The Language Of Letting Go: Daily Meditations For Codependents Melody Beattie
This book, by codependency expert Melody Beattie, is a handbook for people who are codependent.
This book is full of daily meditations and focuses on self-esteem, acceptance, health, and recovery. This is a good option for anyone who knows they are codependent and wants to do something about it.
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A Parent Who Is Physically Or Mentally Ill
When a child grows up in a home with a mentally or physically ill parent, the child becomes a caregiver at a young age, internalizing a range of emotions centered on the needs of the parent. The childs self-worth may hinge on being needed by another person and result in neglecting his or her own needs.
Codependent Parents: Consequences For Children
Codependency was originally thought of as a disorder that affected the children and spouses of alcoholics and substance abusers.
Research has shown that codependency is not unique to the children of alcoholics, though, as many types of family difficulties can lead to codependency .
In fact, having a codependent parent can lead a child to codependency as well.
This is due to the tendency that people who have been parentified as children are more likely to be codependent . The concept of parentification refers to the reversal of the parent-child role, or when a child is forced to serve in a parental or care-taking role towards their own parent.
This is usually due to the parent not having had their own developmental needs met while they were growing up.
Since these codependent children grow up not having their developmental needs met either, this can create a cycle of codependency passed down from generation to generation.
Being codependent can be particularly harmful for parents of addicted children . Codependent parents of addicted children can enable their childrens addictions, even when they think they are helping.
This is one of the ways that codependency can be especially tricky often people with these tendencies believe they are being helpful, or that their actions are necessary for the other person in the relationship.
This work can be hard to identify in ourselves, so having a supportive professional help us untangle these relationships can be crucial.
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Become Aware Of Your Codependent Behavior
The first step to recover and heal from codependency is to become aware of your behaviors. When you learn about your codependent behaviors it will be easier for you to work on changing them.
These are typical codependent behaviors which you might recognize in yourself:
- Rescuing and fixing others gives you a sense of purpose and makes you feel valued
- You ignore your needs and feelings and focus on helping other people
- Its not the first time you imposed your unsolicited advice
- You tend to be controlling and clingy
- Feelings of guilt and shame overwhelm you especially if you fail to help others
- You often feel worried and anxious
- You are overly critical of yourself
- You feel responsible for other peoples feelings
- You dont have a strong sense of self and a strong opinion
- You dont know what you like, how you feel or what is important to you
- Your people-pleasing tendencies drive you to sacrifice your needs
- You struggle to set solid boundaries and to be assertive
- You struggle with intimacy and trusting others
- You fear abandonment in relationships which can lead to abusive relationships
- You are sensitive to criticism and fear rejection
- You dont know your self-worth and seek validation from others
- You struggle to adapt to change which leads to a lack of flexibility
When you catch yourself engaging in these kinds of behaviors, pause and reflect before you act. Take a deep breath and give yourself a moment to act consciously rather than impulsively. Self-awareness is key to change.
Examine Your Motivation For Helping Others
What motivates you to help others? Do you want to be noticed and liked, or to win peoples approval? Or do you care for others out of fear or guilt? Codependent people feel good when they are needed in fact they need to be needed. But this means that the focus is on satisfying your need to be needed, rather than on the person you are helping. Examining your motivations for helping others will give you insight into your codependency. It can also help you to change, enabling you to feel fulfilled and energized when you help others, instead of feeling burdened and stressed. You need to start seeing that your worth and value is based on who you are in Christ, rather than on any service you perform.
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The Hallmarks Of Codependency
Most codependent people struggle with low self-esteem and dont articulate their own needs in the relationship or at all.
Healthy adult relationships are built on a mutual respect and a considerate balance of give and take. In other words, the two people in the relationship can rely on each other, emotionally, physically, and often financially.
When someone in a relationship becomes consumed with that relationship, that veers into being codependent. Codependents have an overgrown sense of responsibility for the relationship, viewing the other persons needs and wants as more important than their own. They often neglect their own needs to keep the relationship going.
All kinds of relationships can be codependent: dating or marriage relationships family relationships sibling-to-sibling relationships and even friendships.
How Do You Know If You Are In A Codependent Relationship
There is a very fuzzy line between being a supportive spouse and becoming a codependent one. Codependency happens when the healthy and necessary give-and-take of a marriage become dangerously out of balance. Here are some symptoms of codependency:
1. Low Self-Esteem
The feeling that you are never good enough, dont deserve love or affection, and always viewing yourself as inferior are all signs that you are suffering from low self-esteem. This is something only you can be the judge of as many who have an inner struggle with feelings of worthlessness may appear to be pompous or over-confident on the outside to mask their true feelings.
