Updated: May 15
Updated: May 12, 2021
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. To honor the needs of the little you, your innerchild. It takes getting super honest with yourself about your life experiences, who you are, who you are not, and relationship patterns. If you feel more comfortable doing this with a certified life-coach and licensed therapist, do it. You don't have to work through this alone.
It's normal and even healthy that conflict arises from time to time in connections. However, with codependency, instead of addressing the issue, the issue is neglected. 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 and/or growing years.
In other words, you didn't develop codependency over night. This is a pattern ingrained over a course of time. A course of years. 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 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. Blame has no space here. This healing is about you and for you.
Now, it's time to relearn healthier and more adequate ways to:
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. Repetition rewires the brain. Give yourself the love the little you needed. Practice speaking up for yourself in a calm, clear manner. Be honest about who you are, and who you are not. Spend time with yourself to know yourself. 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 (forgiveness doesn't mean its okay, it just sets you free from the pain having power over you). Replace every negative belief with beneficial, positive beliefs about yourself, life, love, and others. Apply those thoughts to your behaviors and daily life. Join support groups. Read self help books. Get a certified life-coach and licensed therapist to support you through your journey. Remove or limit people and relationships who contradict your growth. Reparent yourself. Give 110% to healing so you can live the life you deserve and desire.
I've 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 being direct. But I was determined to break this cycle. I was determined to stop putting everyone else's needs before my own.
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 loving self-compassion, positive beliefs, accountability, self-love, and self-care. I stopped ignoring red flags while dating, in friendships, and circumstances. I became transparent about who I was and who I was not. I stopped participating in dysfunctional roles 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 myself and in The Most High. 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. Listen to the needs of the little you and honor them. Take it all one day at time. Be patient with yourself.
Sending Light and Love,