Codependency Can Be Overcome!
Codependency is a term used generally for people who have had an abusive childhood and tend to stay in a toxic relationship or unhealthy relationship because they are afraid to be alone.
I think I used to be codependent. I know many people are. There are many people I can think of who are in bad marriages or in bad relationships. Another thing about being codependent is you may feel you "have" to be in a relationship when in reality, you can survive being single. I have for almost 2 years. Lol.
Some signs of codependency
You can look into your local community for groups that meet weekly on co-dependency.
Some signs of being codependent are:
- growing up in a dysfunctional family
- needing to be in control alot of the time
- not leaving an abusive or unhealthy relationship for fear of being alone
- low self esteem and feeling undeserving of love
- putting aside your wants and needs for others
- allowing yourself to be treated badly by others in family, friendships, or sexual relationships
- afraid to open up to your partner for fear of appearing weak
- having difficulty identifying your feelings
- valuing the approval of others more than you value yourself
- having fears of abandonment or an obsessive need for approval
- having an exagerated feeling of responsiblity for others
Codependency can be overcome
Codependency is not a fun thing to experience but it can be corrected. It may take some time, but you can do it. The first thing I would recommend you do, if you feel you are, is to read a book on it which I found really helpful. It's called "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. This is the best book on codependency I've found.
I also read a book called "Addiction to Love". Many people feel addicted to love. If you did not get the proper love in your childhood, you could be looking for love in all the wrong places and finally you may realize that you need to look for love in yourself. Self love is the most important kind of love, which when attained lets you love other people.
How to get self love? You need to realize that you are:
- a human being unique and there's no one like you
- you have talents and abilities
- you can make a huge difference if you apply yourself
- you can change lives!
- you can help other people
We are all put here for a reason. I choose to believe that God created us and if you believe that, it's even more reinforcing, because in the Bible, there are so many passages where it talks about how much God loves us, wants us to be happy, and is always with us.
Tips to love yourself
- pamper yourself with a nice bath
- take yourself out to eat!
- have a "me" day; a day to just catch up on sleep, grooming, and relaxation
- get a massage
But there are other ways which may not seem as obvious. These things I'm about to say take time. Here are some things:
- Develop self confidence through therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is a type of therapy which helps you practice postive skills such as positive self talk- and positive affirmations
- Make a list of all your good points
- Make a list of all your talents
- Practice being kind, thoughtful, and good manners.
- Develop meaningful relationships and friendships
- Help other people
Also, reading books as the ones I suggested help. It can take quite a while to realize you are just fine the way you are. God created you unique and special and you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now. You can change your life for the better by making good choices! You can be happy if you want to be!
As a religious person you may think that suffering is good and that good people suffer. True, many good people suffer, but God wants us to be happy. If you're saved you are going to heaven, right? But whether you're happy or not depends on you!
How can I be happy?
Understand that God wants you to be happy. Start making healthy descisions by getting the toxic people out of your life! Respect yourself enough to not let anyone abuse you. This will take time and for some, you may need individual counseling. It will not happen overnight.
Join a support group of some kind like CoDA- codependents anonymous, any 12 step group, a church group, get involved in a church or a community. Helping the elderly or volunteering will make you feel useful and appreciated.
Your mind can give you endless ideas, if you let it. Just start small and it will get better. Why? Because I'm proof of it!