Guilt and perfectionism both can lead to negative feelings about yourself. Those with a low self-esteem are more likely to feel they dont deserve better support from their relationships.
They also may grow overly dependent on their partner for affirmation and emotional support–either by expecting to be given to in excess, or in the praise received from meeting their partner’s needs.
We all desire to please our spouses but those who are codependent cannot say no to their partner without extreme anxiety. An anxiety around disappointing others may be the case in all the codependent persons’ relationships.
3. Poor Boundaries
You come to mutual understandings about each other’s needs and preferences.
4. Strong Desire for Control
5. Obsessive Thoughts and Painful Emotions
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How To Break Free From Codependency In 12 Steps
Today, youre going to learn how to break free from codependency and savior complex using powerful strategies.
Codependency can be defined as an addiction to people.
Codependency is a belief of helplessness over ones feelings and an attempt to control inner feelings by controlling people, things, and events on the outside.
Savior complex is one trait of codependency. Codependents are naturally giving, sacrificing, and consumed with the needs and desires of others.
In a relationship, the codependent becomes addicted to another person and becomes enmeshed in the other person so much so that their sense of self becomes severely restricted and influenced by that other persons identity and problems.
Ask For What You Need
Codependent people are so focused on serving others that they never consider their own needs. They certainly arent great at asking others for what they need.
Its not that your needs should be more important than those of other human beings, but they are at least as important.
When your needs arent met, you end up feeling depleted, resentful and unfulfilled. Also, it puts you in a worse position to serve others.
So, get in the habit of asking for what you need without shame.
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How To Heal From Codependency Biblically
God said it is not good for man to be alone. We were created for relationship. But when youre giving more to a relationship than the other person is giving or willing to give, youre likely in a codependent relationship. Codependent relationships are unbalanced.
If you are letting another persons behavior affect you, or if you are obsessed with controlling another persons behavior, you are displaying codependent traits.
You can develop codependent relationships with anyonea spouse, child, parent, friend, boss.
Codependency displays itself as caring and loving, but its effects are destructive to relationships.
If youre not sure if you have codependent traits, check out my last post, 8 Signs youre a Christian Codependent.
If youve been battling with putting others first, obsessing over someone, and losing your identity, its time for you to step out of the devils trap and into all that God has for you.
Why You Don’t Think You Need Codependency Recovery
Codependency creates a deep sense of loneliness because you can’t be yourself. You’re so busy doing for others that your life is never really your own. What you think and feel takes a back seat because youre so focused on taking care of everyone else.
In order to start codependency recovery, you have to “hit bottom” much like the alcoholic.
Unfortunately, it’s harder, as a codependent person, to see your behavior as a problem. Because you’re not the one out of control, you think you dont need help.
You think that you have all the answers – and let’s face it, when people keep coming to you for help, it proves your point. That’s why it takes a lot for codependents to stop. You think that others can’t survive without your help.
Unfortunately, you burn yourself out in the process.
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Take Breaks From Each Other
Get out for walks with the kids, go to the beach, the park, advises Dee, who learned how to heal her codependent patterns of relating. If your husband wants to go with you sometimes, let him! Get out together, but make sure you spend time apart. Enjoy the beauty around you the laughter of others. Play with your kids. Think of five things you can appreciate everyday.
She also encourages women not to let their partners inside their heads. That space is one you do have control of, she says. Take nothing he says personally, then it wont hurt so much. See it for what it isHIS issue.
Often, getting help for codependent relationships includes learning about addictive relationships.
You need to figure out where you start, where he ends, and whether you can stop being co dependent with him. And if you start to believe the lies he tells you, call the 1-800 number of a shelter, get a counselor and find a way to get out of the house. Even if you volunteer once a week or join an exercise group, you need to take a break from the codependency in your relationship.
Observe Yourself Through The Eyes Of A Loved One
How would you feel if your closest friend, child, or loved one was in the relationship you have?
This question often provides great insight into the patterns within your relationship that are no longer serving you.
If you would hate for someone you care about to hold your role within a relationship, what keeps you playing that role
- What would you hope for your loved one?
- How could you work to find that for yourself?
Allow yourself to expect the same for yourself as you would those you care about.
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Breaking Free Of The Co
This book by a married psychologist couple is all about codependency and how to break out of it.
The authors first discuss how codependency develops in people, and how ones childhood can ultimately lead to codependency. The authors then focus on helping the reader out of codependency.
This is a good option for anyone who wants to understand their codependency, not just how to fix it.
