get my own attention.
The red flag going up, inviting me, telling me that something was out of integrity or off, months before I’d consciously realize it.
It was my own built in GPS. The same GPS that everyone reading this has too.
It was Intuition. It was Integrity. The soul.
Trying to get my attention vehemently. Trying to wake me up.
And so, your internal guidance system has always been there too.
And it will often reveal itself as/through codependency or addiction or self sabotage actually.
Wanna know what Codependency really is?
*It’s you accidentally mistaking a call to Heal yourself as a compulsion to over identify with the pain that needs healing in others.*
It’s a call to commit to sifting through layer upon layer of programming or pain or trauma- so that you get to The Heart of You.
Why do you think that so many Empaths, Intuitives and Healers have similar stories?
It’s the same invitation. Many of us mistook that invitation in our teens and 20’s….until we realized what it really was.
(When I say “realized what it really was,” that’s a multidimensional realization I’m talking about. That threads past just being a human or “awake”….)
I’m sure I’ve missed something. Explaining all of this in one post is pretty hard. But I felt called to write this anyway.
The last thing I’ll say is this:
“Codependency,” like so many other addictions, is a call to heal yourself.
To come home to The Truth.
To seek, find and Stand in your integrity.
To Return to Love.
To return to your natural state of being.
And I hope that you too, find yours. ❤️
The Truth Behind Codependency
November 29, 2018