Now I know Halloween has come and gone so don’t trip! I just noticed a lot of girls and guys haven’t put their fangs away! I know it’s been a while since I wrote about codependency, but that doesn’t mean the message couldn’t bear repeating. Now before I admit I was still in a codependent situation myself. Yep, giving advice, but not taking it myself. Well, gratefully I can say that I’m no longer the pot calling black. Yes, I’m out of that relationship and since then another relationship with the same draining tendencies has come and gone. Nonetheless, I understand the importance of acknowledging where things went wrong and hopefully by the end of this post you too will be equipped with some wisdom you can use to avoid the trap of codependency.
The first step to avoiding codependency is self-love. It seems simple, but did you know you can think you love yourself and not really love yourself? Well, if you’re puzzled join the club. I was one of those people who thrived on people pleasing to make me feel better about myself. I thought that if I did my best to treat others the way I “thought” I wanted to be treated then I would be happy and that I was really lov i ng myself. I was way off!
I didn’t realize at that time how important my own well-being was so I sacrificed it for others. Now, before you say there’s nothing wrong with that…consider how ineffective you are when you’re overwhelmed. Basically, my life was a perpetual cycle of relationship addiction. I didn’t understand my value though I knew it. Sounds like I just contradicted myself doesn’t it? However,knowledge and wisdom are not synonymous. Wisdom is application of the knowledge…so yes, I knew better, but didn’t do better. Rather, I didn’t allow myself to receive better. I settled. So I’ve learned to be picky again.
Yes, I said again because back in day I used to have a better sense of self. I was a child though. Yep, this cycle of codependency started when I was a child…no older than 10 or 11.
So you see codepency does not just mean romantic relationships.
I was raised in an unstable home. My mother had borderline personality disorder so to avoid the clash of the Titans I learned that my thoughts were best left unsaid. Yet, I was so bold before.I knew there was nothing I couldn’t do before I found myself competing for my mother’s attention by any means necessary.
Things really came into perspective when God showed me who I was before the hurt. I had to go back to a place I’d run from for too long. I thank God He has transformed my heart and thinking so I could fully forgive her and myself for the mistakes I’d made. So no I’m not blaming her for the way I felt about myself because regardless of the environment you grow up in, God hands are not so short that He cannot rescue you.
Even as I type this message I smile because with every word I’m reminded of surrogates God placed in my mother’s gap throughout my life. So yes I’m my normal bold, perhaps less tactful self again and I’m loving every ounce of my being.
No I don’t regret my experiences either because now I know what it means to have everything work for my good. I wouldn’t be able to show you what the other side of “been through”looks like otherwise…
So while you might struggle with symptoms of codependency or if you feel locked in a relationship of codepency, you don’t have to stay in it. Now for those of you dealing with codependent family members like I had, understand that your well-being shouldn’t be predicated on whether he or she is happy. So yes you can have a healthy relationship without allowing it to overwhelm you and that means it’s okay to say “NO.”
I know this message is sort of all over the place, but I feel the need to focus on the importance of self-love instead of the particulars of an otherwise draining relationship…trust I’d planned to have all kinds of colorful vampire analogies to paint the picture of how draining a codependent relationship is, but I doubt that’s necessary at this point.
That said, God’s best is available when you make yourself available for Him to show and prove your value. So take the time to love you as He does and then you won’t be plagued by the emptiness of people pleasing and codependency.