To learn how to end codependency, you must first identify if you are codependent. Codependency is perfectly expressed right here in this quote from Dr. Menije’s blog:
“I don’t recognize myself anymore. I don’t know this person who is so controlling, so angry, so obsessed about what other people think. I don’t even know where it all went wrong. I wasn’t always like this. The relationship wasn’t always like this. I find myself feeling more insecure than secure, feeling more lost than confident, feeling more anxious than at peace. I know I need to stop being codependent.” – Dr. Menije
– Difficulty making decisions in a relationship“Do You Have a Codependent Personality?,” by Beth Gilbert
– Difficulty identifying your feelings
– Difficulty communicating in a relationship
– Valuing the approval of others more than valuing yourself
– Lacking trust in yourself and having poor self-esteem
– Having fears of abandonment or an obsessive need for approval
– Having an unhealthy dependence on relationships, even at your own cost
– Having an exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others
Remember that anyone, whether strong or not, can live with codependency. It is a very common condition among adults in every culture and you are not alone.
The Plan: How to End Codependency
The first step in learning how to end codependency is deciding if you may have codependency. Overcoming codependency is not an easy thing to do, but there is a lot of support out there. Additionally, overcoming codependency is not a task you ever have to face alone. CoDA is an amazing site for support.
Take out your journal or open a blank text file on your computer.
Identify if you have any of the following in common.
According to the book, “Facing Codependence,” by Pia Mellody This is an affiliate link, codependents have difficulty:
1. Experiencing appropriate levels of self-esteem
2. Setting functional boundaries
3. Owning and expressing their own reality
4. Taking care of their adult needs and wants
5. Experiencing and expressing their reality moderately“Facing Codependence,” by Pia Mellody
- Write a list of self-focused and self-care activities you could do to focus on yourself and begin enjoying life again and help you in overcoming codependency.
- Write any boundaries you feel need to be set in a relationship. Is there any places in your life where you can speak up or say no to honor your own needs?
- Write a situation where it would be healthy for you to detach. (e.g. an unhealthy interpersonal relationship, a situation that is causing you to burnout, etc.)
- Write a list of ways you can distract yourself from worrying about what others think about you.
- Write a list of places in your life where you feel it is acceptable to be “imperfect” at times.
- Write a list of people in your life who would support you or research therapists who may be able to provide you with some skills to help you overcome codependency and its effect on your life.
- Write some ideas of how you can begin to listen to yourself rather than asking for outside advice.
For more information, check out “7 Writing Prompts for Healing Codependency” – CounselingRecovery.com. The prompts above are derived from this article, which has more descriptive information for you to further understand the journaling prompts for overcoming codependency.
Quote of the Day
Today’s quote comes from Melody Beattie. It definitely applies to those who are hoping to find a way of overcoming codependency.
After writing the quote and all the pieces of the journal entry for today, write how you can use this quote to learn how to end codependency, and what overcoming codependency will look like in your life.
An Extra Resource for Ending Codependency
Pia Mellody, with Andrea Wells Miller and J. Keith Miller, wrote a book called, “Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes From, How It Sabotages Our Lives This is an affiliate link.” For anyone struggling with codependency, this book is a fantastic starting place to identify how the life of a codependent really works and what it feels like, as well as how we are ruining our own lives by not facing the reality. Here is the Amazon description:
Pia Mellody creates a framework for identifying codependent thinking, emotions, and behavior and provides an effective approach to recovery. Mellody sets forth five primary adult symptoms of this crippling condition, then traces their origin to emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and sexual abuses that occur in childhood. Central to Mellody’s approach is the concept that the codependent adult’s injured inner child needs healing. Recovery from codependency, therefore, involves clearing up the toxic emotions left over from these painful childhood experiences.“Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes From, How It Sabotages Our Lives.” – Pia Mellody, Andrea Wells Miller and J. Keith Miller
My Personal Experience with Codependency
For years, I have been diagnosed with everything from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) to Bipolar Disorder (BD) to you name it, I was told I had it. The reality was hard when I found out it was actually codependency, and it wasn’t on my partners, it was on my mother. I was desperate for her approval and if I didn’t get it, I wasted away in self-sabotage, anger, and victimization. Learning how to end codependency took me on many journey’s to many rehab facilities in America, Bali, and, now, Thailand.
I came to Thailand on March 26th after I started researching this topic and realized that this may be what has had me stuck for years. I initially thought I was burnt-out, only to find the answers I have been looking for most of my adult life. Sometimes in childhood, we receive a “less-than-nurturing” parenting style and it isn’t anyone’s fault, it just is what it is. Though, left unchecked, this can have a radical impact on our romantic relationships, friendships, careers, and the way we parent our own children.
This is why I came to Thailand. I knew it was time to fix this issue when I found myself in another failed romantic relationship because I was judging him too harshly, judging myself far more, and allowing others to interject their feedback on my relationship when it was not needed.
Overcoming codependency is not easy, but recognizing it has made a world of difference for me. Next, I wish to learn how to end codependency in my own life and be able to embrace a new relationship with the man I love and wish I didn’t let go of, or create a future healthy relationship in the future with someone who will be able to understand that I haven’t had the easiest upbringing. I will learn how to end codependency oneday and have the relationship I always believed I could have.
Quick Exercise for Overcoming Codependency
Overcoming codependency takes a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but self-love is the one thing that will surely invite you to learn how to end codependency. When I get really down on myself, I find a positive song and I dance. I encourage you to listen to this fun song by Meghan Trainor, entitled, “Treat Myself.” While you listen, stand up and dance to your own rhythm and let the feelings of your own love be directed at you for once.
Read More on Overcoming Codependency
- Do You Have a Codependent Personality? – Everyday Health
- The Twelve Steps of Codependency – CoDA Recovery Program
- Patterns & Characteristics of Codependency – CoDA Recovery Program
- Find a Meeting – CoDA.org
- 7 Writing Prompts for Healing Codependency – CounselingRecovery.com
- Day 14: Being Grateful, Practicing Gratitude – Niki Maria
- Day 13: Powerful Inner Child Healing – Niki Maria