How To Cure Codependency
Codependency is a very unhealthy phenomenon. It is extremely common and it rarely gets the attention that it should. More people suffer from codependency than you would imagine. Since most people dont even realize that they are in a codependent relationship, it is impossible to put a number or to quote any stats. People get professionally diagnosed with codependency only when their lives fall apart completely. It is often ailments, disorders, clinical depression, chronic anxiety and failing health that get noticed first following which the assessment of the persons history infer codependency if the person has been in a codependent relationship.
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Codependency Signs And Symptoms
Codependents are sometimes unaware of how their behaviour negatively impacts themselves and those around them. They believe they are simply kind and caring people. The following are signs and symptoms of codependency:
- Your relationships are plagued by unhealthy dependency, intimacy issues, inadequate communication, control, denial, excessive reactivity, and inappropriate boundaries.
- You feel responsible for other people.
- You ignore, tolerate, or facilitate unacceptable behaviour.
- You feel angrier when other people are wronged than when you personally face injustice.
- You feel safe, secure, and comfortable when you are giving.
- Yet, you feel insecure and guilty if someone tries to give back.
- You do everything you can for your loved one, including setting aside your own needs.
- You keep helping even when you are unappreciated or ignored.
- You cannot stop thinking and talking about other peoples problems.
- You stay with abusive partners or tolerate unfulfilling relationships.
- You are unhappy when you are alone.
- You feel bored or worthless without a problem to solve, crisis to handle, or person to care for.
You would rather be in a bad relationship than be single.
S To Becoming A Recovering Codependent
Recovery empowers codependents to take charge of their lives by learning to value their feelings, opinions, and needs. As self-esteem improves, codependents find the courage to challenge mistaken childhood beliefs, which then frees them to learn healthy relationship skills through practice. A common fear among codependents in early recovery is that they will become selfish, which is unfounded, because recovering codependents remain more caring than most. Recovery simply extends the abundant compassion of codependents to themselves, which is exemplified in my slogan:“I will no longer be a people pleaser. Instead, I will be a people respecter, including respecting my own needs and feelings.”
So, let’s talk about the five steps to becoming a recovering codependent.
From the depths of his despair, Phil made a profound change. Instead of trying to make Rita love him, he decided to just get to know himself, and lo and behold, Rita liked what she saw and fell in love. The shame of codependents tells them they are unlovable, but when codependents enter recovery, they discover that they are worthy of being loved.
Click below to watch Carl’s 9-minute YouTubevideo of this article.
To view all of Carl’s videos on codependency,
If you are ready to begin the road to recovery, or if you’re already on it and need extra support, then click on the picture below to request online therapy.
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The Relationship Between Codependency And Addiction
One of the many problems with a codependent relationship is that you may be inadvertently enabling a partners addiction. In your attempt to show your love by helping your partner, you can discourage him or her from seeking the treatment necessary to get sober.
- You justify your husbands drinking by saying he has had a stressful day or needs to relax.
- You make excuses when your girlfriend cant come to social functions because she is under the influence of heroin.
- You let your boyfriend borrow your prescription opioids whenever he complains of any minor discomfort, even though youre worried about his growing dependence on the medication.
- You quietly take on extra responsibilities around the house or in parenting your children because your partner is always under the influence.
- You find yourself frequently apologizing to others or doing favors to repair relationships damaged by your partners drug or alcohol abuse.
- You risk your own financial future by loaning money to your partner to cover debts incurred from substance abuse.
Addiction impairs judgement and critical thinking skills. This makes it very difficult for someone with a substance use disorder to see that they need help. When you go out of your way to prevent your partner from experiencing the consequences of substance abuse, you make it less likely that they will acknowledge that a problem exists.
Ways To Heal From Codependency
1. Learn to meditate. Meditation enables you to find your center, find your connection with yourself and with your higher power. Over time, meditation will allow you to remain connected even when you are not meditating. Meditation gives you the core skill to overcome codependency at its root. Meditation doesnt have to be anything fancy, it can simply involve taking slow breaths, noticing the breath and sensing the body. Practice this whenever you think of it.
2. Learn to shut your brain off. While most people believe they are their thoughts, they are not. When you focus on your breathing you will automatically stop the incessant brain chatter and begin to feel a sense of peace. With practice, this sense of peace will begin to permeate more and more of your life, and is an invaluable tool to use along the path of healing from codependency.
3. Join a 12-Step program such as CoDA or Al-Anon .
4. Find a therapist, if that therapist isnt helpful, find another, ask for references if possible.
5. Contact your local Women’s Center and find out what services they provide.
6. Learn to love yourself by changing the negative ‘self-talk’. This is a very common problem for codependents. There is a radio station in the mind that plays a constant barrage of negativity with statements like you are stupid, you are fat, and that was a stupid thing to say, These statements are shame ridden and inflict constant emotional pain upon the codependent.
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