Recovering from codependency is more than just mulling over positive affirmations and thinking good thoughts. It’s a process of reflecting on your childhood and growing years to unlearn and relearn healthier habits, behaviors, and beliefs. To reconnect with the core of your being as worthy and lovable. It takes getting super honest with yourself about your life experiences and relationship patterns. If you feel more comfortable doing this with a coach or counselor, do it. You don’t have to work through this alone.
It’s normal and even healthy that conflict arises from time to time between family. However, with codependency, instead of addressing the issue, family members neglect the issue. Doing this leads to denying, repressing, and ignoring difficult emotions and concerns. A pattern that leads to a lack of self trust, low self esteem, and anxiety. This develops into engaging in one-sided, emotionally unhealthy relationships rooted in insecurity, along with several other signs.
So the first step to recovery is to understand and acknowledge that what you are experiencing now as an adult is a residual of your childhood. You didn’t develop codependency over night. This is a pattern engrained from your upbringing. So don’t beat yourself up for not being able to just ‘shake it off’ – be fair and compassionate towards yourself while recovering. You’re not crazy, you are just struggling with codependency.
With understanding this, pause reading to reflect on your emotional environment as a child. How was conflict handled? Or was it even acknowledged? How were difficult emotions treated? Was it okay to make mistakes and to learn from them, or were you expected to be perfect and good at all times? Were you allowed to discuss your emotions and thoughts or were you constantly shut down? What patterns from your childhood do you see yourself expressing as an adult? Go back to that space where you were a child observing family interactions – did you feel safe or fearful?
Chances are you if you struggle with codependency, you felt unsafe, anxious, shut down, and often criticized. Chances are your examples of relationships were unhealthy and toxic. And we know that children are sponges to their environment. What did you absorb during your childhood years that point to learned codependency?
This will help you to break free from the root of the issue. You may discover other learned behaviors you’ve absorbed besides codependency. But don’t go shaking your finger at your mother or father. Be led by God in your approach.
Now, it’s time to relearn healthier and more adequate ways to:
- trust yourself
- accept who you are as you are
- value and honor yourself
- acknowledge your thoughts, wants, needs, and emotions as valid
- voice your opinion with confidence and clarity
- stand up for yourself when someone treats you unfairly
- nurture yourself and practice self care
- address conflict in a effective manner
- walk away from what does not serve you and is destructive to your well-being
- trust God to provide all your needs as you are an abundance being
- accept that you deserve to take up space here on this Earth
- be compassionate towards yourself when you make mistakes
- develop healthy discipline
- use discernment in your relationships/friendships
- be authentic about who you are and what you want
To learn that it is okay to just be you.
Establishing new behaviors doesn’t happen in one night. To heal, spend time meditating every single day to record over those negative messages. Give yourself the love the little you needed. Practice speaking up for yourself in a calm clear manner. Be honest about who you are. Surround yourself with people who accept you for you. Learn how to address conflict effectively. Forgive yourself for the errors you’ve made through codependency. Forgive your family. Replace every negative belief with good positive thoughts about yourself, life, love, and others. Apply those thoughts to your behaviors and daily life. Join support groups. Read self help books. Get a coach or counselor to support you through your journey. Set boundaries or remove toxic people and relationships. Give 110% to healing so you can live the life you deserve and desire.
I struggled with codependency. And though I am not a perfect person, my efforts have yielded tremendous growth. For me, the biggest leap I took in breaking free from codependency was learning to speak up for myself about what I think, feel, want, and need. I stopped suppressing my emotions out of fear of conflict and abandonment.
At first, it felt uneasy. I wasn’t use to be direct. But I was determined to break this cycle.
So, I started speaking up from myself. I wasn’t afraid of addressing conflict anymore. I began making my presence known. I nurtured myself with compassion, positive beliefs, accountability, self love, and self care. I stopped ignoring red flags when dating. I became transparent about who I was and who I was not. I stopped participating in that broken cycle with my family. I stood my ground with love. And guess what?
The world didn’t stop. In fact, I gained a tremendous amount of self-confidence and trust in God. I saw that things were working out in my favor. When I got honest about what I felt and became more authentic about who I was, bad things didn’t happen like I so anxiously fretted. Instead, the Universe started making space for me.
Now, this doesn’t mean I started telling people off and made every infraction an issue. Instead, I prayed from guidance. I was still led by God. There were times I was led to speak up and times I was led to say nothing at all. Times I was led to release a relationship and times I was led to extend grace. Most importantly, I practiced authenticity and self respect by honoring what I think, feel, want, and need.
You too can began the journey of healing, choose today.
Light and Love,