To be acceptable to yourself and others, you hide who you are and become who you aren’t.
There was a time in my life I could not truthfully make the statement ‘I’m NOT codependent. I was obsessive in my relationships (i.e., family, friendships, partnerships, intimate) due to my fear of loss because of things I experienced in my developmental years. I’m sure it was a taxing time for all involved. However, as I became aware of the challenges codependency caused, I was determined to address them. Along the journey I went to the other extreme, becoming extremely hyper-independent. I became so independent that I wouldn’t reach out for help when I needed it. I felt that I wasn’t wanted. I became accustomed to doing things myself, taking care of myself in every way possible and not needing a single soul. Which wasn’t really independency…it was a survival mechanism. Sound familiar?
When I began doing the work of healing childhood traumas, I realized the root of my hyper-independency and slowly began finding balance.
Most people think of codependency as being in a relationship with an addicted partner. Codependency is about the relationship you have with yourself. It’s a set of characteristics and patterns of behavior we develop to help us cope, typically from a childhood that revolved around (but not limited to) addiction, emotional instability, and trauma, and physical or mental illness.
Codependency is common, with some estimates as high as nearly 50% of people in the United States. Codependency is widespread worldwide and can be present in people of any demographic background. It involves an excessive, all-consuming dependence on a relationship. Codependent relationships are ones in which the codependent person goes to extremes to support or change the other person. They set aside their own emotions or desires to keep the other person happy and to protect the relationship at all costs. Common markers of codependency include extreme fear of the relationship ending, compulsive concern with the other person, self-doubt, and not having a sense of self outside the relationship. Any relationship–be it a romantic relationship, family relationship, or friendship– can be a codependent relationship.
THERE IS HOPE | YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Although many people struggle with codependency, this habit is very changeable. You do not need to “cope” with, or “manage” codependency long-term. No matter how long or how often you’ve been caught up in codependent relationships or how many signs of codependency you experience, there is enormous hope for freedom from this habit.
Codependency is not about your fundamental nature or your relationship; it’s about a few simple misunderstandings about how our thoughts and feelings truly work. Freedom comes from the inside-out, from seeing yourself, your thoughts and feelings, and what codependency is in a brand-new way. You can recover! Address the pains and hurts within to begin. Acknowledging there it is half the battle. If You Hide It, You Can’t Heal It! Are you ready to walk in freedom?
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