It’s not a good idea to label yourself codependent, unless you plan to do something constructive about it. Because labels don’t empower you; they reinforce the undesired effect. Codependency is, however, a label of our time. So many facets of society are codependent. It’s usually synonymous with romance, too. Codependency is so ubiquitous that first of all, it’s hard to recognize. Secondly, it’s hard to end it — the healthy way. You need to do three things to determine if a relationship you’re in is codependent: 1. Educate yourself on codependency. Learn about what codependency is, and why it’s so fatal. 2. Be honest about how you relate to others and yourself. Understanding codependency at an intellectual level doesn’t do you much good. You need to recognize your codependent behaviors so that you can choose more functional and healthier ones. 3. Be mindful of how you use the label. The whole point of using the label “codependency” is to quickly identify dysfunctional behaviors and assertively reprogram them. In other words, the whole point is so that you take care of yourself. It’s empowering to refer to the label only when you’re ready to move on from it. By Melissa Karnaze http://mindfulconstruct.com/2010/07/09/end-a-codependent-relationship-the-healthy-way/
The only consistent feature
of all of your dissatisfying relationships
One careless choice led to another and another made with little thought except the dysfunctional compulsions that mindlessly drive me. Like one person split in separate parts I am pulled in two directions at once. One is the self-destructive part that moves constantly toward danger and the darkness that feeds its desire. The other drags me toward the light where this half believes contentment and safety can be found if I am good enough. Stuck in the middle I feel like I am splitting apart much of the time, even wishing I could get it over with and go one way or the other. No matter what I do the dark chases me relentlessly and is always one step behind me. Bouncing like a pinball in a pinball machine I simply bounce off what ever I come in contact with and go sailing off to bump into the next one. It’s slow madness that gets worse as time passes but is as familiar as my hand is when I look down at it. I can’t remember when I wasn’t like this. But I do hate it so very much. I am in control of being out of control.
How did I make such a mess
of a life so richly blessed?
Boundaries are sort of an imaginary line between you and others. It divides up what’s yours and somebody else’s, and that applies not only to your body, money and belongings, but also to your feelings, thoughts and needs. That’s especially where codependents get into trouble. They have blurry or weak boundaries. They feel responsible for other people’s feelings and problems or blame their own on someone else. Some codependents have rigid boundaries. They are closed off and withdrawn, making it hard for other people to get close to them. Sometimes, people flip back and forth between having weak boundaries and having rigid ones. A consequence of poor boundaries is that you react to everyone’s thoughts and feelings. If someone says something you disagree with, you either believe it or become defensive. You absorb their words, because there’s no boundary. With a boundary, you’d realize it was just their opinion and not a reflection of you and not feel threatened by disagreements. By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT http://psychcentral.com/lib/2012/symptoms-of-codependency/
Boundaries define who we are.
They establish ‘what is me’
and ‘what isn’t me.’
Melanie Tonia Evans
I’ve realized that I’m co-dependent. Really co-dependent.There are so many things I can’t stand about myself. When I do something wrong, even if it’s small, I beat myself up over it mentally. My brain screams, “Look at that, you’re a failure. You just keep screwing up. I can’t stand it when anyone around me is upset because it makes me upset, too. It makes me upset because I desperately want to be able to make them feel better, and I feel incredibly guilty if I can’t. I feel like I should know what to say to someone to make them happy, and when I can’t do that, I end up feeling just as miserable as they do. I’m constantly waiting for things in my life to go wrong, to go back to the crappy life I “deserve.” I feel like everything that goes right in my life is just God teasing me, and that eventually he’s going to just snatch it away from me, PROVING that I never deserved it in the first place. I can’t be assertive to anyone because I’m so worried that I’m going to do something wrong. I can’t object to anyone’s opinions because I’m afraid I’ll look like an idiot and the other person will hate me. taken from a post on emptyclosets.com
Beliefs create reality.
There have been many attempts to define codependence, but a simple one I read that stuck is “codependency is a dysfunctional relationship with the self.” When my recovery truly got started I discovered what a stranger I was to myself. Trying to mold me to what I thought others wanted caused a loss of who I was. What a waste of life! Truly one of the worst things about codependency is how much time it wastes. And to top if off, I passed codependency on to my son and have seen some of my dysfunction played out and magnified in his behavior. Even though he is a grown man now I try to help him get past some of what he learned by watching me. By admitting where I was wrong in the past, making amends and telling him why my old behavior is not healthy to emulate has produced good results and brought us closer. I am blessed that he usually listens, gets it and responds positively. In recovery from codependency I have been able to shift the relationship with myself and through example been able to help others do the same.
Nothing is more contagious than example,
and no man does any exceeding good
or exceeding ill but it spawns
new deeds of the same kind.
Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld
When someone you love has left you there is a feeling of missing a part of yourself. Like one who has had a limb removed, you constantly reach for a lover that is no longer there. It’s the being alone that is the most maddening. It brings an insatiable hunger to be loved and a monumental fear of being alone. When one who is codependent suffers a breakup every fiber of the loneliness is amplified to where one can barely stand it. Then come the perceived cures that only numb the pain for a short while. Some jump right into another relationship, some drink, others do drugs or become workaholics. The romantic relationship cycle will continue over and over as one tries in vain to fill what feels like a hole in the soul. Read a book. Get counseling. Find a support group. Lean on a close friend. Or do all of it. If you want a different way of being and relationships that are healthy,work on yourself and let the pain pass so love can shine in.
Renoir was painting with only his fingertips
because arthritis twisted and cramped his hands
when asked why he continued to paint answered
“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”