The hardest part of therapy for codependents is getting into it! Denial plays as big a role in codependency as it does in substance abuse. Since codependents are focused on the other person’s behavior, it’s easy for them to believe that their problems will be resolved when the other person changes. While it’s true that another person’s behavior can influence use, codependents have problems of their own. Letting someone else’s behavior affect you to the point that it interferes with you life is the codependent’s – not the other person’s – problem. Learning to let go of the myth that you can control another’s behavior (detach, as Al-Anon puts it) is a big step toward recovery. Building self-esteem is essential for recovering codependents. A good therapist can help you define your own identity and boost your self-worth so that you don’t need another person to create or validate you as a person. Obsession with someone else’s life becomes less appealing when your own is full and rewarding. Additionally, people who feel good about themselves are much less likely to start or stay in relationships that are abusive or otherwise unhealthy. http://www.drshirin.com/codepend.htm
Delay is the deadliest
form of denial.
C. Northcote Parkinson
And at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind ‒ graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There’s the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There’s the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn’t give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens. And if you are very, very lucky, there are a few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last ‒ and yet will remain with you for life. Jim Butcher
When faced with
two equally tough choices,
most people choose the third choice:
to not choose.
Depression: a condition of feeling emotionally down; a prolonged sadness; feelings of inadequacy; waning interest in things outside the self; generally sad mood, and thoughts that affect the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself, and thinks about things. By that definition it becomes obvious that just about all codependents suffer at least from occasional depression. Many deal with it regularly. Most males don’t ever seek help for depression. As men it’s often hard to admit we need help as we’ve been taught to keep our self under control. Accepting something emotional can get a hold on us that we can’t control is thought wrongly by many to be male weakness. That’s all macho bravado and unadulterated BS! Trying to control what can’t be controlled can even make it worse. Men get depressed just as often as women! Men just don’t do anything about it as frequently. Feelings are not a weakness nor is feeling depressed, sad or inadequate. Real and true weakness is not seeking help and treatment when a man needs it. Simply stated, it is STUPID to be depressed and not reaching out for help for it!
He who is afraid of asking
is ashamed of learning.
The world I live in is to a large degree of my own making. My life is affected by how I appear to others, the way I act, the things I do, but more than anything else my days are shaded by how I feel about myself. Here’s an experiment that will unnerve most people, but if you have the courage will lend you insight. Stand in front of a mirror and take 30 seconds looking at yourself. I don’t mean acknowledging your reflection which is almost always what we do in a mirror. Really look and see what is before you. Don’t judge, just take it in. See what the world sees. Look at your hair, your skin, your eyes, your wrinkles, your expression and so on. The tendency is to think others are judging us constantly when in fact they are mostly preoccupied within them self and their own thoughts. Being self-aware of the “me” puts me a step ahead of 90% of people.
Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.
Apologies and being sorry should be a part of any healthy relationship. However, I had to learn that feeling bad and expressing my sincere remorse about what I said or did does not erase it. Even when an emotional wound heals, scar tissue remains that is weaker than what previously existed. Being great at other times should never be the price a person has to pay for being controlled or abused emotionally. Wounding accumulates and can easily get to the quantity there is no recovery for a relationship. A codependent man needs to realize at that point he can’t sorry enough or apologize sufficiently to heal the hurt he has caused a woman to endure. The honorable thing then is to let her go.
Some of us think holding on makes us strong,
but sometimes it is letting go.
There are many things dreamed of, places I want to go, experiences imagined and memories I hope to make. I hesitate making them come true while saying to myself “someday” or “not yet” or even “that’s a stupid thing to want”. Then the voice of my being says “It’s your life and should be lived as you dream and hope”. Yet I stop short, somehow believing I can’t, don’t deserve it or simply find courage lacking to be true to myself. After all, who am I to want the life I want? Codependency can rob one of the confidence needed to live life parallel to their needs and desires. Instead time is used mostly living for and through others. For family and those we love, sacrifice is necessary for the balance necessary for a working relationship. But denying ALL my greatest hopes and dreams is beyond what is healthy for me and is nothing to be admired. After a point, I do best for others when I am first loyal to my own aspirations and greatest wishes.
On the plains of hesitation
Bleach the bones of countless millions
Who at the dawn of victory stopped to wait,
And waiting, died.
Boats don’t sail well directly against a storm’s wind and can get spun around aimlessly if faced straight into a squall. A sailing ship instead makes its way forward best by being turned at an angle to the wind’s force and continuing forward slowly with caution. Life’s trial, trouble and tribulation often comes as a force much like a howling strong wind. If I face adversity head on, my progress is stopped and I frequently am blown about with a loss of control. But if I angle my approach carefully into the wind of difficulty then slowly I continue forward. How I move toward trouble decides if it stops my progress completely or just slows me down.
Not to have control over the senses
is like sailing in a rudderless ship.
Recovery from codependence is not for cowards. It requires courage that comes from realizing it hurts more to stay the same, than it hurts to change. Courage is finding the inner strength and bravery required when confronting danger, difficulty, or opposition… it resides deep within each of us, ready to be accessed in those moments when you need to forge ahead or break through seemingly insurmountable barriers. It is the intangible force that propels you forward on your journey… Courage is learned in the moment that you take a leap of faith and take action. Cherie Carter-Scott PH.D. from the book “If Life is a Game, These are the Rules”
There is no need to be ashamed of tears,
for tears bear witness that a man has the greatest of courage,
the courage to suffer.